Buying Tips

Which Full-Sized Truck is For You? (2018 Truck Comparison Guide)

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Our 2018 truck comparison guide will take you through the ins and outs of the best pickups on the market. In minutes, you’ll be able to make an informed purchase the next time you buy a truck. If you’re overwhelmed by the variety available, don’t worry. By the end of this article, you’ll be confident about which trucks makes the most sense for you.

We’re going to go through the following 2018 trucks, which are all available on GoAuto.ca:

  • Ford F-150
  • Ram 1500
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Nissan Titan
  • Honda Ridgeline

If you think you already know your favorite truck, you might find yourself surprised…


2018 Ford F-150

2018 truck comparison


The Ford F-150 is Ford’s poster child and has reigned supreme as the top-selling full-sized truck in Canada for over five decades. It was recently named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2018. It continues to sit at near or at the top of its class in nearly every category.

Simply put, the praise loaded onto the Ford F-150 is not misplaced, and the 2018 model carries on its legacy of excellence and dependability.

With five different trims to choose from, as well as three cab and bed styles and numerous other appearance packages, the 2018 F-150 can be tailored to match any personality or job description. This year’s model revamped its already impressive engine choices, and incorporated a suite of advanced active safety and driver assist features. Meaning, the 2018 F-150 succeeds again at making this truck the most well-rounded and best performing on the market. If there was a template that other truck manufacturers could use for all future truck models, it’s the F-150.

What’s New in 2018?

New this year are some much appreciated tweaks to the exterior: a new grille design, new bumpers, improved exterior lighting, a better tailgate, and new wheels. The interior has also been revised, with several models receiving new colours, materials, and extra options. Consumers will have the freedom to outfit their truck from a respectable basic interior found on the XL trim, to a model with all the decadence and comfort of a luxury sedan.

The F-150 now offers adaptive cruise control with stop/start technology, which can bring the truck to a complete stop in heavy traffic. Among other additions is a forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, and an infotainment system that now features 4G LTE wi-fi connectivity and a high-end Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Ford also revitalized its powertrain, adding an all-new 3.3-litre V-6, a second generation 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6, and a revised 5.0-liter V-8 with increased horsepower and torque. Coming soon to the lineup is the F-150’s very first diesel engine option, which will likely send this pickup to the top of the segment in terms of fuel economy.

Performance & Fuel Economy

No 2018 truck comparison is complete without a special focus on performance and fuel economy. The 2018 F-150 has an impressive selection of engine options that give it best-in-class towing and payload. But what’s more noteworthy is that it can generate that amount of power without sacrificing its pleasantly smooth ride, crisp handling, and agility. Specifically, the engines available are:

  • 3.0-litre Ti-VCT V-6
  • 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6
  • 5.0-litre Ti-VCT V-8
  • 5.0-litre EcoBoost V-6
  • High-Output 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6

The most powerful is the High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost V-6, producing a class-leading towing capacity of 13,200 lbs. It also generates 450 HP and 510 lb-ft of torque. The rest of the engines pay big dividends in power as well. Check out our in-depth review to learn more about them.

In terms of fuel economy, the 2018 F-150 can deliver 11.9 L/100 km in the city, and 9.0 L/100 km on the highway for a combined 10.6 L/100 km at its best (with the 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6). This doesn’t place the F-150 at the head of the pack, but the soon-to-come diesel engine has the potential to change that.

Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the F-150 as one of the safest full-sized pickups on the market with its 2017 Top Safety Pick rating. The Honda Ridgeline, with a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ rating, is the only truck to beat it. Moreover, the 2018 F-150 is available with tons of active safety and driver assist features, including:

  • Backup cameras and rear parking sensors
  • Blind-sport monitoring
  • Active Park Assist
  • Trailer-Backup Assist
  • A pre-collision system that includes pedestrian detection

Additional Highlights

The 2018 F-150 can be had with two interactive screens (an 8-inch touchscreen and a 4.5-inch screen at the centre of the dash), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and an exceptional B&O sound system that places subwoofers in the backseats. You can even add such features as heated and cooling seats, a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and all of the space required to fit a family of Zdeno Charas.

Reasons to Buy

  • Best in-class payload and towing, nearly the best fuel efficiency
  • Start/stop feature
  • Hitch assist, back up camera, lane departure warning, radar camera to monitor traffic surrounding even brings to a complete stop (pre-collision assistant with pedestrian detection)
  • Easy-to-use touchscreen with navigation, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Comfortable cabin – leg space, storage
  • Premium sound system by B&O

Pricing Range

For a more in-depth analysis of the 2018 Ford F-150, check out our expert review by clicking here.


