Consumer Reports Finally Recommends a 2022 Pickup Truck That Isn’t a Ram 1500 or Honda Ridgeline

Consumer Reports is notoriously hard on pickup trucks. In fact, for 2021, Consumer Reports only recommended the 2021 Ram 1500 and the 2021 Honda Ridgeline. Now, as more 2022 pickup trucks get tested by CR, we finally have another truck make the cut; the 2022 Ford Ranger. The Ranger joins the 2022 Ram 1500 and 2022 Honda Ridgeline in the winner’s circle for the first time. 

The entire lineup of 2022 Ford Ranger models parked in the desert sand is now on the Consumer Reports recommended pickup truck list.
2022 Ford Ranger Lineup | Ford

Is the 2022 Ford Ranger a good pickup truck? 

While a 62/100 on Consumer Reports isn’t all that great, it speaks volumes for CR to give that score to a pickup truck. The 2022 Ford Ranger made the cut due to its strong predicted reliability, decent customer satisfaction, and its powerful little motor. 

The 2022 Ford Ranger only comes with one engine option; a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder making an impressive 270 hp, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This little hoss not only delivers great power but also yields 20 mpg and can still tow up to 7,500 lbs. According to CR, the only downside of this powertrain is that the automatic box shifts with a little jolt at lower speeds. 

Although CR does technically recommend this little Ford pickup truck, they didn’t love it. One of the first things CR mentions on the road test is that although the new Ranger is small, it still handles like a big clumsy pickup truck. They make a point to say it isn’t unsafe, but the Ranger reaches its corning limits pretty quickly, requiring drivers to take turns slowly. 

Like most pickup trucks, the Ford Ranger has a stiff and choppy ride due to its work-ready suspension but has a somewhat quietish cabin on the highway. Overall, CR passed the truck but still prefers the other two frequent truck winners: the 2022 Ram 1500 and the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. 

Is the 2022 Honda Ridgeline a good truck? 

2022 Honda Ridgeline on a white back ground in Grey
2022 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline remains the highest-rated pickup truck on CR by a long shot. The 2022 Ridgeline landed a score of 82/100. This is great for any segment, but this may as well be perfect for a pickup on CR. Even the Ram – another Consumer Reports favorite – didn’t get nearly as good a score. 

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline is exactly what CR looks for in a truck. It has a smooth and reliable powertrain, a comfortable ride, a decently outfitted cabin, and is still strong enough to get some work done. 

Like the 2022 Ford Ranger, the Honda Ridgeline only comes with one engine option, a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6 paired with a 9-speed automatic. This bad boy also lands 20 mpg combined. However, the 2022 Honda Ridgeline can only tow 5,000 lbs. Admittedly this is on the weaker side for the segment. 

But grunt isn’t what makes the Honda Ridgeline great. In fact, it’s that lack of brawn that helps the Ridgeline appeal to so many. The Ridgeline wasn’t made to be a brawny pickup truck. Honda’s pickup sits on independent, four-wheel suspension to give it a nearly sedan-esque ride. Not only is the ride smoother than every other pickup, but it also can take a corner thanks to its more civilized suspension. 

Honda sacrificed brawn and wannabe cowboy toughness to give the people a pickup truck they could actually use. The Ridgeline may not be the pickup most folks want, but it is the pickup truck most of us actually need. 

Is the 2022 Ram 1500 a good pickup truck? 

Orange-red 2022 Ram 1500 driving up a pile of rocks
Orange-red 2022 Ram 1500 | Ram

The 2022 Ram 1500 is the only full-size pickup truck that Consumer Reports recommends. Unlike the 2022 Honda Ridgeline and the 2022 Ford Ranger, the 2022 Ram 1500 is a powerful beast of pickup that offers the typical pickup truck fair like monster towing, payload, and power. 

The 2022 Ram 1500 landed a 72/100 overall. It has four engine options; 3-liter V6 turbodiesel (260 hp), 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp), 5.7-liter V8 (395 hp), and a 6.2-liter V8 supercharged (702 hp). These powerplants are more typical truck engines making the Ram one of the most popular pickup trucks the market has ever seen. While these monster engines allow the Ram 1500 to tow up to 12,750 lbs (when properly equipped), this is not what CR likes about the truck. 

The 2022 Ram 1500 is surprisingly agile for such a powerful full-size pickup truck. CR describes it as being able to “take corners with restrained body lean, and its steering action is quick.”

Simply put, no other full-size pickup rides as smoothly as the Ram 1500. This is partly because of the unique coil springs used in the rear suspension. The interior fits right in with the smooth ride. The 2022 Ram 1500’s cabin is dressed in upscale materials, has a well-designed layout, and offers plenty of space for seating and storage. 

Overall, the Ram 1500 is a solid truck that offers the working driver all the strength and capability they would need while also sparing them the discomfort of most pickup trucks. 

Consumer Reports recommends the 2022 Ford Ranger, 2022 Honda Ridgeline, and the 2022 Ram 1500

It’s nice to see CR let another truck into the winner’s circle. The market has been missing the small trucks from way back. Thankfully, Ford not only brought back the Ranger for 2022 but that it’s actually a good truck. 

RELATED: The 2021 Honda Ridgeline Fails to Get Deserved Appreciation as the Best Pickup Truck of 2021