Best Pickup Truck of 2018: And the Nominees Are...

  Best Of Lead image II

Each year we review which pickup trucks are all new or significantly revised and collect them in our nominees list for our annual Best Pickup Truck of the Year Award. Our judges consist of both Cars.com and PickupTrucks.com editors who hash out which of the competitors are the most deserving in terms of power, capability and value. This year, there were two heavy-duty pickups with new powertrains that qualified, a new full-size trim level, a refreshed model lineup and one all-new vehicle, albeit modeled after an existing model.

We'll announce the winner of our Best Pickup Truck of 2018 the evening of Jan. 16 in Detroit. No doubt you'll have your own opinions about these nominees, so let us know what you think in the comments section below. And to find out which cars and SUVs were nominated for the Cars.com Best of 2018 and lifestyle awards, click here

Our eligible nominees for the Best Pickup Truck of 2018 are ...

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

DSC_1636 II

Highlights:

  • 2-inch-taller lifted suspension
  • Front and rear lockers
  • High-tech multispool valve shocks
  • Improved approach and departure angles

 

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

IMG_1872 II

Highlights:

  • Upgraded Duramax diesel engine and heavy-duty transmission
  • Larger, smarter turbochargers
  • Much cleaner emissions from the Duramax
  • New diesel hood with multiple inlets

 

2018 Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150 King Ranch IMG_6092 II

Highlights:

  • Upgraded naturally aspirated V-6 and V-8 engines
  • New front grille designs
  • Improved and upgraded safety technology
  • 10-speed transmissions with stop-start function across the lineup

 

2018 Ram 3500

17ram_3500_limited_megacab_es_01jpg_34970000933_o

Highlights:

  • Software upgrades for the Cummins engine boosts torque output
  • Higher ratings for fifth-wheel trailering
  • Several new luxury and value trim levels
  • Still the only HD to offer a manual transmission option

 

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport

Best Of Toyota Tundra TRD Sport II

Highlights:

  • Unique front sport hood and grille
  • Improved on- and off-road manners
  • High-performance Bilstein shocks
  • Improved and upgraded safety technology

Cars.com photos by Matt Avery, Mark Williams, Aaron Bragman, Evan Sears; manufacturer image. 

 

Comments

A pretty vanilla batch of qualifiers for the competitors for this "honor". The 2 HDs here are just treading water to keep pace with the Super Duty till they get their overhauls and who doesn't turn a screw, add some software, or play with their turbo in this class to keep marketing happy? The Tundra is pretty boring. The refinements to the F150 are fairly substancial for a mid model refresh. The Colorado brings the cool with the lift and styling for approach/departure. In this bunch its between the F150 and the Colorado. The Colorado will probably win because lift and little toy trucks look cooler than 10spd trannys, more power in a full size mid cycle refinement.

GM has this list covered when it comes to pick-up truck capabilities.

The ZR2 for crazy off road fun.
The Silverado 3500 for brute force to get work done.

Sounds like these 2 tie for first place.

GM should be barred from competing because of their bailout!

Doping in the financial world should disqualify them and their junk!


Looks like RAM has been busy sprinkling some of the magic fairy dust on the chassis of their full-size to attain higher trailering ratings. Taking a page out of Ford's playbook I assume?

GM should be barred from competing because of their bailout!

Doping in the financial world should disqualify them and their junk!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 3, 2018 9:00:20 AM

Hey oxi, if GM should win you don't have to recognize it on a personal level. You could easily apply your alternative reality views where your foreign corporation product wins. No matter the outcome, you win. Do you feel better now?

I put the F150 in last place just on the looks. The Tundra makeover is a huge improvement for such a small change, transforming what was a pretty ugly truck. I think the win goes to either the big or the little GM.

Truck Trend picked the GM HDs so ......

Wait until all the recalls and complaints roll in and then decide which pickup is best. Eliminate the ones with the most recalls and you may find that none of your candidates actually stand up to existing models and proven technology. I'm voting for the Nissan Frontier.

Don- maybe want to rethink that one. recalls are good, meaning they know of an issue and have a fix for it. Its the ones that do not come out as a recall you need to worry about.

-CT

The ZR2 for crazy off road fun.
The Silverado 3500 for brute force to get work done.

Sounds like these 2 tie for first place.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Jan 3, 2018 8:30:09 AM


As long as that brute force is 4 tons less than what a RAM can do.

Ford’s F-Series was the top pickup in the U.S. for the 41st consecutive year and extended to 36 years its annual reign as the best-seller among all vehicles.