2018 Ram 1500

2018 truck comparison


Whether you need a sturdy workhorse for the job site, or whether you just need something large enough to fit weekend gear, the 2018 Ram 1500 can be outfitted for any occasion. It’ll get the grunt work done handily, fit the family comfortably for long road trips, and do it all in style for a reasonable price.

With a trio of formidable engine options, a striking interior with limo-like space, and a famously smooth ride, the 2018 Ram 1500 is one of our favourite full-sized pickups on the market. Consider the awards the Ram 1500’s already won:

  • AJAC’s best pickup truck in Canada for 2018
  • 3-time winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge (in 2014, 2016, and 2017)
  • Luxury pickup truck of Texas as voted on by the Texas Auto Writers Association (for 2017)

What’s New in 2018?

For the 2018 model, Ram has made some additions to both its standard and optional features. These include Roadside Assistance, a Fleet Telematics Module for vehicle tracking, a remote exterior switch in the cargo box that activates LED bed lights, and a backup camera that’s standard to all trims. What’s more, the optional 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system (slightly larger than the F-150’s) is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Moreover, Ram has also revised and spruced up some of its trims’ offerings. The Sport model has adopted a body-colour grille and the off-road friendly Rebel trim is now available with a leather interior. The new top-tier Limited Tungsten Edition also features a leather interior, as well as a distinctive exterior characterized by a sport hood and chrome grille with the Ram name stamped onto it.

Performance & Fuel Economy

The 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t offer as many engine options as some of its rivals, but that’s only because the ones that they do offer can go toe to toe with the best of them. Engine options are:

  • 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6
  • 3.6-litre V-6
  • 5.7-litre Hemi V-8

The 5.7 litre Hemi V-8 (named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines, as are the two other options), delivers 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, giving it tons of towing capacity at 10,600 lbs.

The other two engines are worth bragging about, too. The 3.6-litre V-6, Canada’s best-selling engine, is standard to all trims and delivers 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque.

The 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6 is where you’ll turn for fuel economy savings, though. The only diesel engine found in a truck (for now), it’s a towing machine that generates 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. What truly makes it standout, however, are its fuel economy ratings: 13.5 L/100km in (city) and 10.9 L/100km (hwy) with all-wheel drive, and 13.5 L/100km (city) and 9.7 L/100km (hwy) with rear-wheel drive.

Safety

Having received a four-star rating out of a possible five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2018 Ram 1500 ranks lower than most other full-sized pickups for crash-test ratings. It also doesn’t include the same amount of active safety and driver assist functions as most of the competition. Nevertheless, it is still a very safe truck. If you favour vehicles with all the latest tech, consider its rivals like the 2018 Ford F-150 or the 2018 Honda Ridgeline instead.

Safety for the 2018 Ram 1500 begins with an advanced braking system engineered with electronic stability control. It also has hill start assist, antilock brakes, and trailer sway control. These functions will activate when needed to help you keep control of the vehicle should it sway on the road.

Additional Highlights

The 2018 Ram 1500 maintains Ram’s reputation as a provider of smooth, comfortable rides with its unique multilink coil-spring rear suspension and available self-levelling air suspension system. The result of these technologies is a comfort level that resembles a car.

Parking has never been easier, either, with built-in Parking Assist technology. This will alert you when obstacles get in your path. On top of that, the available Trailer Brake Control will help stabilize your vehicle and keep it properly aligned by modulating your trailer brakes in relation to your Ram. Lastly, an Active-Level Four Corner Suspension system works to keep a steady level to your pickup by raising and lowering your vehicle according to payload weight. The result: towing, hauling, and off-roading has never been easier.

Reasons to Buy

  • Tows over 10,600 lbs
  • Fuel efficiency as low as 9.7 L/100 km
  • Sophisticated design
  • A more comfortable ride than its competitors
  • A great selection of powerful engines
  • Spacious, quiet, and luxurious interior
  • Updated infotainment system

Pricing range

Need more? For a complete, in-depth review of the 2018 Ram 1500, click here.


2018 Toyota Tundra

2018 truck comparison


Not to be outdone by the domestic makes (Ford/Ram), the 2018 Toyota Tundra has built a solid reputation for itself with its V-8 engines, off-road dexterity, and straightforward attitude that puts performance before everything else. You’ll enjoy a robust powertrain and an updated assortment of active safety and driver assist features. They complement this pickup’s smooth ride and spacious interior perfectly.

What’s New in 2018?

The 2018 Tundra has seen its exterior styling slightly refreshed. Every Tundra now comes with updated exterior lighting, with some models coming with LED lights. These pair well with the front-end changes. But where it jumps out in our 2018 truck comparison is its new driver assist package: Toyota Safety Sense.

