Pickup trucks are still the standard workhorses we rely on but many have amenities now that bring them closer to having a car-like comfort and passenger room like an SUV while increasingly providing powerplants and packages that increase fuel economy and performance.
Whether trucks are being used as an on-site office that can haul the goods or a recreational family hauler for the outdoor toys, pickups have evolved into versatile and comfortable vehicles that meet lots of needs.
Read on to see which three pick up trucks make the grade as Autobytel 2012 Pickup Truck of the Year finalists.
As the best-selling truck in the United States, for the last three decades, the Ford F-150 has seen its fair share of changes over the years, but the addition of the EcoBoost engine might be one of the biggest. The 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost was a unanimous decision for the Autobytel 2012 Truck of the Year by our staff. The new turbocharged and direct-injected engine allows the truck to deliver best-in-class towing capabilities without sacrificing fuel economy, and EcoBoost is offered on just about all of the F-150's various models ranging from the base F-150 XL up to the luxurious F-150 Platinum. Buyers can also choose between the F-150's multiple cab lengths and bed lengths to find a configuration that meets their exact needs.
Although not much is new for the 2012 Toyota Tundra, this truck still made our potential list for the Autobytel 2012 Pickup Truck of the Year thanks to its numerous body, cab and engine configurations as well as its rugged abilities. All Tundra models do add a standard backup camera, heated power mirrors and daytime running lights for 2012. Like most of the competition, the Tundra Limited provides a luxurious interior including plenty of added features as well as an available rear-seat entertainment system, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, the Tundra is still offered in a stripped-down Work Truck Package for drivers who plan to get the most out of their pickup truck.
The whole point of owning a heavy-duty pickup truck is to be able to tow anything anywhere, and the 2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD is more capable than ever of getting the job done. With an updated frame, suspension and diesel engine, the new Sierra HD is now tougher and more rugged with the ability to complete just about any task whether the truck is used as a daily work hauler or for recreational towing. Those looking for luxury in a heavy-duty truck will want to check out the Sierra HD Denali which was added for 2011 and adds a unique exterior styling to go with plenty of interior updates. The true gem of the new Sierra is, of course, its revised Duramax diesel engine which has been tuned to produce 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque helping to deliver a towing capacity of up to 21,700 pounds.
The editorial staff of Autobytel has chosen the previous three pickup trucks as the best of what we have seen for 2012, and while there are many others in this class that probably deserve some kudos as well, we'd love to hear which one of the previous three you would choose for yourself.
Autobytel 2012 Compact Car of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Convertible of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Sedan of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Luxury Car of the Year
Autobytel 2012 SUV of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Luxury SUV of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Crossover of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Sports Car of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Alternative Fuel Car of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Pickup Truck of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Van/Minivan of the Year
Autobytel 2012 Wagon of the Year