Are pickups good for road trips? Absolutely. They can carry all your stuff and tow a trailer or a boat, too. Modern trucks can also be ordered as luxury trucks that offer many of the options that any SUV can have. But what makes these trucks great are their open beds for hauling the stuff that you’ll likely pick up on a road trip, whether that’s a load of antiques or stinky fish from the lake.
With all of these trucks you can order most of the driver safety aids that you’d expect in a sedan. But you’ll get tough suspension, cargo-hauling capabilities, and depending on the truck, off-road abilities. Your next summer road trip could be an off-road trip.
The Ford F-150 Hybrid
The most powerful F-150 is also the most fuel-efficient. The new hybrid gets up to 26 mpg on the highway while packing 430 horsepower. With the F-150 you can get Ford’s SYNC 4 tied to a 12-inch touchscreen. And, with the hybrid, you can get Pro Power Onboard that allows you to run a variety of electrical goodies once you reach your campsite. It also has the most legroom of any full-size truck, at 43.6 inches. Too bad the 2022s are sold out.
Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX
In Toyota-speak, the MAX means hybrid for the Tundra full-size truck. Like the Ford, it gets better gas mileage than its non-hybrid version and makes more horsepower. While the Toyota doesn’t quite get Ford gas mileage, at 22 mpg combined, it is a big truck that’s comfortable on the highway with a 10-speed transmission and a whopping 41.6 inches of rear-seat legroom. The Tundra was completely redesigned for 2022. In 1794 trim it can be a luxurious beast that’s great for your next road trip.
Sure, the Maverick is smaller. But that doesn’t mean that it skimps on comfort or practicality. The Maverick is built on a unibody, like a car, and rides more like a car than a body-on-frame truck, which we know is a bonus on a long road trip. Another bonus of the Maverick is that it gets great gas mileage, topping 40 mpg with the hybrid, and 29 for the turbocharged four-cylinder. It can be optioned to tow up to 4,000 pounds, which is plenty of capacity for a small camping trailer.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Like the Maverick, the Santa Cruz is built on a car chassis. It drives more like a car than a truck, and it, too, gets good mileage which makes it great for a road trip. It’s not a Maverick, but 28 mpg isn’t too bad. It’s a small truck, though, and only has 36.5 inches of rear-seat legroom. But the SEL Premium version can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the all-wheel drive package. The Santa Cruz is based on Hyundai’s Tucson SUV, which means that it drives and performs a lot like that SUV, but with a convenient open bed.
Honda Ridgeline RTL
The 2022 Ridgeline may not do all the big truck stuff that an F-150 or a Ram 1500 might do, but it’s more than capable enough to tow and haul most of what you want. The Ridgeline is built off the Honda Pilot platform, which means that it drives a lot like that SUV with a bed. The Honda’s 280-horsepower V6 has plenty of power, yet still gets an estimated 24 mpg combined. It can tow 5,000 pounds. It has 36.7 inches of rear-seat legroom. All Ridgelines get all-wheel drive as standard, as well as a built-in trunk in the bed.
The Ram 1500 base truck is designed to be a work truck. If you’re planning to hit the open road this summer check out the upgraded Big Horn or Laramie versions that come with a massive 12-inch touchscreen, soft-touch materials in the interior, and the lockable Ram Box storage in the bed. The Ram may be a big brut of a truck, but it can do double duty as a luxury vehicle that tow your boat or giant trailer at the same time.