- Full-size pickup trucks come in different weight classes, but most people can find all they need with a half-ton truck.
- You can find engine options for a wide range of needs, whether you’re looking for fuel efficiency, additional towing and hauling capability or off-road ability.
- If you want the maximum capability when shopping for a pickup truck, upgrade to higher-level trims.
This is an exciting year if you’re looking for a new pickup truck. New limited-edition trims, hybrid engine options and improved performance are among the changes made to the most popular models. Regardless of budget, there’s an option for everyone in need of a reliable truck, with some trucks priced under $30,000.
One of the most notable trends is the introduction of more standard safety and driver assistance technology. If you want the greatest and latest in performance, however, expect to pay more. Some of the most powerful upgrades featured on our list are only available on higher trim levels.
Who Needs a Full-Size Pickup Truck?
There are three types of pickup trucks that are named by weight. Half-ton trucks are the most popular trucks on the market and suit most peoples’ towing and hauling needs. Some of them are also designed to handle off-road challenges. Three-quarter ton trucks are designed for more demanding work and have engines and suspensions designed to pull more and last longer.
One-ton trucks are the largest pickup trucks available and usually need to be customized. Due to their cost, they’re most suited to professionals that require them for special tasks. This guide focuses on half-ton pickup trucks that are best for everyday personal use.
Nissan hasn’t released the 2022 Titan yet, but the 2021 is built for towing. It has a base price of $36,950 and can tow up to 11,040 pounds when equipped properly. If you’re concerned about safety, the Titan delivers. It has the best-rated standard safety package in its class. It protects you from all directions with blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, an alert system for when you’re backing up and automatic emergency braking in both directions.
Nissan offers an impressive warranty on its trucks, which can significantly reduce your cost of ownership. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come standard.: Nissa
GMC Sierra 1500
The 2022 GMC Sierra arrives with considerable upgrades. The interior has been redesigned using high-quality materials, the infotainment system comes with a larger touch screen and Super Cruise is now available on higher-level trims. Super Cruise is a system that allows you to set your speed and following distance behind the cars in front of you and then take your hands off the wheel.
The GMC Sierra 1500 is another impressive towing vehicle. When you equip it properly, it can give you up to 13,200 pounds of towing. The Sierra 1500 has an attractive base price of just $31,200.
The 2022 Toyota has undergone a complete redesign and offers more standard features in exchange for a starting price of $35,950. It comes in standard and hybrid versions and offers a power upgrade to its predecessors. The most significant changes have to do with the Tundra’s off-roading capabilities. It has skid plates to protect the undercarriage, a better suspension and optional all-terrain tires.
The Tundra won Top Honors at the Texas Truck Rodeo due to its rugged stance, 12,000 pounds of towing and improved ride quality. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa are all available with the upgraded infotainment system.
The 2022 Ford F-150 has been upgraded with six engine options, a smart hitch for towing and BlueCruise. The BlueCruise system allows you to drive on the highway hands-free under appropriate road and weather conditions. The F-150 is one of the most customizable trucks available and the Lightning’s trim has a muscular full-electric powertrain.
It starts at $29,990, but expect to pay for upgrades if you want to maximize power, payload and towing capacity. A useful feature for those who use their trucks for a living is the F-150’s mobile generator. It allows you to provide power to construction sites and the Lightning can even power a house for up to three days.
Most of the changes to the Ram 1500 for 2022 are cosmetic. It now offers an Anniversary Edition to celebrate 10 years of sales with interior material upgrades, new paint colors and exterior accents. It also adds paddle shifters to the steering column and a new air filtration system for the cabin. The 2022 1500 has a starting price of $35,200 and offers plenty of towing and hauling capacity for outdoor enthusiasts.
The interior offers an impressive technology package that includes a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android auto. It also has a safety package that comes with a camera and sensors that detect people and obstacles behind the truck and in your blind spot.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
With a base price of $30,200 and up to 31 mpg on the highway, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the most affordable full-size pickup trucks to purchase and own. The 2022 comes with more interior customization so that you can choose more luxurious, plush seating and stylish colors inside the cabin. Features such as Google connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard.
The Silverado 1500 is built to tow and haul. You can pull up to 13,300 pounds and load up to 2,280 pounds onto the bed when properly equipped. This is perfect for most boats and trailers.
Special Edition Trims
When you’re looking for a truck, you have many trim levels to choose from. Some special edition trims offer features that you can’t find on any other trim level. They may even look nothing like their base models from the outside. If you’re considering one of these special edition trucks, expect to pay a premium. There are plenty of reasons that these trucks appeal to people, however.
They may come with more powerful engines, have upgraded towing packages or be designed to perform well off-road. Here are the three special edition trims that are worthy of special mention.
Ram 1500 TRX
The Ram 1500 TRX is an off-road beast, starting at $75,680. The 2022 lineup includes a limited Ignition Edition. Ram only produced 875 trucks with this top trim level, but they include a hood scoop with led lighting, special paint and accents, unique interior design and upgraded technology package. The Ignition Edition has seats that can be warmed or cooled, a special steering wheel wrap and hand-stitched seats.
It has 11.8 inches of ground clearance and a shock and strut system designed to take on the harshest environments on Earth. It’s the ideal choice for off-road enthusiasts and adventurers.
Ford F-150 Raptor
The Ford F-150 Raptor is a union between the old and the new with a modern daytime look and front lighting system that gives it a retro look. There’s no significant change for 2022 just yet, but Ford announced that it would offer an upgraded, much more powerful engine toward the end of the year. The F-150 Raptor starts at $65,375 and has a high-output engine that’s only available on the Raptor.
While the Raptor is built for off-roading, it also offers functionality for the daily driver with wireless phone charging, a trailer assist system, driver assistance and an advanced safety package.
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
The 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is due for release later this year and pricing information hasn’t been released yet. It’s expected to start at around $50,000, which is slightly higher than the 2021 model. The Tundra TRD Pro will offer a hybrid engine option, improved suspension, more towing and hauling power and better transmission.
The TRD Pro is equipped with sport-tuned shocks and an anti-roll bar so that it can handle offroad obstacles smoothly. The seating in the cabin offers more custom designs, quality materials and connective technology, such as an infotainment system with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
For Those Who Need More Power
If a half-ton truck doesn’t quite cut it for you, there are plenty of options available. Three-quarter ton and one-ton trucks are normally produced on similar platforms as their half-ton equivalents. For example, the Ford F-250 and F-350 are more powerful and customized versions of the F-150 that have larger cabs, extended beds and more powerful engines.
The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD, Ram 2500, Ram 3500 and GMC Sierra 2500 HD are other options if you need a heavy-duty truck. It may be helpful to evaluate whether you need the extra capability before looking at heavy-duty trucks because they’re much more expensive than their half-ton counterparts.