Car and Driver Deems These 2022 Models the Best Pickup Trucks of the Year
Article Highlights for best pickup trucks
- #5. GMC Sierra 1500
- #4. Ford F-150 Raptor
- #3. Ford F-150
- #2. Ram 1500 TRX
- #1. Ram 1500
Car and Driver ranks its favorite pickup trucks, every single year. Its top five full size 2022 trucks include models from General Motors, Ford, and Ram. Neither Nissan nor Toyota’s full size pickups made it into the top five. The list also includes multiple special off-road performance editions. Here are the details on each of Car and Driver’s top five full size trucks for 2022.
#5 – 2022 GMC Sierra 1500
Car and Driver ranked the Chevrolet Silverado number six. But General Motors’ base-model full-size truck lost the number five spot to its top-trim pickup. The Silverado and 2022 GMC Sierra are mechanically identical. Buyers can option either truck with the 277 horsepower 3.0-Liter inline-six turbodiesel. They can also opt for the 310 horsepower 2.7-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The two V8 options are the 5.3 or the 6.2 Liter. The Sierra’s maximum towing capacity is 13,200 pounds.
So what do you get with the GMC Sierra that you do not get with the Silverado? A boxier, rugged design, and extra chrome. At some trim levels, the GMC uses premium interior materials not available in the Silverado. Why does Car and Driver think the GMC is worth the extra dollars? Because at $29,295, the Sierra starts at just $1,100 more than its Chevrolet cousin.
#4 – 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor
When Ford’s special vehicle team (SVT) first unveiled the Raptor, it changed the truck market forever. It was a factory-built off-roader inspired by desert racing trucks. The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor is based on the newest F-150. SVT chose a SuperCrew with a 450 horsepower twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed automatic transmission. But for $65,840, you get a lot of goodies not available on the base F-150.
The Raptor comes with multi-link rear suspension riding on Fox Racing variable compression dampers. Customers can choose between the base 35-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrains or a 37-inch set. The tires are so wide, SVT had to fit fender flares that push the truck over the 80-inch width limit. The Raptor’s distinct amber-hued markers lights are actually a legal requirement for oversized vehicles.
#3 – 2022 Ford F-150: best pickup truck for fleets
Ford loves to remind everyone that its F-series trucks have been America’s favorite vehicle for 43 years. This may be partially due to the truck’s fleet-friendly $30,985 base price. Ford continues to make incremental improvements such as fold-flat seats and a work table up front. High trims come with variable-assist steering, a true engineering improvement.
At this point, the Ford F-series really is a family of trucks. Engine options range from a 2.7-Liter V6 to a 5.0-Liter V8. New this year is an electric motor paired with the 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V8. The resulting PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain makes 430 horsepower and can tow 12,700 pounds. For those ready to go fully-electric, the F-150 Lightning comes out in 2022. With tax credits, this new electric truck will actually be cheaper than its internal combustion cousin.
#2 – 2022 Ram 1500 TRX: best pickup truck off road
While Ford is sliding some of its chips over to the electric category, Ram is doubling down on the V8. If internal combustion has to go, at least the 2022 Ram 1500 TRX will send it out in style.
Leave it to MOPAR’s muscle maniacs to look at a Hellcat engine and decide to build a trophy truck around it. It makes 702 supercharged horsepower. Its got more than a foot of suspension travel riding on Bilstein dampers. Car and Driver and MotorTrend agree, its the fastest internal combustion truck they have ever tested. And why TRX? Because a T-Rex could eat a raptor. At $75,275 the TRX is a luxury vehicle, and its interior has the 12-inch touchscreen and carbon fiber to prove it.
#1 – 2022 Ram 1500: best pickup truck all-around
The American full size truck is an icon. All of Detroit’s Big Three build an incredible pickup. Interestingly, the Ram 1500 is decidedly not targeted at fleets and only offered as a four-door. This may be one reason the base price is $36,195. But the Ram’s advanced tech makes it the mid-trim leader. This is how it won Car and Driver’s truck face-off.
Ram has a historically smaller market share and this has forced Stellantis to offer more value. For example, the Uconnect infotainment system is a consistent market leader. In addition, the EcoDiesel V6 stands above the competition in power and efficiency. The 5.7-Liter HEMI beats out the competition in the same way, thanks to Ram’s uninvasive eTorque mild hybrid system. With an advanced eight-speed automatic the Ram can tow 12,750 pounds. But what finally won over the Car and Driver team was not the numbers, but that day-to-day, the 2022 Ram 1500 just drives well.