Top 5 most affordable pickup trucks in the Philippines

Aug 14, 2018 | Same topic: Best advice for car buyers
Get the lowdown on the best pickup trucks in the Philippines with everything all-in.

When buying a pickup, it seems that all options are the same but they aren’t! There are many available pickups to choose from and this list will narrow it down to get the best pick-up in the Philippines 2018/2019.

I. Why consider a pickup?

Among most cars available, the pickup truck is the most preferred for its usefulness and its inherent sturdiness. This characteristic is shared by its SUV cousin, but the open truck bed with 4-passenger cab gives it a flexibility that an SUV lacks.

People get pickups for a variety of reasons, but most of all is the open or closed truck bed that makes it’s the “Big Kahuna” of everything multi-purpose. Getting the best pick-up for your money isn’t an easy task to do, because this vehicle class is very different from most cars.

PICKUP truck on the road

Among most cars available the pickup truck is the most preferred for its usefulness and its inherent sturdiness

This kind of vehicle is mostly connected to the working class, and is originally a working vehicle for white collar workers. Recent additions of car-drivability and more comfortable cabins have made then better options. It comes in several sizes but in general the mid-sized to larger pickups are the best option.

Pickups are very good options but just basing judgement on price is not sufficient. Here are pros & cons of buying a pickup truck in the Philippines, you can read further and then decide what is the best one.

II. Buying points to consider to buy the best pickup trucks Philippines 2019

Before running off to the dealership there are some buying points to look out for when choosing the best affordable pickup trucks. It may seem alien but let’s put in layman’s terms which are easily understood.

1.  Powerful torque and horsepower

Horsepower is the energy produced by torque when the engine’s shaft rotates. So, torque must be high to create horsepower to move in any direction fast or slow.

2. High clearance and big tires

The high clearance and big tires of a pickup mean that rough or smooth ground is easy to handle and it won’t damage the under-chassis. Daily problems like bad roads in Manila and flashfloods is less severe compared to “Lilliputian” cars on the road.

pickup truck off roading

The high clearance and big tires of a pickup mean that rough or smooth ground is easy to handle

3. Specialized suspension

The truck suspension is fine-tuned for carrying loads so expect bouncy rides when the truck bed is empty. The layout is much different for a car’s because it is a cab on a frame, not a uni-body.

4. Drive options like 2WD, 4WD and AWD

Most pickups come in these options, and the 4WD or the AWD is the more expensive options.

  • Four Wheel Drive is either full-time or part-time which can be switched when in good or bad terrain.
  • The All-Wheel Drive sends power to where it senses slippage while moving.
  • Two Wheel Drive is either rear or front drivetrain that pulls the truck forward.

Use these buying points to go over the options presented and see what is the best pick-up vehicle in the Philippines that Philkotse.com introduces today!

III. Top 5 shootout best options

Let’s go through several options and see what is the most affordable pickup trucks in the Philippines.

1. Foton Thunder 4x4

One of the more affordable Chinese imports that is equipped with a Euro 4-compliant Cummins Turbo diesel engine. The drive is a 4x2 drivetrain with automatic transmission that is excellent for most driving and multi-use purposes. A 2.8L SOHC ISF “Blue Energy” engine with an innovative exhaust gas recirculation tech that is environment-friendly despite it being a diesel. It converts all gases produced into carbon dioxide and water to reduce pollutive effects of diesel exhaust.

Foton Thunder 4x4 Specs
The good
  • Displacement: 2776 cc
  • Horsepower: 165 PS
  • Torque: 365 Nm
  • Drivetrain: 4X4
  • Transmission: AT 6-speed with manual select
  • Front Suspension: Double Wishbone Suspension, Spiral Swing Sway bar
  • Rear Suspension: Longitudinal Leaf spring, Non-Independent suspension
  • Ground Clearance: 210 mm
  • Tire size: 245 / 70 R16
  • Safety features: Dual airbags, ABS/EBD/BA, ESC, Traction control, Hill-Descent control, Hill-Hold Assist, Reverse parking sensors
  • Passengers: 5 
The bad  None
Judgement The Foton Thunder is a good alternative that is value for money and a good buy. Buy it and have a world-class pickup to own.

2. Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak 4x4 AT

The Ford Ranger is fully decked out with everything from top to bottom with more improvements incorporated into it. It has a powerful 3.2 L engine that supplies 200 PS and 470 Nm of power that’s a slow starter but gets up to speed easily. Every modern safety is included for a safe and comfortable drive. It is much taller than the Foton Thunder by 27 mm and has bigger stance.

ford ranger 2018 philippines

The Ford Ranger is fully decked out with everything from top to bottom with more improvements incorporated into it

Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak 4x4 Specs
The good
  • Displacement: 3198 cc
  • Horsepower: 200 PS
  • Torque: 470 Nm
  • Drivetrain: 4X4
  • Transmission: AT 6-speed
  • Front Suspension: Double Wishbone with Coil Springs
  • Rear Suspension: Leaf Spring
  • Ground Clearance- 237 mm
  • Tire size- 265 / 60 R18 Alloy
  • Safety features: Airbags, ABS/EBD, Traction / Stability Control, Parking Sensors, ISOFIX Child Seat anchors and tethers, Adaptive Cruise, Lane Departure Warning & Lane Keeping Aid, Side & Curtain Airbags
  • Passengers: 5
The bad Everything’s all good except the suspension which could have been upgraded further a bit.
Judgement Runs on diesel fuel and it should incorporate more environmental friendly tech for cleaner emissions. Still one of the best options which can’t be denied and has the Ford badge of 4X4 quality.
Review Ford Ranger 2018 review

3. Isuzu Dmax 3.0 LS 4x4 AT BluePower

Another one of these environment-friendly pickups with an emissions-reducing tech called “Blue Power”. A functional and practical option that has every reduced cabin noise but no Isofix is equipped. It’s touch and goes on the Isofix but a go-go for the other good features!

isuzu dmax 2018 on the road

Another one of these environment-friendly pickups with an emissions-reducing tech called “Blue Power”

Isuzu Dmax 3.0 LS 4x4 AT Blue Power Specs
The good
  • Displacement: 2999 cc
  • Horsepower: 117 PS
  • Torque: 380 Nm
  • Drivetrain: 4X4
  • Transmission: 5-speed Automatic
  • Front Suspension: Independent Double Wishbone with Coil Spring and Stabilizer
  • Rear Suspension: Semi-Elliptical Leaf spring
  • Ground Clearance: 235 mm
  • Tire size- 255 / 60 R18
  • Safety features: Dual SRS airbags, Seatbelts with Load limiter, Pre-tensioner, Child Seat Tethers for Second row, Side Door Impact beams, ABS (EBD, BA), ESC, HSA, Child Proof Rear Door Locks, Speed Sensing Automatic Door locks, Reverse Sensing System, Reverse Camera, Rear defogger, Immobilizer
  • Passengers: 5
The bad Looking at the horsepower specs that is smaller than the Foton Thunder’s. Getting to speed can be slow but the torque is a decent 380 Nm compared to 400 Nm.
Judgement This is one 4X4 pickup with sweet features but needs improvement in PS but makes up for it in numerous safety features. Having a reversing cam and ESC but could have added an Emergency Breaking System with everything it has. It is only equipped with dual airbags no side airbags for the 1.6 mil cost.
Review Isuzu Dmax 2018 review

4. Chevrolet Colorado 2.8 4x4 AT LTZ

Another one of these environment-friendly pickups with an emissions-reducing tech called “Blue Power”. A functional and practical option that has every reduced cabin noise but no Isofix is equipped. It’s touch and goes on the Isofix but a go-go for the other good features!

