Best pick-up trucks 2024
Dependable, practical and capable, these are the best pick-up trucks to buy right now
They’re still rugged and utilitarian workhorses at heart, but the best pick-up trucks on today’s market are far more refined than their Spartan ancestors. With vastly improved ride quality, plush interiors, top-notch technology and even a few hints of luxury, many modern pick-ups are now genuinely considered suitable for use as a day-to-day car.
Manufacturers have pulled off an impressive feat to make their trucks much more appealing to everyday buyers, but only a small number of UK customers have actually been persuaded. While there was once a huge variety of pick-ups on the market, a number of brands have since axed their offerings due to poor sales.
The likes of the Mercedes X-Class, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi L200 have come and gone, and while the US has seen the arrival of hybrid and electric pick-up trucks from the likes of GMC, Rivian and Tesla, there still isn’t as much variety in the UK.
There’s no cause for alarm, though, as there are still some fantastic pick-up trucks to be found on our side of the pond, and our experts have tested them all. We’ve rounded up this list of the best pick-up trucks you can buy new in 2024 to help you find the perfect purchase.
The best pick-up trucks in the UK
Our road testers have rounded up the very best pick-up trucks you can buy right now, read on to find them listed in reverse order below.
6. KGM Musso
The name rings a bell and the truck looks familiar, but don’t worry your mind isn’t playing tricks on you. KGM is the new name for SsangYong. Although the badge is still the same and everything else is unchanged for now, the KGM Musso has taken over where the SsangYong Musso left off.
Power is still provided by a 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 200bhp and 441Nm of torque. This is mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, and both come with selectable four-wheel drive, which means the Musso can handle itself rather well if you spend a lot of time off the tarmac. The KGM’s rugged nature does come at a cost when it comes to economy, though, with an official figure of just 34mpg on the WLTP combined cycle.
The standard Musso's cargo bed is 1.3m long and 1.57m wide, so it isn't quite as large as those of some rivals. Opt for the range-topping Saracen+ version, though, and this increases the length to 1.57m. Whichever version you choose, all Mussos have a payload limit of over one-tonne, which qualifies them for Light Commercial Vehicle Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rates.
There are four versions of the Musso to choose from: EX, Rebel, Saracen and Saracen+. All variants are well equipped with a range of kit taken straight from the Rexton SUV. We'd go for the Rebel at least, as it comes with luxuriues such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated and cooled seats and a heated leather steering wheel.
5. Maxus T90 EV
While brands such as Ford, Rivian, GMC and others have introduced all-electric pick-ups in North America, the first zero-emissions truck to arrive in the UK was the Maxus T90 EV.
Rather than using a bespoke EV platform, the Maxus has its battery-electric running gear fitted to the chassis of an existing combustion-engined model. As a result, it’s a more traditional looking pick-up than the Rivian R1T or even Ford F-150 Lightning, but isn’t as capable off-road as contemporary diesel pick-ups. Some of that is because it’s rear-wheel drive and the rear-mounted 201bhp electric motor that sits between the back wheels hangs lower than the differential, reducing ground clearance and departure angles.
While a starting cash price of nearly £50,000 — excluding VAT — is certainly a tall order, there are now some incredibly tempting leasing deals that have brought the all-electric Maxus well into the reach of many more private and business buyers. It should also be cheaper to run than similarly-sized diesel pick-ups.
The 88.6kWh battery is substantial, and Maxus claims it’s good for a range of 220 miles on a full charge. The T90 EV also qualifies for the LCV rates of taxation, and has a braked towing capacity of 1,000kg, although diesel rivals can tow far more.
4. Isuzu D-Max
The Isuzu D-Max offers low running costs, a five-year warranty and a 3.5-tonne towing capacity, while the broad range of models means there's a variant to suit all sorts of jobs. Regardless of your chosen variant, all D-Max models use the same 1.9-litre twin-turbo diesel engine which develops 360Nm of torque and is capable of returning up to 34mpg.
The double cab gets a load bay of 1,485mm by 1,530mm, but the payload capacity varies based on the model you choose — with the maximum being 1,161kg. The maximum towing weight is 3,500kg.
The top-spec V-Cross comes with plush car kit such as dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather seats with electric adjustment, courtesy light delay, parking sensors, a reversing camera and lots of safety kit. If you have an expedition coming up, the Arctic Trucks AT35 is also based on this spec but with a dramatic external makeover including 35-inch off-road tyres, massively flared wheelarches and an even taller ride height.
3. Toyota Hilux
The Toyota Hilux is an icon of the pick-up world, having made its global debut in 1968. Owners in some of the most inhospitable places on earth swear by the Hilux’s durability, and a certain British television show demonstrated the Japanese truck’s indestructible nature in speculator fashion. So if there’s one pick-up that deserves to have a model named ‘Invincible’, it’s the Hilux.
The latest Hilux is bigger in every dimension than before, benefiting that all-important load bay, which is a full 130mm wider than the last Hilux’s. Power comes from either a 2.4-litre or 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel, with the latter offering a healthy torque figure of 420Nm when fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. This is boosted even further up to 500Nm if you choose the six-speed automatic. All versions can tow up to 3,500kg.
Inside, the Hilux is a huge improvement over the previous model. Gone are the flimsy plastics and dated switchgear, replaced by a dashboard which looks and feels like it’s from one of Toyota’s passenger cars. However, the latest Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok have moved things on even further now.
