What a difference a year makes. Full-size trucks, mid-size trucks, and compact trucks survived last year's gas price spike to live another day. The notion of what a work truck is has evolved. Confused? Don't sweat it. We sort it out for you right here, including specs on all the new models, and our famous tongue-in-cheek star ratings. Let the shopping begin.

STAR RATINGS:

Beats Walking *
For Your Neighbors **
Right On The Money ***
Fuel For Your Soul ****
Drive Before You Die *****

2010 Cadillac Escalade/EXT
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche
2010 Chevrolet Colorado
2010 Chevrolet Silverado
2010 Chevrolet Silverado HD
2010 Dodge Dakota
2010 Dodge Ram 1500
2010 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 HD
2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
2010 Ford F-150
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
2011 Ford F-250/350/450 Super Duty
2010 Ford Ranger
2010 GMC Canyon
2010 GMC Sierra/Sierra Denali
2010 GMC Sierra HD
2010 Honda Ridgeline
2010 Hummer H3/H3T
2010 Mahindra Pickup
2010 Nissan Frontier
2010 Nissan Titan
2010 Suzuki Equator
2010 Toyota Tacoma
2010 Toyota Tundra

Cadillac Escalade EXT

BASE PRICE: $62,900*

WHAT'S NEW: The Escalade EXT receives the same upgrades as the SUV siblings. Also on the list for 2010 are side thorax airbags on the front outboard seats, a battery-saver mode that shuts off power when the battery gets low due to extended accessory use, a revised parking brake release, and a new exterior color, Silver Lining.


AVOID: If you really need a pickup, buy one; otherwise you're better off with the SUV.

SUM UP: IF YOU MUST SPEND TOO MUCH ON A PICKUP.

RATING: **


Related Articles:
2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT Photo Gallery
2010 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV/EXT Tech Specs


2010 Cadillac Escalade/EXT
Base engine 6.2L/403-hp OHV V-8
Optional engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 6A
0-60 mph 7.2 sec*
Tow/payload 7500/1210 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12/18 mpg*
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 6
Estimated *

Chevrolet Avalanche


BASE PRICE RANGE: $36,500-$46,960*


WHAT'S NEW: A smaller lineup. Chevy's multitrick pony still comes in RWD and 4WD configurations with LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels, but the more powerful 6.0L engine is gone. Other changes include a single-speed transfer case as standard on AWD with a two-speed being optional and an expanded 1LT package offering, among other extras, dual-zone auto climate control.


DRIVER'S CHOICE: LTZ-trimmed AWD model to haul any load with style.


SUM UP: A NOT-AS-BIG GULP.


RATING: ***


Related Articles:
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche Tech Specs
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche Photo Gallery


2010 Chevrolet Avalanche
Base engine 5.3L/310-hp OHV V-8
Optional engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/AWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 mph 8.4-8.8 sec
Tow/payload 7900-8100/1320-1350 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14/20 mpg (RWD)
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Chevrolet Colorado


BASE PRICE RANGE: $17,500-$27,410*


WHAT'S NEW: The Silverado's oft-forgotten sibling rolls into 2010 with only a few, yet significant, changes. The top-end 5.3L V-8 now utilizes variable valve timing and all models receive head curtain side airbags as standard. Three new exterior metallic paints (Cardinal Red, Steel Green, and Sheer Silver) have been added as well.

BEST BUY: A 4WD regular cab with the 3.7L is a perfect workaday truck at a bargain price.


SUM UP: THE FORGOTTEN CHEVY TRUCK.


RATING: **


Related Articles:
2010 Chevrolet Colorado Photo Gallery
2010 Chevrolet Colorado Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab Tech Specs


2010 Chevrolet Colorado
Base engine 2.9L/185-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engines 3.7L/242-hp DOHC I-5; 5.3L/300-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5M/4A
0-60 mph 6.9-9.6 sec
Tow/payload 1900-6000/1168-1422 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-18/19-24 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Chevrolet Silverado

BASE PRICE RANGE: $20,400-$48,300*

WHAT'S NEW: The superlative engendering pickup receives several changes for 2010. The 6-sp tranny is standard on regular and extended cabs with the 5.3L, as is a 3.08 axle ratio. StabiliTrak and side curtain airbags are standard across the line, and the engine changes in other 2010 Chevys apply here as well. Last, the interior door trim is revised.

