The 4x4 truck is a staple of the American motoring world. From lifted behemoths to small and cheap dailies, there is a 4x4 pickup truck for every need. These vehicles come in different shapes and sizes, so one must consider how much power is needed, how much it has to be able to tow, and what kind of mpg it will get. While the majority of 4WD trucks will never see a dirt trail, it is still important to consider the capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of any chosen model, in case the need arises. So in order for you to be a happy camper, we’re going to delve into the world of 4x4 pickup trucks and help you choose.
What to Consider Before Buying 4x4 Pickup Trucks
With so many options to choose from, new buyers should look at all their options and carefully weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each vehicle. Thankfully we’ve started that process for you.
Most 4x4 trucks have some degree of off-road ability
Many are practical daily drivers
Extra peace of mind when traveling on hazardous surfaces
Fuel economy is seldom good
Shorter maintenance schedules
Unrefined driving experience when compared to a regular sedan
Best 4x4 Trucks
On our roster of top trucks, the following are worth a mention:
Ram 1500 - This heavy-duty machine gets a new Generation 3 EcoDiesel V6 producing 260 hp and 480 lb-ft. It can pull a maximum of 12,750 pounds when fitted with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. It is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and starts from around $32k.
Ford F-150 Raptor - The Raptor is a well-known performance machine that thrills drivers and passengers alike. It makes use of a highly capable 4x4 system and a turbocharged V6 powerplant that churns out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. The maximum towing capacity is 8,000 lbs in CrewCab guise.
Jeep Gladiator - This is a hardcore machine. It features a solid frame, 4WD, and is among the top-rated 4x4 models of 2020. Powering this beast is a 3.6-liter V6 with 285 hp. It can tow more than the Toyota Tacoma at 7,650 lbs and is perfect for mudding about. Pictures don’t do it justice; it looks great in real life, too.
Chevrolet Colorado - This Chevy is a workhorse of note, and gets its power from a wide range of engines. The 2.8-liter turbodiesel allows it to pull a solid 7,700 pounds.
GMC Canyon - The 2019 Canyon is a good used deal and can be had with a huge array of accessories if you can find one for sale. Its 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engine is also among the most reliable in the class.
Heavy-Duty 4-wheel-drive Trucks
While the catalog consists of many light- and medium-duty alternatives, there are a few super and heavy-duty variants that come with the all-purpose drivetrain too. Some of the best 4x4 trucks in this regard are:
GMC Sierra 3500HD
Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
Ford F-350 and F-450 Super Duty
Why should I go 4x4?
If you’re after the freedom of the great outdoors and appreciate time spent in nature, then you should consider it for its traction, weight, and rough-terrain benefits.
What are the service costs like?
Service costs are generally higher on 4x4 vehicles due to the complexity of the drivetrain. Service intervals are also shorter.
Which is better for trailering, 4x2 or 4x4?
4x2-configured vehicles generally have a higher towing capacity, in part due to not being quite as heavy. However, the bonus of having improved road-holding and stability from a 4x4 drivetrain means that, especially in adverse weather conditions, this may be a better choice.