Ranked

Ranked: 5 best pickup truck interiors for the 2021 model year

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX interior has an impressive interior that rivals the best of the Ram lineup.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The good ol' American pickup truck is more popular than it's ever been, and buyers are shelling out more for them than they ever have. The pickup has become an "only vehicle" for many families and busy professionals, and their feature sets have grown to accommodate the peoples' desires.

Truck MSRPs have drastically increased as they have become more of a luxury vehicle proposition for buyers who were traditionally limited to the confines of a large luxury car or SUV if they wanted to shell out around $100,000 for a new model. Their features match their price tag, with the newest models being equipped with hands-free driving tech and appointed with soft leathers and real wood.

No other group of vehicles better illustrates that point than the five we've listed here, our picks for the best truck interiors of 2021. These pickups put some premium brands to shame, and do so while retaining the high level of capability we've all come to expect.

No. 5 - 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD High Country

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD High Country

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The High Country is the range-topping trim in the Chevy Silverado line, so the interior finishes better be good. If there's any doubt that the statement isn't true about this year's truck, here's the proof. The 2021 Silverado 2500 HD High Country leaves the factory with standard perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a memory system for seats and mirrors, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and more.

The 2021 Silverado also picks up several improvements from its predecessor, including standard Hitch Guidance and Hitch View systems for easier towing, and an HD surround-view camera with two trailering views. That's on top of the already excellent existing hardware, which includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

Editor's Note: Photos of the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD High Country are not yet available. The truck is mostly a carryover from the previous model year so the above image of the 2020 version is a good representation of what the 2021 looks like.

No. 4 - 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali

Photo courtesy of GMC

Where the Chevrolet's work truck roots show through at times, even in the plush High Country trim, the GMC hides its underpinnings well. It's got all the goodies that the Chevy brings to the table, such as an 8.0-inch screen, and then some. The 2021 Sierra Denali trim's cabin is filled with premium materials, from Forge perforated leather upholstery to premium tufted carpeting throughout.

In addition to its lavish interior finishes, the GMC brings peace of mind with several safety and driver assistance features that include the automaker's innovative trailering functions, an off-road package, and two different driver alert packages. Between them, the two options groups bring lane departure warnings, forward collision alerts, perimeter lighting, blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic emergency braking.

Editor's Note: Photos of the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali are not yet available. The truck is mostly a carryover from the previous model year so the above image of the 2020 version is a good representation of what the 2021 looks like.

No. 3 - 2021 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

2021 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you can deal with not having the best towing capacity or the most powerful engine in your pickup truck, it's hard to get much better than the 2021 Nissan Titan's interior accommodations. Even without acknowledging anything else about the truck, the amazingly comfortable Zero Gravity seats alone would almost be enough to put the Nissan on our list.

The Titan Platinum Reserve also checks in with the second largest infotainment screen on this list, at 9.0-inches, and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Fender 12-speaker audio system, a subwoofer, and a top-notch voice recognition system.

No. 2 - 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch

2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The redesigned 2021 Ford F-150's interior isn't quite as upscale as Ram's, but it's got enough clever and thoughtful features to land it a number-two spot on our list. The 2021 model will still get useful gear like Ford's excellent Pro Trailer Backup Assist, but there are a few new tricks up the truck's sleeve.

Ford is offering a power-retractable gear shift lever, which can fold down into the center console. This allows the armrest to fold open, which forms a flat work surface, ideal for writing and using a laptop. Also, the front seats in some trims can be upgraded with a Max Recline feature, which lets them fold almost flat to form a cot for sleeping.

Elsewhere, the 2021 F-150 can be optioned with a horizontally oriented 12-inch screen, which rivals Ram's vertical unit. The display will run the latest version of Ford's awesome infotainment system, known as SYNC 4. In some trims, that screen will be joined by another foot-long screen to house a digital gauge cluster. It can display navigation information and can be customized to display off-road and performance data.

No. 1 - 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn Edition

2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

If you're sitting in a German luxury sedan right now, conflicted about needing a pickup truck but not sure if you can live with a utilitarian vibe, fear no more. Ram thoroughly updated its 1500 line of light-duty trucks in 2019 with interiors and tech that could almost make a Mercedes-AMG engineer quake in their boots.

Plush leather upholstery, heated and cooled seats, an optional panoramic sunroof, and what is arguably the best infotainment system on the market are just a few of the headlining features here. Oh, and let's not forget that the Ram can be equipped with a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, a unit which is capable of running two apps in split-screen views. That's a huge plus and allows the driver to do things like change climate settings while watching navigation directions.

If you need more capability, Ram's got you covered there as well. The automaker took that award-winning premium formula and applied it to its heavy-duty trucks as well. That means that you can get all of those lust-worthy features while also towing up to 35,100 pounds with the Ram 3500 (19,780 pounds in Ram 2500 models).