COOL FACT: The Silverado (and Sierra) 5.3L V-8 pickup achieved best-in-class fuel economy, based on the latest EPA estimates.

SUM UP: THE BENCHMARK PICKUP.

RATING: ****


Related Articles:
2010 Chevrolet Silverado Regular, Extended, & Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 Chevrolet Silverado Photo Gallery


2010 Chevrolet Silverado
Base engine 4.3L/195-hp OHV V-6
Optional engines 4.8L/302-hp OHV V-8; 5.3L/315-hp OHV V-8; 6.0L V-8 + elec motors/332-hp; 6.0L/367-hp OHV V-8; 6.2L 403-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/6A
0-60 mph 6.8-8.5 sec*
Tow/payload 5900-10,000/1418-1802 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-21/18-22 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Chevrolet Silverado HD


BASE PRICE RANGE: $27,700-$44,600*


WHAT'S NEW: Chevy's ultimate workhorse powers into 2010 with two adjustments to its lineup. 2500HD and 3500HD models receive USB connectivity in center console, enabling audiophiles playing through the system, and battery charging for some handheld devices. Two new exterior colors, Taupe Gray Metallic and Sheer Silver Metallic.

COOL FACT: The HD's tailgates are easily removed by simply opening to 45 deg. and pulling straight out and away from the vehicle.


SUM UP: TOUGH AS NAILS.


RATING: ****


Related Articles:
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD Photo Gallery
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab Tech Specs


2010 Chevrolet Silverado HD
Base engine 6.0L/322-360-hp OHV V-8
Optional engine 6.6L/365-hp t-diesel OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 mph 7.7-10.5 sec*
Tow/payload 11,600-13,000/2331-5309 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ Not rated
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: O; Stab: O; Airbags: 2
Estimated *

Dodge Dakota


BASE PRICE RANGE: $23,350-$32,500*


WHAT'S NEW: To improve ride and handling, Dodge gave the Dakota new Tokico front-shock modules and Arvin rear-spring assemblies. Also, the 6M trans has been dropped. Other than that, the changes affect only the eight-color palette: Bright White replaces Stone White, Flame Red and Mango Tango are new exterior hues, while Detonator Yellow and Sunburst Orange have been discontinued.

COOL FACT: Longest standard bed (6.5 ft) in its class.


SUM UP: COMPACT, WITH FULL-SIZE MUSCLE.


RATING: ***


2010 Dodge Dakota
Base engine 3.7L/210-hp SOHC V-6
Optional engine 4.7L/302-hp SOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/5A
0-60 mph 6.6-7.4 sec
Tow/payload 3200-7200/1180-1840 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-16/18-20 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: N/A; Trac: N/A; Airbags: 2
Estimated *

Dodge Ram 1500


BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,600-$45,200*


WHAT'S NEW: The new Ram's second year brings improvements in function: GCWR increases from 14,000 to 15,500 lb w/5.7L, 3.92:1 rearend, and 140.5-in. wheelbase; integrated trailer brake controller, folding trailer-tow mirrors, and power trailer-tow mirrors now available, and efficiency: Fuel shutoff during decel standard with all engines.

COOL FACT: Still the only new body-on-frame full-size pickup with a coil-sprung rear suspension.


SUM UP: rides well, works hard.


RATING: ****


2010 Dodge Ram 1500
Base engine 3.7L/215-hp SOHC V-6
Optional engines 4.7L/310-hp SOHC V-8; 5.7L/390-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/5A
0-60 mph 7.0-10.5 sec*
Tow/payload 3400-10,450/1340-1900 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-14/18-20 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Dodge Ram 2500/3500 HD


BASE PRICE RANGE: $30,500-$52,700*


WHAT'S NEW: The heavy-duty lineup is new, inside and out, for 2010. Both 2500 and 3500 use a hydroformed, fully boxed frame, with coils up front and leaf springs in the rear. Crew cabs are available for the first time, and Cummins-equipped Heavy-Duty Rams come with an exhaust brake, the only one in its class to offer it standard.