This package consists of state-of-the-art technologies like forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Performance & Fuel Economy

While it may not boast the class-leading towing and payload numbers of its Ram and Ford competitors, the 2018 Tundra is not lacking for power. Indeed, with a maximum tow rating of 10,500 lbs, it generates more power than you’ll likely every need (it’s just a hair less than the Ram 1500).

Drivers have the option to choose from two V-8 engines: a 4.6 Litre 8‑cylinder, that produces 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque; and a 5.7 Litre 8‑Cylinder, that produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and most models come standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available as well. Both are exceptionally strong, but you’ll enjoy the speedy acceleration of the 5.7-litre engine.

The Tundra’s fuel economy ratings could be better, and they likely will be in future models. But as it stands now, the 2018 Tundra, at its best, can get 16.8 L/100km in the city, 13.1 L/100km on the highway, and a combined 14.7 L/100km.

Safety

Safety is what the 2018 Tundra does best. It received a four-star (out of five) safety rating from the NHTSA, and the same rating from the scrupulous judges at Car and Driver. Because of Toyota’s new Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assist features, only the Ford F-150 can match the Tundra for driver assist functions. But the Tundra has one thing the F-150 doesn’t: its safety package comes standard to all Tundras.

As stated above, this comprehensive driver assist package includes:

  • Forward-collision warning
  • Automated emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beams
  • Adaptive cruise control

Family friendly, the Tundra makes installing child safety seats a hassle-free task. Oh, and there’s legroom for miles, which means your kids will have little to bicker about on those long car rides.

Additional Highlights

The 2018 Tundra has an Easy Lower & Lift Tailgate which opens and closes with as little as two fingers. Not only that, but the tailgate can be removed or locked in, making it a versatile tool to help get your jobs done.

Reasons to Buy

  • Can tow 10,500 lbs.
  • Smooth ride
  • Powerful 5.7-litre V-8 engine
  • Plenty of advanced safety tech made standard
  • Roomy backseat

Pricing Range


2018 Nissan Titan

2018 truck comparison


A capable and versatile full-sized machine, the underdog Nissan Titan stacks up well against the competition. Customizable and well-priced, the Titan does a good job at filling the checklist of a solid truck. It has great towing capabilities, it can go off-road with ease, and its interior is large and comfortable. Best of all, though, its warranty is unmatched.

What’s New in 2018?

This year, the Titan has added a new Midnight Edition appearance package. It comes with dark inserts on the grille, black fog light surrounds, dark headlights, black exterior badges, black side mirror covers, and 20-inch black finished alloy wheels. It’s a superfluous addition, but no one can deny that it looks pretty badass since its redesign.

Performance & Fuel Economy

Even though it’s a full-sized truck and performs like one, the 2018 Titan doesn’t feel that way. Its steering is responsive, its brakes are powerful, and its V-8 engine make for near car-like driving performance. Make no mistake, this is a huge selling-point for the 2018 Titan.

The engine is a 5.6-litre 32-valve V-8 that delivers 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque (about the same as the Tundra and the Ram 1500). Its paired to a new 7-speed automatic transmission designed to boost performance and enhance fuel efficiency. Capable of towing a maximum of 9740 lbs, the Titan is armed with more power than the average truck driver will ever need.

The Titan’s acceleration is up to par with its rivals, which makes its uncharacteristically (for a full-sized truck) accurate steering and handling even more significant.

Safety

Though the 2018 Titan trails slightly behind class leaders for crash test ratings, its collection of advanced safety and driver assist features along with a unique motion-detector system will put you at ease behind the wheel. Standard equipment includes front airbags, rear curtain airbags (on four-door models), as well as stability and traction control systems. Visibility is adequate from all angles, and the tall truck also has a standard rearview camera on every model, which makes its massive size a breeze to handle.

The NHTSA have the 2018 Titan crew cab model a four-star overall rating (out of a possible five). In IIHS testing, the Titan performed well, receiving a score of Good on all crash tests except the passenger side front small overlap test, as that test has yet to be conducted.

There are active safety features aplenty: available blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors (again, very useful on this colossal machine). The highlight of the Titan’s active safety feature menu of offerings is an optional 360-degree camera and a Moving Object Detection system. Working in concert with four cameras, this system will detect objects moving around the vehicle when it’s in park, neutral, or moving slowly forward or backward.

Installing a child safety seat infringes slightly more on the Titan’s front passenger legroom than it does on competing trucks, but the cabin is so big to begin with that you won’t notice the change.

Additional Highlights

The 2018 Titan has the best limited and powertrain warranties in its class. A standard, limited bumper to bumper warranty is good for five years or 160,000 kilometres. That’s insane.

