5 Best 2021 Full-Size Pickup Trucks: Does Your Favorite Truck Crush the Competition?

Full-size pickup trucks are by far and away the best-selling vehicle type in the United States. It’s easy to see why, with the utility, towing capabilities, off-road prowess, and durability that full-size pickup trucks provide. Check out the five best 2021 full-size pickup trucks. Does your favorite truck come out on top?

What is the best 2021 full-size pickup truck?

Red 2021 Ram 1500 parked next to piles of dirt
2021 Ram 1500 | Ram

For the best 2021 full-size pickup truck list, Car and Driver looked at both domestic and foreign brands. Like many things in life, bigger isn’t always better — and when evaluating pickup trucks, there are many things to consider. Many drivers are very passionate about their trucks and specific truck brands, such as Ford, Chevy, and Ram. Take this list with a grain of salt.

5. GMC Sierra 1500/Chevy Silverado 1500

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, with a starting price of $28,195, looks slightly outdated despite a full redesign the previous model year. Its face isn’t attractive, and its interior is average at best. However, the Silverado overcomes these shortcomings with the addition of a powerful new 6.2-liter engine, high-quality brakes, and a generous amount of rearseat headspace for the four-door crew cab model. Also, the 2021 Silverado offers a useful Multi-flex tailgate. 

From a mechanical standpoint, the GMC Sierra 1500 and Silverado 1500 are identical. However, it may be worth paying more for the Sierra 1500 (starting price of $29,295) because of its more attractive design. The Sierra 1500 offers all of the same quality engine and transmission options as the Silverado 1500. While an off-road version of the Sierra 1500 is not available, you can get the Sierra AT4 model and add off-road equipment, such as a two-inch suspension lift.

4. Ford F-150

White 2021 Ford F-150 towing a camping trailer
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

The Ford F-Series has been a top-seller for decades, so it’s not surprising that it makes this list. The 2021 Ford F-150 (base price of $30,635) offers a new hybrid powertrain, which generates an impressive 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. It gets an estimated combined fuel economy of 24 mpg. The 2021 F-150 also has an improved interior, with high-quality materials and greater functionality. With the available Work Surface feature, the front row of the F-150 transforms into a work table. Additionally, the F-150 is a towing powerhouse with a best-in-class towing capacity of 14,000 pounds.

3. Ford F-150 Raptor

If you’re drawn to the Ford F-150, but want to take the performance and off-road capability up a few notches, then you’ll want to get the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor (base price of $64,145). Its 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine churns out a mighty 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. With its off-road suspension with adaptive shock absorbers, the F-150 Raptor can handle challenging terrain with ease. Also, the F-150 Raptor has a commanding presence, with its bold grille, wide fenders, and available 37-inch wheels.

2. Ram 1500 TRX

Red 2021 Ram 1500 TRX driving on sandy terrain
2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Ram

RELATED: 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2022 Ram 1500 TRX: Off-Road Truck Battle

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX (base price of $71,790) is the souped-up, off-road version of the Ram 1500. The muscular 702-hp Hellcat V8 engine in the TRX enables the truck to go from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. With its Bilstein dampers, four-wheel drive system, and high ground clearance, the TRX is a great truck for wilderness adventures. Outside, the TRX has a beefy exterior design. However, its interior is luxurious and sophisticated, with heated/ventilated seats and a useful infotainment system.

1. Ram 1500

The 2021 Ram 1500 (base price of $30,145) takes the top spot. Previously, the Ram 1500 won the 2021 Car and Driver 10Best Full-size Pickup award. It also won the Car and Driver comparison competition between the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado 1500. 

There are many reasons to choose the Ram 1500. It has excellent handling. Its EcoDiesel V6 engine is efficient and is more powerful than any other diesel engine offered for light-duty pickup trucks. Also, the Ram 1500 has a premium interior that’s unmatched by the competition. Furthermore, with the Ram 1500 Night Edition, you can get the truck with a sleek dark look.

Which 2021 full-size pickup truck should I buy?

The debate over the best full-size pickup trucks goes back for decades. Owners love their trucks and are often very loyal to their favorite truck brand. In addition to the trucks that made the top five list, honorable mentions include the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan. Both the Tundra and Titan have significant redesigns for the 2022 model year, so next year they may rise up the ranks. Car buying can be a challenging endeavor, so use this list as a loose guide and do your own thorough research.

RELATED: 2022 Ford F-150 vs. 2022 Ram 1500: Which Pickup Truck is Better?