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The 5 Worst Pickups Ever Sold (And The 5 Best)

Some models have been successful, while others have been total dogs.

The 5 Worst Pickups Ever Sold (And The 5 Best)

Pickup trucks are the quintessential American vehicle. They represent many-American values: they're big, burly, and built like brick outhouses. In addition, pickup trucks have always had an adventurous spirit; they're built to last and can be relied on when you need to get those big loads across town.

Some amazing pickup trucks have been built in the past, but have you ever considered what made some of them so successful? For example, when you look at the Ford F-150, do you know what made it better than other trucks on the market?

The pickup truck segment has been one of the most successful in the American auto industry for many years, but sadly, also some models have failed miserably. In this article, I will explore some of the best and worst pickups ever made.

The Worst

12003-2006 Chevrolet SSR

2003-2006 Chevrolet SSR

Why's This So Bad?

Chevy really did produce the worst pickup trucks in automotive history with the Chevy SSR series. It was even more surprising and uncharacteristic of a world-renowned, established automotive giant like Chevrolet.

The SSR truck never should've been called a pickup truck in the first place. It had no power, couldn't handle working tasks, and power was not even as good as some ordinary cars. Understandably, Chevy only sold over 24,000 units from 2003 to 2006, never selling over 9,000 units per year. There was also the fact that it looked toyish and horribly so—nothing like a pickup truck ever should've been, and it was widely criticized.

RELATED: Ford vs. Chevy Trucks Reliability: Which is More Reliable?

21972 Ford Courier

1972 Ford Courier

Why's This So Bad?

Despite its bold look, the 1972 Ford Courier was a flop. This model year's pickup truck is considered one of the worst trucks ever made and remains a thorn in Ford's side even today.

The truck was a dud from the moment it hit the road. The exterior had a flimsy frame, and the interior was made from cheap, low-quality materials. It's a shame, really; it has not been able to handle strenuous work and heavy loads, and its exterior and interior structures are weak as well.

32006 Honda Ridgeline

2006 Honda Ridgeline

Why's This So Bad?

The 2006 Honda Ridgeline was a very poor pickup truck. Smaller than the beds on most other trucks, it didn't have enough room to haul things or use as a truck should, and time has not been kind to it, as it has proven to be unreliable in many ways.

The truck's poor build quality doomed it to failure, and nobody today likes to talk about the truck, let alone buy one. It's also a dark footnote in Honda's history.

42002 Subaru Baja

2002 Subaru Baja

Why's This So Bad?

The 2002 Subaru Baja was one of the worst vehicles ever produced by Subaru and one of the most disappointing pickup trucks to ever hit the market. However, with virtually no trunk at all, it was quite a brave and ignorant decision of Subaru even to call it a pickup truck, considering just how bad it was.

More Unfortunately, the truck had a weak 2.5L engine that could never measure up to the performance of contemporaries, let alone today's modern power units. The small windows and small bed made it a gas-guzzler, unjustified by its looks or performance.

51976 Cadillac Mirage

1976 Cadillac Mirage

Why's This So Bad?

The 1976 Cadillac Mirage pickup truck is a vehicle often forgotten today, but it was one of the worst pickups during its time on the primary market. As decades have passed, it is still regarded as one of the worst vehicles ever produced and should be criticized immensely.

When the Cadillac Mirage pickup was launched, people were skeptical about its success. Its unusual design—essentially the trunk of a station wagon with four windows welded onto it—made it seem like an uncomfortable ride. In addition, it was also very weaker than other vehicles on the market.

The Best

11993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

1993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

Why's This So Good?

Since its introduction in 1993, the Ford Lightning pickup truck has been considered an all-time classic. With its combination of performance and utility, the Lightning changed the way many people thought about pickup trucks.

The Ford Lightning is credited for setting the industry standard in strength, power, and functionality. It featured a 5.8L V8 that produced 240 horsepower and helped set the tone for today's competitive truck market.

21995 Nissan Hardbody 4x4

1995 Nissan Hardbody 4x4

Why's This So Good?

The Nissan Hardbody was the basis of what would become the Nissan Pathfinder. Affectionately dubbed the "Hardbody" for its strength, the truck featured a unique design at the time. One of the best-looking trucks at the time, it only offered a V6 until 1995, after which subsequent models only came with a four-cylinder option.

The 4x4 Sports package for the Hardbody came with 31-inch tires and fender flairs. The truck's 4-cylinder and V6 models produced 134 hp and 154 hp, respectively. Both power units were remarkably dependable, and the truck was a financial success for the Japanese brand.

31991-93 GMC Syclone

1991-93 GMC Syclone

Why's This So Good?

GMC's Syclone pickup showed that not all pickups have to focus solely on heavy loading and towing. Thus, the Syclone focused not on torque and towing but on performance—and it delivered. For anyone not involved in industrial workers who wanted a pickup, the Syclone was a perfect fit; GMC provided it by turning their S-10 compact pickup into a lightning-fast one.

The GMC Syclone is one of the fastest trucks on the road at the time, reaching 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and getting there by using the Corvette's automatic transmission and a V6 engine churning out 280 horsepower. Of course, it wasn't rated to tow, but when you could gap most muscle cars on the interstate, who cared about that?

42017 F-150 Raptor

2017 F-150 Raptor

Why's This So Good?

In 2017, Ford introduced the second-generation Raptor. Again, it did what the first generation did best: dominate every single feature a pickup truck could boast of. As a result, the SUV received praise and reverence alike and was even more capable at off-roading than its predecessor while ironing out every issue that the first generation had.

Despite having only a V6, the 2017 Raptor cranked out 450 horsepower, which propelled this truck from 0-60 in less than 5.5 seconds. In addition, advanced electronics and remarkably tuned shocks and bump stops made the 2017 Raptor almost immune to jumps since it came off the assembly line being able to land jumps without incurring too much damage.

RELATED: Ford F250 vs. Chevy 2500: Which is Better?

52019 Ram Power Wagon 2500

2019 Ram Power Wagon 2500

Why's This So Good?

Dodge Power Wagons are timeless. Anyone who drives a Dodge Power Wagon fully realizes that any pickup truck enthusiast would give a limb to be in their shoes. Inarguably Dodge’s most robust vehicle ever, the Ram Power Wagon 2500 from 2019, was the absolute peak of power and performance.

The 2019 Ram Power Wagon 2500 was a modern version of the hard-core, no-nonsense Power Wagons of the past and had a massive 6.4L Hemi V8 engine that pushed out 410 horses. Despite being incredibly adept at off-roading, it was just as capable on the highway. The truck fulfilled everything one would wish for in a truck—power, off-roading prowess, on-road discipline, and speed—as well as a subtle aesthetic that was as powerful as it was classy.

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Rank Company Country
#1 Volkswagen logoVolkswagen Germany
#2 Toyota logoToyota Japan
#3 Honda logoStellantis Netherlands
#4 Mercedes-Benz Group logoMercedes-Benz Group Germany
#5 Ford logoFord Motor United States
Rank Company Country
#1 Michelin logoMichelin France
#2 Bridgestone logoBridgestone Japan
#3 Continental logoContinental Germany
#4 Goodyear logoGoodyear United States
#5 Sumitomo logoSumitomo Japan