pictures various 2016 trucks buying guide

2016 Truck Buying Guide

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Compact

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

2016 Chevrolet Colorado
  • EPA Fuel Economy 21-22 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.2, 6.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 5
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado: For years, the compact truck segment had been staler than a week-old pretzel, yet the pickups you see here have helped change that. The Chevrolet Colorado brings to the table the smaller, more maneuverable dimensions one expects of trucks this size, along with more fuel-efficient powertrains (including a new-for-2016 diesel engine) and lower prices. Yet it still delivers capabilities that should realistically be more than enough for many truck shoppers, while boasting far better interior space and overall refinement than previous small pickups. The Colorado’s features list is also comprehensive.


2016 GMC Canyon

2016 GMC Canyon
  • EPA Fuel Economy 21-22 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.2, 6.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 5
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 GMC Canyon: See everything we said about the Colorado up there? Yep, it applies to the 2016 GMC Canyon as well. It’s the same basic truck under the skin, and it shares the Colorado’s 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engines as well as the new-for-2016 “Duramax” 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. The main difference between the two GM trucks is that the GMC version has its own styling with a more formal look. Certain materials inside the cabin have a more upscale appearance, too, and there are high-end options that go beyond what’s offered on the Chevy. Of course, you’ll generally have to pay a bit more for the Canyon. With either one, though, you’re getting a top pick for a compact truck.


2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma
  • EPA Fuel Economy 18-21 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.0, 6.1 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 5
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating Not Rated

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Toyota Tacoma: Although it doesn’t look that different from before and retains its predecessor’s overall dimensions and low-slung seating position, the redesigned Toyota Tacoma is a significantly improved truck that’s a great choice for most shoppers. Whereas the GM trucks are very much mini-me versions of their full-size siblings, the Tacoma departs from the larger Tundra’s conventional formula, embracing the company’s off-roading heritage with raised suspensions standard on every model (no more low-riding gardener specials) and available off-road tech from the adventure-seeking 4Runner SUV. Though the 2.7-liter four-cylinder carries over, the new, smoother and more powerful 3.5-liter V6 is the one to get as it returns essentially the same fuel economy. The Tacoma’s road manners, interior design and feature content have also been brought into this decade with numerous enhancements.

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Light Duty

2016 Ram 1500

2016 Ram 1500
  • EPA Fuel Economy 15-24 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.6, 6.3, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Ram 1500: The Ram has continually proven itself as one of the most refined full-size pickups available. From its quiet cabin to its class-leading ride quality, this is a truck you can comfortably drive all day, yet it still delivers the versatility and capability you expect from a full-size pickup. It also offers a fuel-efficient and torque-rich diesel engine, which is unique in this segment. After extensively testing a diesel-powered model for more than a year, we can say definitively that the Ram is an extremely desirable truck for work, play, family road trips or whatever you can throw at it.


2016 Ford F-150

2016 Ford F-150
  • EPA Fuel Economy 16-22 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.5, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Ford F-150: In the truck world, it doesn’t get much more revolutionary than the current Ford F-150. This perennial best-seller features not one but three available six-cylinder engines, two of which are turbocharged to produce V8 levels of power. Redesigned last year, the F-150 is more comfortable and maneuverable than its predecessor, and it’s packed with abundant technology to keep you safe, entertain you and even help you park. The body is now made out of aluminum, which reduces weight, negates the threat of rust and, as we discovered during testing, proves to be more resilient to abuse than regular old steel. All in all, the 2016 Ford F-150 is one heck of a truck. Note, though, that our highest recommendation doesn’t quite extend to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which has fallen far short of its fuel economy estimates in our real-world experience.


2016 Chevrolet Silverado

2016 Chevrolet Silverado
  • EPA Fuel Economy 17-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.7, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado: A wide range of body styles, a nice interior and a lineup of powerful and fuel-efficient engines make the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado a strong pick in the full-size pickup class. This is a user-friendly truck, with a low step-in height and clever steps integrated in the corners of the rear bumper. It’s not as innovative as the Ram or F-150, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the Chevy is any less capable.


