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Consumer Reports: Finding the best truck for your buck


OKLAHOMA CITY – Pickup trucks are one of the hottest selling vehicles in the United States, with nearly 2 million bought every year.

The Ford F150 leads the pack in sales but the new Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 are closing in on the competition.

While cars are more economical, trucks allow drivers to haul items and are now designed to be more comfortable for everyday driving.

Full-sized pickups have plenty of room and capability but they are going to cost you around $42,000.

Tom Mutchler, with Consumer Reports, said, “Not only can you use them for heavy work or towing but now they’re also civilized enough to serve as family transportation.”

Ford F150 is the top seller and the ladder for climbing into the bed is a clever feature.

However, it doesn’t earn top scores in Consumer Reports tests because handling isn’t agile and the ride isn’t refined.

Mutchler said, “In our tests, both the Chevy and the Ram outscored the Ford F150 by a considerable margin.”

Redesigned for 2014, the Chevy Silverado handles well  and it gets 16 miles per gallon, the best fuel economy of any full-sized V8 pickup.

He said, “It also has very competitive payload and tow ratings and it has a low step-in height that makes it easy to get in and out.”

The Ram 1500 trails the competition in sales.

It was updated for 2013, plus a unique rear coil spring suspension gives it the best ride of any full-sized truck.

Testers had a hard time choosing their favorite.

Mutchler said, “The Silverado’s the better truck. It has higher payload and tow ratings. It also is more fuel-efficient but for everyday commuting, if you’re not using all that truck capability, the Ram is more luxurious and more pleasant.”

The sticker price of these trucks is expensive, it’s a very competitive market and it is worth trying to bargain.

Consumer Reports says you’ll likely be able to save thousands of dollars.