Pictured above is the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition, a special edition model that tops the Ram 1500 lineup.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The BMW iX is just one model that is coming to American for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Many cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans have gotten upgrades for the 2022 model year. There are a a variety of terms you'll frequently see associated with a description of a vehicle for its annual changeover. Here's how AutomotiveMap defines them:

  • New - These models are entering the market for the first time.
  • Carryover - There have been no major changes from one model year to the other. It is common that the year after a new or refreshed model is introduced, it will be a carryover.
  • Refreshed - Commonly occurring three to four years after the new generation of a model is introduced, a refresh usually includes new fascia, perhaps an engine lineup change or tech upgrade, and usually the addition of safety system upgrades.
  • Redesign - This term signals a generation change in the model. This usually requires an architecture change and all new body panels, engine lineup, tech offerings, and the introduction of new packages, trim levels, and pricing. Redesigns typically happens every seven to nine years.

The models on this list are new or have either been redesigned or refreshed for the 2022 model year. This list will grow as more information becomes available. Click here to see the 2021 models that were new, refreshed, or redesigned for the year.

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

2022 Volkswagen Tiguan Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG​

Volkswagen announced a refreshed version of the Tiguan SUV in late 2020 but made it known that the model wasn't going to make it stateside until late 2021. The European version (shown above) of the SUV has a new grille that combines with standard LED headlights, VW's new logo right up front, new rear bumpers, redesigned lettering, and a pretty decent tech upgrade in its cabin.

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Word on the street is that the new Toyota Corolla Cross could be coming to the U.S. as a 2022 model. That's unconfirmed at this point. If it were, the Corolla Cross could fill a gap in Toyota's lineup between the RAV4 and CH-R, similar to where the Hyundai Kona fits between the Santa Fe and Venue. Stay tuned for more information.

2022 Nissan Ariya

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Ariya is a 300-mile all-electric crossover with a $40,000 price tag. It might be replacing the Murano in the company's lineup as the brand strategically weighs production versus an electrified business model. The Ariya has unique, minimalistic design that uber modern. Stay tuned for more information as it's announced throughout 2021.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

When the Grand Wagoneer concept debuted in late 2020, it was touted as coming soon and nearly production ready. The model fits into FCA/Stellantis's multi-year product plans as a 2022 model with production expected to kick off in 2021. Check back for more information.

2022 Hyundai Kona

2022 Hyundai Kona N Line Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company

The Kona is already old enough to have undergone a model refresh. They grow up so quickly! The new design infusion gives the 2022 Kona new cladding, a freshly stretched hood, new grille shape. The lower bumper has a skid plate while intakes dominate the corners of the face. At the back are new taillights with a horizontal graphic. Below is a new bumper. The revised Kona rides on updated 17- or 18-inch wheels, or the 16-inchers that have been carried over from previous model years. The model also gets Hyundai's 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback Photo courtesy of Audi AG

In their seemingly never ending move to fastback everything, Audi is making the Q5 Sportback and SQ5 Sportback a reality for the 2022 model year. The two models get basically the same equipment package as their squared-off counterparts and has about the same capability.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

Cadillac Blackwing launch

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac will soon be introducing its new performance-centric sedan. We'll update this information when it's announced.

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Sedona

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia Sedona name is gone, replaced by the Kia Carnival moniker for the 2022 model year. That's not as big of a deal as it sounds, the van has always been known as the Carnival to global markets. For 2021, the van got a generational upgrade overseas, but those changes won't make it stateside until the 2022 model year.

2022 BMW 4 Series Cabriolet

2022 BMW 4 Series Convertible Photo courtesy of BMW

The 4 Series is a distinct creature. For the 2022 model year, a cabriolet version of the car will be made available for sale that's lighter and has more cargo space and a lower center of gravity than its predecessor. Like its hard-topped relatives, the 4 Series Convertible is available with a variety of packages but only one engine is available, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Volkswagen Taos

2022 Volkswagen Taos Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is introducing the Taos to the U.S. market for the 2022 model year. The small SUV is akin to the Hyundai Kona in size and the Volkswagen Tiguan in styling. VW made this model explicitly for the U.S. market where SUVs are dominating the sales conversation.

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

In 2020, the automaker revealed the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, which has been refreshed inside and out. Most notably, it has a refreshed face and redesigned hatch. Minor interior improvements are designed to help make the Mitsubishi more palatable to buyers.

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is the most powerful Golf to date and yes, it's coming to the U.S. The performance variant of the Golf family delivers 315 horsepower, a 27-horsepower boost over the outgoing model, and 310 pound-feet of torque up from 280). Each Golf R gets a turbocharged 1,984 cc four-cylinder engine hat is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing

Blacwing launch

​Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac will soon be introducing its new performance-centric sedan. We'll update this information when it's announced.

