What is the best pickup truck for you? This is a highly subjective question that depends on any number of factors including your personal needs and preferences. This is also the question you have to answer if you truly want the best truck you can find and afford. While it is impossible to say which truck is always the best, however, it is easier to rule out some possibilities when you compare two options side-by-side.
Take the 2018 Ford F-150 versus 2018 Nissan Titan for example. Both trucks represent the cream of the crop offerings Ford and Nissan have in terms of pickups. Coming in a variety of engine, cabin, and bed options, each truck promises to do the same thing: haul you, others, and cargo around wherever you need to go.
When you look at the specifics of each vehicle, however, you’ll begin to understand one option does all of this better than the other. Even though the Nissan Titan is a great truck in its own right, there’s very little it can do to beat the F-150 where it matters the most.
Engine and Performance Options
As light-duty trucks, both the F-150 and Titan come with several different engine options that promise to give you just enough hauling and towing capacity with better fuel economy than larger offerings. If you are the type of consumer who wants the maximum amount of choices when you purchase a new vehicle, the F-150 is going to be your ultimate choice.
The fuel-efficient, powerful engine line of the Ford truck starts with a pair of eco boosted V-6 engines that balance fuel efficiency and performance capacity quite well. With these, you can still carry or pull around an average amount of cargo without breaking the bank each time on fuel costs. If you need some more performance, the top-of-the-line 5.0 L V-8 will give you that extra boost.
The Titan, on the other hand, comes with less powerful engine options. The baseline V-8, for example, fails to compare in terms of towing and hauling capacity to the upper end of the F-150 engine lineup. Considering the F-150 comes with a lower starting price, you can literally save some money while getting a better hauler with the F-150.
Safety should always be at the upper end of the list of priorities when buying a new vehicle. If your next purchase won’t be a safe one, you have more to risk and lose by driving it. These days, it is easier to find good options with a plethora of advance standard and optional safety systems. Even if you don’t buy the latest safety packages, you should at least find a vehicle that has the built-in safety, including a sturdy chassis, to keep you and other passengers safe.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all pickup trucks are naturally safe because of their size. While having a larger presence on the road can help with overall visibility and driving awareness, it is not the magic bullet to stop every potential accident from happening. That is why you need to take into account the overall safety features and ratings the F-150 and Titan have to offer.
Unfortunately, the Titan doesn’t fare well in this category. Receiving lackluster ratings from the highway safety review organizations, the Titan provides a bare minimum amount of safety features to keep you protected in the event of a crash. Coming with standard safety options like front and side airbags, you have to go up in trim levels to get more active safety features.
The F-150 takes a similar approach to their active safety features, making them available in optional packages and higher trims. With that said, the combination of standard safety features and a well-built, aluminum frame make the truck one of the most safest on the roads even at the base level. You can have top safety rating scores mixed with forward collision prevention, bright spot monitoring, and more if you want.
A good interior might not be at the top of your priority list, but it can make a drastic difference in comfort and overall feel. Truck interiors tend to come in many different varieties. Both in terms of models and trims, a particular style of truck interior may make it feel larger or smaller depending on how it is designed. You will also find a major difference in how the controls are arranged in the main dashboard. Not only is good arrangement convenient, but it can also make the driving experience safer overall when you aren’t searching for a particular button or knob.
Most modern trucks have interiors that rival smaller sedans and station wagons. Greater convenience and comfort are just as important as being able to haul as much cargo as you want or need in the back. Both trucks take a similar approach to their interior offerings with the F-150 providing more for the money.
At the base level, it is safe to call both interior cabins spartan at best. Standard features including vinyl fabrics and plastic dashboards are common in both cabins. You can also expect a typical AM/FM radio, air conditioning, power windows, etc.
When you want to upgrade, the F-150 is where you should put the extra money. Large moon/sunroofs, heated and cooled seats, power adjustable front seating, and an advanced infotainment system all make the F-150 state-of-the-art in the world of full-size pickup trucks. While the Titan includes many of these features in upper trims and packages, you get more for your money when you go with Ford.
Making a Final Choice
Ultimately, it comes down to your needs to determine what truck is best for you. If you want something that really can haul a lot of cargo, with great fuel efficiency, high safety ratings, and an affordable price, the F-150 is the way to go. In the end, take a test drive of both vehicles to see which one you connect with more in person.