2017 Nissan Titan ・ Photo by Nissan
Today’s gallery tells a simple story: the only pickup trucks sold in America are pickup trucks made in America. (Except for the ones made in Mexico and exempted by NAFTA regulations.) That, of course, is for a very simple reason: Foreign-built light-duty trucks face a 25 percent tariff that dates back to 1963 when it was enacted in response to European restrictions on U.S. poultry. Most of the other issues related to the so-called “chicken tax” have been resolved by now, but the rules about trucks remain in place. It’s the kind of financial disadvantage that would make imported pickups too expensive for buyers here, and it leaves the field open for the entries we’ve listed below.
We’ll begin our list of pickup trucks made in America with the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado, which is produced at Wentzville Assembly in Missouri. The Bowtie brand’s midsize pickup, the Colorado showcases an impressive combination of technology that includes mobile Wi-Fi, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, lane-departure alert, forward collision warning, and a standard rearview camera. Then for functionality, Chevy offers highlights ranging from an available 2.8-liter clean-diesel engine that can tow up to 7,700 lbs. to a standard CornerStep rear bumper for enhanced bed access. Four-wheel drive, an automatic locking differential, and a damped tailgate also can be ordered, as can premium features like heated front seats with either cloth or leather surfaces, to appeal to more buyers.
Photo by General Motors
With production sites in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Flint, Mich., the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado also checks in among our favorite pickups made in America. Even the base-level work truck has a standard mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, while the upper-level trims can serve up heated leather front seats, a heated and leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, and a robust 6.2-liter V8 engine. Backed by that mill, the Silverado provides 420 horsepower, 460 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 12,500-lb. tow rating. The truck also stands out with optional driver-assistance technologies such as a rearview camera, forward collision alert, lane-keeping assistance, low-speed forward automatic braking, automatic high beams, and a Safety Alert Driver’s Seat that vibrates in the direction of potential road hazards.
Photo by Chevrolet
pickup trucks made in America include the 2018 Ford F-150 as well. The best-selling vehicle in the United States is built in Dearborn, Mich., and Claycomo, Mo., and it’s been significantly updated for the new model year. For example, the F-150 joins the mobile Wi-Fi club with available 4G LTE connectivity, and according to Ford, it’s the first vehicle in its segment to offer adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and automatic braking. The Blue Oval upgrades the powertrain portfolio too, as the truck’s 5.0-liter V8 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines are joined by three new choices: a standard 3.3-liter V6, a second-gen 2.7-liter EcoBoost, and 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel.
Photo by Ford
Another of the most popular pickups made in America is the 2017 RAM 1500. Manufactured in Warren, Mich., the RAM 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cab models set the pace here with new-for-2017 content like automatic dual-zone climate control, a redesigned and more upscale instrument panel, a rearview camera, remote start, an anti-spin differential, and the Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system—complete with an 8.4-inch touchscreen. It’s also worth noting that Ram recently received official EPA certification to begin producing and selling the 2017 Ram EcoDiesel models. Although the EPA website hadn’t been updated when this story was published, the truck initially launched with 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque, and EPA ratings of up to 29 mpg.
Photo by Ram Trucks
Even foreign brands sell pickup trucks made in America. The 2018 Honda Ridgeline, for instance, is put together in Lincoln, Ala. True, not much has changed for the 2018 Ridgeline yet remember, this is the pickup that was named the 2017 North American Truck of the Year, and it also launched as the only entry in the segment to earn a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. Also exclusive for the Ridgeline are an optional in-bed speaker system for tailgate parties and picnics, plus a standard in-bed trunk. Next, the truck’s capabilities range from what Honda calls a class-leading payload maximum of 1,584 lbs. to a tow rating of 5,000 lbs.
Photo by Honda
You’ll also find pickups made in the United States at your local Toyota dealerships. Consider the brand’s full-size entry, the 2017 Toyota Tundra. Unlike many of its rivals, which only offer Texas-themed trucks, the Tundra is literally assembled in the Lone Star state in San Antonio. Additionally, Toyota does match the competition with technologies like Entune infotainment, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Tundra also delivers its fair share of real-truck features, from two V8 engines to a towing capacity of 10,500 lbs. Rather fill up the bed? The Tundra payload rating is 2,080 lbs. And for hard-core off-roading, check out the Tundra TRD Pro with a trail-friendly high-performance suspension.
Photo by Toyota
The 2017 GMC Canyon shares many benefits with its Chevy Colorado counterpart, and that extends to being one of the top midsize pickups made in the United States. More specifically, the Canyon shares a home at Wentzville assembly, high-tech content such as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, and an efficient yet powerful clean-diesel engine. The difference is in the Professional Grade details, which all come together in the range-topping Canyon Denali. This is one of the segment’s most premium pickups and features Denali-specific design details that include a chrome grille, 20-inch ultra-bright machined wheels, heated and ventilated front seats appointed in perforated Mulan leather, and a heated and leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. For infotainment, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration is standard.
Photo by GMC
In the same way, the 2017 GMC Sierra joins its Chevy Silverado corporate cousin as one of the top full-size pickup trucks made in America—but as with the Canyon, the Sierra ensures a noticeably more uplevel ownership experience. Here, the top-of-the-line Denali trim goes well beyond the extras available on the Canyon version. Take the Sierra Denali’s standard LED headlamps. Not only are they dramatic in their own right, but they also get complimented by standard LED daytime running lights, “thin-profile” daytime running lights, and LED taillamps. The Sierra Denali also raises the ante concerning hardware, with standard magnetic ride control and an available 6.2-liter V8 that can make 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque.
Photo by GMC
For mid-size Toyota trucks made in America, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma is also an option. The Tacoma—despite increased competition—is still the best-selling pickup in the country, and with its strong value proposition, that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Indeed, the Tacoma’s base-level trim may surprise some shoppers with a standard Entune infotainment system that bundles a 6.1-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, Bluetooth for both hands-free calling and audio streaming, Siri Eyes Free compatibility, an iPod-compatible USB 2.0 port, an auxiliary input jack, and six audio speakers. To appeal to safety-minded shoppers, the same setup incorporates a rearview camera. The Tacoma then meets the criteria for today’s gallery with a production presence in San Antonio.
Photo by Toyota
Nissan fans can choose between two pickup trucks made in America, the midsize 2017 Nissan Frontier, and the 2017 Nissan Titan. We opt for the Titan as the more distinctive choice, thanks to the super-sized XD model. Assembled in Canton, Miss.—along with the rest of the Titan roster—the XD hits the sweet spot between typical full-size pickups and the full-on heavy-duty monsters. The heart of the matter: a standard 5.0 turbodiesel V8 from the trucking experts at Cummins. Able to generate some 310 horsepower and a ground-shaking 555 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine is good for a maximum tow rating of 12,640 lbs. plus a top payload rating of 2,420 lbs.
Photo by Nissan