Trucks to Drive Before You Die

Raptor stairsteps II

Our friends at Truck Trend have put together a top 12 list of the pickup trucks they believe every truck guy should drive before they die. Naturally, lists like this can create quite a bit of controversy because of their subjective nature. In fact, it's not clear that driving dynamics were considered for most of these entrants.

That said, we think Truck Trend has done a pretty good job with about half of the entries. In fact, this list also could be used as a used-truck buyers' guide; many of these players are in high demand and have retained a good portion of their original value.

Let us know about favorites that are not on the list or if you've had bad experiences with any pickups on Truck Trend's list. image by Evan Sears




Let me put it this way.

I am still waiting for the $8,250 Ford still owes me on the Super Duty by failing to honor the warranty; without question the second lowest quality vehicle ever made in over 100 years.

Randy you don't provide anything to back up your claim that ford owes you money or say what happened or why Ford turned you down.

How the hell did the srt10 not make this list???

#1 on my list Ram SRT10 Viper truck with 500 horsepower 150 MPH top speed and still tow your speed boat.

How it did not make the list is baffling to say the least.

You know the one truck you REALLY need to drive before you die? Pick any manufacturer: Chevy, Ford, Dodge, it doesn't matter. Pick one of their models from the 1940's to the 1950's with an inline 6, three speed column shifter, two solid axles and 2-wheel-drive with an open diff. Cram four people and a dog in the bench seat and 1500lbs worth of your earthly possessions in the bed, and then drive it over a mountain pass in the winter without chains and then across Death Valley in the summer. Make sure to take unpaved roads in both locations.

You will drive it like your life depends on it because in all probability it will. I guarantee you will come away with a much better appreciation of the concept of the truck, the technology involved with today's vehicles, the solid no-nonsense engineering from the prime time of Detroit, and a lot more memorable experience than a rinky dink Ranger or an H3T that you wouldn't be caught dead driving.

humvee regular cab,

The hellcat!
Or cummins ram!

There are only a few pickups that I would want to take for a test drive, and oddly both come from Germany and yes one from Australia.

1. I would like to take the AMG 6x6 G Wagen off road. This would be the ultimate off roader. Maybe a little to large as it's the size of a crew cab HD.

2. The 3 litre V6 VW Amarok when it comes out.

3. A supercharged 6.2 HSV Maloo ute.

My dream would be the Czech Tatra trucks,nothing else can even come close in off road performance

GMC Syclone twin turbo AWD!

If you already paid for it yourself with your own money your chances of getting your money back is zero.

next time any of you guys have a rejected warranty claim just ask me I can help you

Sure I will be glad to help.
Contact the Attorney General of your state and file a complaint with them against the dealer. Make sure you give them as much information as you can the names of the people that work at the dealership.
If what you tell them is legit they may have more and similar complaints against that one dealer and the legal power of the state (that you pay tax money too) will put the fear of God into them and shortly you'll get a phone call from the dealer crying on the phone saying he will do anything to resolve this.
Warranty is just as much controlled by the local dealer as much and more than the maker of the vehicle, its complicated to explain but trust me. The dealer calls the shots if its warranty or not, NOT the vehicle mfg.

Here is a truck I would pay to drive. Raminator Monster Truck.

@tom#3. I went through all that with the ram truck I had. It needed repaired a lot and they finally got tired of me and just refused to work on it anymore. 38,000 miles and just so much crap wrong with it. I went to everyone I could go too and no one helped me. Even Chrysler didn't do anything. I finally got rid of it at a big loss and swore off Chrysler products all together. I still have a 65 Plymouth Sport Fury I've had for years and that's as close as I will ever come to owning another Chrysler product. Pure junk in my book.

Best trucks on the road. Number one via scientific evidence is the GM twins, longest lasting of any pick ups. Second best is the F150 but still has to fix their chronic rust issues. 3rd is the S-10 pick, more of them on the road after 25 years than any other truck. 4th-Ford Ranger, great little truck behind the S-10. 5th is the Toyota Tacaoma, the one built by General Motors for Toyota, right in the same league the Ranger & S10. 6th is the Nissan Frontier. 7th is the Dodge Dakota. 8th is the Toyota Tundra, pick a make, they are all pretty crummy. Dodge Ram is the clunker that wakes you up at night, not worth buying and still unreliable in 2015.

@tj... "F150 to fix their rust issue yet". Doesn't the 2015 F150 aluminum bodied truck address that? As for GM, I can't get past looks of square fenders & round tires. My choice.

@truck crazy, that how I felt with Chevy, I had issues with my first Silverado, and traded it at 85K miles after the rear end went out. The second one I bought new, and needed new brakes and rotors after 18K miles on it, after only partial help from Chevy Had them all replaced, then 25K miles later same thing, no help from chevy this time, so I went after market and that worked. At 106K miles the rear end went, paid for that, then at 115K miles the oil pressure sensor went bad, after that I finally decided time for a change, bought a 09 ram hemi, loved that truck, but need more for towing, and bought a F250 diesel. I would never buy another Chevy/GM because of that, I did have 2 warranty issues with the tranny on my Ram, but I knew I was towing too much, and they didn't care and fixed under warranty, so based on that experience I would buy another Ram in a heartbeat. So far the 250 has been incredible, but I only have 62K miles on it.

"@tj... "F150 to fix their rust issue yet". Doesn't the 2015 F150 aluminum bodied truck address that? As for GM, I can't get past looks of square fenders & round tires. My choice.
-- Posted by: supercrew02 | Mar 30, 2015 9:22:58 AM

In a word: No. Aluminum can corrode just as badly as steel, especially in a salt-heavy environment. It just doesn't look like rust because it's a white powder, not the grainy red stuff you're used to seeing. But it will affect the sheet metal and even the paint in the same way.

