It might be a bold statement, but pickup trucks are arguably one of the most versatile vehicle types you can buy right now. Modern pickups, as in the ones being sold right now, can often match other five-seater vehicles in terms of comfort and on-board features. That’s on top of the fact that they can carry stuff on their beds. Well, sure, other cars like SUVs also have large cargo carrying capacities, but you wouldn’t want to load one up with dirty or dusty cargo, would you?
Trucks nowadays allow its owners to work hard in relative comfort
Moreover, most pickup trucks can take on rough terrain with ease. Most models offer a 4x4 drivetrain, and even the ones with 4x2 setups already have an impressive amount of ground clearance. As such, potholes and rough unpaved roads are no issue.
So, what are we getting at? Well, due to the pickup truck’s versatility, they are some of the most sought-after vehicle types in the country right now. They can do well as family cars, a logistics solution for your business, as an all-out adventure vehicle, and as an all-purpose utility vehicle.
Being a popular vehicle type however, there are a lot of pickup trucks to choose from in the local market. So, to aid prospective buyers, here are our top picks for the best pickup trucks in the market today.
The interiors of most modern trucks are no longer spartan, that's for sure
Of note, all five come from well-known car brands, and have more than proven themselves in terms of durability and reliability. Moreover, these five are midsize trucks that present a good balance between price, utility, practicality, and comfort.
Top five best pickup trucks you can buy in 2021
The first truck on this list is the Toyota Hilux. As of September 2021, the Japanese-marque introduced a facelifted version that comes with new features like a better instrument cluster, a better touchscreen, as well as a new front fascia.
The all-new 2021 Toyota Hilux Conquest
For engines, the new Hilux either gets a 2.4-liter turbodiesel, or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel. The smaller mill can make up to 148 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. The larger engine on the other hand can produce up to 201 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque.
For both 2.4-liter and 2.8-liter variants, a 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain is available. Both engines can also come with either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a six-speed automatic tranny.
Pricing for the Toyota-made truck starts at Php 843,000 for the Hilux 2.4 Cab and Chassis 4x2 MT variant. The top-spec Hilux Conquest 2.8 4x4 AT meanwhile, has a price tag of Php 1,830,000.
Another truck that we recommend is the Mitsubishi Strada. It features a modern and athletic-looking exterior. This is especially true with the top-spec Athlete variant, which was released back in October 2020.
The Mitsubishi Strada Athlete
Propelling all Strada variants is a 2.4-liter turbodiesel inline-4 engine that’s able to make up to 179 horsepower and 430 Nm of torque. Depending on the variant, it either gets a six-speed automatic transmission, or a six-speed manual transmission. A 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrain is also available for this model as well.
For the Mitsubishi-made pickup truck, prices start at Php 1,185,000 for the Strada GLX Plus 2.4 4x2 MT. The top-of-the-line Strada Athlete 2.4 4x4 AT, on the other hand, has a price tag of Php 1,760,000.
Next up on this list is the 2021 Isuzu D-Max. Of note, this Isuzu-made truck is now on its third-generation model. It was released for the Philippine market in March 2021, and it features Isuzu’s Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS), which is a collection of safety active safety features.
The all-new 2021 Isuzu D-Max LS-E variant
Propelling the new D-Max is a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which can deliver 188 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. The 1.9-liter RZ4E diesel engine is also available, and it has a maximum output of 148 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque.
For both 1.9-liter and 3.0-liter variants, both a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission is available. For drivetrains, the 1.9-liter RZ4E variants can only come with 4x2. The ones with the 3.0-liter mill can either have a 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain.
The Philippine-spec Isuzu D-Max's price starts at Php 857,000 for the D-Max 1.9 4x2 Single Cab MT. At the top of the D-Max's variant totem pole is the D-Max LS-E 3.0 4x4 AT, which in turn has a price of Php 1,825,000.
The Nissan Navara is also a great truck for Philippine roads. As of March 2021, a facelifted version has been introduced, and it features a new front fascia, more tie-points on its bed, a new steering wheel, among others.
The updated 2021 Nissan Navara. Pictured is the PRO-4X variant
There is only one engine option for the Philippine-spec 2021 Navara and it’s a 2.5-liter turbodiesel mill. This engine does have two different tunes. On the Navara EL variant, the aforementioned 2.5-liter engine can produce up to 163 horsepower and 403 Nm of torque. For the rest of the variants, on the other hand, the same 2.5-liter engine produces more at 190 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque.
The 2021 Navara can either come with a seven-speed automatic tranny, or a six-speed manual transmission. A 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain is available for this model, depending on the variant.
Of note, the Navara is one of the few pickup trucks in the Philippine market that uses a multi-link suspension system for its rear end. The rest of the truck models available locally come with a leaf-spring type rear suspension.
Pricing for the Navara starts at Php 1,149,000 for the Navara EL 4x2 MT entry-level variant. The top-spec Navara PRO-4X 2.5 4x4 AT, on the other hand, can be had for Php 1,849,000.
While most of the pickup trucks on this list come from Japanese brands, Ford’s Ranger model is also a great truck that a prospective buyer should consider.
The latest variant to be released for this Ford model is the Ranger FX4 Max. What’s special about this particular trim is that it combines the power of Ford’s 2.0-liter biturbo engine with the utility of the regular Ranger’s suspension system. In short, it’s a truck that’s great for both work and play.
Speaking of engines, the Ranger for the local market has two options. First is the aforementioned 2.0-liter biturbo diesel mill, which can make up to 210 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque. This engine is then paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox. For drivetrains, this powerful engine is only available in 4x4.
The all-new 2021 Ford Ranger FX4 Max
There’s also the 2.2-liter turbodiesel that’s capable of producing 158 horsepower and 385 Nm of torque. It either gets a six-speed automatic, or a six-speed manual transmission. It can also come with a 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain.
Lastly, there’s the 2.0-liter single turbo diesel, which can deliver up to 178 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque. It is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual tranny, but it is only available with a 4x2 drivetrain.
Prices for the Ranger start at Php 1,155,000 for the Ranger XLS 2.2 4x2 MT. The top-spec Ranger Wildtrak 2.0 Biturbo 4x4 AT meanwhile, has a price tag of Php 1,728,000.
Those are the top five best pickup trucks that you can buy in the Philippines in 2021. For more car buying and selling guides and car maintenance guides, keep it here on Philkotse.com.
Know more about Toyota Hilux 2021
The Toyota Hilux is a pickup with a globally known nameplate for being one of the reliable workhorse vehicles. It was 1968 when automotive giant Toyota's pickup truck started building a reputation for being rugged and dependable, and it continues until today with the facelifted model launched in 2020. This popular pickup continues to evolve and slowly move upmarket after gaining luxuries. The most significant revolutionary jump of the Hilux happened in 2004 when the seventh-generation of the model was introduced. It was the first 21st-century iteration of Toyota's pickup. It is also the first generation to ride on Toyota’s new Innovative Multi-purpose Vehicle architecture. It provided improved safety, better ride comfort, modern D-4D diesel engines, more interior space, and a more modern aerodynamic body. The current 8th generation offers a more refined and stylish design than its predecessor, but the tradition of being a tough pickup continues. It gets a much-awaited refresh in 2020 inline. Aside from improved looks, the Philippine iteration also comes with more powerful engine options. The Toyota Hilux is available in 4x4 and 4x2 variants. In the Philippines, the pickup truck is offered with diesel engines. It is available with automatic or manual transmission depending on the variant.
Cesar G.B. Miguel