Grand Theft Auto V broke all video game sales records when it made more than $1 billion during the first three days it was on sale. It’s the latest sequel in the GTA video game franchise that’s notoriously more often associated with the “grand theft” aspects rather than the game’s “auto” elements, which deserve more attention. It takes place in a “sandbox” environment that allows you to roam around freely and do whatever you want, legal or illegal, in a world populated with more than 250 vehicles your characters can drive.

Driving in GTA V isn’t nearly as realistic as in simulation games such as Gran Turismo or Need for Speed. The vehicles merely are based on actual vehicles and are unique to the GTA universe. But the lack of authenticity is part of the fun, and it allows you to drive almost anywhere on the large, realistic terrain inside the game. This edition of GTA is set in the fictional town of Los Santos, a parody of Los Angeles, and Blaine County, a vast rural area that includes mountains, deserts, and all sorts of other off-road environments found in Southern California. According to the game’s statistics, we spent 39 hours and 22 minutes driving every truck in the game both on- and off-road -- OK, it was mostly off-road, because it’s such a blast. Here is a list of our five favorite trucks in GTA V, along with a photo gallery of all of the different trucks you can drive in the game.


5: Karin Rebel

If you ever wanted to drive the Toyota pickup that (spoiler alert!) Marty McFly gets at the end of “Back to the Future,” the Karin Rebel can help you live out that fantasy. Like that truck, this pickup has a rollbar with spot lamps and a suspension lift, along with dual solid axles with coilover shocks up front and leaf springs in the rear. The large off-road tires found on the Rebel may be the truck’s best feature, since they provide some of the best ground clearance of all the trucks in the game. The mini-truck has V-8 badging, but does not have the abundance of power found on the full-size models. It is also four-wheel drive, but in GTA V, 4x4 trucks operate like they are full-time all-wheel drive. The short front overhang and narrow track combined with the wide tires make the Rebel fun to drive in most off-road situations and keep it from getting damaged as quickly as the stock trucks in the game. The Karin Rebel can be acquired all around the rural Blaine County sections of the map, and comes with either a squeaky-clean look like McFly’s truck, or the distressed appearance of a truck with 200,000-plus miles on the odometer. That’s just cosmetics, though, and both versions work the same and have the same level of durability.

Manufacturer: Karin
Model: Rebel
Vehicle Type: Extended Cab Pickup
Drive Type: 4x4
Main Influence: Toyota Pickup Xtracab


4: Vapid Sandking

The Vapid Sandking allows you to have the fun of jumping a lifted $60,000 truck without risking the contents of your real-life wallet. The Sandking is a highly modified version of the two-wheel-drive Vapid Sadler pickup also found in the game, and it resembles the second generation of the Ford Super Duty. There are two different versions of the truck available in GTA V: the extended cab Sandking SWB (short wheelbase), and the crew cab Sandking XL. Both are equipped with tires that appear to be about 40 inches tall over dual solid axles, and have the biggest suspension lift of any truck in the game. These features combined with a powerful diesel (-sounding) engine make the Sandking trucks the best for launching off of everything from sand dunes to mountaintops. The trucks are also great for climbing and living out monster truck fantasies in full parking lots thanks to the long wheelbases, the ground clearance, and powerful drivetrain. One downside to the ride height is that Sandking trucks are more likely to tip over than others, but luckily, unlike previous editions of GTA, vehicles don’t catch fire after immediately after tipping over and can be easily righted in most situations where you go “wheels up.” In addition to relieving other drivers from their Sandking, you can find a crew cab XL alongside personal watercraft and ATVs next to the pier at Vespucci Beach, the caricature of Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

Manufacturer: Vapid
Models: Sandking SWB and Sandking XL
Vehicle Type: 3/4-ton Pickup
Drive Type: 4x4
Main Influence: Ford Super Duty


3: Canis Mesa

It’s hard to imagine a truck shootout that wouldn’t include the Jeep Wrangler in the top of the rankings, so it’s no surprise that the Canis Mesa, which looks a lot like the JK Unlimited, makes this list. Just like its real-world counterpart, the Mesa is very capable off-road even though it isn’t as powerful as the full-size trucks. It has good ground clearance, a low center of gravity, and a short wheelbase that allows the Mesa to fit in places where the larger trucks have trouble, plus it’s very hard to tip over. When you do get the Mesa upside down, it appears to have a live rear axle, but the front looks more like a solid beam without much of a pumpkin in the middle – not that the suspension appearance affects the abilities of the trucks in any way. In fact, when ordering suspension upgrades through the Los Santos Customs performance shops, all trucks actually ride lower, but will perform better both on and off-road. Since it’s relatively lightweight, like the Rebel, the Mesa jumps well, but it’s easier to land thanks to its boxy footprint. The Mesa is widely available all over the GTA V map and can be found with either an open roof or a hardtop. There is a more durable military version called the Canis Crusader that can be stolen from Fort Zancudo or purchased from the military surplus store once one of your characters racks up $225,000 in spending money.

Model: Mesa
Manufacturer: Canis
Vehicle Type: 4-Door SUV
Drive Type: 4x4
Main Influence: Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited


2: Canis Bodhi

GTA character Trevor Phillips may be a psychopath, but he has great taste in trucks. The vehicle assigned to him is the Canis Bodhi, which is like a low-slung Kaiser M715 with some Land Rover styling and plenty of power. You can find one of your own in Blaine County, or you will get a chance to drive it once the Trevor character is introduced into the storyline. The Bodhi is one of the fastest and best-handling trucks in GTA V, so even without any modifications, it’s great to drive both on- and off-road. It also comes standard with a heavy-duty front bumper that takes a lot of abuse and can be fitted with a rollbar with spot lamps and bullhorns, if that’s your style. While the tires are not that big and the suspension is not lifted, these features give the Bodhi a very low center of gravity, which helps keep the tires planted while climbing and makes landing jumps very easy. The pickup also turns on a dime compared to the other full-size trucks, and that’s very handy when you take a bad line up the side of a mountain and have to quickly find another route before losing momentum. The powerful engine in the Bodhi also makes it one of the best climbers in the game, and gives it the ability to be hooned on city streets and in the dirt.

Model: Bodhi
Manufacturer: Canis
Vehicle Type: Regular Cab Pickup
Drive Type: 4x4
Main Influence: Kaiser M715


1: Bravado Duneloader

The Duneloader by Bravado has all of the best features of the other trucks in this list with its great speed, acceleration, ground clearance, and handling. On top of that, you get to drive a truck that looks just like a classic Dodge Power Wagon! The Duneloader has powerful engine that allows it to accelerate like the Bodhi, but with better ground clearance, a shorter wheelbase, and a narrower track. The Duneloader also comes with large knobby tires that appear to be about 37 inches tall. It has a mild suspension lift that provides good rebounding on jumps but keeps the center of gravity fairly low, which allows for lots of single wheel-lifting fun that doesn’t put the truck on its roof. The Duneloader has a short front overhang with a skidplate that covers the entire area from the standard heavy-duty front bumper to the front differential. The power, clearance, and handling combine to make this truck our favorite in GTA V. The Duneloader has the power for big jumps, and is great at crawling on and around obstacles, which makes it the most fun to drive all over the wide variety or terrains available in the game. Found mostly in the rural areas of Blaine County, the Duneloader comes with either an empty pickup bed, or one full of items such as an oil drum, scrap wood, and old tires.

Model: Duneloader
Manufacturer: Bravado
Vehicle Type: Regular Cab Pickup
Drive Type: 4x4
Main Influence: Dodge Power Wagon