DRIVER'S CHOICE: Power Wagon, with locking front/rear diffs, electronic disconnecting anti-roll bar, 12,000-lb winch, 32-in. tires, 4.56 axles.


SUM UP: FOR THE MAN WHO HAULS EVERYTHING


RATING: (Not Rated)


Related Articles:
2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Regular Cab Tech Specs
2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Mega Cab Tech Specs


2010 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 HD
Base engine 5.7L/383-hp OHV V-8
Optional engine 6.7L/350-hp turbodiesel OHV I-6
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6M/5A/6A
0-60 mph 7.2-10.2 sec*
Tow/payload 8150-18,500/1810-5110 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ Not rated
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: O; Trac: O; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Ford Explorer Sport Trac


BASE PRICE RANGE: $28,625-$36,005


WHAT'S NEW: The sort-of pickup truck with the SUV cabin returns relatively unchanged, with a choice of V-6 or V-8 in one body style. Little improvements for 2010 include the availability of Sync communications and entertainment system. In addition, chrome roof rails and side steps are now standard on the Limited.

COOL FACT: While the rest of the truck is built in the USA, the V-6 is manufactured in Cologne, Germany.


SUM UP: DOES ANYONE STILL BUY THESE?


RATING: **1/2


Related Articles:
2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Tech Specs
2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Photo Gallery


2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Base engine 4.0L/210-hp SOHC V-6
Optional engine 4.6L/292-hp SOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD/AWD, 5A/6A
0-60 mph 8.0-8.8 sec
Tow/payload 5080-7160/1350-1390 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-15/19-21 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
Estimated *

Ford F-150


BASE PRICE RANGE: $22,355-$46,495


WHAT'S NEW: All-new for 2009, changes are minor for 2010. All RWD F-150s are now rated at 15 city/21 hwy fuel economy, which had been only the SFE's rating last year. Programmable MyKey ignition is now standard on every model above the XL. King Ranch and Platinum models now come with second-row heated seats, power sliding window with defroster.

COOL FACT: In the future, the fuel-efficient, 355-hp EcoBoost V-6 will be added to the F-150 lineup.


SUM UP: STILL AMERICA'S FAVORITE PICKUP.


RATING: ****1/2


Related Articles:
2010 Ford F-150 Photo Gallery
2010 Ford F150 Regular Cab, SuperCab, and CrewCab Tech Specs
2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Tech Specs
2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Photo Gallery


2010 Ford F-150
Base engine 4.6L/248-hp SOHC V-8
Optional engines 4.6L/292-hp SOHC V-8; 5.4L/310-hp SOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/6A
0-60 mph 7.6-10.5 sec*
Tow/payload 5100-11,300/1420-3030 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-15/18-21 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
Estimated *

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor


BASE PRICE RANGE: $38,995-$41,995


WHAT'S NEW: The Raptor is purpose-built for extreme high-speed sand runs, yet is designed to still be a capable daily driver. It comes with such features as an electronic rear locking differential, hill-descent control, tougher components, and an off-road mode with a third throttle map and shift schedule. A new 6.2L V-8 will debut after the Raptor's initial launch.

COOL FACT: Because the Raptor is 8 in. wider than a regular F-150, it needs the federally mandated marker lights normally seen on duallies.


SUM UP: the coolest f-150 ever built.


RATING: ****1/2


Related Articles:
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Tech Specs
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Photo Gallery


2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Base engine 5.4L/310-hp SOHC V-8
Optional engine 6.2L/400-hp SOHC V-8*
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 6A
0-60 mph 9.5-11.5 sec*
Tow/payload 6000-8000/1020-3000 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-14/14-18 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6*
Estimated *

Ford F-250/350/450 Super Duty (2011)


BASE PRICE RANGE: $26,500-$58,000*


WHAT'S NEW: Big changes for 2011: The new Super Duty gets a redesigned exterior and interior (2010 model shown), plus a Ford-built turbodiesel engine, a 6.7L common-rail V-8 that's quieter, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient, along with a choice of gas engines.

COOL FACT: Piezo injectors in the new 6.7L reduce engine clatter by nearly 50 percent.


