The best new trucks you can buy today

These are some of the Roadshow crew's favorite pickups.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
4 min read

Trucks are huge sellers and major cash cows for automakers, especially the Detroit Three. But which pickups are the best?

Versatile and rugged, trucks can help you work harder and have more fun. With rugged styling and plenty of creature comforts, it's easy to see why these things have become so popular, supplanting midsize sedans as the vehicle of choice in subdivisions and cul-de-sacs across the country.

Narrowing this sprawling field, here are some of the Roadshow crew's favorite rigs, trucks we wholeheartedly endorse. Keep in mind, this is not a ranked list, they are not presented in any particular order.

2020 Ram 1500: The good-looking cowboy diesel

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Ram 1500

Of all the so-called half-ton trucks out there, the best one you can buy right now is the Ram 1500. It's got the nicest lineup of interiors, the biggest available infotainment screen (clocking in at a whopping 12 inches) and it offers a range of capable engines including a mild-hybrid Hemi V8 and even an EcoDiesel V6 with 480 pound-feet of torque. Not only that, this rig looks great, drives well and is available with a four-corner air-suspension system that makes it ride more like a luxury car than anything that can haul a load of gravel. No matter the model, it's hard to go wrong with a Ram 1500.

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor: A supercar among trucks

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Ford F-150 Raptor

It should be obvious why we love the Ford F-150 Raptor. I mean, no other pickup can bomb through the desert quite like this one. With nearly 14 inches of rear suspension travel and 13 up front, the truck just eats it all up. In addition to its impressive high-speed off-road capability and aggressive design, the Raptor has plenty of performance. Yes, we all miss the previous generation's rumbling 6.2-liter V8, but this rig's EcoBoost six-shooter ain't too shabby, delivering 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. Giving you a little choice, the Raptor is available with either a SuperCab or SuperCrew body.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave: The high-speed desert conqueror

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Jeep Gladiator

If you want an off-road-ready pickup that's a little more manageably sized than that Ford , the Roadshow crew heartily endorses Jeep's Gladiator. This truck may look like little more than a Wrangler Unlimited with a 5-foot-long steel box tack welded to the rear, but tons of engineering changes were made. For instance, the frame is 31 inches longer and the wheelbase has been stretched by more than 19 inches. There's also a new five-link suspension system hanging out at the rear.

All this work results in an incredibly capable rock-crawling midsize pickup that can take you and some friends deep into the wilderness along with a giant load of camping gear. If that's what you're into, of course. On road, it's even more refined than the Wrangler Unlimited it's based on, riding better thanks to that longer wheelbase.

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline is a unique midsize pickup truck

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Honda Ridgeline

Next up, an excellent all-around option, but one that's sure to cause controversy. Some are quick to decry the Honda Ridgeline, calling it nothing more than a minivan with a bed on the back. Despite its unibody underpinnings, to most sensible people this is absolutely a pickup truck.

And thanks to those car-based bones, it drives like an elevated , has a spacious, comfortable interior, and comes chockablock with clever features -- like an ingenious double-hinged tailgate and a hidden in-bed trunk. Not only that, the Ridgeline offers all-wheel drive and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. No, it's not as tough as a , but it's got everything that probably 75% of truck buyers actually need.

Hauling and rock crawling with the 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty

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Ford Super Duty

That Honda may be versatile, but it's not enough for everyone. Some folks tow horse trailers or haul bricks of depleted uranium for a living. These are the people that need a more capable piece of hardware, such as the Ford Super Duty.

This family of hard-working pickups has been thoughtfully upgraded for 2020. It's added new technology, the styling has been tweaked and the cabins refreshed. Inside, new colors, trims and high-end materials are offered. But the most substantive changes have been made under the hood. A brand-new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 joins the line, serving as a mid-range offering and putting out 430 hp. Ford's familiar 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel has been enhanced as well. It now delivers 475 hp and a whopping 1,050 lb-ft of torque.

2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader

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Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison

The Chevrolet Colorado is getting old, but it's still a solid all-around midsize truck. Taking things to a whole new level, the ZR2 Bison model is an off-road beast, and an easy recommendation. Like the Jeep Gladiator, it's perfectly at home climbing over rocks and splashing through mud.

Giving this rig serious capability is a lifted and strengthened suspension, locking differentials front and rear, a track that's been widened by 3.5 inches, rock rails and even fancy Multimatic dampers. Of course, this truck looks more aggressive than your run-of-the-mill Colorado, with unique bumpers, skid plates and more. An off-road intake snorkel is also available, as are two engines: a 3.6-liter V6 and a torque-rich 2.8-liter turbodiesel.

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