Aside from crossover SUVs, the pickup segment is one of the most competitive vehicle categories in the country. And one of the more popular models from the litter is the Ford Ranger. There’s no question that this offering from the Blue Oval is one of the bestsellers in its class. A seriously capable and powerful hauler truck, the Ranger boasts an energetic engine choice, starting with a newly introduced 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo Diesel that’s good for 210hp and 500Nm. An equally new 10-speed automatic transmission only helps it achieve its full potential. Add to that the 4x4 system that comes with a shift-on-the-fly feature that lets drivers choose between 2WD and 4WD in a flash, and you’ve got a truly versatile pickup in your hands.
As for creature comforts, the Ranger contains a first-in-class tailgate lift assist, active park assist, navigation system, smarter start button, and voice-controlled SYNC 3 infotainment system, aided by an 8-inch TFT touchscreen and steering wheel controls for operational flexibility. Meanwhile, an 8-way power adjusted driver’s seat elevates driving convenience.
Priced between PHP1.03 and 1.7 million, the long-running pickup nameplate from arguably the most trusted American car brand is easily one of your best pickup truck choices. But is it the right choice for you? We list the Ranger’s known rivals on the local market so you can choose which one deserves your hard-earned money more.
It’s the number one selling pickup and the second bestselling vehicle for 2019—that’s really all you need to convince you that the Toyota Hilux is a worthy buy. With 13 different variants in all including two 4x4s and 4x2s, and even a cab and chassis option, the Hilux practically has the market cornered.
The power sources for the Hilux’s latest version remain to be a pair of GD-FTV engines— a 2.8-liter (1GD-FTV, 201hp with 420 – 500Nm of torque depending on transmission) for the 4x4 variants and a 2.4-liter (2GD-FTV, 148hp and 400Nm) for the 4x2 models. Though these are the same engines found in the outgoing model, they have been tweaked for more power. Transmission options include 6-speed automatic and 6-speed manual, depending on trim.
Interior-wise, the 2021 Hilux remains largely unaltered, save for an updated infotainment system. To enhance the driving experience, Toyota has imbued its flagship pickup with a large 8-inch touchscreen (6.75-inch on lower models) that comes with hands-free Bluetooth, with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Smart Device Link connectivity, as well as AM/FM/ Bluetooth/USB compatibility and six speakers to handle the audio output (only four in lower trims). At the dash of the new Hilux lies a 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display that also comes with tabs that indicate outside temperature, shift range indicators, an “Eco” monitor, and other pertinent trip information.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a vehicle that comes with the endorsement of the President, but the Isuzu D-Max just so happens to have that honor. And rightly so, because this impressive pickup from the popular Japanese commercial vehicle maker looks ready to take on any earthly terrain, especially its top-of-the-line Boondock, with its impressively the tall 247mm ground clearance. Blacked-out mirror covers, side stepboards, roof rails, over fenders, alloy wheels, and cargo extender complete the Boondock's off-road appeal.
For power, this Isuzu pickup relies on a Euro 4-compliant 3.0-liter Blue Power diesel engine with intercooler that produces 175hp and 380Nm. There are two transmission choices on offer: an automatic with sequential shift and a manual with gear shift indicator, both of which are 6-speed gearboxes.
Inside, an 8-inch multi-information touchscreen display serves as the centerpiece, appearing seamless unity with the rest of the dash and cabin's features. Perforated leather covers the front and back seats, further establishing the cabin's upmarket allure. For entertainment and whatnot, the D-Max provides occupants with Bluetooth, USB, auxiliary, and iPod connectivity.
The Mitsubishi Strada now carries the Dynamic Shield fascia, matching the design signature seen in the rest of Mitsubishi’s current lineup. This is complemented by a sporty front bumper garnish, 18-inch alloy wheels, roll bar, side decals, and a fitting two-tone finish. All of these exterior features add up to a sportier appearance for the Strada overall, especially for the top trim Strada Athlete.
Inside the engine bay of the Strada is Mitsubishi’s old reliable 2.4L MIVEC Turbo Clean Diesel engine that propels the Strada to 179 horses and 430Nm of torque. Shifting is managed by a 6-speed automatic transmission smoothened by a Super Select 4WD II system. This is aided by an off-road traction control that allows drivers to choose between different drive and terrain settings for improved road grip on different types of terrain
For its interiors, the Strada Athlete plays with a two-tone black and orange combo with orange stitching accents in its seats, gear shift panel/knob and parking brake lever (available in the 4x4 variant). The pickup also comes with a whole suite of safety and driver assistance systems that includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist (BSW with LCA), and Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), to name a few.
In addition, to allay any fears connected to the sudden unintended acceleration brouhaha that Mitsubishi got embroiled in in the past, the Strada now comes with an Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System (UMMS) takes care of any trepidations you may have about your Strada’s brakes going awry.
