Ram 1500 is Consumer Reports’ Favorite Big Pickup Truck

Consumer Reports has a new favorite full-size pickup truck – the Ram 1500.

The consumer research organization just released its 2022 annual car brand and top picks report. The 2022 Ram 1500 was the only full-size pickup truck that earned Consumer Reports recommended ranking.

The organization praised the Ram for its comfortable ride and its smooth running 5.7 liter V8 gasoline engine. It liked how the truck handled, its road feel and the quiet cabin. The Ram was the only full-size pickup that had at least average reliability.

Consumer Reports didn’t recommend any full-size pickup truck last year. In previous years it has liked the Toyota Tundra. But it didn’t recommend the Tundra last year because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the truck a marginal in its driver-side small overlap crash test and poor in the passenger-side test. That sunk the overall score below Consumer Reports’ cutoff for recommending a vehicle.

Toyota will have another shot next year. But after 14 years, Toyota launched a complete redesign of the Tundra. It fell off the organization’s list because Consumer Reports hasn’t had a chance to purchase and test the truck. There also aren’t crash tests on it yet.

Testing Trucks

Consumer Reports conducts more than 50 tests per vehicle it evaluates at its 327-acre test track in Connecticut. It looks at braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety, and fuel economy. The organization also buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers for any of its ratings or evaluations.

The hybrid version of Ford’s new F-150 came close but missed a recommendation because of reliability issues. It was followed by the Nissan Titan, which got dinged for reliability and owner satisfaction.

General Motors’ offerings, including the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, got the lowest scores. Consumer Reports said they had the worst reliability and generally had poor handling.

Consumer Reports Midsize Pickup Truck Ratings

There’s a better selection of midsized pickup truck offerings.

The Honda Ridgeline was one of Consumer Report’s top 10 picks for the year.

“The Ridgeline is engineered with a unibody design making it more like a modern crossover SUV than a traditional body-on-frame pickup. The design brings rarified refinement to a pickup body style, with ride, handling, and interior comfort more akin to the Honda Pilot than a tradesman’s hulking truck.” Consumer Reports said.

“It uses a smooth 280-horsepower V6 engine and a polished nine-speed automatic transmission. Its tailgate can fold down or swing to the side, allowing easy access to a large, lockable storage box under the cargo bed. This pickup is well suited for the commuter, family chauffeur, and weekend warrior, as well as the driver who is all those things,” the organization wrote.

The Ford Ranger received a “recommended” nod. Consumer Reports liked the powertrain and reliability but said the ride was “stiff and choppy.”

The new Nissan Frontier was the next best but missed out on a recommendation because of reliability and seat comfort issues. The Toyota Tacoma posted average reliability but lost out because it was below average in multiple categories including, cabin noise, seat comfort, handling and fit and finish.

Again, the GM trucks, including the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Sierra, received poor marks for reliability, owner satisfaction and other issues. The Jeep Gladiator finished last, also because of reliability. Jeep was the lowest-rated brand of all nameplates regardless of the model, according to Consumer Reports.

Top Brands

Looking at brands overall, Consumer Reports ranked six Japanese brands among the top 10. Subaru climbed two positions to reclaim the number one spot on this year’s list. Mazda is in second place, followed by BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti.

Buick and Chrysler were the only domestic brands to score better than average. BMW, Audi and Porsche scored in the top 10.

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