7 Best Pickup Trucks UK 2020

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Pickup trucks have always been an American invention, ever since Henry Ford invented the Model T Runabout in the 1920s.

Today, the USA still owns this market, pumping out these heavy-lifters through well-respected brands such as Ram, Chevrolet, GMC and many more. However, they’ve recently started to appear in greater numbers here on home soil – no doubt because of the increase in demand for practical 4×4 motors capable of lugging two or more tonnes on the back. That, and the fact that pickups come with lesser tax rates when driven as company cars, since they’re classed as LCVs (Light Commercial Vehicles).

That’s all well and good, but which of Britain’s pickups get the job done the best? We’ve put a list together of the 10 best pickup trucks in the UK in 2020.

Check out each model for information on specs, price and a mini review from our experts.

7. Isuzu D Max

Best pickup trucks - Isuzu D Max
  • Price: from £17,414 or from £224pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: hill start assist, hill descent control, 18″ alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)

What’s it like?

For a ‘budget’ pickup truck the Isuzu D Max is pretty well-equipped and represents a good entry point for those of you just dipping your toe in the market.

Just like every other pickup in this list, the D Max does the basics right. It comes with all the stability control systems and terrain-tackling tech you’d expect from a 4×4 off-roader. However, it also functions as a daily driver too, thanks to its efficient yet powerful 1.9-litre diesel. You can expect to get close to the quoted 40.4mpg fuel economy figures, while there’s plenty of punch from the 160bhp unit.

To top it all off, the D Max pays homage to its Japanese manufacturing roots by providing a class-leading warranty. Namely, cover for five years/125,000 miles (whichever comes first), plus five years of roadside assistance in the UK and Europe.

If you want more bang for your buck, you can look to the higher-spec ‘all-purpose’ and ‘adventure’ ranges. Choose the mid-range Yukon spec and you get added comfort/convenience features such as trailer sway control, a proper 7″ touchscreen infotainment display and a brake assistance system.

6. Mercedes-Benz X-Class

Best pickup trucks - Merc X-Class
  • Price: from £29,365 or from £332.99pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: rear bumper with integrated step, front bumper with under guard, anchoring rail system on both sides of the load area, rain-sensing wipers, reversing camera, 4x tie down loops, electronic stability programme, active brake assist, hill start assist, downhill speed regulation

What’s it like?

Mercedes‘ time has come to properly stamp its own unique mark on the mass-market pickup range.

Previous attempts from the premium German manufacturer to create a pickup resulted in the G63 AMG 6×6. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the ‘G’ stood for Goliath, especially when you consider its £370,000 asking price and military-esque body.

Thankfully, the X-Class starts at a more respectable £29,365 in its most basic form. Basic isn’t how we’d describe it though, as it’s very much a Merc inside and out, with the signature turbine air vents and plush metallic trims across the dash and door sills.

There are three trim levels to choose from: Progressive, Element and Power. The last one is aptly named, given that it comes as standard with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that generates a 254bhp. It sends this huge motor from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds, which is some feat when you consider that it weighs more than two tonnes.

Performance aside, you’ll want to go for the mid-range Element model or above if you’ve got your heart set on leather seats. As standard it comes with Artico leather and microfiber upholstery, as opposed to standard fabric seating.

In short, the X-Class looks the part and has the prestige of the three-legged star attached to the grille. Nevertheless, the Nissan Navara that it’s based on can be had in its premium Double Cab Tekna guise for the same price, with plenty more equipment thrown in.

5. Nissan Navara

Best pickup trucks - Nissan Navara
  • Price: from £22,350 or from £259pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: hill descent control, hill start assist, trailer sway assist, electronic limited slip differential, automatic headlights with ‘follow me home function’, stop/start technology, vehicle dynamic control, front and rear mudguards

What’s it like?

The Nissan Navara is a classy outfit in the pickup truck market, with an impressive range of specifications to suit a layman or a redneck trucker.

Double Cab models are the most popular in the lineup, of which three variations stand out: the N-Connecta, Tekna and N-Guard. As well as the standard features mentioned above, additional equipment includes larger 18″ alloy wheels, premium cloth seats, a chrome rear step bumper and automatic air conditioning with dual-zone climate control.

You’ll also find a more powerful version of the standard 2.3-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine, which can churn out 187bhp instead of 161bhp in the more basic models.

If you want more variety of choice for your pickup, the Navara should definitely be up there on your wish list. You can decide whether you would like to have an open or closed rear load space, the former of which acts more of a standard trailer.

4. Mitsubishi L200

Best pickup trucks - Mitsubishi L200
  • Price: from £21,420 or from £235pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: active stability and traction control, trailer stability assist, Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body safety system locking rear differential, auto stop and go, easy select four-wheel drive, ant-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution

What’s it like?

The Mitsubishi L200 is an iconic pickup truck – one of the ‘OGs’ in this class since the ’90s.

