Each year, we collect the names of all-new or significantly revised pickup trucks and attempt to consider which of them have reset the bar in three distinct categories: power, capability and value. For 2017, we have six eligible nominees that, in one way or another, have made a strong impact on their specific segment as well as the entire pickup class in general.
Our judges, made up of Cars.com and PickupTrucks.com experts, have driven each of the nominees for Cars.com Best Pickup Truck of 2017 and provided their input as to the quality and significance of each competitor. As you might imagine, there was some heated discussion.
Below is our list of contenders and the highlights behind their eligibility. This is clearly a strong field, and we predict every player here will likely have a significant impact on how we view a light-duty or heavy-duty pickup truck from now on.
We'll be announcing the winner of the Best Pickup Truck of 2017 on Jan. 10 at 7:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in Detroit. No matter our choice, we're guessing you'll have plenty to say about all the eligible trucks, so be sure to provide us with your thoughts about your choice when the announcement goes live.
The eligible nominees for the Best Pickup Truck of 2017 award are:
- All-new, dedicated frame for both SuperCab and SuperCrew
- Upgraded 450-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost
- Segment-first 10-speed transmission with wheel-mounted paddle shifters
- Baja-style race suspension with 35-inch BFGoodrich tires and bead-lock-type wheels
- Class-exclusive six-position multiterrain system
- All-new, stronger frames designed to accommodate stronger axles and transfer case
- First HD pickup to extensively use aluminum for body panels and bed construction
- Upgraded turbo-diesel V-8 Power Stroke with the most torque in the segment
- All-new cab structures and sizes, now compatible with the F-150
- Most technologically advanced HD pickup, with a host of new towing tech
- All-new unibody chassis and fully independent suspension
- Most comfortable and plush SUV-like interior, with much volume and storage space
- Composite bed with exclusive dual-swing tailgate and under-bed storage
- Class-exclusive all-wheel drive with four-position multichannel terrain system
- Exclusive tailgating feature that turns the entire bed into an outdoor speaker
- All-new bumper-to-bumper replacement for the oldest half ton in the segment
- Familial look and construction to Nissan Titan XD (winner of Best Pickup Truck of 2016)
- Will offer much broader half-ton coverage with three cabs and wheelbases
- Upgraded interior materials and trim packages with a new V-8 engine and seven-speed transmission
- Competitive payload and towing ratings with competition across lineup
- Newly redesigned front and rear exterior look to match Ram 1500 Rebel
- New front hood design and retro-style vertical graphics package
- Now offers the Power Wagon package in a stealthy, more economical package
- Uses 6.4-liter Hemi with cylinder deactivation and HD six-speed automatic transmission
- Still has soft springs, locking differentials, sway-bar disconnect, winch and taller stance
- Now offers new look and design, direct-injection engine and six-speed transmission
- Automatic-equipped vehicles have unique Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select traction systems
- Offers taller stance, Fox internal/external bypass shocks and softer springs
- New package includes extra skid plating and retro-style grille
- Interior is vastly improved, with bigger information screens and better layout
This is one of the most diverse groupings of Best Pickup players we've ever had, but that doesn't mean you don't get to sound off about which you think should win. Go ahead and let us know what you think by entering your comments below, then check back Jan. 10 to see which pickup we chose. No doubt, some will agree while others will scream foul, but no matter what you think, you have to be impressed with the quality and diversity of this group of new pickups. Let's hope that bodes well for what comes our way in 2017.
Graphics by Paul Dolan; manufacturer images