Skip to main content

Is the truck you drive the best in any of the most important categories? What do we think of whenever we think of a half-ton pickup truck? There are a few models we know and drive every day, but is one of these trucks giving us more than the others?

The important categories for these trucks are:

  • Towing
  • Payload
  • Horsepower
  • Torque
  • Gas Mileage

Our contenders in this truck class are:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Ford F-150
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Nissan Titan
  • Ram 1500
  • Toyota Tundra

Which truck ranks best in each category?

Several Half-Ton pickup trucks parked. Which one is the best truck for you to drive?
Half-Ton Pickup Trucks |


As reported by MotorTrend, the Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in 2WD reaches 14,000 pounds of towing. This is the highest tow rating in the class. The 4WD version only loses 100 pounds to the 2WD version. The Silverado and Sierra trucks reach 13,300 with the 6.2-liter V8 engine, while the Ram tows up to 12,750 pounds with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine.


The payload winner is also the Ford F-150 but in a different configuration. You need the regular-cab, long-bed, 2WD model with a 5.0-liter V8 engine to achieve 3,325 pounds of capacity. If you’re going to buy an F-150, you’ll need to figure out if towing or payload is more important to you. The Ram comes in second with 2,300 pounds of payload with the 3.6-liter V6 engine.


With a bit of an outlier in the mix, the Ram 1500 TRX takes a big win for horsepower with 702 ponies coming out of the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 Hellcat engine. Next, we see the Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 hybrid engine reaching 430 horsepower, which achieves the second-place spot in this category.


Again, the Ram 1500 TRX is a bit of an anomaly with 650 lb.-ft. of torque from that Hellcat engine. The Ford F-150 using the hybrid V6 gives you 570 lb.-ft. of torque, which is pretty significant for this category.

This is a category where we need to consider diesel engines as well. These numbers are:

  • Ram 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 offers 480 lb.-ft. of torque
  • GM 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder engine 460 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Ford 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 440 lb.-ft. of torque

Gas Mileage

Similar to the torque numbers, we should look at the gas mileage of both gasoline and diesel trucks separately. The Ford F-150 with the 3.5-liter V6 Hybrid engine is the top model for gas trucks with 25 city/26 hwy mpg.

The Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500 tied for the win for diesel trucks. The gas mileage reaches 23 city/33 hwy mpg for all three trucks.

What is the #1 truck?

Silver Ford F-150 parked on the street. The F-150 has been the top-selling truck in America for many yeas.
Ford F-150 | Ford

For more than 40 years, the Ford F-Series pickup trucks have been the clear favorite. This makes the Ford F-150 the top-selling half-ton truck in the market and the leader in this category.

What model has the top engine?

Currently, the Ford 2.7-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is one of the top truck engines in the market. The 3.5-liter V6 engine isn’t far behind. The decision between these two engines might come down to efficiency, power, and capability.

What is the best truck brand in America?

The 2022 Ram 1500 Crew Cab is a safe truck
The 2022 Ram 1500 Crew Cab truck parked in a driveway | Ram

Ram pushes its way forward to be considered the best truck brand in America by U.S. News and World Report. This puts Ram ahead of Ford, Chevy, Toyota, GMC, and Nissan, pretty much in that order.

Which half-ton pickup should you buy?

If you’re basing your buying decision on the important pickup truck categories we’ve covered, you’ll want to buy either the Ford F-150 or the Ram 1500. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 could be a close third. None of the categories mentions the Nissan Titan or Toyota Tundra.


The 2021 Ford F-150 Is a Top Safety Pick