You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Best Trucks for Towing/Work

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/6/2015 Manufacturer, Jason Udy

There is no question that pickups are popular in the U.S. But they're not inexpensive. Loaded models can reach well into the $70,000 range. Not all consumers need a loaded truck, though. With 14 pickup models on the market (separating light-duty and heavy-duty full-size models), we've found the best configurations for payload and towing capacity. Where Chevrolet and GMC models are mechanically identical, we mention them together.

Research

Could heavy-duty trucks one day be subject to EPA fuel efficiency standards? Learn about the huge implications and get the full story HERE.

2015 Nissan Frontier

2015 Nissan Frontier© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Frontier Midsize pickups are ideal for use as delivery trucks in congested urban areas. The Nissan Frontier King Cab SV V6 4x2 has a payload of 1,471 pounds with the six-speed manual or 1,449 pounds with the five-speed automatic. Max towing capability is rated up to 6,500 pounds with either transmission. The two-wheel-drive Frontier King Cab SV has the highest payload and tow rating of any Frontier configuration.

2015 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab V6 4x2 PreRunner

2015 Toyota Tacoma© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Tacoma Powered by an available 4.0-liter V-6 with 235 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, the two-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma Access Cab PreRunner has a payload rating of 1,500 pounds and max tow rating of 6,500 pounds. Stepping up to the Double Cab with short bed (pictured) retains the max tow rating, but payload drops to 1,305 pounds.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon

2015 Chevrolet Colorado© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Colorado The midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups are available with either a 2.5-liter I-4 with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque or a 3.6-liter V-6 rated 305 hp and 369 lb-ft. An extended cab model with the 6-foot bed is the most affordable body style. A two-wheel-drive model with the four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic can haul up to 1,580 pounds with the 6-foot-2-inch bed. Max towing for that configuration is 3,500 pounds.

Stepping up to the V-6 engine with the Z82 trailering package increases towing capacity to 7,000 pounds regardless of configuration. The highest payload rating with the V-6 engine is 1,560 pounds with the crew cab body and short 5-foot 2-inch bed and two-wheel-drive. A new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel, rated 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, will arrive for the 2016 model year. That model can tow up to 7,700 pounds with two-wheel drive and up to 7,600 pound with four-wheel drive. Fuel economy is expected to beat the 2.5-liter's 19-20/25-27/21-22 mpg city/highway/combined EPA rating. With its carlike refinement, we gave the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado the Motor Trend 2015 Truck of the Year award.

2015 Nissan Titan King Cab 4x2

2015 Nissan Titan Front View© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Nissan Titan Front View With a 5.7-liter V-8 rated 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque and a standard five-speed automatic, the Nissan Titan King Cab S 4x2 has a max payload rating of 2,102 pounds and a max tow rating of 7,400 pounds. For those needing more towing capacity, the Titan King Cab SV can tow up to 9,500 pounds, but payload drops to 2,053 pounds.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT / 2015 GMC Sierra

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 The two-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups with 8-foot box is a fine work truck. Additionally, the base 4.3-liter EcoTec V-6 makes 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque on regular gas and 297 hp and 330 lb-ft on E85. Even on conventional fuel, the Silverado's 4.3-liter produces the most torque of any V-6 engine in a half-ton truck. The Silverado can handle 1,980 pounds in its long box and tow up to 5,900 pounds.

Stepping up to the 5.3-liter EcoTec V-8 with 355 hp and (380 hp) and 383 lb-ft (416 lb-ft) increases towing capacity to 9,800 pounds without sacrificing payload (the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ and GMC Sierra SLE regular-cab are pictured).

2014 GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 GMC Sierra SLE Regular Cab

2015 Toyota Tundra Regular Cab 8.0-Foot Bed 4x2 with 5.7-liter V-8

cheap truck roundup© Provided by MotorTrend cheap truck roundup Of all the Toyota Tundra models, a two-wheel-drive regular cab model with the 8-foot bed and the available 5.7-liter V-8 has the highest payload rating of 2,080 pounds (a Double Cab model is pictured). With 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque, the same configuration can tow up to 10,500 pounds. This cab, bed, and drivetrain combination returns the highest payload and towing ratings.

