The Best American Trucks According to Consumer Reports

Say you’re shopping for a new truck but want one from a traditional U.S. brand. Which new pickup is the best to go with? Well, according to Consumer Reports (CR), you’ve got two options worth considering. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator, which is the best American compact truck, or the 2021 Ram 1500, which CR says is, hands down the best American truck. Let’s find out what makes these American trucks so great.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is the best American compact truck

A red 2021 Jeep Gladiator parked on a hill, the Gladiator is one of the best American trucks
2021 Jeep Gladiator | Stellantis

When it comes to compact trucks, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator has a lot to offer. It’s not only the best American compact truck, but it also outranks popular pickups like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and the Chevy Colorado. Though, having earned such high scores from CR, it’s no surprise as to why.

In fact, according to CR, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator earned a 65 overall score. CR also gave it a five out of five predicted reliability rating and a five out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. CR reports that drivers will likely be most pleased with the pickup’s styling and driving experience when it comes to this American truck.

Perhaps the only downside to the Jeep Gladiator is that it didn’t do so hot in road tests. As a matter of fact, CR gave this year’s model a measly 52 in its road tests. According to CR, while the Gladiator’s standard V6 engine “supplies robust, linear acceleration,” steering is mushy, and the ride is stiff.

CR tapped the 2021 Ram 1500 as the best American truck 

A 2021 Ram 1500 towing a boat by a lake
2021 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator isn’t the only pickup truck CR highlighted. It also tapped the 2021 Ram 1500 as one of the best American trucks. And for good reasons too. CR gave this year’s Ram 1500 a 63 overall score, ranking it above new pickup trucks like the Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150, and the Chevy Silverado.

CR also awarded the 2021 Ram 1500 with a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. The Ram 1500 didn’t earn the most impressive predicted reliability rating, however. In fact, CR gave this year’s model a two out of five predicted reliability rating. The good news is that RepairPal gave it an Above Average reliability rating.

As for how the 2021 Ram 1500 did in CR’s road tests? CR gave it an 83 overall score, which is nothing short of impressive. In fact, CR reports that when it comes to driving the Ram 1500, it’s surprisingly agile for a truck of its size. “No other full-size pickup truck rides as comfortably as the Ram,” CR added.

Here’s how these American trucks stack up to each other

But how do the 2021 Ram 1500 and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator compare? After all, CR highlighted both models as some of the best American trucks. When it comes to overall scores, these pickups are neck in neck. The Gladiator earned a higher overall score, but the Ram 1500 followed so closely behind it that the difference in overall scores is negligible. It’s the Ram 1500, however, that did significantly better in road tests. Meanwhile, the Gladiator was given much higher predicted reliability ratings.

But, here’s the thing, the 2021 Ram 1500 and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator are very different trucks. While they may have earned similar overall scores, choosing between these American pickups really comes down to what you’re looking for in your next truck. After all, the Gladiator is a compact pickup truck that boasts a best-in-class 7,650-pound gas towing capacity, and the Ram 1500 is a full-size truck that can tow up to 12,750-pounds. But if you’re set on buying an American truck? These two options make for a good place to start.

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