Blending the most desirable attributes and capabilities of both sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, the best sport utility trucks (or SUTs) are a bit like a chameleon –  they’re imminently adaptable. Priced generally between $25,000 and $50,000, these jack-of-all-trades SUTs may be just the vehicle choice if you’re not ready to commit to a full-size truck and need a bit more versatility than an SUV.

Here are three top picks for Best Sport Utility Trucks:

  • Chevrolet AvalancheWith its multi-functional capabilities that include a folding rear midgate that allows for up to 8-feet of cargo capacity, attractive exterior design, comfortable SUV-like interior, and excellent safety scores, the 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche is a good choice for consumers who don’t need to haul a house. Car and Driver comments: “A blend of full-size pickup and SUV, Avalanche delivers exceptional versatility. Unique to GM, the innovative Midgate feature provides a pass-through between the rear cabin and the short cargo box, increasing capacity. It’s a civilized ride that’s not afraid of hard work.” Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs) begin at $35,725 (2WD LS), $38,830 (2WD LT), to $48,865 (4WD LTZ).
  • Honda RidgelineThe compact-class 2010 Honda Ridgeline is a 5-passenger 4-door crew cab with 5-foot long cargo bed and standard all-wheel drive. Lower starting prices set it apart from competitor SUTs. Ridgeline MSRPs start at $28,900 (RT), $31,605 (RTS), and $34,480 (RTL). Innovations that appeal to many buyers include in-bed trunk and dual-action tailgate. Ridgeline also provides a car-like ride and an interior that’s easy to live with. Consumer Guide remarks: “Ridgeline blends pickup-truck utility with car-like civility in a solid, sensible package. The light-duty design won’t suit hard-core truckers but should meet the needs of families and recreational users, as Honda intends. Innovative pickup features and Honda’s solid reputation for reliability make it a good competitor in its class. The RT and RTS models are our Recommended picks in this line, as the top-line RTL is rather pricey.”
  • Cadillac Escalade EXTOkay, the Caddy is the luxury SUT of the bunch, and the starting MSRPs range from $61,420 to $71,035 – which is quite a bit more than the competition. For that, however, consumers get luxury, pickup bed/midgate combination that allows for full 8-feet of cargo-carrying capacity, massive and powerful V8 engine, and seating for five. Kelley Blue Book says, “The 2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT boasts GM’s latest chassis, body, interior and powertrain upgrades, as well as a generous allotment of new convenience and safety features…If you need or want full-size truck towing capabilities, along with upscale Cadillac luxury and image and the versatility to change from a quiet, comfortable closed SUV to a pickup with more cargo capacity, this is the one.”

Two other vehicles contending for Best Sport Utility Trucks include the Ford Explorer Sport Trac and the Hummer H2 SUT.

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