I'm glad to see they finally are including all the majors instead of just those with significant changes. After all, if a particular truck was best last year maybe it's still best this year despite few or no changes. Under the old method of determining this award that truck was not allowed to participate because of the lack of significant changes. What I want to know is which is best right now, regardless of what changes have been made. Thank you for finally getting this right.

well we know they aren't voting on durability, reliability, and Quality..... if they were the Tundra wins hands down by a LANDSLIDE.

The 2 HDs here are just treading water to keep pace with the Super Duty till they get their overhauls and who doesn't turn a screw, add some software, or play with their turbo in this class to keep marketing happy?
Posted by: Clint | Jan 3, 2018 8:19:11 AM

The new Duramax sets the pace. Not only does it *actually* make the power numbers GM advertises, it's in a truck that out tows its higher rated competitors, brakes better, handles better, and gives a death wobble-free ride.

glad to see they finally are including all the majors instead of just those with significant changes. After all, if a particular truck was best last year maybe it's still best this year despite few or no changes. Under the old method of determining this award that truck was not allowed to participate because of the lack of significant changes. What I want to know is which is best right now, regardless of what changes have been made. Thank you for finally getting this right.


Posted by: Dale | Jan 3, 2018 11:30:20 AM

Wrong. They are only including trucks with changes.

My guess is the ZR2 wins. The 2017 Silverado only took 2nd place in a comparison test last year and not much has changed for 2018. The F150 has a similar story.

@GMSRGREAT..., Oh boy, you got called out again..., RAM rated to tow a helluva lot more than the GMC..., Why do you type before you think? Post Responsibly and Behave...

FORD HANDS DOWN THE BEST LOOKING PICK UPS

@ GMSRGREAT,

Coming from the guy that supports the largest importer into the United States called GM!

GM cheated, they get nor deserve NO respect!

GM is mommy and daddy's company, a failed company that got a free ticket above the law!

Pathetic to respect a criminal company like GM!

@oxi

you sound like you are losing your mind

@ GMSRGREAT,

Coming from the guy that supports the largest importer into the United States called GM!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 4, 2018 8:17:20 AM

If GM is the largest importer then one could say that their products are so good because they draw from the best talent in the world.

@ GMSRGREAT,

Nice diversion, liberal...

It is the fact that GM does not trust the U.S. worker to build their vehicles is the real motive!

GM is a failed company that got mommy and daddy to rescue them because they are incapable to stand on their own!

Nice diversion, liberal...

It is the fact that GM does not trust the U.S. worker to build their vehicles is the real motive!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 5, 2018 4:14:13 AM

First you continue to label people and then say GM doesn't trust the American worker has nothing to do with GM. In fact, it only reveals what your thoughts are about Americans and their work ethics.

@ GMSRGREAT,

GM is the one that moved production outside the U.S. to Mexico, Canada, South Korea and now China!

Why do you continue to deflect, afraid of the truth? You are liberal fake media!

@oxi: Toyota is the one who moved production from Japan to nearly every developed country in the world. No tell us how really feel about the American worker.

A new grill/facelift and some trim options makes a truck a candidate for truck of the year?

WTF?

The Colorado ZR2 is the only truck with any significant changes from stock.

@ GMSRGREAT,

You see, once again you deflected like a liberal...

We are not talking about Japan, we are talking about the United States and the fact GM has abandoned the U.S. worker while Toyota keeps building more plants here the last 20 years than the big 3 combined!

In fact, early this year Toyota will announce another $1.5 billion auto plant to be built in the United States!

GM failed as a company and got a free ride due to politics rather than the law! That is shameful and wrong! By buying GM products, you support the travesty known as justice by our government, where some are above the law while others have to follow it or be punished!


@oxi

Have you ever considered taking up a new hobby? My choice of cars/trucks has nothing to do with politics.

I'm first to admit that the Bush/Obama decision to liquidate the former GM under the heavy hand of the UAW and the US Dept of Justice was wrong. It screwed GM's bondholders and employees. As is in the case in every liquidation, the stockholders are "on their own."

Obama would have been toast if GM's recovery plan did not include a seat on the Board for the autoworkers union.

Because so many GM employees and execs lost the value of their stock holdings it was impossible to get an agreement without giving UAW a seat. Let's hope it does not happen again.

Time to move on.

@ papajim,

Move on?

So it's ok to be above the law? Fools like you are the reason we have such problems because you look the other way!

GM according to the law should have faced justice in bankruptcy court for their failures! By what the government did, ALL businesses now have the precedent set that they too can get a bailout, and if not they should sue to get one!

As long as that brute force is 4 tons less than what a RAM can do.


Posted by: RAM | Jan 3, 2018 10:55:34 AM

Exactly, G.M. is the light duty Heavy Duty. Front i.f.s is weak. Dont use them for heavy work or off road.

