2011 Ford F-150
2011 Ford F-150

Best full-size pickup truck

Reviewers say the 2011 Ford F-150 is the best full-size pickup truck for a variety of reasons, including solid towing ability, good crash-test scores, a high-quality interior, a pleasant ride and a slew of new engine options. In recent years, the Ford F-150's universal demerit centered on its older engine designs. Ford remedies that in 2011 with a 3.7-liter base V6, a 5-liter V8, a 6.2-liter V8 and a twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that delivers V8-style grunt with better efficiency. Reviewers praise the latter for its excellent performance and torque delivery, making it perfect for truck duties. The F-150 also has myriad features and engine/cab configurations, making it easy to customize for nearly any application. The 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor (Base MSRP: $42,060 to $44,945), a high-performance, hard-core off-road version of the F-150, has garnered high praise from all critics. Experts note that if you don't plan on heavy hauling or towing, a midsize or compact pickup may better suit your needs.
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Base MSRP: $22,790 to $51,525 Estimated Price
2011 Honda Ridgeline
2011 Honda Ridgeline

Best midsize pickup truck

The 2011 Honda Ridgeline has an uncanny ability to blend car-like ride comfort with light-duty truck capabilities and nifty features. It's only available in a single-cab configuration with a 5-foot bed, but it's also practical. Unique features like an in-bed lockable trunk and a tailgate that can either drop down or swing outward give the Ridgeline added utility. A V6 engine and all-wheel drive are standard, and reviewers give the Ridgeline high marks for passenger comfort and interior quality. Crash-test results are also good for the light-duty Honda pickup. Drivers looking to drive off-road or tow heavier loads, however, are advised to consider the full-size 2011 Ford F-150 (Base MSRP: $22,790 to $51,525) or the compact 2011 Toyota Tacoma (Base MSRP: $16,365 to $27,525), as they can be configured for more specialized uses.
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Base MSRP: $29,150 to $34,730 Estimated Price
2011 Toyota Tacoma
2011 Toyota Tacoma

Best compact pickup truck

The 2011 Toyota Tacoma is the best compact pickup truck, according to experts. With little competition, the Tacoma stands out for its comfort, quality, standard equipment, variety of configurations, reliability and safety. The base 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine gets 22 mpg combined but lacks power for serious towing or hauling. An optional 4-liter V6 adds muscle, but some reviewers note it's loud. An off-road package is also offered. The Nissan Frontier (Base MSRP: $18,200 to $32,080) is praised by reviewers as a capable runner-up. The midsize 2011 Honda Ridgeline is a great light-duty alternative, and the full-sized 2011 Ford F-150 offers even more hauling and towing capabilities.
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Base MSRP: $16,365 to $27,525 Estimated Price
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