Consumer Reports names top pickup trucks

There is a lot of competition within the auto industry. With countless brands fighting for supremacy across a wide range of segments, choosing the top vehicles in any given situation can be difficult. That didn't stop Consumer Reports from releasing ratings that selected the best pickup truck on the market. 

A surprise winner
After all of the scores were in, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 emerged as Consumer Reports' big winner. With a final total of 81 points out of 100, the truck earned a rating of "excellent,"  narrowly edging out its closest competitor. 

The Silverado staked its claim for the title by standing out in categories like towing and cargo capacity. In the testing, the truck managed to pull up to a trailer weighing in at 11,200 pounds. It also has a tailgate that is easily lowered and raised, as well as corner bumper steps that make it easy to climb in and out of the truck bed, no matter how high a Chevy lift kit has made the vehicle. Improved handling and solid fuel economy also contributed to the pickup's win. 

Not everything was top-notch with the Silverado. The truck got lower marks for the downshift, which could feel underpowered. Shifting up, however, can be done smoothly and quickly, allowing drivers to make the most of their time on the road. 

The runner up
Just behind the Silverado 1500 was the Ram 1500, which came in at 78 points out of 100. The close scores indicate how similar these two vehicles are and emphasize that both are strong options any prospective pickup owner should consider. 

Despite all of the benefits of the Chevrolet Silverado, the publication noted that the Ram 1500 may be the better option for everyday drivers. Judges believed the Ram vehicle had a more comfortable interior, an intuitive control layout and smoother driving than its competitors, which created a nice environment for owners who do a lot of traditional driving. It was also very close behind the Chevrolet vehicle when it comes to mileage. 

The Ram 1500 was praised for its power. With an eight-speed transmission, quick acceleration and powerful four-wheel drive, the truck was capable of accomplishing great things both on- and off-highway. 

"The reality is you can't go wrong with either one," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. "Both are capable trucks that get decent gas mileage and are as quiet inside as a good luxury car." 

Both of the trucks outpaced models like the Ford F-150 XLT, which has two separate editions placing third and fourth on the list. 

Can they go off-roading? 
All of the top trucks are well suited to become an off-road vehicle. The impressive towing and cargo limits makes all of the automobiles solid choices for drivers who will be lugging tools, camping equipment and other gear into the wilderness.

Consumer Reports even conducted an off-road driving test to see just how these vehicles performed. The Silverado's lower ground clearance and wheel spin inhibited its performance on a rock-crawling course, but it was still able to complete the route. The Ram 1500 did not have those same problems when it came to off-road driving, and was instead praised for its consistent delivery. 

Ram has a strong history of producing reliable vehicles, which makes it an attractive option for drivers who want to know what they're getting in a truck. Until the Silverado builds up its repertoire and demonstrates that it is a dependable vehicle, the publication gives Ram the edge.