Winner: Toyota Tundra CrewMax
Runner-Up: GMC Sierra

This is a now huge category (one that didn't really exist 10 years ago) with prices all over the map. But in terms of cubic volume, capability, power output, and sheer muscle, the Tundra CrewMax is an easy choice. Sporting payload and towing numbers more like a 3/4-ton truck, the Tundra's ride and handling are well sorted and ready for any work-duty challenges. We're not huge fans of the dash layout and design (it looks like it's been split in two), but the interior is the quietest in the category and offers plenty of storage solutions and creature comfort options. We like the 5.7-liter V8, , so we'd recommend spending the extra $3000 (which also gets you the six-speed trans) for the upgrade. The only other real choices here are Ford and GM (Dodge uses an HD frame with the Mega Cab), and the GMC Sierra Crew Cab looks good, inside and out--plus you can get the high-output all-aluminum engine with the Denali package.



Crew Cab Pickup, 2WD
Vehicle Chevy/GMC Colorado/Canyon Chevy/GMC Silverado/Sierra Chevy Avalanche
Base price $21,700/$21,565 $27,625/$27,625 $33,710
Wheelbase, in 126 143.5 130
Engine 2.9L DOHC I-4 4.8L OHV V-8 5.3L OHV V-8
Opt engines 3.7L V-6 $1000 5.3L V-8 $600, 6.0L V-8 $1095
Opt engines   6.0L V-8 $1695  
Horsepower, SAE 185 (242) 295 (310, 367) 320 (366)
Torque, SAE 190 (242) 305 (335, 375) 340 (380)
Airbags Dual Dual Dual
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 235/75R15 265/75R17 265/70R17
Fuel cap, gal 19 26 31
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/24 (15/20) 14/19 (15/20, 13/18) 14/20 (12/17)
Max pass 6 6 5
Base curb weight, lb 3722 5142 5556
GVWR, lb 5200 7200 7000
Max payload, lb 1300 2000 1400
Max towing cap, lb 5500 10,200 8000
Vehicle Dodge Dakota Crew Cab Dodge Ram 1500 Mega Cab Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Base price $22,780 $33,635 $25,435
Wheelbase, in 131.3 160.5 130.5
Engine 3.7L SOHC V-6 5.7L OHV V-8 4.0L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 4.7L V-8 $985   4.6L V-8 $1250
Horsepower, SAE 210 (302) 345 210 (292)
Torque, SAE 235 (329) 375 254 (300)
Airbags Dual Dual Dual
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 2WAL Disc/disc, 2WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 245/70R16 265/70R17 235/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 22 35 22.5
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/20 (14/19) 13/17 14/20 (13/20)
Max pass 6 6 5
Base curb weight, lb 4376 6150 4570
GVWR, lb 6010 8600 5840
Max payload, lb 1500 2200 1280
Max towing cap, lb 7050 9800 6640
Vehicle Ford F-150 SuperCrew Honda Ridgeline AWD Mitsubishi Raider Double Cab
Base price $27,820 $28,635 $24,650
Wheelbase, in 139 122 131.2
Engine 4.6L SOHC V-8 3.5L DOHC V-6 3.7L SOHC V-6
Opt engines 5.4L V-8 $895   4.7L V-8 $4800
Horsepower, SAE 248 (300) 247 210 (235)
Torque, SAE 294 (365) 245 235 (295)
Airbags Dual, head, side Dual Dual
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL
Tires 255/70R17 245/65R17 245/70R16
Fuel cap, gal 30 22 22
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 14/19 (13/18) 15/20 16/22 (15/20)
Max pass 6 5 5
Base curb weight, lb 5095 4491 4433
GVWR, lb 6800 6000 6010
Max payload, lb 1800 1500 1500
Max towing cap, lb 9500 5000 5000
Vehicle Nissan Frontier SWB/LWB Nissan Titan SWB/LWB Toyota TacomaSWB/LWB
Base price $21,645/$22,444 $28,065/$28,475 $23,225/$23,725
Wheelbase, in 125.9/139.9 139.8/159.4 127.8/140.9
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.6L DOHC V-8 4.0L DOHC V-6
Horsepower, SAE 261 317 236
Torque, SAE 281 385 266
Airbags Dual Dual Dual
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/disc, 4WAL Disc/drum, 4WAL
Tires 265/70R15 245/75R17 225/75R15
Fuel cap, gal 21.1 28 21
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 16/20 13/17 17/21
Max pass 5 6 5
Base curb weight, lb 4261 5073 3855
GVWR, lb 5400 6500 5450
Max payload, lb 1200 1500 1400
Max towing cap, lb 6300 9400 6500
Vehicle Toyota TundraCrewMax    
Base price $28,370    
Wheelbase, in 145.7    
Engine 4.7L DOHC V-8    
Opt engines 5.7L V-8 $1200    
Horsepower, SAE 276 (381)    
Torque, SAE 313 (401)    
Airbags Dual    
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, 4WAL    
Tires 255/70R18    
Fuel cap, gal 26.4    
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 14/17 (14/18)    
Max pass 5    
Base curb weight, lb 5255    
GVWR, lb 7000    
Max payload, lb 1800    
Max towing cap, lb 10,400