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Best Full Sized Trucks 2016: Ford F-150 is Still at the Top

Offering comfort, sophistication and the ability to tow or haul heavy loads, the versatility of a truck is hard to beat. Compact trucks are a perennial favorite, but many people prefer the roominess and strength of full-sized trucks. If you’ve read our reviews of top-rated compact trucks but are looking for even more power and performance, check out the following specs of the top 5 full-sized trucks of 2016 and 2017.

2016 Ford F-150

Widely considered the top dog when it comes to performance and value, the 2016 Ford F-150 starts out at $26,540, one of the lowest base prices among full-sized trucks. On the other end of the price spectrum, a fully loaded F-150 Limited trim carries a $70,000 price tag. All trims have roomy, comfortable seats as well as an updated Sync 3 in-cabin infotainment system.

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The base F-150 gets about 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway and is equipped with a capable 282-horsepower, V6 engine. A responsive six-speed automatic transmission comes standard, and the Ford F-150 boasts agile steering and crash-test scores that put it at the head of the class.

Where the 2016 F-150 truly shines is in its ability to work hard. Thanks in part to the weight-saving aluminum construction of its body panels, the F-150’s payload capacity blows away the competition, maxing out at 3,270 pounds, and it can tow up to 12,200 pounds without bogging down. F-150 drivers should be aware, however, that repairing an aluminum body can be costly.

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Featuring a quiet cabin with plenty of luxury amenities, the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has earned accolades for its superior handling, navigating easily even in tight spaces. The Silverado 1500 was redesigned in 2014, and Chevy decided not to mess with a good thing, making few changes to its 2016 model.

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The rear-wheel drive base Silverado 1500 seats three comfortably and has an MSRP of $27,195. A user-friendly infotainment system comes standard, which includes a bright, 4.2-inch display, USB port and four-speaker audio system. The 4WD and a dual cab are offered in the Silverado’s high-end trims, and its available 6.2-liter V8 engine tows up to 12,000 pounds when paired with the optional Max Trailering Package.

Passengers and drivers alike appreciate the 2016 Silverado’s modern safety features, such as daytime running lights, plenty of air bags, a blind spot monitor and integrated turn signal mirrors. Its base 4.3-liter V6 engine puts out 305 pound-feet of torque and has a maximum towing capacity of 7,600 pounds, which is somewhat low among full-size trucks. The Silverado makes up for its less-than-stellar hauling capability by getting an estimated 18 miles per gallon in the city.

2016 Dodge Ram 1500

With 11 distinct trims to choose from, the 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 gives truck drivers the opportunity to fine-tune their needs for the ultimate in value and longevity. Dodge Ram 1500 trims start at about $26,000 for the base Tradesman, which has plenty of attractive features, including a six-speaker audio system, sleek vinyl upholstery that’s easy to clean, and a V6 engine that puts out 420 pounds-per-foot of torque.

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by RL GNZLZ on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Unlike most trucks in its class, the 2016 Ram 1500 can be outfitted with an economical turbo-diesel engine. There are three available bed lengths to accommodate a variety of hauling needs, ranging from 5-feet-7-inches to 8 feet. No matter the load size, the Ram 1500’s rear coil springs and soft suspension tuning provide a smooth ride. Its interior is refined, quiet, and well-designed, with a user-friendly Uconnect 5.0 infotainment system.

Those who plan to load up their Dodge Ram on a consistent basis should opt for the V8 engine, which is capable of towing a maximum of 10,800 pounds. The downside of the V8, however, is its poor fuel efficiency, getting between 14 miles per gallon in the city and upwards of 20 on the highway.

2016 GMC Sierra 1500

A full-size pickup with a high-quality, comfortable interior and great connectivity options, the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 short box regular cab carries a base price of around $27,815, which is average for its class. With expansive seating and a user-friendly infotainment system at every level, the Sierra 1500 is available in three different trim levels above its base: The SLE, SLT and the Sierra Denali.

Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

The 2016 Sierra’s base 4.3-liter V6 engine can easily tow light loads, and its two V8 options provide extra power when it’s needed the most. While the standard six-speed automatic transmission is suitable for most applications, higher trims that are equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 can be upgraded to an eight-speed transmission.

For such an impressive ride, the Sierra’s fuel economy is good as the truck gets an estimated 18 miles per gallon in town and 24 mpg highway. Precise steering and a high-tech infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration round out the impressive features of the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500. Drivers have found little to complain about regarding the Sierra’s appearance, handling, and performance, reporting only that the truck’s rear-view camera display is somewhat grainy.

2017 Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

At $34,780, the 2017 Nissan Titan XD carries a higher base price than the majority of vehicles in its class, but it beats out the competition’s base trims in both engine size and versatility. Available only as a crew cab, the 2017 Titan is equipped with a standard V8, 390-horsepower engine and a multi-tasking bed with a fold-down bumper step, cargo lights and optional storage boxes.

Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

Photo by Bull-Doser on Wikimedia Commons / CC0 1.0.

The Titan’s impressive handling makes drivers feel as though they’re in a much smaller vehicle, and it provides an exceptionally smooth ride even over rough terrain or when the bed is loaded to max capacity. As for its towing capability of 9,390 pounds, the Titan comes in near the bottom of its vehicle class.

Modern conveniences abound in the 2017 Titan, including an in-bed power outlet and a luxurious, quiet cab, which is designed for tech-savvy users. No other full-sized truck comes with standard 4G Wi-Fi and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and audiophiles will appreciate the Titan’s high-end Rockford Fosgate audio system.

Final Thoughts

At work and at play, full-sized trucks are sleek and fun to drive, and the top models of 2016 – 2017 are rugged and versatile, packed with upscale features and considerable trim options. The best full sized trucks offer everything you can wish for. For those who take long road trips often, no other truck rivals the technology and storage capacity of the 2017 Nissan Titan XD. When an exceptional towing capacity isn’t optional, look to the Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado, both of which offer decent fuel economy as well. Whether on the freeway or a rough dirt road, the top-rated full-sized trucks for 2016 provide a smooth drive and great handling and comfort.

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