Quick, name the automakers that build 4-door trucks. There are quite a lot of them, actually, so maybe it’s better to concentrate on overall class size first, and then number of doors. There are small or compact pickup trucks, midsize ones and full-size or large pickups. You can buy a 4-door version of all of them. Question is, however, which are the best 4 door trucks out there?

Well, what do you need to do with the truck besides haul passengers? That will pretty much determine whether you need to scope out compact, midsize or full-size pickups with 4 doors. Hauling and towing needs should also be taken into account, along with getting as much safety and technology as you can. Here, then, are three best 4-door trucks for your consideration. They’re all award winners in one way or another, top safety picks, best buys and the like. Ford F-150 and Toyota Tacoma are Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

  • Dodge Ram 1500 – Redesigned for 2009, the Dodge Ram 1500 large pickup is available with two '09_Dodge_Ram_1500_Crew_Cab_(MIAS)conventional-size 4-door cabs: the Quad Cab and Crew Cab, both seating up to six. Bed size on the Quad is 6.4 feet, while the Crew has a 5.7-foot bed. Three engines, rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), 8950-pound towing capacity, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, antiskid system and curtain side air bags round out the picture. The truck is a Consumer Guide Best Buy for its ride and cargo room, although 20-inch tires have road noise. Edmunds says Ram 1500 “has the power, ride and styling to be the most versatile half-ton on the road.”
  • Ford F-150 – Also redesigned for 2009 and another Consumer Guide Best Buy, the Ford F-150 large pickup sports more power, more passenger room and more features. Available in RWD or 4WD with a number of efficient, powerful engines and all the latest safety features, maximum towing capacity is 11,300 pounds. The 4-door model is the SuperCrew crew cab, now with 6-inches more room. Edmunds says “F-150 remains one of the easiest half-ton pickups to live with on an everyday basis.”
  • Toyota Tacoma – In the midsize pickup category, Toyota Tacoma is unchanged for 2009, so either 2008 or 2009 are good to find used. Consumer Guide names it a Best Buy, saying it “leads its class in refinement, and is more than competitive in performance, accommodations, utility and off-road prowess.” Look for the Double Cab with 4 conventional side doors and either a 5- or a 6-foot bed (all with dent-resistant plastic liner). Consumer Reports named Tacoma in its Best of the Best list in small pickups (2005-2008). Edmunds says the “2009 Toyota Tacoma is your best bet” (among midsize alternatives to full-size trucks).

Other 4 door trucks worth a look include Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Yukon, Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, Ford Explorer Sport Trac and Ranger, and Toyota Tundra.

By Suzanne Kane

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