The Best Half-Ton Truck of 2018
GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Beats Out Ford F-150 Lariat to Win 2018 Crown
Nov. 12, 2018 [CHICAGO] – Cars.com put together a lineup of five pickup trucks to the test in its 2018 Best Half-Ton Truck Challenge to determine the overall best option for buyers. Contenders included the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500, redesigned 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and redesigned 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, the 2019 Nissan Titan and the best-selling truck in the class, the 2018 Ford F-150. Three of the contenders were brand-new designs unleashed upon the red-hot, full-size pickup class in hopes of dethroning America’s perennial darling, the Ford F-150. The GMC Sierra 1500 took the honors by bringing some new technology to the party with a slick new tailgate and carbon-fiber bed.
“The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500’s combination of impressive performance results along with a spacious, well-equipped cabin; a monster of a powertrain; and some fetching new looks put it on top for this Challenge,” said Jenni Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief. “It performed better than its luxury-trimmed Chevrolet sibling. The GMC also had some useful tailgate tech, and it’s even less expensive than the Silverado in our test.”
To evaluate the latest and greatest half-ton trucks, three judges from the editorial team at Cars.com and sister website PickupTrucks.com awarded points in 16 empirical categories, of which 11 were measured through testing. These included tests of acceleration, braking, cabin noise levels and fuel economy while towing. The trucks were even thrown onto a dynamometer in Nashville, Tenn., to measure exactly how much horsepower and torque each one put out. Combined with subjective tests that had the judges rate areas like interior, quality, value, cabin storage, visibility and driving dynamics, a score was given to each truck. Empirical scores could stack up to a total of 1,600 points, while the subjective scores added a possible 600 more for a total possible perfect score of 2,200 points.
The verdicts and points awarded to each vehicle resulted in the following ranking:
- #1 – 2019 GMC Sierra 1500, 2,018 points – The verdict: GMC’s redesigned Sierra 1500 is the quickest, strongest truck in this test, made better by the inclusion of some novel new technology.
- #2 – 2018 Ford F-150, 2,005 points – The verdict: No longer the new kid on the block, the Ford F-150’s lightweight construction and strong motor helped it turn in a solid showing against the newcomers, proving just how right Ford got this truck for its 2015 redesign.
- #3 – 2019 Ram 1500, 1,976 points – The verdict: With an interior that shames Cadillac and Lincoln, this may be the best American luxury vehicle you can buy, period – but all that swag prevents the Ram 1500 from being the best pickup it can be, leaving it struggling to catch up to more powerful competitors.
- #4 – 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 1,952 points – The verdict: A welcome refinement and improvement over the old Silverado 1500, with dramatically better ergonomics and road manners, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is let down by a luxury trim interior that’s uncompetitive.
- #5 – 2019 Nissan Titan, 1,887 points – The verdict: Every successive Titan gets a little bit better, but it’s still outclassed, outgunned and out-teched by the domestic competitors. Hampered by an older transmission and off-road gearing, it scored tops only in the empty-bed 60-to-zero-mph braking test.
“If you’re looking for a luxury vehicle, the Ram 1500 can’t be beat, and if you want a Tonka truck, the Nissan Titan Pro-4X is a hoot,” added Newman. “The Ford F-150 is a solid choice for someone who wants all-around performance. But if you’re looking for a workhorse that combines style, ability, new technology and value, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 is our new champ.”