@oxi

I'll ignore your rude attitude. GM isn't just a bunch of executives in some tall office building.

It's also thousands of people who build cars, service vehicles, make the components, operate the factories and distribution operations. Regular folks.

Some people seem to need something to be angry about. You seem to have found yours. Good luck with that.

@ papajim,

GM as a company FAILED! All employees FAILED!

If you cannot handle the truth and the real news, maybe you should join the liberals and cry or fabricate fake news!

Oxi--Is there anybody you get along with? You are divorced, right?

@ Jeff S,

Wow, you snowflake liberals just cannot handle real news! You guys must be mentally incapable, hence liberals...

GM is a disease to free enterprise!

By the way weak minded one, married 10 years and counting!

@oxi: Review the deals put into place by the us government to encourage Toyota to build their initial manufacturing facilities in the US. Toyota was politically enabled to build plants in southern states that evadaded union organization do to right to work laws. This immediately placed unionized American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.

@ GMSRGREAT,

What is wrong with right to work states? Are you against free enterprise like commie liberals with their unions?

Toyota's first operations were at the NUMMI plant, which was UAW labor. Yes, UAW labor built Corolla's, Tacoma's, Vibe's, Prizm's, etc..

In fact my 2010 Tacoma was UAW built and my 2016 Tacoma was built in Texas without unions!

Result: It does not matter if it was union or non-union built, still a great truck all-around! Unionizing labor makes NO difference!

Toyota and their board has the RIGHT to choose where they want to build their plants in the United States! Whichever state or local municipality gives them the best deal, then it will be built there!

Hello FREEDOM! Why do you liberals hate freedom so much?

@oxi: Toyota did not want unions in their plants. Their wishes were enabled by the governments to set up shop in the US that undercut established manufacturers. In the mean time, the long established manufacturers such as GM was left having to compete using more costly unionized labor and supply health benefits and retirement benefits to over 1 million employees. Oxi, if you were really such an American supporter you would understand the history of the challenges presented to the established American auto manufacturer after governments allowed foreign manufactures to set up shop.

@ GMSRGREAT,

Wow, more liberal deflections and excuses!

Let me ask you a simple question, has any decision regarding location of plants or labor by Toyota in the U.S. was illegal?

Answer is a simple NO! So give it a rest!

Toyota has the FREEDOM to choose where to build their plants, and if it happens to be right to work states, good for them!

FREEDOM! Free enterprise system, the FREEDOM to choose, I support this and picked up a weapon to defend this, did you?

And me as a consumer, I have the FREEDOM to choose what truck to buy that is legally built and sold here with my morals and values of not supporting failed companies like GM that get a free ride above the laws of this nation!

Do I pick on your Chinese made underwear? NO! So why do you liberals always use racism against a Japanese based company that builds their trucks I buy right here in the U.S.?

Until you lash out at your Chinese making underwear company, you are being partial and selective in your arguments! That shows a lack of credibility on your part!

Toyota has the FREEDOM to choose where to build their plants, and if it happens to be right to work states, good for them.

Posted by: oxi | Jan 7, 2018 9:12:00 PM

That is correct and the federal and state governments assisted them in accomplishing this. The governments could have insisted that Toyota hire unionized labor to prevent the unfair advantage that Toyota had at that time.

Before you call me a liberal again, I have taken the conservative approach in this conversation and it is you who is towing the liberal line.

@ GMSRGREAT,

The government cannot force a company to build where they want or have union labor, the government is not the almighty!

The government cannot make these decisions for private business, they can only ensure the rules and laws are being followed and upheld.

Excuse me, the liberal logic is to have unions and more government controls. I have advocated against this, so keep trying to fabricate and throw fake news into this discussion, that shows you are a liberal.

Liberty is the objective, not equality, fairness and other liberal socialist ideals that border Marxism, etc...

Equality and fairness, that is for justice, not for free men!

Free men should be able to set their sights onto whatever greatness they desire and not be held back due to liberal ideology of equality and fairness.

We compete in this nation for better jobs, business deals, etc... why on earth you liberals would rather get rid of this to have everyone on the same footing is beyond me!

What you put into life, is what you will get out of it! Liberals want the easy road of being lazy and getting things handed to them off the backs of the working class in this nation. That is wrong, and you know it!

@oxi

Really?

@ papajim,

You have a problem with what I wrote?

Sounds like you are another crying liberal that needs mommy and daddy to make decisions for you because you are incapable of doing things on your own, like GM!

No, Oxi. I am taking notice of the fact that you cannot seem to move on. You claim to be a real conservative, but your negative viewpoints, and your assaults on your fellow commenters, are very much at odds with the positive points of view that genuine conservatives relish. Give it a rest.



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