Ranked

Ranked: 5 best pickup truck interiors for the 2020 model year

The GMC Sierra HD is one of the many trucks on this list with a high-class interior.

Photo courtesy of GMC

Not that long ago, the idea of a plush pickup truck interior was laughable. Trucks were designed for work, and any money spent on making them nice inside would be wasted after a few months of hardcore abuse. They were tools meant to be used, not luxury cars to be enjoyed.

Fast forward to 2020, and the pickup truck landscape looks incredibly different. Prices have skyrocketed for top-tier models, with trucks nearing the $100,000 U.S. mark. These trucks are also family vehicles, with technology and luxury features that rival the best from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW.

But some of the truck interiors are better than others and can widely vary depending on which trim the buyer looks at from which manufacturer. So, it makes sense to come up with a list of the best truck interiors.

No. 5 - 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 High Country

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The 2020 Silverado HD lineup is new and features a refreshed interior, updated powertrains, and impressive performance metrics. In a bubble, the cowboy-inspired High Country trim would be a top-tier interior. It is nice, but General Motors designs their interiors for longevity and not plushness, making them not feel as comfortable as some of the competition. Technology, like a heads-up display, and advanced infotainment make up for many of the other misgivings in this Chevrolet.

No. 4 - 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali

Photo courtesy of GMC

Like the Silverado HD, the Sierra HD is also new. While underneath they are very similar, inside they are a bit different. The Denali trim is fresh, modern and designed to appeal to more people than those wanting a Cowboy Cadillac. Denali is a top-selling trim on all GMCs, and the company puts most of its effort in interior design in these models. Cutting-edge technology and a soft interior make it a nice place to be, but the interior materials still aren't as plush as some of the competition.

No. 3 - 2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The updated 2020 Nissan Titan gets some upgrades with in-cabin technology, a beautiful new infotainment screen with some of the best color reproduction we've seen, and updated interior materials. The Platinum Reserve feels nice, and Nissan's "Zero Gravity" seats are comfortable on long journeys. Unfortunately, there is still some hard plastics where we wouldn't find them on the top two trucks.

No. 2 - 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

While technically a midcycle refresh, the 2020 Ford Super Duty gets a slew of new upgrades, making it the best-in-class for towing and payload. That's what 1,050 lb-ft of torque get you. But inside, the Ford gets even more soft touch materials and more premium leather than before. An updated technology suite gets easier to use. The Super Duty is the only truck with massaging seats. It's a nice place to spend a lot of time.

No. 1 - 2020 Ram 1500 Limited

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Ultimately, the Ram 1500 Limited gets the nod for the best truck interior. Even though their heavy-duty trucks are newer, Ram doesn't have a new cab like the full-size trucks. This means they don't get the slick features like the ventilated rear seats or as much rear seat recline. The 12-inch Uconnect screen looks gorgeous – even if it's not as easy to use as the 8.4-inch – and everything you can possibly touch would feel at home in a Rolls-Royce. The competition is getting better, but Ram's interiors still are the best of the best.

Trending News

 
 

The 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

Trending News

 
 

No, it didn't snow in June.

GMC

Testing trucks is always fun. Well, to be honest, testing any vehicle is fun and is absolutely a privilege, but I absolutely love putting trucks through their paces. My most recent tester was the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, a factory off-road model with style and substance. Let's take a look at what makes it tick.

Off-Road-Ready Truck With a Stout Powertrain

Key upgrades here include a two-inch factory lift kit with Rancho Monotube Shocks, Goodyear Mud-Terrain tires mounted on 20-inch wheels, a two-speed automatic transfer case, and a traction select system with off-road and towing settings.

The net effect of all that gear is impressive. The AT4 rides as smoothly as many crossovers and maneuvers with relative ease for a truck its size. In town, there's little distinction in driving manners between this beefy off-road pickup truck and most family haulers, as long as being taller than nearly everyone else in traffic is ok with you. The truck handles well, and exhibits little instability over bumps at speed, which is a common challenge with pickup trucks and off-road vehicles.

