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Best pickup trucks 2022: 8 most exciting new pickups, from Rivian to Hummer EV

2022 might be the year of the pickup truck.

America loves pickups. The top-selling three vehicles in America are all pickup trucks. They dwarf the sales of anything else. whether you’re looking at dollars or unit sales.

Now, we’re getting a whole host of electric trucks too, bringing new capabilities and probably new owners into the pickup truck fold. But EVs aren’t taking over the world yet. There are still plenty of gas- and diesel-powered pickups hitting the market this year.

So with that in mind, here are my picks for the eight best pickup trucks launching for 2022.

8. Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

The ZR2 is the off-roader variant of the Silverado.Chevrolet

The new Silverado ZR2 is Chevrolet’s answer to the Ford Raptor, adding upgraded tires, suspension, and an aggressive new look to the company’s flagship pickup. It arrives in Spring 2022 alongside an entirely new (and much-needed) interior for the Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks.

7. GMC Hummer EV Pickup

The GMC Hummer EV is a 10,000-pound monument to eco-excess.GMC

The Hummer name returns with this massive all-electric luxury pickup. The roof is removable, joining the Jeep Gladiator in the convertible pickup world, and it can even drive sideways thanks to four-wheel steering and Crab Walk mode.

The GMC Hummer EV Pickup won’t sell in huge numbers, but it will be an (enormous) gauntlet thrown down to show that EVs don’t need to be small, efficient, or even approaching eco-friendly to exist. Did I mention that it’s big?

6. Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz has a pleasingly El Camino-esque look to it.Hyundai

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is the opposite of the Hummer EV. It’s small, nimble, and focused on folks who might never have owned a pickup before. It’s similar to the Ford Maverick in that way, taking the utility of pickup trucks to a city-focused audience. Now if only they can make an electric one...

5. Rivian R1T

The R1T shows how carmakers can take advantage of the EV transformation to rethink how a vehicle should be designed.Rivian

The Rivian R1T is a top-to-bottom rethink of what a pickup truck should be, enabled by a brand new carmaker using a brand new platform. It has clever storage and a world-conquering attitude (and powertrain), and even an onboard kitchen.

This truck shows the potential of an eventual all-electric future.

4. Toyota Tundra

The Tundra gets a whole new look for 2022.Toyota

The new Toyota Tundra is a massive redesign for the venerable and much-loved pickup, bringing a much-needed interior refresh that will eventually come to the entire Toyota lineup. As the main full-size truck competition to the big 3 of GM, Ford, and RAM, having a brand-new Tundra means only good things for truck buyers.

3. Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford says the Lightning will be a Built Ford Tough F-150 above all else.Ford

Perhaps the most significant new truck coming in 2022, the F-150 Lightning is perhaps most meaningful for its name. Ford didn’t have to put the name of its iconic and best-selling truck in the name — it could have just been the Ford Lightning. But the marketing gurus at Ford named it the F-150 Lightning, which shows how much confidence they have in the product and electric vehicles in general.

Remember, Ford put its other iconic nameplate — Mustang — on an electric SUV earlier this year.

2. Ford Maverick

The Ford Maverick is designed for people who have never owned a pickup before.Ford

The Ford Maverick is an exciting entry in the pickup truck wars. The smallest truck Ford makes, it’s aimed at folks who have never owned a truck before (and it’s working, according to Ford’s spokespeople). Starting at $21,000 and with a 42 mpg hybrid powertrain standard, the Maverick will probably be largely sold out for all of 2022.

1. GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate

GMC says the Sierra Denali Ultimate is the most luxurious pickup ever.GMC

The GMC Sierra gets a nice update for 2021, bringing a brand new interior, a new ultra-lux Denali Ultimate trim (that GMC says is the most luxurious pickup ever), and support for Super Cruise — that’s GM’s hands-free driving system and it’s the first time it’ll be available in a pickup.

It even supports hands-free towing, which will be key for long-distance road trips that many full-size truck buyers love to take. The Ultimate starts at just over $81,000 fully equipped.

To learn more about all the exciting new pickups on the market, sign up for Jordan Golson’s free car reviews newsletter on Substack.

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