The best pickup trucks
Mustard.co.uk’s best pickup trucks to buy
We round up the best pickups on the market, whether you’re looking for a rugged working vehicle or a practical large family car
Pickup trucks in the UK are remarkably popular – and not just among farmers or builders. Thanks to generous taxation, they make very cost-effective family transport, too.
Manufacturers of pickup trucks have taken this into account, and their latest products are a world away from the heavy-duty but unrefined and agricultural offerings in production. The modern pickup truck has many of the refinements and luxuries you’ll find in a modern SUV – but with a huge load capacity and a bargain price to boot.
We’ve gone past peak pickup truck now, so the number of models available to buy in the UK is fewer than it was a couple of years ago. That means, however, that most of the chaff has been sorted out, and if you buy a pickup truck in 2021 you’re almost guaranteed it’ll be an excellent example of the breed.
We’ve rounded up our five favourites below, along with a few FAQs…
Why buy a pickup truck?
Pickup trucks, for many, make the ideal hybrid between a working vehicle and a family bus. The latest double-cab pickups have enough space for a family of five, often in a sophisticated, car-like environment packed with up-to-date equipment.
But what they have that a typical family hatchback doesn’t is that enormous load bed out the back. This makes pickups ideal for those who regularly need to carry heavy loads – they’re all capable of hauling at least a ton in their load areas.
Better yet, the majority can tow up to 3,500kg, which is absolutely perfect for people with caravans, horseboxes or trailer tents.
And then there’s their rugged nature. Pickups come with four-wheel drive as standard and can do some serious off-roading, so even the muddiest car park or most pockmarked farm track won’t pose a problem.
Why are pickup trucks so cheap?
The reason pickup trucks are so popular is that they can be registered as a working vehicle. If registered as a company car, there are very low Benefit-in-Kind tax rates for pickup trucks, making them far cheaper than an equivalently-sized SUV.
If buying through a business you can reclaim substantial amounts of the VAT too.
Pickup trucks also qualify for a fixed rate of road tax. If you’re buying a luxury car worth more than £40,000, the lower road tax would save you around £200 a year alone (source).
Related: Pick-up truck insurance
Best pickup trucks to buy 2021
Ford’s commercial vehicles, like the Transit, are the default option for many buyers in the UK. Luckily the Ranger pickup is every bit as good as its van siblings. It’s great to drive, very refined on the road and has loads of technology inside to make it feel as though you’re just driving a big SUV.
No rival pickup comes close to the Ranger’s appeal, and our sister site Parkers awarded it Pickup of the Year for 2021.
SsangYong isn’t the biggest name in the business, but its Musso pickup deserves careful consideration. Despite its bargain price tag, the Musso is actually one of the most capable trucks on the market – and it’s the only one on sale in the UK that’s rated to tow 3,500kg AND carry 1,000kg in its load bed at the same time.
It can be had with a smaller load bed for an easier time parking and driving around the city, or a longer model with the largest load bed on sale today.
Regardless of which you choose, the Musso’s quiet and easy to drive, with a tough but comfortable interior.
The Hilux is perhaps the best-known pickup in the world – it’s the vehicle even Top Gear couldn’t kill. That legendary reliability is highly prized among commercial buyers but it’s every bit as useful if you’re planning on using a Hilux as your everyday family transport.
Its large 2.8-litre engine provides excellent performance and though previous models had rather plasticky interiors this is much improved for the most recent model.
It’s also excellent off-road and more than capable on it. An all-round great pickup truck.
The favourite model of the agricultural community, the Isuzu D-Max isn’t quite as luxurious as some of its rivals but makes up for it with its rugged, no-nonsense nature.
It’s great off-road and offers competitive value, with models ranging from basic to luxurious as well as an extreme off-road focussed model called the XTR.
You’re also very likely to find a good deal on one, as an all-new model will launch soon and so dealers will be clearing their stocks.
The L200 has been Mitsubishi’s most popular model in the UK for a while and it’s easy to see why as it’s great to drive, with precise steering, nimble handling and very impressive fuel economy.
Mitsubishi as a brand is leaving the UK before long, but you’ll still be able to service and maintain an L200 with no problem for many years yet – so that doesn’t have to be a big issue.
If you want a distinctive-looking and very refined pick-up, it ought to be towards the top of your list. See a Parkers review here.
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