What Are the Best 1/2 Ton Trucks?
Michael Collado is a car buying expert and has been a professional automotive writer since 2009. He’s written about dealership sales, vehicle reviews and comparisons, and service and maintenance for over 100 national automotive dealerships. Previously, Collado was a copywriter at the ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day where he worked on brand campaigns for Nissan, ABC Television, Sony PlayStation, and Energizer. His recognition in the ad industry includes awards from Communication Arts and The Clios.
Collado has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Marketing.
Half-ton trucks are one of the smallest size trucks available, but that doesn't mean they can't get the job done.
We've compared all the half-ton trucks and looked at their towing, payload, value, and reliability to select our top picks.
Here’s a look at some of the best choices when it comes to ½ ton trucks.
Table of Contents
- Best Overall Half-Ton Truck
- Best Half-Ton Truck for Towing
- Best Half-Ton Truck for Payload
- Best Value Half-Ton Truck
- Most Reliable Half-Ton Truck
- Best Diesel Half-Ton Truck
- How to Pick the Best Half-Ton Truck
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Overall Half-Ton Truck
If you want to get the best ½ ton truck, then you can’t go wrong by choosing the best selling ½ ton truck for the past 45 consecutive years.
That’s right the top ½ ton truck is the legendary Ford F-150. With its powerful line-up of engines, iconic design, and excellent towing and payload performance, the Ford F-150 is an ideal choice for the work site as well as daily commutes.
What’s New for the F-150?
The biggest news for 2023 is the introduction of a standard hybrid powertrain that puts out an incredible 400 horsepower. This is the first mass-produced full-sized truck that will come with a standard hybrid powertrain. Also, the F-150 gains a new Rattler trim which comes with a number of off-road upgrades.
Best Half-Ton Truck for Towing
If you are looking to tow a trailer or a boat with your ½ ton pick-up, then you will want to choose the Ford F-150. The current model has a max tow rating of 14,000 pounds. If you opt for the four-wheel-drive version, the max trailer weight drops down to 13,900 pounds.
That’s still the best in its class. The runner-up is the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra which have a max trailer rating of 13,300 pounds.
What’s New for the GMC Sierra?
More power is in store for the 2023 GMC Sierra. That includes a boost of 28 horsepower 35 pound-fee of torque. That brings the total output to 305-horsepower and 495 pound-feet. Also, the AT4X AEV trim levels include a steel front bumper with incorporated recovery hooks and 275/70R18 all-terrain engines.
- Check out our picks for the best trucks for towing >>
Best Half-Ton Truck for Payload
I know things are getting repetitive here. However, the F-150 is the best-selling truck for lots of reasons. That includes giving you the best payload rating. The current model allows you a payload capacity of up to 3,325 pounds.
Coming in second is the RAM 1500 with a max payload rating of 2,300 pounds. After that, you can take a look at the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra which have a payload rating of 2,280 pounds.
What’s New for the RAM 1500?
A new trim level comes to the ever-expanding RAM 1500 line-up. The Ram 1500 Limited Elite Edition comes with the popular multifunction and locking tailgate along with a tailgate ajar warning lamp, four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, a deployable bed step, and a cargo divider. Also, you can get 22-inch all-terrain tires on the Laramie, Limited Longhorn, and Limited models with the Off-Road Group.
Best Value Half-Ton Truck
If you are looking to get the best ”bang for your buck,” then you will want to check out the popular Chevrolet Silverado. With a 2022 starting price of under $35,000, it undercuts the popular F-150 by almost $1,000.
However, you still get lots of standard features including the Chevy Infotainment 3 system.
What’s New for the Chevy Silverado?
There are no big changes for the 2023 edition of the Chey Silverado. However, a mid-cycle refresh is expected in 2024.
Most Reliable Half-Ton Truck
Looking for a truck for the long term? Then you will want to go with the Toyota Tundra.
The Tundra is a part of the Toyota family which is known for creating some of the most durable vehicles on the road. With proper maintenance, the engine in a Tundra can last well over 200,000 miles.
What’s New for the Toyoda Tundra?
The Tundra was recently redesigned so we will only see minor updates for 2023. Changes include the introduction of the SX package. This appearance package includes color-keyed door handles and bumpers, black fender trim, a black cloth interior and 18-inch wheels.
Best Diesel Half-Ton Truck
Perhaps the best known ½ ton diesel truck on the road is the RAM 1500 Duramax.
This truck has been around for a long time and it offers the best-in-class torque rating of 420-pound feet from its standard 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbo diesel engine which put out up to 277 horsepower.
What’s New for the RAM 1500 Duramax?
The biggest news for 2023 is that the RAM 1500 Duramax will drop the EcoDiesel engine in January of this year. That means that this will be your last chance to get the RAM 1500 with the venerable 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine.
How to Pick the Best Half-Ton Truck
Before you decide which ½ truck to buy or lease, you will want to consider several factors. Here’s what you should look at when shopping for a ½ truck.
Consider how you will be using the truck. Will you need to trailer a boat or an RV? Perhaps you need to make use of the payload. Also, consider the interior amenities and features such as the cargo space and the climate control.
Trucks tend to consume more fuel than cars. If you want to watch your fuel consumption, then you will want to opt for a truck that offers some more economical powertrains.
Chances are that you are going to use your truck for work. Therefore, you want to make sure that the pick-up has enough power to handle towing and payload duties.
Finally, don’t forget the interior features and specs of the truck. Make sure you have enough legroom, headroom, and shoulder room. Also, check to make sure that the truck has all the interior features that you need.
You want to make sure that you are getting a truck that you like. Therefore, you will want to consider the style of the vehicle. For instance, if you are interested in a more upscale appearance, then you will want to consider the GMC line-up. If you are opting for sportier trucks, consider RAM models. For those who want a more rugged look, the ½ ton trucks for Ford and Chevy will be ideal.
Chances are that you will be doing a lot with your truck. If you happen to be taking your vehicle to a worksite, then you will want to make sure that it has the durability to handle day-to-day work.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best ½ ton truck available right now?
The best ½ ton truck available is the F-150. It offers best-in-class towing and hauling. Also, it is the best selling ½ ton truck for 45 straight years.
What is the best ½ ton truck for towing?
The best ½ ton truck for towing is the F-150 with a max trailer rating of 14,000 pounds.
What is the cheapest ½ ton truck?
The cheapest ½ ton truck is the Chevrolet Silverado with a starting price of $34,785.
What is the most reliable ½ ton truck?
The most reliable ½ ton truck on the market is the Toyota Tundra. The Tundra routinely scores the highest rating on reliability tests from automotive and consumer magazines.
What is the most powerful ½ ton truck?
The most powerful ½ ton truck on the market right now is the Ram 1500 TRX. This truck uses the 6.2L V-8 engine from the Dodge Hellcat and puts out a max of 702 horsepower.