The Best Pickup Truck of 2017 Nominees

Best Of Lead image II

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:

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

White_Raptor_Hero_01_C2 II

Highlights:

  • 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

 

2017 Ford Super Duty

17-Ford-F450-Platinum II

Highlights:

  • 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

 

2017 Honda Ridgeline

2017_Ridgeline_24 II

Highlights:

  • 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

 

2017 Nissan Titan

2017_nissan_TITAN_12 II

Highlights:

  • 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

 

2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

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Highlights:

  • 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

 

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2017_Toyota_Tacoma_TRD_Pro_02_14529597DA5692F51D4A0BE67CAA3EAB90FC9BB9 II

Highlights:

  • 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

 

Comments

Great Job Ford, 2 noms, where is chevy or GMC, are they a no show just like the number 1 in sales spot?

"...and the 'Best Pickup Truck of 2017' goes to:

The Ford Super Duty"

[applause]

"Now offers the Power Wagon package in a stealthy, more economical package"

I guess the Cars.com staff was unaware the lower-cost base trim Power Wagon Tradesman has been available for several years...

@roadtrip, hence the name cars.com, not trucks.com

@ Nitro
You can have your lil 6 best crap, I will make a wager with you on the next HD shootout. With the dyno numbers I've been seeing the gm twins will dominate in every aspect. 878 tq and 403 hp at the rear wheels which is better tq and hp than your beloved power stroke

With all the praise heaped unto the Colorado ZR2 and not being considered for best pick-up for 2017. What gives?

"Great Job Ford, 2 noms, where is chevy or GMC, are they a no show just like the number 1 in sales spot?"

@Nitro:
To be eligible for Truck of the Year the truck must be an all-new design for 2017. The GM twins were new for 2016 so they are not eligible.

Great Job Ford, 2 noms, where is chevy or GMC, are they a no show just like the number 1 in sales spot?
Posted by: Nitro | Jan 3, 2017 10:16:35 AM

Right on, Nitro. Also more great news here:

GREAT AGAIN: CONSTRUCTION HITS 10 YEAR HIGH
FORD CANCELS MEXICO PLANT; EXPANDING IN MICHIGAN

http://www.drudgereport.com/

@madmax, I really dont care about shoot outs, as they are meaningless, most can be debunked as all the trucks are never identical, nor are the conditions. I look at real world driving as a test, real world hands on experience and real world reliability as tests when it comes to buying a truck, which is why I chose Ford in a truck, as my past experience has been bad with Chevy, I gave them 3 chances and everyone was a bad experience, second Ford now, no issues, such is why I stick with them, not because someone told me too.....

@nitro you love and others like something else so don't bash gm for not making this stupid 6 best list.


^^ fords ^^

Irrelevant.

In six months GM's trucks will still be outselling Ford's.

How the very stale Toyota Tacoma made the list---and the Nissan Frontier did not---is amazing.

The Ridgeline? Let's see if they can sell any in 2017. They are about like seeing a new Titan around here. Not many and not often.

No matter how cool the 2500 Power Wagon is, RAM will only sell a few of them. I guess it gave the long-suffering RAM-Fiat dealers something to look forward to.

Irrelevant.

In six months GM's trucks will still be outselling Ford's.

Posted by: papajim | Jan 3, 2017 12:21:36 PM

Negative.

Ford's (1) one brand outsells and will still be oustellsing two (2) brands from GM. Of course you want to add all (4) brands and mix and match midsizers and fullsizers against Ford's 1 brand. LOL. I guess this what years of frustration will do!

If GM knew what they were doing they would have 1 truck beat 1 truck form Ford, not needing 4 different trucks.

Nissan or Honda will win so predictable.

ZR2..

How is the Colorado ZR2 left out, when the Ridgeline and Tacoma are in for consideration?

Diesel in a midsize offroad pickup truck.
Front and rear E-Lockers
4 wheel disc brakes
8 speed auto with the V6

It will be the BEST midsize truck on the market

As beebe said, few years ago GM full size was outselling ford full size. Now GM is outselling ford pickups but only when you include midsize. So GM is outselling Ford like they used to, but making lower profit margins on the smaller trucks sold to Auto Zone and Terminix. GM's strategy may be working, but it may not be working very well, and we'll see for how long.

How is the Colorado ZR2 left out, when the Ridgeline and Tacoma are in for consideration?

