2021 Trucks

The United States has a love affair with the pickup truck. Full-size trucks have topped the list of the bestselling vehicles in America for more than four decades. Technically, the Ford F-150 has topped the charts for the past 44 years, but the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500 are never far behind. Based on the success of the American pickups, Nissan, Toyota and Honda all jumped into the truck race with models of various shapes and sizes. At first, the Nissan and Toyota brands were most popular in the small truck segment, but as time went on, both introduced full-size models to compete with the full-sizers from the Big three. Meanwhile, Honda got involved with the American truck market with a vehicle that is a little bigger than most mid-size models and a little smaller than the full-size models.

It isn’t hard to understand why trucks are so popular in the United States. They offer more passenger space than most cars and many SUVs. They have a huge, open cargo area that can be easily converted to an enclosed, locking cargo area with a common aftermarket accessory. They have powerful engines that allow them to haul and tow heavy loads and most trucks come with four-wheel-drive, making them great for rough roads and winter weather. Unless you need to transport eight or more passengers, there isn’t much that trucks can’t do.

This year there are two new comers to the truck market that are a bit smaller than the rest. Yes, that's right, the compact pickup truck is back. Both Hyundai and Ford have introduced compact unibody pickup trucks to capitalize on those who want the usefulness of a scaled-down truck, without being burdened by the size and/or fuel consumption of a larger pickup. 


Pros and Cons of Trucks

Pros

  • Can haul and tow more than any other vehicle type
  • More capable on rough roads and in winter weather
  • Can go just about anywhere
  • Lots of power
  • Huge interior
  • Premium models offer luxury-level cabins

Cons

  • Higher average purchase price
  • Lower fuel economy
  • Large footprint isn’t ideal for city driving
  • Can be harder to get into for some people

Fully Electric Pickup Trucks

The world of fully electric pickups is on the horizon as Ford, GM, and Stellantis have all committed to producing models in the near future. In fact, it's already here thanks to the Rivian R1T.  The first vehicle to arrive from the big three will be the Ford F-150 Lightning, slated to debut in the spring of 2022. It should come with 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque from a set off electric motors powering all four wheels. Ford's plan is to make the Lightning as fully capable as a regular truck, just without using any gasoline. 

SEE ALSO: Top 8 Hybrid and Electric Pickup Trucks Worth Waiting For

Also debuting later this year should be the more niche GMC Hummer EV pickup. With a curb weight over 9,000 lbs and in excess of 1,000 hp on tap, the all-electric pickup truck is anything but small and subtle. Official range for the vehicle is rated at 329 miles on a single charge. In a few years Chevrolet and Ram will join the electric-pickup truck revolution as both brands have teased concepts slated to debut for 2024. Of course, Tesla continues development on the Cybertruck with no definitive release date scheduled as of yet. 

What's New in Trucks for 2022

Ford Maverick

The mini-truck is back, thanks in large part to the Ford Maverick. Smaller than the mid-size Ranger, the Maverick combines value, technology, and utility in a way very few vehicles are capable of. Starting at less than $20,000 USD, the Maverick comes standard with a hybrid drivetrain and front wheel drive. There is an optional turbocharged Ecoboost engine that can be paired with all-wheel drive. 

SEE ALSO: Ford Maverick Wins AutoGuide 2022 Truck of the Year

Maximum towing for the turbocharged truck is rated at 4,000 lbs. and the bed can hold upwards of 1,500 lbs. We were so impressed with the Ford Maverick, it earned the title of AutoGuide 2022 Truck of the year. 
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Hyundai Santa Cruz

Another entry into the compact pickup truck market this is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Whereas the Maverick has more conventional pickup truck styling, the Santa Cruz features wild, almost show-car like sheetmetal. It come standard with a four cylinder engine and can be had with an optional turbocharged power unit. Either engine can be paired with all-wheel drive and the vehicle trumps the Maverick by being able to tow upwards of 5,000 lbs.
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Toyota Tundra

The only all-new full-size pickup truck this year comes from Toyota, with the latest generation Tundra. Gone are the V8 engines of the previous truck, replaced by a pair of turbocharged V6 units. The i-FORCE engine is a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 389 hp. The optional i-FORCE MAX uses the same set-up, but adds a hybrid motor to the mix to improve fuel economy and raise total system power to 437 hp.  As is the theme currently with full-size trucks, the new Tundra features a massive front grille and more rugged styling. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 12,000 pounds with payload figures coming in just under the 2,000 lbs. mark. 
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GMC Hummer EV Pickup

