Best Trucks of 2018 that We Real-World Tested (TFLtruck)

What are the best trucks we drove in 2018? TFLtruck drove every new truck, truck trim level, and power train combination that became available during 2018. Here is what our team has to say about the current state of the truck market.

Here is a pick from Roman Mica, TFL network’s founder and publisher.

The 2019 Ford Raptor is the best truck I’ve driven this year. The formula for the Raptor is so impressively easy to copy and yet no competitor has yet managed it. That’s because the new Raptor takes the utility of a Ford work truck and wraps it in the go fast anywhere drivability of a Baja race truck while still being street legal. It can haul hay and it can haul ass! That’s not as easy as it sounds. And with the new active FOX Shocks, Ford has taken an already great truck and made it that much more capable and fun to drive. Simply put if you want the ultimate truck for both work and play, there’s no other pickup on the market that competes with the 2019 Ford Raptor.

Roman Mica

Let’s see what, TFLtruck editor Stephen Elmer has to say.

Although our first drive of the 2019 Ram 1500 happened in early 2018, it still stands out to me as the best truck I’ve driven this year. I think this has to be the most impactful pickup truck of the year. In every single form I’ve driven the 2019 Ram, whether it be the Rebel, Limited, Sport or otherwise, this truck set a new benchmark in the half-ton segment for interior design, not to mention some very clever engineering: the splayed frame in the front to quietly improve safety. Followed later in 2018 by the launch of the new GM twins, the Ram still stands out as the clear winner in the luxury half-ton game, and these days, selling a quality luxury pickup is quite important. The Ram is stuck in my brain as the best truck I drove in 2018, and I can’t wait for next year to get behind the wheel of plenty more new pickups.

Stephen Elmer

TFLtruck’s senior editor, Nathan Adlen, has this to say.

What’s the best of 2018? It’s simply the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4. It’s rare to find a vehicle that truly combines off-road capability, real luxury, and on-road comfort. Add to that a cornucopia of electronic doodads and an outstanding power plant – you have a real winner.

Nathan Adlen

Let’s see what Mr. Truck himself thinks.

It has to be the 2019 Ram 1500 Longhorn. The new Ram 1500 trucks have greatly improved over previous years with longer cab, and on this premium Longhorn package – a 12-inch center stack touch screen plus reclining rear seat on crew cabs. Improved crash safety on all 2019 Ram 1500’s with front tire collision stops and updated frame.  Trailer blind spot that measures the length of your trailer is one of my favorite features.

Kent “Mr.Truck” Sundling

Tommy Mica, TFL editor, weighs in with this…

It’s the 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Yes, it predates the iPhone and has seen three presidents in its lifetime, but the current generation Tundra is just as sturdy, capable and handsome as ever. Powered by a 5.7 liter V8 that pays homage to the Exxon Valdez you get the impression piloting the tundra it will outlast the earth’s mantle rolling beneath its tires. Updated this year the TRD Pro Tundra offers exceptional off-road capability, trick Fox shocks and LED head and fog lights that offer  just enough to make the truck competitive from a features standpoint. But it’s the incredible sound through the TRD exhaust, the intuitive interior, and sorted ride that make the 2019 Tundra so compelling. Add to this a surprisingly obtainable sticker price and roll down rear window and the Tundra seems a bargain compared to many of its competition. While not as capable on paper as competition from Ford, GM and Ram stepping behind the wheel, firing up the old-school V8 and pointing its double hood-scoops towards the horizon is about as satisfying as it comes.

Tommy Mica

Thoughts from the Managing Editor.

It’s great when there is no shortage of new trucks to think about, test, and consider to be the best. I have to agree with Stephen and Mr. Truck that the new 2019 Ram 1500 trucks are the most significant.

However, the best truck I drove this year is the 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison. Yes, I know it does not offer a great amount of total payload and towing capacity, but it combines several important qualities all into one truck.

There is a choice between gas or diesel engines, between extended and crew cabs, but it also represents a unique collaboration between a major manufacturer (General Motors) and an aftermarket company (American Expedition Vehicles). This is currently the only new factory truck that offers a turbo-diesel, front/rear locking differentials, and so much body and undercarriage protection to ensure that you can go to a remote place and also get back in one piece.

By the way, the Bison is also a great and comfortable truck on pavement, as it still uses the DSSV Multimatic spool-valve position sensitive shocks.

It’s not perfect, as it can use more payload capability, more ground clearance and bigger tires. Still, the ZR2 Bison offers a comfy ride, great driving range, and enough hardened steel skid plates and steel bumpers to keep bouncing off giant rocks and keep going.

Andre Smirnov