Nissan has been making pickup trucks for some 80-odd years, so that tells you they know something about building reliable workhorse vehicles. The latest generation of the Nissan Navara—aka the NP300—was one of the most anticipated vehicles during its year of release. With 10 variants in all, the Navara is powered by a lone 2.5-liter diesel engine option that supplies the pickup with 187hp and 450Nm of torque. Nissan pairs this engine with either a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual mode or 6-speed manual depending on trim.
Inside, the Navara features a plush black interior accented with silver highlights, with the center console standing out from the dashboard due to its glossy black finish. Great strides were made to ensure the Navara’s cabin feels as sedan-like as possible. And thanks to a five-link coil-spring suspension system that breaks away from the traditional leaf spring configurations found in others, this pickup has arguably the best ride comfort than any other option out there. Creature comforts include leather trimming and upholstery, 8-way power driver seat Intelligent Key with Push Engine Start/Stop, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Chevrolet Colorado’s ideal combination of power and utility makes it an exceptional vehicle for work and play. Propelled by a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine that’s good for 200hp and 500Nm of torque, the Colorado has a 1-ton hauling capacity, which is more than most pickup owners will ever need. Make sure to go for the High Country Storm variant of you’re looking for topnotch performance to go along with your beastly engine.
Although pickup trucks aren’t generally known for their interior quietness, the Golden Bow Tie took great effort to make the latest Colorado is as serene as a pickup can get, thanks to liberal application of insulating soft-touch materials all over the cabin. Generous legroom typifies both front and rear cabs, and upmarket elements abound, including easy closing doors, tire pressure monitoring system, up/down anti-pinch windows, a more intuitive and ergonomic center console, and the latest Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system operated by smartphone compatible 8-inch touchscreen.
The SsangYong Musso pickup lineup is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that dishes off 181hp and 400 to 420Nm of torque depending on variant, of which there are three: 4x4 AT, 4x2 AT, and a a base 4x2 MT. The top-spec SsangYong Musso Grand4x4 AT hosts power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, contrast stitching, premium brown leather seat covers, and heating and ventilation controls and vents for both front and rear occupants.
The Musso Grand is a long-wheelbase version of the standard Musso with a longer cargo bed, and it has its length going for it—Musso’s premier pickup is not only the longest midsize pickup truck in the market, but also the one with the widest and deepest truck bed. Suffice to say, when it comes to rear cargo storage space, you can’t get any better than this offering from the lesser-known Korean car manufacturer.
Likewise, both Musso pickup lines (Musso and Musso Grand) are the only ones in the market that offer two suspension options–coil springs and leaf springs. Standard safety include ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability, hill descent control, anti-rollover protection, and rearview camera (4x4 AT only).
As for creature comforts, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system dresses up the Musso Grand’s dash, complete with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.
Pickup truck shoppers who prioritize safety will be glad to know that there’s an affordable option out there with a five-star safety rating. As the first China-produced pickup to receive a 5-star safety mark from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the Maxus T60 appears ready to mix it up with the big boys. With three configurations to choose from, including a 4x2 manual, 4x2 automatic, and 4x4 automatic, this relative newcomer is a serious contender from the get-go. Its power comes from a 2.8-liter VGT diesel engine that outputs 136hp to 150hp and 350Nm to 360Nm of torque, depending on type. The most powerful engine is installed in the 4x4 variant, and both manual and automatic transmissions are of the 6-speed variety.
Interior-wise, the Maxus T60 possesses some nifty convenient features that keep it abreast with its staunchest rivals, including 6-way power driver seat, cruise control, keyless entry, multifunction steering wheel, and a 10-inch touchscreen monitor with Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink connectivity.
After nine long years, the Mazda BT-50 finally got the long-overdue all-new version it deserves this year. Fully redesigned for 2020, the all-new Mazda BT-50 pickup truck is being sourced from Isuzu Motor Limited on an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) basis.
The BT-50 bonnet houses a 3.0-liter diesel engine underneath that delivers 187hp and 450Nm, delivering 3,500 kgs of towing capacity. Since it’s made by Isuzu, most of the truck heavily resembles the 2021 D-Max, especially the interior. But even so, the new Mazda pickup still manages to step out on its own, design-wise starting with the Kodo-Soul of Motion design theme that characterizes the exterior’s sleek appearance.
Offered with two types of transmissions, a 6-speed auto and a 6-speed manual, the Isuzu-manufactured ute is also constructed on a ladder-frame chassis with leafspring rear suspension for more reliability with heavy loads. Advanced interior systems include Smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, and cruise control, with the addition of both dynamic stability control and traction control systems thrown in for good measure.
Photos from Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, SsangYong, Maxus,