2015 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 8.0-Foot Bed 4x2

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Tradesman Regular Cab© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Tradesman Regular Cab A two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 Regular Cab and 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 can haul up to 1,900 pounds in its 8-foot bed thanks to the engine's 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. With the available 3.55:1 rearend gear ratio, the V-6 can also tow up to 7,280 pounds. Stepping up to the available 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 395 hp and 410 lb-ft and available 3.92:1 gear ratio increases towing capability up to 10,650 pounds, though payload drops to 1,720 pounds.

If fuel economy is more important than max payload and towing capacity, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 with 240 hp and 420 lb-ft delivers. The small turbodiesel returns an EPA-rated 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined—the highest fuel economy rating of any full-size pickup. Max payload with the EcoDiesel and 3.92:1 gear ratio is rated 1,500 pounds, and max towing is rated at 9,200 pounds.

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F 150© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford F 150 Although the Ford F-Series Super Duty is a serious workhorse, some people need a lighter duty work truck such as the aluminum-intensive 2015 Ford F-150. A base two-wheel-drive Ford F-150 XL Regular Cab with an 8-foot bed and the 3.5-liter V-6 makes an affordable work truck. With its 282 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, the base F-150 XL can haul up to 1,910 pounds in the bed and still tow a respectable 7,600 pounds.

For those needing more carrying capability, the 385-hp, 387 lb-ft, 5.0-liter V-8 can haul up to 3,300 pounds and tow up 11,100 pounds, and the 365-hp, 420 lb-ft, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 can haul up to 3,270 pounds and tow up to 12,200 pounds.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD / 2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD The Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD and GMC Sierra 3500HD pickup twins offer several different configurations for towing and hauling. A four-wheel-drive 3500HD Regular Cab model with an 8-foot bed and dual rear wheels and the 397-hp, 785 lb-ft of torque, 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 can tow up to 23,200 pounds with a fifth-wheel hitch or 16,000 pounds with a standard receiver. That model can also haul up to 5,817 pounds in the bed. The best model for conventional towing would be the same truck but in the Crew Cab body style. That model can tow up to 19,600 pounds or a still impressive 22,600 pounds with a fifth wheel. Payload is rated 5,205 pounds.

If bed capacity is your No. 1 priority, then a two-wheel-drive 3500HD Regular Cab with the 8-foot bed and dual rear wheels powered by the 360-hp, 380-lb-ft, 6.0-liter gas V-8, which can haul up to 7,374 pounds in the bed. Towing capacity is 14,200 pounds with either the traditional receiver or a fifth-wheel hitch.

2015 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Regular Cab 4x2 Dual Rear Wheel

2015 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty With its 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel I-6 rated 385 hp and 865 lb-ft torque, the two-wheel-drive Ram 3500 Heavy Duty with dual rear wheels can tow up to 30,000 pounds. Payload is a respectable 6,580 pounds. The 2016 model is now rated at as much as 900 lb-ft with a tow rating of up to 31,200 pounds.

Swapping from the Cummins turbodiesel to the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 gas engine rated 383 hp and 400 lb-ft in the otherwise same configuration increases the max payload capacity to 7,390 pounds, but max towing capacity drops to 16,520 pounds.

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty

2016 Ford F Series Super Duty© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Ford F Series Super Duty If towing is the most important requirement for your truck, the Ford F-450 Super Duty can deliver. The massive truck comes in just one configuration: a crew cab body style with an 8-foot bed and dual rear wheels, four-wheel drive, and the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8. With 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of torque from the Power Stroke engine and the standard 4.3:1 rear axle ratio, the Ford F-450 Super Duty can tow up to 19,000 pounds from a conventional receiver and up to 31,200 pounds with a fifth-wheel gooseneck hitch. The F-450 has a maximum payload of 5,450 pounds.

For those whose payload needs are more important than their towing needs, another F-Series Super Duty might fit the bill. A two-wheel-drive Ford F-350 Regular Cab with an 8-foot bed and dual rear wheels can haul up to 7,260 pounds. Equipped with either the 6.2-liter (316-385 hp, 397-405 lb-ft) V-8 gas engine or Power Stroke turbodiesel, that model can also tow up to 12,500 pounds from a receiver hitch. With a fifth-wheel setup it can tow up to 15,900 pounds with the gas engine or 16,700 pounds with the turbodiesel.

Best Trucks for Towing© Provided by MotorTrend Best Trucks for Towing
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon