Over the past decade, pickup trucks have dominated the American market. While some models are designed to work hard, others are built to offer an especially luxurious driving experience. A plethora of modern technologies are now available. Let’s take a look at the top trucks of 2018.
2018 Ford F-150 Raptor
Chosen as Motor Trend’s 2018 Truck of the Year, the new 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor is specially engineered for extreme off-road adventures. It comes loaded with several rugged upgrades, including a Torque-On-Demand transfer case and a modified FOX Racing suspension. Tuned to develop a monstrous 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost engine gives the Raptor more than enough muscle.
While the F-150 Raptor shines on rough trails and desert dunes, it’s also a blast to drive on the street. A 10-speed automatic transmission helps ensure lightning-quick acceleration. Unfortunately, fuel economy isn’t a strong point for the Raptor. According to the EPA, the F-150 Raptor consumes fuel at a rate of 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. Although prices for the Raptor start at $49,500, fully loaded versions can easily surpass $65,000.
Expect the full-size F-150 Raptor to offer great comfort on the road. There’s enough space for your entire family to climb inside. If you aren’t happy with the base model’s list of standard features, there are some nice upgrades available. While smartphone lovers will appreciate Ford’s high-resolution Sync 3 infotainment system, music fans will enjoy the 10-speaker B&O sound system. Unlike the off-road-ready Ram Rebel, the Raptor can be equipped with advanced safety technologies like blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning.
2018 Honda Ridgeline
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is said to be one of the best pickups for families. It’s spacious, safe, and easy to drive. Although the Honda Ridgeline may not be as capable as trucks like the Ford F-150, you can still take it off the beaten path. Honda’s Intelligent Traction Management system helps you to conquer various types of terrain. Nevertheless, you’ll especially like how the Ridgeline performs on the road.
According to some test drivers, the Honda Ridgeline is the best-handling pickup on the entire market. It drives more like a Honda Accord opposed to a traditional truck. Under the hood sits a proven V6 engine, which develops a formidable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. In terms of fuel economy, front-wheel-drive models can return a combined 22 mpg.
On the inside, there’s enough room to fit a family of five comfortably. Whether you’re running daily errands or taking a long road trip, this truck promises to keep you relaxed. Priced at around $30,600, the base model proves to be a strong value. Some of the standard features include a 200-watt sound system, a backup camera, and push-button start. Not only does the Ridgeline boasts a NHTSA five-star overall safety rating, but it also offers helpful driving aids such as blind-spot assist and lane departure warning.
2018 Ram 1500 Night Edition
If you’re looking for a fun street truck, the 2018 Ram 1500 Night Edition won’t leave you disappointed. A lot of drivers will be attracted to the Night edition’s cool exterior styling. An available sport hood and blacked-out honey comb grille gives the truck a powerful appearance. Like the rest of the Ram 1500 lineup, the Night edition welcomes you to a plush interior. Well-shaped seats help you to truly relax. Among the 1500 Night’s best features is its Uconnect infotainment system. The unit’s crisp graphics and simple smartphone integration are bound to leave you impressed. An attractive MSRP of $37,490 adds to the Ram 1500 Night’s appeal.
When it comes to performance, the Ram 1500 Night certainly delivers a powerful punch. Its Hemi V8 engine develops 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Available upgrades, such as a Mopar cat-back exhaust system and cold air intake, further enhance the truck’s output.
If you prefer fuel savings over muscle car-like acceleration, stick with the standard Pentastar V6 engine. It increases fuel economy to a thrifty 25 mpg on the highway. Regardless of which engine you choose, expect to experience excellent control on the road. The Toyota Tundra and the Chevrolet Silverado don’t handle nearly as well. An amazing ride in comfort sweetens the deal.
2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
For the drivers who find the Ford Raptor to be a tad too expensive, Chevy offers the adventurous Colorado ZR2. Some automotive journalists have chosen the new Colorado ZR2 over the Raptor. Prices start at a more reasonable $40,000. It’s an excellent truck for exploring the back country. Class-exclusive Multimatic DSSV shock absorbers and tubular rock protection takes its off-road prowess to the next level. Chevy gives you two different engines to choose from — most buyers will likely pick the standard V6 engine, which pushes out 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It’s definitely potent enough to keep a smile on your face. Meanwhile, the optional diesel engine pushes out 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. While the V6 model returns a combined 17 mpg, the diesel-powered Colorado ZR2 delivers a combined 20 mpg.
The Colorado ZR2 is a smaller truck, so it doesn’t provide a lot of legroom for your passengers sitting in the back. However, children or adults of short stature will fit just fine. The Colorado also has one of the best driving positions in the segment. You’ll be able to obtain a commanding view of the road ahead. A lot of high-tech features are found inside the new Colorado ZR2. While a 4G Wi-Fi hot spot provides a reliable connection to the web, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto promote seamless smartphone integration.
2018 Ram 2500
Drivers in the market for a heavy-duty truck should seriously consider the 2018 Ram 2500. While the 2500 excels at hauling and towing big loads, it still manages to offer everyday comfort. A coil-spring suspension helps the 2500 to deliver a class-leading ride. Upon climbing inside the four-door Mega Cab model, passengers are amazed by its roomy design. With a MSRP of $32,545, it measures up well against the competition. While the base Ram 2500 is lightly equipped, the higher trims levels feel very luxurious. Some of the premium features include Wi-Fi connectivity, an 8.4-inch touch screen, and a 10-speaker surround-sound audio system. The only major downside to the new Ram 2500 is its lack of advanced safety features.
Despite being such a big pickup, the Ram 2500 feels remarkably stable. Even when traveling on winding roads, body roll is kept to a minimum. Although the 2500 offers a pair of Hemi V8 engines, don’t hesitate to step up to the top-of-the-line Cummings diesel engine. Models fitted with a heavy-duty automatic transmission can develop up to 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. An available manual gearbox further separates the 2500 from the Ford F-250 Super Duty and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. While the EPA doesn’t list fuel economy numbers for heavy-duty trucks, testers have averaged 16.2 mpg in the Ram 2500.