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Pickup trucks go hand-in-hand with baseball and apple pie. A symbolic part of American history, pickup trucks have been dominating the U.S. auto industry for years. Trucks are outselling crossovers and SUVs, and for the first time, have surpassed sedan sales.

To keep up with the intense competition, auto manufacturers have stepped up their game. Trucks are now loaded with luxury features, and performance ratings have far exceeded the capabilities of the trucks of yesteryear. All of these improvements have inevitably caused sticker prices to skyrocket.

U.S. News recently took a look at the current midsize trucks on the market to determine which one offered the best value. The Honda Ridgeline did surprising well.

How U.S. News picks the top-rated trucks

Trucks are no longer rated strictly on their towing and hauling capabilities. Consumers are looking for comfort, ease of handling, impeccable performance, and all the bells and whistles that come along with owning a dependable truck.

U.S. News focused on quality and value to determine which truck offered the best deal. They first looked at the MSRP on an entry-level trim crew cab with a standard size bed.

Next, they looked at the estimated cost of long-term ownership, which included repair and maintenance costs. U.S. News then combined these two figures with the overall rankings data to determine which vehicle stood out in the crowded market segment.

Affordability of midsize trucks

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado landed in last place on the U.S News Best Trucks for the Money in 2020 list. The below-average starting price on a base model is $27,895, and the five-year cost of ownership is $28,164.

This truck has higher than usual long-term maintenance costs and inferior quality compared to other trucks in its class. U.S. News gave the Colorado a 7.1 out of 10 ranking saying, “All things considered, there are better pickups for the money.”

Next on the list was the 2020 GMC Canyon, with an MSRP of $28,795 and a five-year cost of ownership of $27,091. This truck is higher priced than other comparable trucks. Receiving an overall score of 7.3 out of 10, U.S. News felt the poor predicted reliability rating was a deal-breaker on this truck.

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma placed number three on the U.S. News list, with an MSRP of $26,880. The five-year cost of ownership is considered to be affordable at $27,010. This wallet-friendly truck received a 7.4 out of 10 score but still wasn’t considered the top truck for the money.

Ranking at number two with a starting price of $26,810 is the 2020 Ford Ranger. The long term ownership cost is relatively less expensive than competitors with a five-year cost of $25,523.

Better fuel efficiency in the Ranger also leads to lower gas costs compared to similar trucks. Combined with top-of-the-class payload figures, this pushes the Ranger toward the top of the list with an overall score of 7.5 out of 10.

Honda Ridgeline offers the best value

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline secured the number one spot on the U.S. News list. The popular truck has an MSRP of $33,900 and an estimated five-year cost of ownership of $31,396. Even though the sticker price is considerably higher than most trucks in its class, the Ridgeline is actually cheaper in the long-run.

The base trim Honda Ridgeline has advanced features that typically aren’t offered on entry-level base model trucks. The fact that the V6 engine is standard, instead of the inline-four used in competitive models, makes the Ridgeline a force to be reckoned with.

The Ridgeline received the highest score from U.S. News with an 8.3 out of 10. Considered to be the most comfortable ride in its class, the Ridgeline offers unsurpassed quality and design. The predicted reliability is above average for the auto industry as a whole.

So, despite the higher price tag, the quality outweighs the difference, making the Ridgeline a “great pickup truck for the money.”


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