2022 Hyundai Tucson

2022 Hyundai Tucson Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Tucson has been completely redesigned for the 2022 model year and it's impressive to say the least. The upmarket two-row SUV comes with high-tech features, comfortable seats, and a seriously budget-friendly price tag.

2022 Infiniti QX55

2022 Infiniti QX55 Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The long-awaited Infiniti QX55 is finally a reality. Like many of the other vehicles on this list, it's a small SUV. The QX55 takes the place of the QX30 in the automaker's lineup and is designed to offer a premium drive experience that's engaging and fun, similar to the Infiniti FX of the past.

2022 Honda Civic

2022 Honda Civic Prototype Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

A new generation of Honda Civic is on the way. The company recently revealed a near-production prototype of the car (as seen above) and a fully operable next-gen version is planned to debut soon. Stay tuned.

2022 Subaru BR-Z

2022 Subaru BRZ Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

The sister of the Toyota 86 has gotten a full blown generational change for the 2022 model year. The 2022 Subaru BRZ keeps its pin-sharp handling but has gotten a significant makeover inside and out. It's also gotten Subaru's standard EyeSight driver assist and safety technology.

2022 Genesis GV70

2022 Genesis GV70 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

The Genesis GV80 just landed on U.S. shores but its smaller brother, the GV70 isn't too far behind it. The GV70 carries over the premium looks and features of the GV80 into this smaller, and more budget-friendly package.

2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX exterior Photo courtesy of Acura

The Acura MDX may be one of the first 2022 models to make it to market. The next-generation MDX has gotten significant enhancements to its interior quality, drivability, and comfort for the new model year. Engineers are also planning a sportier version of the MDX so stay tuned for information about that.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV Photo courtesy of GMC

The GMC Hummer EV finally debuted in mid-2020 but it won't make it to buyers' homes until late 2021. The first editions of the model are slated to be the most powerful and priciest with the cost of each topping $100,000. GMC's first all-electric model combines the comfort of an SUV with the styling of a beefy truck as it attempts to become the ultimate utility vehicle.

2022 GMC Sierra

2022 GMC Sierra Denali

Photo courtesy of GMC

It's been rumored since its interior design fell flat at its debut that the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado were having interior redos hustled through the design process. GMC gave the first indications that this is true when they announced that the Sierra Denali is getting Super Cruise driving tech for 2022. Stay tuned for more info.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet teases refreshed 2022 Bolt EV, new 2022 Bolt EUV

A refreshed Chevrolet Bolt EV is on the docket for 2022. Chevy has been teasing the model left and right over the last few months so we should know more concrete information soon.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

A crossover version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV called the Chevrolet Bolt EUV will be coming to market as a 2022 model as well. Information is pending on the model but several clues have already surfaced.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi is teasing the next-gen 2022 Outlander ahead of its February debut. Stay tuned for more information about the SUV.

2022 BMW iX

2022 BMW iX Photo courtesy of BMW

The 2022 BMW iX is an all-electric SUV slated to arrive in the U.S. later this year. The iX will be the first bit of BMW's future EV plans to reach U.S. shores and bring with it the latest and greatest technology the company offers.

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The Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition pays homage to vintage aircraft.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the aftermath of World War I, company founder Ettore Bugatti showcased the first three vehicles made by the company that bore his name. They were race cars and Bugatti found itself at the pinnacle of the sport very quickly.

By 1930, the company would begin its relationship with the aerospace industry, first with the Bugatti 100P, which never actually flew due to World War II, but served as the inspiration for a number of patents that are filed by the company. The plane went into storage as the Second World War kicked off and Mr. Bugatti would never again work on it during his lifetime.

Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Bugatti is honoring its racing and aviation past with a new series of Chiron Sport models dubbed "Les Légendes du Ciel". The drivers who piloted the Bugattis to success in the early 1900s were often time multitalented with resumes declaring them flying aces, daredevils, and technically skilled pilots.

"Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo 'Meo' Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them."

Each of the new models features a special, matte gray "Gris Serpent" paint job, which is inspired by the exterior color of aircrafts from the 1920s. The color extends front to rear with high-contrast, which gloss stripe running up the center. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo. The "Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" tricolor decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

At the front is Bugatti's traditional horseshoe radiator grille, finished in gloss black. The grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, and constructed in a dynamic pattern that that is repeated on the car's leather seats. Entry lights project the edition logo on the ground at entry while "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo on the middle console inlays.

Bugatti has covered the engine with black exposed carbon fiber with contrasting white lettering. The material continues at the back where black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate.

The car's interior is almost entirely upholstered in leather. The leather's light brown color was chosen to be reminiscent of the natural leather in early aircrafts. On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13.

The new Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition is limited to 20 vehicles. Every model is independently numbered and costs $3.5 million.

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