My test truck was equipped with the optional 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel and a ten-speed automatic gearbox. With 277 horsepower and a stout 460 pound-feet of torque, it's the perfect companion for a truck meant to climb over and out of gnarly obstacles on the trails. In daily driving scenarios, the engine is quiet and refined, and shows little of the rattly, noisy diesel sound many people expect from the engines. With plenty of torque on tap, the AT4 feels somewhat lively, and is able to navigate traffic with ease. Reaching highway speeds and passing once there is also a breeze, and the truck remains surprisingly peaceful on the interstate.

Comfy Interior and Useful Bed Features

Inside, my test truck came equipped with leather upholstery and optional heated/cooled front seats. We had a rare heat wave in Maine during my week with the truck, and its powerful air conditioning combined with the cooled seats to create a much-needed oasis for this rare brutal week in northern New England. The front seats are wide and well-padded, but I found myself shuffling around, wanting more in the way of hip and thigh support. There's a tendency to slide to one side of the seat and stay there, which could easily be solved with a bit more bolstering on both the seat back and bottom.


2021 GMC Sierra AT4 The Sierra's cabin is comfortable and well-made.GMC


As all of my vehicle testing adventures do, the week with the AT4 involved plenty of kid transport. The full-size pickup's back seat is wide and flat, which makes it ideal for installing car seats, but I can't imagine that it'd be extremely supportive for an adult over a long-haul trip. The truck's lift means it's hard for kids to climb in, but they had a fun time trying. The novelty may wear thin over time, but it lasted for the week we had the AT4. Once inside, the kids (and anyone else in the back seat) had their own air conditioning vents and plenty of room to stretch out in their booster seats.

Normally, a truck bed would be an afterthought in a review, but GMC has gone to lengths to make its bed a standout. The Carbon Pro composite bed material is tough, as in there's no need to worry about throwing whatever you want into the bed tough. I hauled over 100 30-pound patio paver blocks over the course of a few trips, and never felt the need to add extra protection to the bed after the first trip. I tossed an old rug and some flat cardboard to protect the bed at first, but it proved to be as stout as GMC claims. Adding functionality is the MultiPro tailgate, which offers several options for steps and different cargo hauling situations. It makes an excellent step, and when the center section is folded down, it opens up much more access to the bed when standing on the ground. My tester also had an optional Bluetooth speaker system built right into the step system, which would make for an awesome camping or beach party.

Tech-Heavy Cabin

In terms of tech, the Sierra AT4 is up to speed but nothing to write home about. Its optional 8.0-inch touchscreen runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an option for wired connections. There's also Bluetooth, SiriusXM Radio, and more. It's a cohesive system that is easy to use and intuitive, made even easier by clever behind-the-steering-wheel-mounted controls that allow volume and track adjustments. My truck also had an optional head-up display, which unsurprisingly is extremely difficult to see with polarized sunglasses. This is a common issue not unique to GMC, and could be solved by switching to non-polarized glasses.


2021 GMC Sierra AT4 The MultiPro tailgate adds ultimate functionality.GMC


Most advanced safety equipment is optional, and when I say most, I mean all. The Sierra AT4, and all Sierras for that matter, is available with automatic emergency braking, a bed-view camera system, forward collision alerts, front pedestrian braking, a front/rear parking assist system, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane departure warnings, and more. While I get the need to differentiate models with various features, the lack of some of these safety items is hard to swallow at nearly $60,000.

Bottom Line

I tend to become infatuated with full-size pickup trucks while I have them in for testing, but that feeling typically fades after a while. The Sierra AT4 was a little different. The diesel engine and comfortable interior make for a supremely daily-drivable pickup truck, and the Carbon Pro bed with multi-function tailgate makes a strong case for the GMC. Ultimately, it's too much truck for me, but it's a solid choice for those that can put it to work.

Trending News