Best Bets for Pickup Trucks

The pool of Best Bets includes all the models that meet our set of minimum standards. To understand how we choose our selections, and how they fit with the Lifestyle New-Car Buying Guide, read the Best Bet methodology. Best Bets for 2008 Pickup Trucks
Here, staff reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder picks his favorite pickup trucks, which are ordered alphabetically.
$17,520 - $33,520
At the start of the model year, a rash of below-average reliability in the pickup market has left the F-150 as the only full-size model with Best Bet status across all cab styles and drivetrains. The best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades running, the F-150's reliability has been good, as has its frontal crash-test rating. (Like most pickups, the F-150 hasn't been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for side impacts.)
$16,250 - $28,050
Above-average reliability continues to make the Frontier a wise choice. The crew cab's backseat isn't as large as some, but the truck is otherwise up to date in the most important ways. Manual and automatic transmissions are offered for both the four- and six-cylinder engines. Opt for the side-impact airbags and electronic stability system.
$14,280 - $26,115
Though the Tacoma's ride quality and noise levels don't compare to those of the new Tundra full-size pickup, its reliability is above-average and its overall performance is solid. Choices are many in terms of body styles, cargo boxes, engines and transmissions — including manual gearboxes. We recommend the optional side-impact airbags and electronic stability system.
$22,290 - $39,010
Mechanical and other problems have spelled poor reliability in 4x4 versions of Toyota's full-size truck, but we're recommending the rear-wheel-drive model, which has been above average. At publication, the Tundra was the sole pickup tested for side impact by IIHS, and it scored Good in those tests. Its side-impact airbags and electronic stability system are welcome standard features, as are its roomy cabin and stout V-8 engine option.
Posted on 3/5/08