Ford’s F-150 may have held the crown for decades, but a whole new crop of condenders have risen to unseat the King.
Defining the word “best” is no less difficult or subjective a thing than defining beauty or perfection. Today’s consumers are more discerning and realistic about their needs than ever before, generally opting for function over brand loyalty. Whether you define perfection as a high-speed blast through the desert or beauty as a 10,000-pound towing capacity, the “best” truck of 2010 is probably the one that’s best for you.
Dodge Ram Heavy Duty
The Ram HD has to top this list, if only because it won Motor Trend’s prestigious Pickup Truck of the Year award in 2010. The Ram’s base 400-horsepower Hemi engine is one of the most powerful available for any truck or SUV, and its optional 350-horsepower Cummins diesel serves up a whopping 650 foot-pounds of torque.
Ford SVT Raptor
This isn’t your Dad’s F-150. The SVT Raptor is to the F-150 what the Cobra is to the Mustang. Race-ready and Baja-tough from the factory, this off-roader would be more comfortable running the Paris-to-Dakar than circling the Nuremburgring. With a 400-horsepower 5.4-liter V-8, Raptor is the big-kid’s toy of this bunch.
Toyota isn’t new to the pickup truck market; its near-indestructible Hilux pickup drunk has the dubious distinction of being one of the most popular vehicles amongst certain Middle-Eastern organizations. The Tundra is Toyota’s first V-8 powered truck, making good use of its 4.6 liters to produce 310 horsepower and 0-60 times of just under seven seconds.
Sitting on GM’s newest GMT900 platform, the Silverado comes with a choice of V-8 engines ranging from 295 horsepower to 400 horsepower. The Silverado won MT’s Truck of the Year and North American Truck of the Year, losing out to some others in 2010 only because it was a bit older at the time. The Silverado also comes with a hybrid drive system that helps to boost fuel economy, but is primarily designed to serve as an on-board generator.
This includes all of GM’s SUVs and semi-trucks built on the GMT900 platform. Vehicles built on this chassis include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Avalanche (essentially a Yukon with a small truck bed on the back). These four SUVs are almost mechanically identical; all but the 6.2-liter-only Cadillac come with the same engine options as the Silverado. Choosing between any of these comes down to a matter of budget and personal preference in terms of style and options.
Range Rover Sport
The Range Rover is Cadillac’s primary competitor in the high-powered, high-dollar SUV game. This is particularly true in Europe, where bling-heavy Escalades are generally associated with the classless and nouveau riche. A fully-loaded 400-horsepower supercharged Sport model cost about $10,000 less than a similarly-equipped Caddy, but offered comparable levels of luxury and off-road capability that the diamond-studded Escalade could only dream of.