As mentioned previously, the Hummer nameplate is being resurrected at General Motors. Instead of being a stand alone brand, it is now a model under the GMC banner. Two models will debut initially, the all-electric Hummer EV SUV and the Hummer EV pickup truck. With 1,000 hp on hand, even though it weighs over 9,000 lbs., GMC claims it should be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in about 3 seconds flat.  But more than just outright speed, the new Hummer EV is designed to be an off-road specialist and includes trick features like CrabWalk and Extract Mode to help the big pickup truck get out of sticky situations. 
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Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier is all-new for 2022, having been thoroughly update for the first time in a while. Power now comes from a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 310 hp and is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The truck continues to be available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. It competes head-to-head in the mid-size pickup truck segment against the likes of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins. 

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Cheapest Pickup Trucks

Two specialized editions are available for 2022, the four-wheel drive PRO-4X and the rear-wheel drive PRO-X. Both included a more rugged appearance and additional off-road ready equipment. 
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Other Highlights from the World of Trucks

Ford F-150

Ford's F-150 continues to the be not only the best-selling truck in America, but the best-selling vehicle period. The lineup of models is extensive and continues to grow, with the off-road-ready Raptor and efficient Hybrid models being joined by the all-electric Lightning later this year. 
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Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 soldiers on into the 2022 model year without many changes, but as America's second best-selling truck, it doesn't really need them. Changes that have occurred include a few all-new or renamed trim levels like the Rebel G/T, Longhorn SouthFork, and the 1500 BackCountry. 
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Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra

The full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra siblings received a refresh this year, with styling tweaks to the truck's interiors. The Silverado has a new off-road focused ZR2 model while the Sierra receives a pair of new luxurious trim levels, the Denali Ultimate and the AT4X. 
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Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline remains the only mid-size unibody pickup truck on the market. That means it has a more car-like driving experience similar to the Hyundai Santa Cruz, but in a vehicle the size of a Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado. For 2022 not much has changed on the vehicle. 
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Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma continues to have one of the most loyal customer bases in the automotive world. For 2022 two new off-road focused models have joined the truck's lineup. The Trail Edition adds comfort, convenience, and off-road prowess to the Tacoma while the TRD Pro is all about maximum capabilities off-road.
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40 vehicles found

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Make / Model MSRP Fuel User Rating
2021 Rivian R1T
2021 Rivian R1T
view 1 trims
N/A N/A
2021 Ford Ranger
2021 Ford Ranger
view 13 trims
$24,820 - $38,785 19/18 mpg
2021 Chevrolet Colorado
2021 Chevrolet Colorado
view 18 trims
$25,200 - $43,200 16/18 mpg
2021 Toyota Tacoma 2WD
2021 Toyota Tacoma 2WD
view 13 trims
$26,150 - $38,905 19/23 mpg
2021 GMC Canyon
2021 GMC Canyon
view 14 trims
$26,400 - $44,700 17/24 mpg
2021 Ram 1500 Classic
2021 Ram 1500 Classic
view 24 trims
$28,450 - $42,645 15/21 mpg
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
view 34 trims
$28,600 - $57,200 14/18 mpg
2021 Ford F-150
2021 Ford F-150
view 42 trims
$28,940 - $74,250 N/A
2021 Toyota Tacoma 4WD
2021 Toyota Tacoma 4WD
view 20 trims
$29,225 - $46,780 17/20 mpg
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
view 25 trims
$29,700 - $59,000 15/20 mpg
2021 Ford E-Series Stripped Chassis
2021 Ford E-Series Stripped Chassis
view 5 trims
$30,070 - $32,795 N/A
2021 Ram ProMaster Cutaway
2021 Ram ProMaster Cutaway
view 3 trims
$30,440 - $31,590 N/A
2021 Ram ProMaster Chassis Cab
2021 Ram ProMaster Chassis Cab
view 3 trims
$31,090 - $32,240 N/A
2021 Ram 1500
2021 Ram 1500
view 37 trims
$32,245 - $69,995 15/21 mpg
2021 Ford E-Series Cutaway
2021 Ford E-Series Cutaway
view 7 trims
$33,265 - $36,470 N/A
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40 vehicles found

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