Those of you into your pickup trivia will know the L200 as the ‘Forte’, or ‘Triton’.

Today, the range of Mitsubishi L200s is very much about giving you an extensive option when it comes to body styles. Want to prioritise passenger space? A roomier ‘double cab’ version of the L200 prioritises the people-carrying capabilities of the car. On the other hand, the ‘Club Cab’ version has fold-down rear seats instead of full-size spaces, which places more emphasis on the luggage capacity of the vehicle.

Engine options in the L200 are made easy thanks to the fact there’s only one to choose from. It’s a 2.3-litre diesel with manual and automatic gearboxes available, with a sufficient 148bhp output under the hood.

Most importantly, the L200’s sophisticated four-wheel drive system and better ground clearance than most rivals means hopping over rocky terrain is a doddle.

3. Volkswagen Amarok

Best pickup trucks - VW Amarok
  • Price: from £28,699 or from £285pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,000kg
  • Standard features: uprated suspension, start/stop system with regenerative braking, electronic stability control, cruise control system, rear tinted glass, headlight range control, halogen twin headlights, additional exterior noise suppression

What’s it like?

The Volkswagen Amarok is considered one of the front runners in the UK’s pool of pickups.

After a recent facelift in 2017, the old engines (which were lacking considerably in terms of having any form of engaging drive) were replaced by a duo of 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 units – one in a 201bhp guise and a more powerful 221bhp one. Overall, there’s much better torque across the engine range, unlike in the old 2.0-litre engine. Now it’s up there with the largest 3.2-litre engine found in the celebrated Ford Ranger.

There isn’t much to separate the Amarok’s driving comfort and ease from the Golf, albeit the former doesn’t quite share the latter’s agile handling. Yet the handling of the car is reassuringly predictable, with little in the way of body lean for driver or passengers when you come across a winding road.

Interior build quality is as you’d expect from a VW production too – well-built, easy on the eye and with nothing too fancy getting in the way of functionality.

2. Toyota Hilux

hilux
  • Price: from £20,179 or from £247pcm leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: 4×4 all-terrain tyres, inner and outer load hooks, cooler in upper glovebox, front and rear mudguards, off-road turn assist, rear differential lock, traction control, vehicle stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist control, pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, brake assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control, auto headlights

What’s it like?

Not many standard cars in this price range come with the range of technology systems that the Hilux has, let alone other pickup trucks. So, as an all-round vehicle Toyota has the beating of the Amarok and Ranger when it comes to getting a bargain.

The long-established Hilux is also no stranger to knowing what it takes to be a successful pickup. Since it was first produced in 1968, it’s been a champion of creating optimum interior space for driver and passenger alike. Last year it was recognised for this, winning the ‘Best Pickup’ at the Business Van Awards.

Powered by a 148bhp 2.4-litre diesel engine, the Hilux is one of the most efficient units in a packhorse motor such as this. The frugal motor promises a return of 38.7mpg, making it a popular commercial vehicle choice for businesses.

Double Cab bodies are the best option if you want a car that can switch between being a family vehicle and an adventure off-roader. Look to mid-range Icon models if you want additional styling perks like proper alloy wheels, plus comfort/convenience add-ons such as a reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and Toyota’s latest Touch 2 multimedia infotainment system.

1. Ford Ranger

Ranger Raptor
  • Price: from £22,361 or from £248 leasing
  • Towing capacity: 3,500kg
  • Standard features: DIN compliant tie-down points, rear mudflaps, rear bumper underrun, tie down rail with rope hooks, loadbox inside tie down hooks, Ford Easy Fuel, stop/start system, cruise control, intelligent speed assistance, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping aid, dual power heated door mirrors

What’s it like?

Behold our pick of the bunch – the Ford Ranger.

It’s become somewhat of a token symbol of how we’ve adopted the pickup truck this side of the Atlantic. The stats don’t hide this fact either – the Ranger is now the best-selling pickup in the UK.

So, what makes it so special? Well, for starters it has a close connection with the best-selling car in the world – the Ford F-150. Both are priced well, pip any SUV when it comes to having a formidable road presence and perform on any terrain.

What’s attractive about the Ranger is its engine range. There are four engines to choose from, three of which are different power variations of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit (128bhp, 168bhp and 210bhp). Last but not least is one of the biggest engines available in a pickup truck – a 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel engine labelled ‘Duratorq 200’, which comes with a capable 198bhp.

Our pick of the bunch is the 210bhp 2.0-litre because it has the best all-round performance at low revs and does well at motorway speeds. The Duratorq has less power and is thirstier, so we’d steer clear of that one.

Range-topping Raptor models are the best option if you want one of the comfiest ride experiences in this class. It’s on a par with the Amarok’s interior experience, which also uses a better suspension setup and premium shock absorbers that make it less bobbly even on small bumps and on difficult terrain.

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