chevrolet colorado 2018 on the road

It’s touch and goes on the Isofix but a go-go for the other good features

Chevrolet Colorado 2.8 4x4 AT LTZ Specs
The good
  • Displacement: 2,776 cc
  • Horsepower: 200 PS
  • Torque: 500 Nm
  • Drivetrain: AWD
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
  • Front suspension: Double Wishbone Independent Suspension with Coilover twin tube shock absorber
  • Rear suspension: Axle Suspension with Leaf Spring
  • Ground Clearance: 245 mm
  • Tire size: 265/60R18 and 245/70R16
  • Safety features: Dual SRS airbags, Side airbag, Curtain airbag, Knee airbag, Seatbelts, Isofix, ABS with EBD, ESC, Child Proof Rear Door Locks, Speed Sensing Automatic Door locks, Front and Rear parking sensor, Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Passengers: 5
The bad It has no Brake Assist but otherwise is a good option.
Judgement The suspension system is less bumpy and rides much better because it’s has a Twin-tube shock absorber. For the price, it could have a collision avoidance system or adaptive cruise but it still all good. Based on the horsepower and torque that points to faster than usual acceleration over the others. It outperforms the Dmax based on these numbers with ease.
Review Chevrolet Colorado 2018 review

5. Mazda BT-50 3.2 4x4 AT

The powerplant is 16-valve DOHC, diesel fed engine that is only second to Colorado’s overall PS and Nm rating. A refined truck inside and out with a visually appealing cabin that’s silent too. All the trimming in a 1.5 mil truck that doesn’t let down inside or outside. Equipped with safety aids to keep it stable and a roomy cab as well.

mazda bt50 2018 on the road

A refined truck inside and out with a visually appealing cabin that’s silent too

Mazda BT-50 3.2 4x4 AT Specs
The good
  • Displacement: 3,198 cc
  • Horsepower: 200 PS
  • Torque: 470 Nm
  • Drivetrain: 4WD
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
  • Front suspension: Independent Double Wishbone
  • Rear suspension: Rigid, Leaf Springs
  • Ground Clearance: 237 mm
  • Tire size: 265/65 R17
  • Safety features: Dual SRS airbags, Seatbelts, Isofix, ABS with EBD, BA, DSC (Mazda tech Stability control), Immobilizer, Motion Detector Sensor, Child Proof Rear Door Locks, Rear parking sensor with cam, Cruise control, Hill Descent control
  • Passengers: 5
The bad Could use a bit of an upgrade in the suspension but otherwise is a good pickup to get.
Judgement

This is a good balance of function and practicality done well without any hiccups too. It’s almost like the Ford Ranger but at a cheaper price with some features not included. But a good choice that can be opted for by anyone

Review Mazda BT-50 2018 review

IV. Best pickup trucks in the Philippines 2019: Conclusion

In the list 5 most affordable pickup trucks, each option has its buying points that make it a good option. Consider the price and the features it offers then compare the numbers to find out what better. Every is ranked by price and then the drawbacks of the unit to rank them. They are all worth it but that depends on the buyer in the end.

Most affordable pickup trucks Philippines price list
Model  Price* Good/Bad Points Is it worth it?
Foton Thunder 4x4 P1,248,000 Cleaner emissions, enough features Yes, very affordable
Ford Ranger 3.2 Wildtrak 4X4 AT P1,769,000 Not too eco-friendly, everything all-in Worth it. Most pricey
Isuzu Dmax 3.0 LS 4x4 AT BluePower P1,670,000 Cleaner emissions, good features Worth it.
Not so pricey
Chevrolet Colorado 2.8 4x4 AT LTZ P1,689,888 500 Nm of torque, excellent safety features Worth it.
Pricey
Mazda BT-50 3.2 4x4 AT P1,550,000 Good combo looks and features Worth it.
Priced just right

(*): Prices have been updated but please recheck.

Finally, please don't forget to check out Philkotse.com for useful car tips and advice.

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas