The sales numbers for the first five months of 2017 are in (compiled by PickupTrucks.com) and they once again prove that Americans love pickup trucks. Specifically, American drivers love big American trucks.
Of the five best-selling pickups in 2017, four are made by Detroit’s Big Three and those four are all full-size models. Of course, sales figures don’t determine if a truck is good. But if you’re looking to buy a pickup it never hurts to know which models are the most popular at the moment. We’ll examine each one on this list, starting with number five.
5. The Toyota Tacoma
Amount sold in 2017: 78,153
The Tacoma is the only Japanese truck, and the only mid-size truck, to be among the five best-selling trucks in the U.S. It has a starting MSRP of $24,130, no regular cab option, and offers two engines: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 good for 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Neither is very fuel efficient, with the V6 getting an EPA estimated 19/24/21 mpg (city/highway/combined). The four-cylinder is just a smidge worse at 19/23/21 mpg.
Transmission options depend on the trim and include a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, and six-speed automatic. Of all the trucks on this list the Tacoma is the only one to offer manual. Four-wheel drive is available across all trim levels. Because it’s a mid-size pickup, the Tacoma offers less cabin space than other trucks on this list. It also suffers a bit in the towing department, with a max tow load of 3,500 pounds, although that can be bumped up to 6,400 pounds with the optional V6 Tow Package.
While the Tacoma may lack brute strength, it’s certainly no softie. There are several TRD off-roading variants available, and a GoPro windshield mount comes standard on all trims. Another part of the Tacoma’s appeal is its resale value. In Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 Best Resale Value Awards, Toyota’s mid-size truck took the top spot.
4. The GMC Sierra
Amount sold in 2017: 83,410
The Sierra—aka the Silverado’s upscale twin—comes in three cab configurations: regular cab, double cab, and crew cab. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available on all trims. The standard power plant is a 4.3-liter V6 making 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. A 5.3-liter V8 (355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque) is available across the entire lineup, but the top-tier 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque) is only available on certain trims. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the V6 and the 5.3-liter V8. An eight-speed auto is standard on the top V8 engine.
The Sierra Denali, the top trim level, starts at $53,800, although that price can race up to almost $60k based on cab configuration and the option of 4WD. Standard features include GM’s innovative Magnetic Ride Control suspension, 12-way power adjustable full leather front bucket seats, and an 8-inch color touch infotainment screen.
Despite skewing towards the higher end of the spectrum, the Sierra is still plenty rugged. Its towing capacity is the best among full-size pickups, with a max tow rating of 12,500 pounds. Despite not offering a diesel engine the Sierra gets OK gas mileage. The 6.2-liter V8 returns 15/20/17 mpg when mated to that eight-speed auto. With that setup Car & Driver was able to clock a 0-60 mph run of 5.6 seconds.
3. RAM 1500
Amount sold in 2017: 207,370
Of all the trucks on this list, the only one to offer a diesel engine option is the Ram 1500. Its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine makes 240 horsepower and a mighty 420 lb-ft of torque. It also does great at the pump, with an EPA estimated city/highway split of 21/29 mpg. Other available engine options include a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque) and a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 (395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque). The base Ram 1500 has an MSRP of $26,495, and is a regular cab model packing the aforementioned 3.6-liter V6. Power is sent to the rear wheels or all four wheels (4WD is available on all trims) through an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Ram 1500’s lone transmission option.
The Ram 1500 has the lowest max tow rating and payload capacity of any full-size truck on this list, possibly due to the fact that it was last significantly updated for the 2013 model year. It can tow up to 10,690 pounds and haul a max load of 1,720 pounds.
One area where the Ram 1500 separates itself from the pack is in the style department, with five special edition versions available. These mostly offer aesthetic upgrades like unique exterior paint colors, badging, and performance hoods. Some feature interior upgrades as well, such as the optional 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment center, the largest on offer in any truck.
Notable trims include the Rebel, a sort of rival to the Ford F-150 Raptor. The Rebel isn’t as capable an off-roader as the Raptor but it’s no slouch thanks to its 5.7-liter HEMI V8, standard adjustable air suspension, and mighty 9.3 inches of ground clearance. It’s also more affordable than Ford’s off-road F-150 with a starting price of $45,095 (about $4,000 cheaper).