Best Trucks for 2024
The best used and new trucks based on a data-driven analysis of each vehicle's reliability, resale value and safety.
The best midsize truck is the Honda Ridgeline (9.1 quality rating) and the best full-size truck is the Toyota Tundra (8.8 quality rating). Topping the list for the best heavy duty trucks is the Ford F-350 Super Duty (9.4 quality rating), which is also the best 6-seater truck.
How Does iSeeCars Determine the Best Trucks?
To determine the best trucks, iSeeCars analyzes data from over 12 million new and used vehicles to evaluate each truck’s reliability, value retention, and safety ratings.
Reliability is a reflection of a vehicle’s long-term quality and durability. It is often reflected in lower operating costs for a vehicle owner, as well as reduced time and energy spent visiting dealerships to address issues beyond scheduled maintenance.
Value retention indicates how much market value a vehicle has after several years of use. This is typically the most expensive factor in vehicle ownership. Models that lose a substantial amount of value over time contribute far less to a consumer’s future trade-in value for their next purchase, or what the vehicle can be sold for in the used car market.
Safety ratings come from a standardized set of safety tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These organizations perform comprehensive studies to determine the potential for occupant injury or death if a vehicle is involved in an accident.
For each model, the data related to these three components is aggregated across multiple model years and updated regularly. The data is combined to create a Quality Score, and that quality score is compared across all models within a segment to determine the ranking for best cars.
What Kind of Trucks are Available?
Trucks have substantially improved in both capability and refinement over the past 20 years, making them one of the most effective choices for accomplishing a wide range of tasks. Where they were once pure workhorse vehicles with crude ride quality, terrible fuel economy and rudimentary styling, today’s pickup trucks offer large touchscreens running advanced infotainment systems, fuel efficient powertrains, and plush four-door crew cab interiors featuring high-quality materials.
Modern trucks are primarily offered in two categories, full-size pickup trucks and midsize trucks, though smaller trucks like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz prove there’s a growing market for compact trucks, too.
What Type of Truck Should I Buy?
A wide range of truck variants exist to satisfy nearly any consumer need. In the full-size truck category buyers can configure a basic half-ton, rear-wheel drive work truck with a two-door cab and minimum frills. This would be the least expensive version of a modern truck, but its uses would be limited to simple tasks like hauling basic cargo on a paved route.
A more sophisticated truck would feature towing and/or off-road equipment, including a trailer brake controller, a trailer hitch camera, four-wheel drive, and a two-range transfer case. These features would be reflected in improved towing capacity and off-roading specs. For truck buyers looking to haul as much weight as possible in the bed, configuring a truck with a revised rear suspension and enhanced braking and cooling components can improve its payload capacity.
While full-size trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 are typically associated with maximum towing and payload demands, the best pickup trucks for these activities are heavy duty models like the Chevy Silverado HD, Ford Super Duty, and Ram 2500. These models feature more robust frames, higher horsepower and torque figures, and improved standard and optional features to enhance their ability to tow and haul extremely heavy loads.
Another popular truck segment is the high-performance truck, such as the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Ram TRX. These trucks offer some of the highest horsepower and fastest acceleration figures in the truck world while maintaining exceptional towing, hauling and off-road specs. Other specialized full-size models include the off-road oriented Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and Ram Rebel.
The midsize truck category features smaller models like the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Gladiator. Unlike the V8 and turbocharged V6s seen in most full-size trucks, these midsize versions typically feature four-cylinder base engines with six-cylinder options. Their smaller size and improved mpg ratings make for better daily drivers, particularly in urban and suburban environments. Yet these midsize models still offer impressive payload and towing capacities. The Ranger, even with its base twin turbo EcoBoost engine, is rated to haul over 1,500 pounds and tow more than 7,000 pounds.
For eco-conscious buyers seeking truck utility, electric drivetrains have swept across the automotive world and now include the truck segment. Three of the first electric trucks, the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, and Rivian R1T, are powered exclusively by batteries. These models benefit from the instant torque offered by electric motors, giving them over 700 lb-ft of peak torque and some of the highest tow ratings in the industry. But like all electric vehicles, these models cost substantially more than their gasoline counterparts, and their driving range drops dramatically when their payload or towing capabilities are utilized.
How We Rank These Cars
iSeeCars Best Car Rankings are calculated based on the latest research by our data science team and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
We analyze data from over 12 million new and used vehicles in our Longest-Lasting Cars and 5-Year Depreciation Studies, combined with the NHTSA's Safety Ratings to give you an unbiased guide to the best vehicles in each segment.
After being evaluated, vehicles with the highest average scores earn a spot in the iSeeCars Best Car Rankings. (No final score is given to vehicles missing a score in any of the categories, but scores for other categories are still shown.)
Vehicles are scored in three categories:
Reliability | 33.3%
The reliability score represents an analysis of iSeeCars' proprietary research on the longest-lasting vehicles.
Value Retention | 33.3%
The value retention score is based on our data science team's statistical analysis and prediction of 5-year depreciation from MSRP to determine which cars hold their value best, using US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to adjust for inflation.
Safety | 33.3%
The safety score is calculated based on the last five years of crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and incorporates the latest Top Safety Pick information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).