I’ve driven the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, the RAM 1500, and the Toyota Tundra — here are the best features of these full-size pickup trucks

The RAM 1500.

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The RAM 1500.
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Matthew DeBord/BI

  • In the past few years, I’ve driven all the major full-size pickup trucks sold in the US: the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, the RAM 1500, and the Toyota Tundra.
  • Of these pickups, the Ford, Chevy, and RAM are either all new or redesigned in the past five years; the Toyota is a bit long in the tooth but is due for an update.
  • Here’s a rundown of the best features of these four full-size pickup trucks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In the USA, we sure do love pickup trucks. Especially full-size pickups, which are at the heart of the market.

Since 2014, Ford, Chevy, and RAM – the Big Three of pickup brands – have each redesigned their bread-and-butter (Meat and potatoes?) truck.

I’ve driven them all, but I’ve also checked out the Toyota Tundra, a solid pickup that sells outside the top three, and that hasn’t been revamped for a while.

These are all pretty good trucks, and for this roundup, I’ve highlighted some of their best features (by the way, I skipped towing because all four trucks can tow weight that’s within the expectations of this class).


Here’s the F-150, which I tested right after Ford redesigned the iconic pickup in 2015, to use more lightweight aluminum in the construction; Ford has since updated the vehicle. The price for this one was around $50,000.

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Read the review »


A big question about the redesigned F-150 was whether an aluminum bed would be as strong as steel. In my testing, the bed performed fine.

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The tailgate in the F-150 has a very useful retractable step.

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The F-150s styling is also a plus. This pickup just looks like it can get the job done.

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Ford

Perhaps the best feature of the F-150 is how popular it is. The pickup has long been the best-selling vehicle in the US.

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Ford

Of course, if the F-150 isn’t high-performance enough for you, there’s always the mighty Raptor, the race-car version of the the pickup.

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The all-new 2019 Silverado! Price was $57,000.

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Read the review »


The LTZ Crew Cab I tested came with a short bed, but a larger box is available. For me, this box is exactly the right size for everyday duty.

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How’s this for cool? The Silverado still had a column shifter!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The Silverado could be outfitted with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8, a 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder diesel — or, in the case of my tester, a 6.2-liter V8. Me, I’ll take the V8.

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The Chevy infotainment system was the best of all the four trucks here. Plus, you can use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The back seats are a bench design, but plenty roomy. Adults would be comfortable.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Here’s the new 2019 RAM 1500. Price? $68,500, in Crew Cab Laramie “Longhorn” edition trim.

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Read about how the RAM 1500 stacked up against the Chevy Silverado »


The power tailgate can be activated using the key fob.

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RAM is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, whose uConnect infotainment system is well-executed, but not praised often enough. The screen on the RAM 1500 is huge.

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A mild hybrid “eTorque” system is coupled to the Hemi 5.7-liter V8, making a total of 395 horsepower with 410 foot-pounds of torque. The 0-60 time is about 6 seconds. Fuel economy is OK: 17 mpg city/22 highway/19 combined.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

The RAM 1500’s calling card has always been its four-wheel independent suspension, which contributes to a smooth ride. Skeptics argue that the lack of a hardtail rear suspension — the other full-sizers have leaf-spring suspensions — means that the RAM 1500 suffers from a potential point of failure. But happy customers don’t seem to care.

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The RAM 1500 I tested had by far the most luxurious and comfortable interior.

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Matthew DeBord/BI

Finally, the stalwart Toyota Tundra, which is due for an update. It stickered at $53,000.

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Read the review »


I tested the 1794 Edition. The 1794 backstory is intricate: The oldest cattle ranch in Texas, near San Antonio, dates to that year. The property is where Toyota built its US pickup-truck factory.

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The Toyota had the second-nicest interior of the full-size pickups I’ve tested, behind the RAM 1500.

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Yep, the bed handled a hefty load of stuff with ease. To be honest, the beds were notable features on all these pickups. Only the Ford F-150’s came without a spray-on bedliner.

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Gotta love a good old-fashioned ignition key! Crank ‘er up!

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Matthew DeBord/BI

The Tundra, although in need of an update, still has a roomy and comfortable back seat that grown-ups should adore.

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Matthew DeBord/BI