2016 GMC Sierra

2016 GMC Sierra
  • EPA Fuel Economy 17-20 mpg combined
  • Bed Lengths 5.7, 6.5, 8 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 5 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 GMC Sierra: Just like its Chevrolet Silverado cousin, the 2016 GMC Sierra boasts a comfortable and quiet cabin and fuel-efficient engines that make it a compelling choice among half-ton pickup trucks. There’s also a tremendous variety of cab, box and drive configurations available. Most of the differences between these two trucks are just cosmetic, but the Sierra offers a few extra features and is available in the flashy Denali trim level that gets unique styling features, more luxurious cabin trimmings and a standard 6.2-liter V8.

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Heavy Duty

2016 Ram 2500 / 3500

2016 Ram 2500 / 3500
  • EPA Fuel Economy N/A
  • Bed Lengths 6.3, 8.0 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Ram 2500 / 3500: The folks at Ram have managed to make their heavy-duty 2500/3500 pickups feel less like lumbering lugs than the competition. Not only do these big Rams possess the classiest interior on the market, but their driving characteristics are the most refined, particularly with the standard coil-spring rear suspension on 2500 models that greatly reduces the usual unladen pickup bounciness. Engine choices include two gas V8s and a turbodiesel inline-6 engine that produces as much as 900 pound-feet of torque. There’s an off-road-biased 2500 Power Wagon model, too.


2016 Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 / 3500

2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 / 3500
  • EPA Fuel Economy N/A
  • Bed Lengths 6.5, 8.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 3
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 / 3500: The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 models were all-new last year, mimicking many of the changes made to the 1500 model for 2014. These improvements include a higher-quality cabin with better sound insulation and larger, easier-to-use touchscreens. Chevy doesn’t offer the Ram’s coil-spring rear suspension, but the ride is still pretty livable. As for capability, you can order a gas- or diesel-powered V8, the latter with 765 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, the Silverado 2500HD can tow up to 18,000 pounds; the 3500HD is good for as much as 23,200 pounds. Features such as integrated cruise control, automatic grade braking, trailer sway control and diesel exhaust braking all help make towing smoother and easier.


2016 Ford F-250 / F-350 / F-450

2016 Ford F-250 / F-350 / F-450
  • EPA Fuel Economy N/A
  • Bed Lengths 6.8, 8.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 6
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating Not Rated

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 Ford F-250 / F-350 / F-450: The Super Duty Ford trucks are slated for a redesign next year, but in the meantime, they continue to be known for their massive capabilities and relatively quiet cabins. The 2016 Ford Super Duty offers a vast spectrum of body styles and equipment levels, plus two robust engines: a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 and a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 good for 860 lb-ft of torque. Ford has kept these brutes fresh in recent years by adding modern technology features, including the available MyFord Touch infotainment system with its 8-inch touchscreen. These big Fords aren’t perfect, however, as the dated, plastic-filled interior is certainly ready for an overhaul, and the steering is a bit numb by class standards.


2016 GMC Sierra 2500 / 3500

2016 GMC Sierra 2500 / 3500
  • EPA Fuel Economy N/A
  • Bed Lengths 6.6, 8.2 ft.
  • Available Total Seating 3
  • Drivetrain Warranty 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
  • Available Drivetrains RWD, 4WD
  • Government Crash Rating 4 Stars

Why Edmunds Recommends the 2016 GMC Sierra 2500 / 3500: The 2016 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 models are basically mechanical clones of Chevrolet’s Silverado, although the styling isn’t identical and the Sierras do offer the fancier Denali trim level. As with the Silverado, the heavy-duty Sierra received a complete overhaul last year. That includes new styling, improved interior materials and updated infotainment functionality. Outright towing abilities aren’t class-leading, but are still more than ample. Moreover, the GMC Sierras are downright pleasant trucks to drive, even when you’re just running errands around town.

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