These kind of lists are silly.

How the hell did the Ford Ranger make the list? Asinine

A round of applause to the OEMs that went above and beyond, when they could've just mailed in a sticker package. Or still currently bringing it. I have to agree with all on the list.

The Syclone was legendary for it brought AWD to the Hot Rod pickup niche. And it was the fastest car you could buy when it was out. Faster than anything from Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, etc.

It's easy to see why the SRT-10 pickup was left out. Way overpriced and 9 mpg city. Its performance sounded good on paper, but needed 4.56 gears to achieve it, and outrun the Lightning. It had to at least do that. Except with a simple compressor-pulley swap and tune, Lightnings were easily dusting SRT-10s.

The Super Duty takes a beating for the 6.0/6.4 PSDs, but the OEM could've just built the girly F-150 to 3/4+ ton specs, as traditionally done. But the 6.0/6.4 are awesome 32-valve engines that make beautiful sounds and great power. What kills them is their poorly executed emissions equipment. I've got some old iron, pre emissions trucks that I'm hording, and I will be dropping a built-proofed PSDs in them.

@RoadWhale - Aluminum cars and trucks are nothing new. Technically you're right, but show one that's corroded beyond what's safe to drive or a compromised part. You're talking surface crust. Cosmetics. And that's worse case.

The aluminum hood on my F-150 has bare/exposed aluminum where the paint chipped, for 11+ years. The aluminum still shines like new. Plus it's an alloy, not raw aluminum.

@BAFO - it's all silly. Anything more than the basic "work truck" is silly, regardless if it's a performance Hot Rod truck or pimp luxury. Or both, like your $60,000+ BT50GT.

@Road whale.. In a word: No. Aluminum can corrode just as badly as steel, especially in a salt-heavy environment. It just doesn't look like rust because it's a white powder, not the grainy red stuff you're used to seeing. But it will affect the sheet metal and even the paint in the same way."
As said by other post aluminum has been around for many yrs on Jaguars think Volvo's, and others. Now my '02 F150 has factory aluminum hood, painted of coarse, in 13 yrs looks the same as when I bought it have 185,000 on truck. So in a sense "yes". So yes as some aluminum does start to oxidize after several yrs, the other truck brands made out of steel such as GM & Ram, start rusting out, I'd take a slightly oxidized panel for the same amount of yrs over a rusted panel.. You just may hate the brand for diff reasons but not for rusting.

Sorry, DM. Again you're wrong. While the aluminum hood on your F-150 may not be "rusted", you yourself disqualified it by pointing out that it is an 'alloy'.

To counter that, I would note that two different Cadillac Escalades where I live have the bubbled, blistered and BROKEN paint on their rear hatches and the exposed metal literally white with powder. It's bad enough that it can be seen more than two car lengths away through the front and rear glass of a second vehicle. I actually had to pass that second vehicle to confirm the sighting. I will grant that it's not in a safety-critical location, but when the rear hatch of a Cadillac is effectively rusted through, would YOU want to own it? What about the rest of the body and frame?

No, you might not recognize what you're seeing for a few years, but I can pretty much guarantee that the aluminum-bodied F-150s will be showing white 'rust' in all the typical places at just about the same typical age.

Sorry Supercrew; this time you're wrong too. Look at my response to Denver Mike.

I'll admit that I don't like Ford and pretty much everybody here realizes it. But this is not a 'hate' on Ford but rather an education on corrosion; something I had to be educated on every single year while I served in the USAF and something of which I personally witnessed a front-line fighter jet get relegated to ground-crew trainer due to a pilot's hunger for shrimp--the plane grounded forever because they simply could not prevent corrosion from surfacing in structural members aft of the cockpit. Oh yes, I'm QUITE familiar with corrosion. One mistake in the design... one mistake in dealer options... one mistake in the service bay and those aluminum body panels will corrode even worse than the red cancer.

My oldest son is currently looking to buy a 1-ton Crew Cab Long Bed HD Dually pickup truck (for business) and is doing some heavy research on Ford, Chevy and RAM.

As far as I am concerned, the F350 or F450 TurboDiesel is the only way to go, but all the documented negative experiences of others make committing very,l very difficult.

@Roadwhale ... we talk about specific corrosion on F150 and you start comparing to GM cars. Not a good comeback. Compare apples to apples, meaning same car mfg. We can agree each has their own painting prep/process, correct? SO because one mfg may have some issues, you can't assume ALL mfg's follow the same process. But you know that.

Then you say "but I can pretty much guarantee that the aluminum-bodied F-150s will be showing white 'rust' in all the typical places at just about the same typical age".

I don't think ANYONE can make that "guess" and be taken seriously. Technologies and applications are always making advancements. Yes even on plains... Which by the way are subjected to different environmental conditions.

AS earlier said many other brands using aluminum skins for many years, I don't hear the media getting their underwear in a bunch over corroding issues on older cars.

@RoadWhale - Worst case is cosmetic issues. Still complaints are few and far between considering the millions of aluminum bodied cars and 18-wheeler trucks on the road. Never mind the several million aluminum body panels on the road, just on Fords, dating back 20+ years and counting.

Rarely do aluminum vehicles or individual body panel see noticeable paint issued, nor do they send the car or truck in for major repairs or an early grave, as with steel vehicles.

It's not uncommon to see 10 year old steel cars and pickups being "totaled out" for severely rusted out bodies, and nothing else. Severe rust being their only issue. Damn shame.

Ford has been doing their homework for decades, before pulling the trigger on the aluminum F-150.

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