SUM UP: HEAVY-DUTY FIGHT JUST GOT INTERESTING. (nOT RATED)


RATING: (Not Rated)


Related Articles:
2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty Tech Specs
2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty Photo Gallery


2011 Ford F-250/350/450 Super Duty
Base engine 5.4L/300-hp SOHC V-8*
Optional engines 6.8L/362-hp SOHC V-10; 6.7L/375-hp twin-t-diesel OHV V-8*
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6M/6A*
0-60 mph 8.5-10.0 sec*
Tow/payload 16,000-25,000/3000-6300 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ Not rated
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles*
Safety ABS: S; Stab: N/A; Trac: N/A; Airbags: 4*
Estimated *

Ford Ranger


BASE PRICE RANGE: $18,160-$26,290


WHAT'S NEW: Old, old, old Ranger soldiers on for another year, but rumors suggest a world-market replacement is around the corner. Nothing changes for now, so you can choose from regular cab or 2- or 4-door SuperCabs, and a 2.3L four or a 4.0L six. A 7-ft bed is available, a Class III trailer hitch is standard equipment.

COOL FACT: Some elements of the current Ranger haven't changed since 1983. No kidding.


SUM UP: WHAT METHUSELAH would DRIVE.


RATING: **1/2


Related Articles:
2010 Ford Ranger Regular Cab and SuperCab Tech Specs
2010 Ford Ranger Photo Gallery


2010 Ford Ranger
Base engine 2.3L/143-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engine 4.0L/207-hp SOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5M/5A
0-60 mph 7.6-9.7 sec*
Tow/payload 1580-6000/1260 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-21/18-26 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles*
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

GMC Canyon


BASE PRICE RANGE: $17,500-$30,800*


WHAT'S NEW: The ZQ8 Sport Suspension package is now available on 2WD extended- and crew-cab SLE-1 and SLT equipment groups; head curtain side airbags have become standard on all models; and last, GMC's understated pickup gets three new exterior metallic paint colors: Merlot Jewel, Gray Green, and Pure Silver.

BEST BUY: Still the fully loaded V-8-powered crew cab. You'd be hard pressed to find this much equipment for the relatively low price.


SUM UP: you still here?


RATING: **


Related Articles:
2010 GMC Canyon Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 GMC Canyon Photo Gallery


2010 GMC Canyon
Base engine 2.9L/185-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engines 3.7L/242-hp DOHC I-5; 5.3L/300-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5M/4A
0-60 mph 6.9-10.0 sec*
Tow/payload 1900-6000/1168-1422 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-18/19-24 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

GMC Sierra/Sierra Denali


BASE PRICE RANGE: $20,400-$45,100*


WHAT'S NEW: Most of the Sierra's engine lineup (the 4.3L is the exception) gains FlexFuel capability. Other notable changes include side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags as standard on all 1500 models, as is StabiliTrak. The 6A is added to regular- and extended-cab 5.3Ls and all 5.3Ls get the fuel-saver mode.

COOL FACT: The hybrid technology system enables the Sierra to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone.


SUM UP: proof professional-grade ads work.


RATING: ****



Related Articles:
2010 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular, Extended, & Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 GMC Sierra Denali Photo Gallery
2010 GMC Sierra Hybrid Tech Specs
2010 GMC Sierra Hybrid Photo Gallery


2010 GMC Sierra/Sierra Denali
Base engine 4.3L/195-hp OHV V-6
Optional engines .8L/302-hp OHV V-8; 5.3L/315-hp OHV V-8; 6.0L/367-hp OHV V-8; 6.0L OHV V-8 + elec motors/332-hp; 6.2L/403-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 4A/6A
0-60 mph 6.8-8.5 sec*
Tow/payload 5900-10,000/1418-1802 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-21/18-22 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 6
Estimated *

GMC Sierra HD


BASE PRICE RANGE: $27,600-$45,200*


WHAT'S NEW: GMC's heavy-duty champ lumbers into 2010 relatively unchanged. New features include OnStar 8.2 with long-range remote start and traffic probe and the now ubiquitous USB connectivity with uplevel radios. Two new exterior paint colors have also been added, Storm Gray Metallic and Sheer Silver Metallic.


