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 Avalanche – With 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 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 Ridgeline – The compact-class 2010 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 EXT – Okay, 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 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.”