There are plenty of hard plastics to remind you that you’re in a pick-up, but it’s now on par with the impressive but now-discontinued Nissan Navara for fit and finish. The Invincible model has a decent kit tally, too, with an eight-inch infotainment display with DAB and Bluetooth, cruise control, climate control and keyless start, while the Invincible X gets even more kit and a unique looking front end, too.
The Hilux is surprisingly good to drive, although the big diesels aren’t as smooth as the Ford’s or Volkswagen’s. There’s lots of tyre squeal, too, but the ride is comfortable, the steering is accurate and body control isn’t too bad considering the elevated stance. As with any pick-up, if the load bay is empty, the ride can be a little bouncy and there's flex detectable in the chassis.
2. Volkswagen Amarok
The Ranger’s more upmarket sister truck misses out on the top spot here due to its narrower line-up and higher prices, while the highest-spec versions can’t carry a one-tonne payload. However, there’s no denying that the latest Volkswagen Amarok is a classy, desirable yet still very practical pick-up truck.
Developed in conjunction with the Ford Ranger, the latest Amarok looks and feels a bit touch above both inside and out. The cabin features plenty of leather and metallic trim, while the portrait-orientated 12-inch touchscreen runs VW’s own software and graphics. There’s no shortage of kit on board, with most models getting wireless smartphone charging and connectivity, a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, matrix LED headlights and even ambient lighting.
Passenger space is an improvement over the previous-generation Amarok, too, with decent room in the back, although the load bed is the same size as its predecessor. It measures an almost-square 1.62 metres long by 1.58 metres wide, with a width of 1.22 metres between the wheelarches.
As with the Ranger, you can get the Amarok with four-cylinder or V6 diesel engines, and all but the base model are equipped with the Ford-sourced 10-speed automatic gearbox. With the V6 under the bonnet, the Amarok feels almost as refined and cultured as a large SUV to drive, while the lofty driving position offers a good view of the road ahead.
1. Ford Ranger
Previous versions of the Ranger were solely focused on practicality and usability, but the latest version has embraced the chiselled, square-jawed styling of Ford’s iconic F-Series pick-ups from the USA. The Ranger’s cabin has also taken some big steps forward in terms of comfort, quality, space and most noticeably, technology.
Now more than ever, the Ranger has a sense of style to go with its workhorse image, and the Double Cab version is a great choice for business users who want a capable workhorse that can also serve as a versatile family car when they’re off the clock.
It still feels built to last, though, and it has excellent off-road ability, can tow up to 3,500kg and most versions satisfy the one-tonne payload LCV tax requirement – the only exception being the fire-breathing Ranger Raptor.
Once again there are single or double-cab bodystyles on offer, plus a wide range of trim levels for the four-door model, from the hard-working XL models to the luxurious Platinum spec. The mid-range Wildtrak trim is our pick of the range, because it comes with everything you might need or want, including a whopping 12-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, a raft of driver safety aids and Soft Ride suspension for greater comfort.
Most versions are powered by Ford’s faithful 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-cylinder, but select models are available with a smooth 3.0-litre V6 diesel – our preferred motor thanks to its extra muscle and refinement. Lower-spec models get the four-pot paired with a six-speed manual, while the rest of the range features a 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers simply seamless gear changes.
Best pick-ups 2024
Pick-ups coming soon
While the majority of new pick-up trucks coming soon will only go on sale officially in North America, that doesn’t mean those of us on this side of the pond aren’t going to be treated to a new model now and again.
Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster
Ineos made quite the splash in the off-road SUV market when it launched its Grenadier SUV and now the brand has unveiled a pick-up truck version called the Grenadier Quartermaster. The Grenadier’s ladder-frame chassis has been extended by 305mm for the Qaurtermaster, allowing it to accommodate a large, open load bed which is big enough to take a standard Europallet with room to spare. It's powered by a pair of BMW-sourced 3.0-litre straight-six engines – one petrol, one diesel – but the Quartermaster's maximum payload of 760kg means that it doesn't qualify for the commercial vehicle tax breaks afforded to rival double cab pick-ups with capacities over one tonne. The Quartermaster also has a starting price of over £66,000, so it's best viewed as an alternative bodystyle for Grenadier buyers who want the extra versatility of the open load bed, not a commercial workhorse.
Scottish off-road vehicle manufacturer Munro revealed a utilitarian pick-up version of its all-electric off-roader in May 2023. The blocky Munro MK1 has been designed to mix off-road ability and practicality for customers operating in ‘ultra-challenging environments’. Power comes from an 85kWh battery, with the most powerful M280 version sending 376bhp and 700Nm of torque to all four wheels for a 0-62mph time of 6.0 seconds. The pick-up is set to arrive in 2025, and it boasts 480mm of ground clearance, plus impressive departure and approach angles of 84 and 51 degrees, respectively.
Toyota Hilux Hydrogen
Toyota has announced it’s working on a hydrogen-powered version of its second-generation Hilux right here in the UK at its plant in Burnaston, Derbyshire. It features running gear from the second-generation Mirai saloon, which is one of the very few mainstream FCEVs you can buy in the UK. The Mirai has an official range over 400 miles, however the less aerodynamic Hilux is unlikely to offer quite such an impressive figure.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz pick-up
The Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo won our Best Electric Van award at our 2023 New Car Awards, but it might not be the only commercial application for the retro-inspired EV. A patent image that surfaced online suggests VW is considering a pick-up truck version of the ID. Buzz. The image shows a double cab-style ID. Buzz with a pick-up bed and a drop-down tailgate, although the firm has yet to confirm whether a truck will be joining the rapidly expanding ID. Buzz range. At least one company in Germany has also developed an aftermarket pick-up conversion of the ID. Buzz, too.
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