Which light duty pickup truck is the best all-around family hauler for extreme weather?
We recently received this very tough question from Chett, who lives in Montana.
“I live in Montana where the weather and road conditions are harsh in winter and summer. I need a truck that handles well in all conditions, is comfortable to drive. It’s nothing to drive 3 hours for kid’s sporting events – and is safe.“
This is a tough question because the newest 2020 half-ton pickup trucks are so close in specifications, comfort, power, capability, and fuel economy.
Montana is a big state and you need to drive long distances, so fuel economy will be important. I am thinking you need a diesel truck for this. Ford, GM, and Ram are now offering new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engines. They are all very efficient and powerful, but the new 3.0-liter straight-six Duramax in the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 trucks impressed us the most.
You are asking about cold weather and harsh conditions. The new GM 1500 diesel trucks have an integrated plug for the engine block heater. The latest engine coolant management technology allows for quicker engine warm-up then before.
If you want comfort for you and your family on a longer trip, then a crew cab is a must. I would suggest getting a truck with an off-road package, perhaps a Ram Rebel with air-suspension or a GM Sierra 1500 AT4 (which also comes with that 3.0-liter diesel). An off-road package has a specially tuned and slightly softer suspension for comfortable on-road cruising.
The 4×4 will take you through the snow in the summer and the dirt in the summer.
What do you guys think? Which truck would you recommend to Chett? Let us know in the comments section below.
Currently, the Ram 1500 has a small edge on full-size truck safety. Check out this video comparison.
Here is a good-old truck drag race – just for fun.