To put that in perspective, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 both have a standard warranty that’s good for three years or 60,000 kilometres.

If you’re unclear about what a warranty means, think about it like this: it’s an agreement between the car manufacturer and the customer. The manufacturer is telling the customer they trust their product enough to guarantee its smooth operation for that time. So, Nissan has double the faith in its product than its competitors have in their own, which says a lot the quality of the Titan.

As well, 2018 Titan comes with some extremely handy accessories that will help get you through your everyday tasks with ease. A rear bumper step assist aids you in getting in and out of the truck bed, and it hides under the rear bumper when not in use, so it’s not an eye-sore. On top of that, you can get a sliding bed extender added to your Titan. This is a simple, yet useful, way to maximize your truck’s utility. Oh, and its remote engine start system, is a must-have during Canadian winters.

Reasons to Buy

  • Unbeatable warranty coverage
  • Refined V-8 engine
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Unique styling
  • Accurate steering
  • Plenty of in-cabin and bed storage solutions

Pricing Range


2018 Honda Ridgeline

2018 truck comparison


Often wrongly dismissed as an SUV disguised as a truck, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline is a full-sized pickup with the towing and payload prowess to prove it. Named the North American Truck of the Year in 2017 and one of Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs for 2018, the Ridgeline combines the best of both the SUV and pickup worlds.

Its agile driving dynamics and admirable fuel economy ratings bring out the SUV in the Ridgeline, while its uncompromising powertrain provides a level of power equal to its full-sized rivals. Take the Ridgeline for a spin if you want the look and performance of a truck, but the comfort and dexterity of an SUV.

What’s New in 2018?

Few alterations were made to this year’s Ridgeline, because, well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The lineup now offers one fewer trim, and the all-wheel drive availability has been changed. There are also two new exterior colours available–White Diamond Pearl and Lunar Silver Metallic–exclusively for the Sport trim.

Performance & Fuel Economy

All Ridgelines draw power from a spunky 3.5-litre V-6 engine. Delivering 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, this engine provides ample power for most truck drivers’ towing and hauling needs. While it may not satisfy someone with extreme trucking needs, the Ridgeline is enough truck for most job sites. Its wide and clever storage options see to that. And when properly equipped, the all-wheel drive model can tow up to 5,000 lbs, which is more than enough for most trailers and boats.

With the most fuel efficient V-6 in its class, the Ridgeline will keep going when other trucks have to make stops at the gas stations. To be specific, it manages 12.8 L/100km in the city, 9.5 L/100km on the highway (the best of any truck shown here), and has a combined rating of 11.3 L/100km. Going against conventional wisdom, Honda has succeeded in making the Ridgeline fuel efficient without affecting its quick acceleration. It took Edmunds’ reviewers only 7 seconds to go from 0-60 mph–the best acceleration in its class.

The Ridgeline derives its crisp driving dynamics from its unibody chassis, fully independent suspension, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system that improves stability on any surface. It also has an advanced traction management system–perfect for handling sand, dirt, and snow.

Buy a 2018 Ridgeline for its trucking capabilities and unmistakable styling. Love it for its refined, SUV-like ride.

Safety

Safety is a non-issue for the 2018 Ridgeline. It scored a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars) from the NHTSA. It was also named a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. Beyond that, it also contains the most active safety and driver assist features in its class.

Check out all the advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automated emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning, lane keeping assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic high beams
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Blond-spot warning

The Ridgeline is also the truck in which installing a child safety seat is easiest. The LATCH anchor points are very accessible, and the child seat does not infringe on front passenger legroom at all.

Additional Highlights

Take tailgating season to all new levels. The Ridgeline’s bed trunk can be transformed into a cooler thanks to a drain plug built into its bottom. Check out the full list of Ridgeline features:

  • 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Truck-Bed Audio System (a first in the industry, see it on display in the 2017 model here)
  • LaneWatch blind spot display
  • Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System
  • 60/40 lift-up rear seat
  • Heated front and available heated rear seats
  • Available heated steering wheel
  • Available tri-zone automatic climate control

Reasons to Buy

  • The highest quality ride in its class
  • Best acceleration in its class
  • 9.5 L/100 km fuel efficiency
  • Well-appointed and spacious interior
  • A unique in-bed audio system
  • Keen handling due to an independent rear suspension
  • An all-wheel drive system that can handle any surface
  • Chalk full of clever features and driver assists

Pricing range


Your Next Step

Now that you know what each truck offers, it’s time to talk monthly pricing.

Our Personal Shoppers at Go Auto are eager to help you. They’ll find the right truck to suit your lifestyle AND your budget. Get in touch with by texting or calling 780-777-7777, or chat with us online at GoAuto.ca.


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