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How Do I Choose the Best 4x4 Pick-Up?

Choosing the best 4x4 pick-up truck hinges on understanding your needs. Consider towing capacity, off-road capabilities, fuel efficiency, and cabin comfort. Reliability and resale value are also key. Brands matter, but specs tell the true story. Ready to discover which 4x4 pick-up will conquer your world? Let's explore the top contenders and find your perfect match. Keep reading.
Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

When choosing a 4x4 pick-up, there are several factors that must be considered to ensure that you purchase the best truck for your needs. Ground clearance and suspension are two of the most common considerations for many 4x4 pick-up purchasers. Engine and transmission options are typically the next most motivating factors behind many purchases. Payload capacity and weight hauling are also important considerations for some buyers. It is a good idea to make a list of what you want from your truck and what features are less important to you prior to stepping foot onto a sales lot, as this will aid in your selection of the best vehicle to serve your wants and needs.

Fuel type is often a very important option when making the decision to purchase a new 4x4 pick-up. If there are no diesel fueling locations close to you, a diesel pick-up is likely not a good buy regardless of the price. If you are purchasing a 4x4 pick-up to use in farming or hauling, a heavy-duty truck is going to offer you more service than a light-duty truck with low towing capacities. The transmission is also a motivating factor for some consumers; while an automatic is often an easier transmission to use, some consumers want the ability to shift a manual transmission in hilly terrain.

Fuel type can be an important factor to consider when looking for a pick up truck.
Fuel type can be an important factor to consider when looking for a pick up truck.

If you live or work in an area that will require the frequent engagement of the four-wheel drive function, you may want to look at trucks that do not require you to exit the cab to lock in the front hubs. Many 4x4 pick-up designs utilize self-locking hubs that do not require the operator to manually engage the front axle hubs. This frequent engagement might also be linked to muddy or loose ground environments. In this situation, you may wish to purchase a 4x4 pick-up with locking differentials that will aid in traversing this terrain without becoming stuck.

When choosing a truck, it's advised to decide which type of clutch is preferred.
When choosing a truck, it's advised to decide which type of clutch is preferred.

Nearly all manufacturers offer 4x4 pick-up packages with plush leather interiors complete with stereo and heated seating. This leaves many decisions to be based solely on brand loyalty and favoritism, however, engine power and fuel economy can vary greatly between manufacturers. In order to purchase the best 4x4 pick-up for your individual needs, it is important to visit several dealerships and make notes of the positives and negatives of each offering. Test drive the vehicles that land in the top two spots on your list and base your decision on personal likes and dislikes.

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Discussion Comments


I think the best way to go if you are buying a new 4x4 pickup truck is to get it used. Most trucks, especially new ones, are extremely durable and can perform well even up around 200,000 miles if they've been cared for properly.

Brand new trucks are really expensive, but getting one that is just a couple of years old can be about half the price of a new one. They have really good resale value at that point, too. After the first couple of years, a truck will drop a lot in price, but then stay pretty steady for the next several years.

Like any used car, especially a truck with 4-wheel drive, the key is to take it to a trusted mechanic before you buy it. Like I said, if it's been cared for well, it should treat you well, but if it hasn't, it might be better to find another truck that is in better shape.


@Izzy78 - I think once foreign autos started getting more common in the US, they started building them to be very similar to domestic cars. I've had a Toyota for several years, and I've never had any issues with my mechanic being able to get parts for it. If you end up buying the truck from a local dealership that specializes in that make, then you definitely won't have any problems.

One of my coworkers has a Nissan pickup 4x4, and he says he really likes it. He had a Chevy before, and said he likes it just as much. Like every new vehicle you get, he's found things he wishes were like his old truck, but found some things that are more convenient. Overall, though, he's happy. Like you, I've generally heard positive things about foreign trucks nowadays.

At the very least, if you find one you like, it would be worth a test drive. I haven't been in the market for a truck, but I would guess all trucks probably cost about the same, so it really just comes down to which one you think your son would like.


Does anyone have any opinions about the foreign 4x4 trucks? I know in the past (like in the 90s), Toyota and Nissan and those companies had a reputation for making horrible trucks, but the ones now look really nice, and I have heard pretty good reviews about them.

I have been looking for a pickup truck for my son's birthday. I have seen several of these, but wondered what other people's thoughts are. What is their dependability compared to American trucks? Also, the other thing I was wondering about is how easy it is to get them repaired if necessary.

I had a 4-wheel drive truck a long time ago, and I know you have to periodically get the transmission or something readjusted from driving on the road. It used to be difficult to get foreign cars worked on, but it seems like that has changed, hasn't it? Has anyone here ever had a problem with their mechanic working on a foreign car?


@SarahSon - I'm with you. Right now I have an SUV, but it isn't 4-wheel drive. It is nearing the end of its life, and I would like to replace it with a nice 4x4 pick up truck. The prices are a lot more than I expected, though. I know some people really do have to have a pickup truck to do their job, so I guess that is part of the expense is that people will buy them no matter what they cost.

As far as I am concerned, though, I just need something that can haul trailers and have enough space to carry around loads in the back every now and then. I think for the same price, I'd rather get another SUV. They are a little more comfortable in my opinion and will always keep your stuff dry.


I can't remember my brother ever driving a car. We grew up on the farm, and his first vehicle was a truck and he has had one ever since.

It is really nice to have someone in the family that owns a 4x4 truck. There have been many times I have asked to borrow it when we were moving or hauling something that was too big to fit in the car.

One thing he always does is get his trucks with four-wheel drive in them. This really comes in handy in the winter when we get a lot of snow and wind. His truck will go through places that I would never try with my car.

He has even used it to pull us out of the ditch once or twice. If I could afford another vehicle, I would buy a 4x4 truck so I wouldn't have to keep relying on him for one.


@SarahSon - I know exactly what you mean. My husband needed a new truck, and I wondered how much money we would be out.

It can be pretty tempting to buy one of those new 4x4 pickups, but the price tag is pretty steep. Since my husband mostly uses his truck for work and it gets pretty beat up, he didn't want something that was really all that fancy.

He ended up getting the best deal on a new 4x4 truck, but it was considered a work truck and was pretty standard. One thing that really surprised me though was that it didn't have power windows. I thought all vehicles today came with power windows as standard.

It has been a long time since we actually had to roll a vehicle window up and down by hand!


It had been a long time since I priced new trucks, and I was surprised at how expensive a new truck can be.

Some of the trucks I looked at had nicer features than my car. The ones that come fully loaded have everything from heated leather seats, back up cameras, memory seating and built in GPS units.

I have never even owned a car that had all of these luxuries on it. Even though I would love to own something like this, the price tag on these new 4x4 pickup trucks is way outside of my price range.


My husband has spent all of his working years in some type of construction. His truck is basically his livelihood, so he is very particular when it comes to the features on his truck.

He has bought a truck from every major truck company and really doesn't have any particular brand loyalty towards one or the other.

The last truck he bought was a 4x4 diesel. He is getting ready to trade it in for something different. He is tired of paying the higher gas prices for diesel and never knowing for sure where he can find diesel fuel when he is out of town.

It is also very noisy, and I can hear him coming a long ways away. Even when he retires, he will still drive a 4x4 pick-up. He wouldn't know what to do without his truck.

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    • Fuel type can be an important factor to consider when looking for a pick up truck.
      By: Brad Sauter
      Fuel type can be an important factor to consider when looking for a pick up truck.
    • When choosing a truck, it's advised to decide which type of clutch is preferred.
      By: yang yu
      When choosing a truck, it's advised to decide which type of clutch is preferred.