DRIVER'S CHOICE: A 2500HD extended cab fitted with 6.6L V-8 and 4WD to haul both friends and most of the known world.


SUM UP: because you think chevys are for wimps.


RATING: ****


Related Articles:
2010 GMC Sierra 3500HD Regular Cab, Extended Cab, Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab Tech Specs
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD Photo Gallery


2010 GMC Sierra HD
Base engine 6.0L/322-360-hp OHV V-8
Optional engine 6.6L/365-hp t-diesel OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 mph 8.3-8.5 sec*
Tow/payload 12,100-13,000/2331-5309 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ Not rated
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: O; Stab: O; Airbags: 2
Estimated *

Honda Ridgeline


BASE PRICE RANGE: $29,160-$35,140


WHAT'S NEW: The Ridgeline was treated to 50 changes and additions for 2009, including more power, more torque within a broader torque band, and revised 5A gear ratios. Two tie-downs were added, and the Class III hitch and daytime running lights are standard. For 2010, there are three new colors: Alabaster Silver, Crystal Black, and Polished Metal.

COOL FACT: The Ridgeline is the only truck on the market that has a lockable trunk in the bed.


SUM UP: A PEOPLE-FRIENDLY MULTI-TOOL.


RATING: ****


2010 Honda Ridgeline
Base engine 3.5L/250-hp SOHC V-6
Optional engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 5A
0-60 mph 7.7 sec
Tow/payload 5000/1497-1546 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15/20 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 6

Hummer H3/H3T


BASE PRICE RANGE: $31,500-$44,000*


WHAT'S NEW: Sichuan Tengzhong and GM have agreed (pending finalization) to maintain H3 production at the latter's Shreveport, Louisiana, plant until 2012, enabling this all-American icon to stay that way for the time being. H3s are expected to receive little to no changes for the coming year.

COOL FACT: The H3T offers first-in-its-class front and rear locking differentials for true slow-go trail crawling.


SUM UP: CAPABILITY TO SPARE. but not much else.


RATING: ***


2010 Hummer H3/H3T
Base engine 3.7L/239-hp DOHC I-5
Optional engine 5.3L/300-hp OHV V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, 4WD, 5M/4A
0-60 mph 8.3-11.1 sec*
Tow/payload 4400-6000/1031-1312 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-14/16-18 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Mahindra Pickup


BASE PRICE RANGE: $21,000-$23,000*


WHAT'S NEW: Mahindra plans to start rolling out its compact pickup truck—name TBD—on a regional basis at the end of 2009, with national, low-volume sales beginning in the second half of 2010. The truck's engine is a 2.2L clean diesel, body style either a regular or crew cab with a short bed, and buyers can choose from two- or four-wheel drive.

COOL FACT: This will be the smallest pickup available with a diesel in the U.S. Next smallest: a 3/4-ton.


SUM UP: if wal-mart made trucks.


RATING: (Not Rated)


2010 Mahindra Pickup
Base engine 2.2L/140-hp diesel DOHC I-4*
Optional engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 6A
0-60 mph 9.5 sec*
Tow/payload 4000/2413-2765 lb*
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 25/40 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles*
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4*
Estimated *

Nissan Frontier


BASE PRICE RANGE: $18,340-$30,620


WHAT'S NEW: King Cab and Extended Cab body styles with RWD/AWD and I-4/V-6 drivetrain choices, the midsize Frontier receives a host of functional upgrades for 2010. All V-6 models add side/side-curtain airbags and VDC while SE/LE V-6s add Active Brake Limited Slip. Autoshifted SE/LE 4WD models get standard Hill Start Assist/Hill Descent Control.


DRIVER'S CHOICE: Off-road-raging PRO-4X model brings serious chassis/wheel/tire upgrades, skidplates, and an electronic locking rear diff.


SUM UP: Primo performer on any terrain.