Posted by: Ex | Jan 3, 2017 1:08:01 PM

Easy. ZR2 is not for sale yet and the Honda and Taco are.

The ZR2 is not available until Spring 2017.

Better luck next year.

@Nitro:
To be eligible for Truck of the Year the truck must be an all-new design for 2017. The GM twins were new for 2016 so they are not eligible.

Posted by: sk | Jan 3, 2017 11:11:01 AM

That Raptor sure looks like an F-150 to me and then No ZR2 consideration. I calling foul on this PUTC.

Raptor is out. ZR2 isn't and wouldn't have won anyway. It will have better luck next year but will have a very hard time against the 2018 F-150 refresh as well.


@Nitro:
To be eligible for Truck of the Year the truck must be an all-new design for 2017. The GM twins were new for 2016 so they are not eligible.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Jan 3, 2017 1:37:25 PM

By that logic, the 2017 F150 Raptor should not be considered as it is just a mod job on an existing 2016 F150.

If you are going to consider the F150 Raptor you should also consider the Colorado ZR2

Ford's (1) one brand outsells and will still be oustellsing two (2) brands from GM.
Posted by: Fred | Jan 3, 2017 12:46:51 PM

That's not entirely true. F- series , what ever that means, not Ford.
Ford doesn't outsell GM. Not even close. Even Toyota sell more cars than Ford and ford is # 3.

Raptor wins purely on looking awesome...

And ZR2 can't be in it... because they haven't driven it yet. If we aren't going to drive them then we are just bench racing.

The Nissan Titan owns this award. Before you say otherwise, make sure you've actually driven one and honestly compared it without being biased.

Some of the usual GM Vs Ford discussion got into the weeds here.

Getting into the "who sells more" debate is ok, but the question remains, how do you measure the different trucks as nominees without including at least one GM truck?

The Honda represents less than five percent of pickup sales, but they are represented. GM sells nearly a million trucks per year and are not.

Goofy thinking.


ZR2,
new for 2017 V6 motor and transmission
new cosmetic front end
New suspension front and back

Icalled my local Ford dealer, They can order a Raptor for a customer, but they cannot get one for the lot...

Taco Pro, same engine, tranny and body as 2016, different suspension...?????

Raptor is a highly desired speciality model so you don't typically see them on lots. Even still Ford sold more F-150 Raptors in 2014 than Nissan sold Titan pickup trucks.

Re: GM

"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."

GM trucks didn't get chosen because they are not making a strong impact in general this year. Silverado is -3.2% and the only full-size truck that is losing sales this year aside from Tundra.

"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."

Who has driven a zr2? The Colorado made its impact but is now old news aside from the zr2 which is not available to be driven.

I'm glad to haven cleared that up to the folks who are confused or cannot read.


"GM trucks didn't get chosen because they are not making a strong impact in general this year. "

@Chris

Which automaker sold more trucks in 2016 than ANYBODY ELSE by a large margin? Hint: it starts with a G and it ends with an M.

That is the very definition of "strong impact."

After years of waiting and screwing around, Honda and Nissan bring out trucks that nobody is buying. That would not be "strong impact."

Just so you know.

you mean you're not gonna have your raptor swap tires to fuel savers like every other biased half ton shootout

So the ZR2 is not out yet? That is the reason the Colorado/Canyon twins are not on this list? But the trucks themselves are so much better than their rivals to begin with! they haul more, tow more, get better mileage and you can fine exactly what you want, other than a reg cab, for less money than the other, except for maybe the very old Nissan Frontier. I own a 2016 Z71, 4x4 Ext Cab V6, I regularly tow a 4,000 travel trailer, plus carry my Sportster in the bed! on my trips all over N.E. and upstate N.Y. I get 10-14 mpg, when just empty I get 18 city and 26 hyw, with al the power I want. The truck is very comfy and quiet, rides and handles very well, and is great off road for what I do, especially on the beaches. I will keep this for a couple more years and would like to get a diesel, if Chevy will see fit to offer the diesel in the ext cab, then I will buy one!

A unibody pickup? Sorry that isn't a pickup- having the Ridgeline ( in the same category as the Raptor and Power Wagon is laughable. That should be a separate segment, when Hyundai Fiat and the rest cheap out and do the same to their SUV unibodies. More of an El Camino than a truck.



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