With the ability to carry more than a tonne (1,000kg) in its load-bed or being willing to haul in excess of 3,000kg of braked trailer, a luxuriously specified double-cab pick-up truck is a popular choice here in Ireland. Here are the ten best models available in 2020.
- Fiat Fullback
An unusual marque to see making a pick-up, but Fiat actually cheated a little bit in 2016 and ‘borrowed’ the contemporary Mitsubishi L200’s (see below) oily bits to come up with the Fullback. It’s available in regular duty guise as an LX, or in the more lifestyle-oriented Fullback Cross format, and either is a very decent truck indeed.
- Ford Ranger
Ford’s Ranger is Europe’s best-selling one-tonne truck and with good reason. It has one of the best-quality cabins in the class and an array of powerful engines, which are currently being upgraded to the new 2.0-litre biturbo-diesel unit. An all-round classy choice.
- Ford Ranger Raptor
It qualifies as a separate vehicle here because it’s the only truck on this list that can’t take more than 1,000kg in the bed, nor can it tow anything more than 2,500kg of braked trailer. And it’s frighteningly expensive, too. So why is it here? Because this is a full-grade competition car, masquerading as a road-going vehicle. The Ranger Raptor might be daft, but it’s brilliant daft and utterly unlike anything else in its class.
- Isuzu D-Max
The D-Max is the really affordable workhorse in a class of (mostly) affordable workhorses and while its engine and transmission might lack for refinement against some of its competitors here, it is nevertheless a perfectly fine and usable pick-up. There are even mad-looking AT35 and XTR versions if you want something a bit different.
- Mercedes-Benz X-Class
Buy this one, quick. The X-Class was only introduced in 2017 but Mercedes ceased production of it in May 2020, citing slow global sales. There should still be remaining stock in dealers, though, and while it is expensive and based on the Nissan Navara (see below), as the V6-powered X 350 d it is the most well-rounded and refined pick-up truck of them all.
- Mitsubishi L200
Another truck to move quickly on, given Mitsubishi has announced it intends to pull out of Europe for good. However, it was the third-generation L200 (1996-2006) that popularised the pick-up as a civilian vehicle in the first place, selling it in less utilitarian specifications under appealing names like ‘Barbarian’ and ‘Warrior’. The facelifted fifth-generation L200, updated in 2019, is still a dependable machine and it is also now one of the most distinctive-looking vehicles in the class.
- Nissan Navara NP300
The Navara has been around for a while but the current-generation truck arrived in 2016 with an unusual USP – alone among the one-tonne pick-ups, it uses more advanced multilink rear suspension. This is in contrast to the rivals, which employ more primitive leaf springs at the back, so the NP300 provides one of the best levels of ride comfort in the class, without sacrificing anything in the way of practicality.
- SsangYong Musso/Grand Musso
‘Musso’ translates from Korean to English as ‘Rhino’ and this SsangYong pick-up is certainly a tough old beast. It’s notably cheaper than the other trucks on this list, although you do have to accept certain quality compromises as a result, but if you want a reliable pick-up, you won’t go far wrong with the Musso.
- Toyota Hilux
Mr Invincible. Everyone has, by now, seen that old episode of a certain TV car show where one of the hosts subjected a Hilux to quite horrific abuse, and it withstood everything thrown at it – even being dunked in the sea. Therefore, while the current Hilux is not massively powerful by class standards, its reputation means it is still a hugely desirable pick-up truck amongst the target clientele.
- Volkswagen Amarok
One of the premium mob in the sector and, Mercedes X 350 d aside, the only one powered by a V6 engine. The Amarok is quite an old design now, but it still has one of the best powertrains, one of the best cabins and some of the best rolling refinement of any truck available. Bag one now, while you still can.