RATING: ***


2010 Nissan Frontier
Base engine 2.5L/152-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engine 4.0L/261-hp DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/4WD, 5M/6M/5A
0-60 mph 7.3-8.5 sec*
Tow/payload 3500-6500/994-1484 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-19/19-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: O; Trac: O; Airbags: 2
Estimated *

Nissan Titan


BASE PRICE RANGE: $27,300-$40,750*


WHAT'S NEW: Nissan hopes to pump more appeal into super-size King Cab/Crew Cab Titan (XE/SE/PRO-4X/LE) for 2010, adding features and revising option packages. All models now come with VDC, Active Brake Limited Slip, side-curtain airbags while the SE offers new Utility, Premium Utility/Value Truck Packages, and Bluetooth connectivity with PRO-4X.

BEST BUY: Its also-ran status in a segment that continues to suffer means there are good deals to be had on all versions of the V-8-only Titan.


SUM UP: Too big to succeed?


RATING: ***


2010 Nissan Titan
Base engine 5.6L/317-hp DOHC V-8
Optional engine None
Drivetrain Front engine, FWD/4WD, 5A
0-60 mph 6.7-7.6 sec
Tow/payload 9200-9500/1650-2062 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 12-13/17-18 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 4
Estimated *

Suzuki Equator


BASE PRICE RANGE: $18,200-$31,500*


WHAT'S NEW: A new arrival in Suzuki's 2009 lineup, the compact Equator (base/Premium/Sport/RMZ-4) rolls into 2010 unchanged, save for a new nav option on the Crew Cab Sport. Based on Nissan's well-proven Frontier, the Suzuki incarnation brings unique styling tweaks and is available in Extended Cab (RWD) and Crew Cab (RWD/AWD), with I-4/V-6 power.

COOL FACT: The Crew Cab RMZ-4 gets Dana 44 axles, electric rear locking diff, Bilstein shocks, skidplates, and BFG Rugged Trail P265/75R16 tires.


SUM UP: Nice variation on a solid theme.


RATING: ***


2010 Suzuki Equator
Base engine 2.5L/152-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engine 4.0L/261-hp DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/AWD, 5M/5A
0-60 mph 7.5-10.2 sec
Tow/payload 3500-6500/883-1471 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-19/19-23 mpg
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: O; Trac: S; Airbags: 6
Estimated *

Toyota Tacoma


BASE PRICE RANGE: $15,970-$27,875


WHAT'S NEW: No changes—price included—for the 2010 version of Toyota's compact pickup. Variations run from standard/Access/Double Cabs and I-4/V-6 engines to short/long beds and RWD/dual-range 4WD configurations—all with the comprehensive STAR safety system. Also returning are the street-chic X-Runner and the off-road-look PreRunner.

COOL FACT: Tacoma buyers can choose to add either a TRD Sport or TRD Off-Road Package, with or without premium JBL audio systems.


SUM UP: Still MVP in the Compact Pickup League.


RATING: *****


2010 Toyota Tacoma
Base engine 2.7L/159-hp DOHC I-4
Optional engine 4.0L/236-hp DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD,5M/6M/4A/5A
0-60 mph 7.8-11.0 sec*
Tow/payload 3500-6500/910-1570 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 14-20/19-26 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 2
Estimated *

Toyota Tundra


BASE PRICE RANGE: $23,955-$42,955


WHAT'S NEW: Beyond minor trim tweaks, Toyota's full-size Tundra (base/SR5/Limited) gets a host of meaningful functional upgrades starting with a new, more potent/efficient 310-hp/4.6-liter iForce V-8 and driver/passenger knee airbags. Its even wider-ranging 2010 mix also includes enhanced audio system options and Work Truck and Platinum Packages.

COOL FACT: Although corralling 34 extra horses, the Tundra's new 4.6L iForce V-8 is smaller and almost 100 lb lighter than the outgoing 4.7L.


SUM UP: Does big well, just not best.


RATING: ****


2010 Toyota Tundra
Base engine 4.0L/236-hp DOHC V-6
Optional engines 4.6L/310-hp DOHC V-8; 5.7L/381-hp DOHC V-8
Drivetrain Front engine, RWD/4WD, 5A/6A
0-60 mph 6.0-9.0 sec*
Tow/payload 5000-10,800/1350-1990 lb
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 13-15/16-19 mpg*
Basic warranty 3 yrs/36,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Stab: S; Trac: S; Airbags: 8
Estimated *