5 Great Daily Driver Trucks

For daily driving it’s hard to beat a pickup truck. Trucks are great at hauling people and even better at hauling stuff. Trucks have ditched their farm and ranch heritage and are now as comfy as most SUVs. Daily driver trucks are also popular, fuel-efficient (really), stylish and reliable.

What makes a good daily? Miles per gallon is a good start. Roominess is also a plus, so are safety features and storage. Bigger can be better, but too big is certainly a pain. A big truck is awful at navigating tight parking garages and terrible for frequent parallel parking. Reliability is also a plus, especially if the kids are counting on you to be on time in the pick-up line. So which trucks should you consider for daily driving? These five may fit the bill.

Consumer Reports recommends the Ford Ranger

Front angle view of orange 2023 Ford Ranger, highlighting how Ford Ranger EV could be the best electric pickup truck
2023 Ford Ranger | Ford

Consumer Reports recommends the Ranger over other mid-size trucks. It has good reliability ratings, it handles better than average, it’s comfortable, and most owners say they’d buy one again. The Ranger offers a 10-speed automatic transmission that helps the truck find the right gear for the right job, which means that it gets good gas mileage at 23 mpg combined. For a daily driver truck, the Ford Ranger can also be ordered in XLT and Lariat trims that won’t break the bank. These trims offer similar safety and technology packages that you’d find on an Explorer or Bronco Sport, as well as leather-trimmed seats and easy-to-use Sync infotainment.

For a daily driver truck, the Honda Ridgeline has some clever features

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline is a highly-rated truck but its not selling well.
2022 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Honda Ridgeline has a couple of tricks that make it a great alternative. Its in-bed trunk provides waterproof, lockable, storage in the back. Its tailgate swings out like a door or flops down like a traditional tailgate. The bed is also a composite so it won’t rust. All-wheel drive is standard. Its 3.5-liter V6 makes 280 horsepower, and it gets 22 mpg combined.

The Ridgeline makes a great daily driver truck because it can seat five in SUV-like comfort. It’s based on a Pilot, and in many ways drives like a Pilot with a bed. The Ridgeline is also rated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is the most car-like truck

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz trims
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai Motor America

Sometimes you just don’t want a truck, but you know you want a bed for those large-sized Home Depot runs. The Santa Cruz may be your daily driver truck of choice. When it comes to reliability, Hyundai offers its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and maintenance is covered for the first 36,000 miles. It has standard driver safety aids like the forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, and you can order a blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alerts.

The Santa Cruz, like the Ridgeline, is a unibody truck, so it handles more like a car. But it’s also quick for a truck and can hit 60 miles per hour in six seconds.

The F-150 Hybrid makes a good choice if you need a full-size truck

A dark blue 2022 Ford F-150 Lariat
2022 Ford F-150 Lariat | Ford

Bigger can be a pain if you’re in the city. But, if you need a full-sized daily driver truck it’s hard to beat the F-150 Hybrid and its 24 mpg combined rating. This full-sized truck gets better gas mileage than a Ranger and its hybrid motor puts out 430 horsepower, which makes it the most-powerful gasoline F-150. Although the F-150 has an old-school leaf-spring rear suspension, it’s tuned for comfort.

Ford also offers the F-150 in several trims, but the mid-priced Lariat trim offers heated power seats, navigation, Ford’s new Sync system, and they can be ordered with four-wheel-drive. You can also order power-adjustable pedals and a ton of safety features. It’s hard to beat the F-150 as a daily, especially if you need the extra capability of a full-size truck that seats up to six people.  

Of course the Ford Maverick makes the daily driver truck list

2022 Ford Maverick Lariat compact pickup truck in burnt orange parked outside a home
2022 Ford Maverick Lariat | The Ford Motor Company

The Ford Maverick is the smallest Ford truck on the outside, but because of its unique unibody it is roomier than a Ranger on the inside. It comes standard with a hybrid motor than can see up to 42 mpg in the city, which makes it a great daily driver truck. It can be ordered as a basic truck for $19,995, but for a daily driver truck, upgrade to the XLT or Lariat. The base truck is basic. The XLT and Lariat packages can come with several driver aids, 360-degree cameras, heated seats, and much more that make a Maverick loveable as a daily driver.

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