Will it be for towing or grocery getting?

Quick notes

  • This list of the best full-size trucks rates light-duty and heavy-duty

  • The heavy-duty trucks are tough, but the gas mileage is also tough

  • Family-friendly trucks are gaining in popularity

There are a lot of choices when it comes to purchasing a full-size truck. They can definitely run the gamut. Do you need a light-duty truck for city driving? Or, are you looking for heavy-duty capabilities such as towing? The options are endless. You can even build your own truck on many different websites, and it’ll give you the price right there.

There are new upgraded safety options like forward-collision and blind-spot warning. Some interiors are more luxurious than others. Many of the audio systems in these trucks, including Bose and Fender, are exponentially better than in previous years. Upgraded suspension systems are making trucks more comfortable and quieter than in previous years.

The top-rated makes and models from the last ten years include GMC, Chevrolet, and Ford. Here’s our list of the best:

Heavy-duty trucks and towing capabilities

Heavy-duty work trucks come in all shapes and sizes. The GMC Sierra Denali 2500 with its Duramax 6.6 liter V8, fits the bill. GMC trucks have a decent towing capacity of 14,500 pounds for both gas and diesel. But what sets the Sierra apart is the Allison 1000 10-gear tranny. It gives better-towing capabilities and a quieter ride.

The Chevy Silverado 2500 also has some impressive towing power. With its 6.0 liter V8, it can tow a maximum of 14,400 pounds. With the turbo-diesel, it goes up to 14,500 pounds. The Silverado also offers an integrated trailer brake controller. This cool feature displays the trailer gain and output in real-time so the driver can make any adjustments necessary.

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The Ford F-250 heavy-duty also makes the list. The truck comes with a gas V8 or a diesel V8. The F-250 is capable of conventional towing up 20,000 pounds. For fifth-wheel trailers, it can tow up to 27,500 pounds. Ford’s truck body is aluminum, which gives it faster acceleration if driving uphill while towing.

The GMC Sierra 3500 pickup truck has the highest towing capacity on this list. It can tow up to 21,000 pounds and has a payload of 6,112 pounds. This Sierra also has a trailer camera system so you can safely keep an eye on the load. An optional snow plow package is available for those of us in the cold climates.

Best light-duty trucks with good gas mileage

The GMC Canyon came out in the early 2000s. The 2.5-liter engine is extremely reliable and gets 20-mpg city and up to 28-mpg highway. It comes with an HD rear vision camera for safe backing. Two of the best optional upgrades are the remote locking tailgate and the wifi hotspot capability.

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is also a light-duty staple. There are a few different powertrains available. Some are better for towing, and others are better for city driving. The gas mileage is listed as 23-mpg city and 33-mpg highway, which is the best mileage on this list.

GMC Sierra 1500 is a bestseller. The base set-up comes with a 285 horsepower V6 and six-speed transmission. The mileage for this Sierra is 23-mpg city and 30-mpg highway. Although closely related to its cousin, the Chevy Silverado, the Sierra is prettier with more standard options.

“The Silverado also offers an integrated trailer brake controller. This cool feature displays the trailer gain and output in real-time so the driver can make any adjustments necessary.”

Buying a new vehicle is expensive. So, the best way to start your truck-buying journey is to decide exactly what the truck will be used for and what options appeal to you. There are many new safety features that are now standard, which is good to know. Safety should be standard and not optional.

Although all of the trucks on this list are domestic, imports such as Toyota and Nissan are catching up.

Trucks have definitely changed over the years. They were mostly considered work vehicles in previous years. However, truck manufacturers recognized they needed more family-friendly features and options to corner that market.

A deeper dive – Related reading from the 101