The cheapest full-size hunting trucks of 2022

The rising cost of new vans is no secret. So, unfortunately, the cheapest new trucks aren’t exactly cheap. In many cases, a base model trim carries a list price that is double what a new truck cost 20 years ago. The reasons for this are many, and thanks to inflation, hunters looking for a budget option this fall will be hard pressed to find a pickup truck with a price tag under $40,000, unless they want a single taxi or are ready to look for a used vehicle. pickup. But if you can afford a new truck, some options are better than others for 2022. Here’s a look at the most “affordable” trim levels from each major manufacturer, and a list of features included with each. vehicle. I think there’s one truck that stands above the rest (which I’ll detail later), but you can decide which 4×4 best suits your way of hunting.

Rules of the game

As with any game, the rules dictate winners and losers, so it makes sense to set some parameters defining which automaker makes the best entry-level trim. New full-size pickups don’t come cheap, but to keep costs down, all entries should have an MSRP under $45,000 (excluding fees or discounts). Each truck must be a 2022 half-ton with four-wheel drive, extended cab, 6.5-foot bed, base trim line, and base powertrain (engine and transmission combo). Only new generation trucks will be considered.

Once these formalities are completed, each truck will be scored in seven categories. Level 1 includes price, off-road functionality and maximum payload; Level 2 includes horsepower, torque, maximum towing capacity, and maintenance and repair. To weigh the importance of each category, all Level 1 scores will be doubled and Level 2 scores will be multiplied by 1.5. After multiplication, the seven categories will be added together to determine the final score for each truck.

With the exception of off-road features, all categories will be scored on a scale of one to six, with the highest scoring truck receiving six points for that category and the lowest receiving one. For off-road features, each truck will receive one point for each factory-installed off-road upgrade (skid plates, A/T tires, locking differentials, etc.).

Check out the cheapest full-size hunting trucks of 2022

Detroit and overseas automakers have entered this fray with some competitors significantly more invested in this contest than others. A total of six half-tons entered the arena, but only one came out on top. Each truck was priced in July 2022 without incentives, delivery charges, dealer mark-ups and other price adjustments affecting MSRP, and each is scored using the criteria outlined above.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500WT

The Silverado 1500WT comes with a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that, when paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission, produces a blistering 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. Despite the four-cylinder, the Silverado runs impressive numbers, and while the base four-cylinder doesn’t qualify for Chevy’s Z71 off-road package, a bit of creative setup proves a decently capable off-roader. . On the other hand, turbocharged engines can be difficult to repair when needed. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 2.7L Turbo I4 with 8-speed automatic
  • 3.42 rear axle ratio
  • Single-speed transfer case with Field Mode
  • 17-inch wheels with LT265/70R17C all-terrain tires
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • Work truck package
  • Work Truck Value Package (Combination Convenience and Towing Package)
  • LED bed lighting
  • MSRP: $43,430

Ford F-150XL

The F-150 is the most economical.
Ford’s F-150 is the most economical option on this list. Ford Motor Company

The F-150 XL is the most affordable offering in this competition. Although it has a handful of towing packages available, the Ford lacks basic off-road essentials, such as skid plates, when equipped with the base 3.3-liter V6. Like Chevy and GMC, a dedicated off-road package (FX4) is only available with an engine upgrade, excluding it from this competition. That said, the F-150 XL offers respectable payload and towing figures when equipped with the optional 3.73 rear axle. The V6 and 10-speed automatic combine to generate a paltry 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, the lowest figures in this competition. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 3.3L V6 with 10-speed automatic transmission
  • 3.73 rear axle ratio
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • 17-inch wheels with 265/70R17 all-terrain tire
  • Class IV trailer hitch kit
  • Equipment Group XL High
  • Electrical Equipment Group XL
  • MSRP: $41,505

GMC Sierra 1500 Pro

The GMC is more expensive than the Chevy.
The GMC is pretty much the same truck as the Chevy, but the price goes up significantly with more options added. GMC

On paper, the Sierra 1500 Pro differs little from the Silverado WT, but the GMC’s base MSRP and available options diminish its potential as a value buy. Like its corporate twin, the Sierra pro boasts some impressive powertrain numbers, especially for a four-cylinder. Unfortunately, GMC’s off-road package is completely banned for the base engine with the four-cylinder, as are skid plates. Although the Sierra Pro does a decent job of holding its own in the equipment department, its price swells quite a bit faster than the Chevy. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 2.7L Turbo I4 with 8-speed automatic
  • 3.42 rear axle ratio
  • Single-speed transfer case with Field Mode
  • 17-inch wheels with LT265/70R17C all-terrain tires
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • Value Pro Package (commodity and trailering package combination)
  • Heavy duty air filter
  • MSRP: $44,230

Nissan Titan S

The Titan has a powerful engine.
The Titan is equipped with a powerful 5.6 liter V8 engine. Nissan

The Titan S generates more tons of power and torque thanks to its 5.6-liter V8 and nine-speed automatic transmission. Four hundred horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque mated to a two-speed transfer case provide a solid foundation off-road, but the S version sports minimal skid plates and lacks the option of all-terrain tires or a locking / limited slip differential. Yes, you can take it off the road, but stay on tame trails to avoid getting stuck and/or paying expensive repair bills. Mismatched off-road features combined with a higher price tag keep the Titan S from being a great value buy. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 5.6L V8 with 9-speed automatic transmission
  • 3.69 rear axle ratio
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • 18-inch wheels with P265/70R18 all-season tires
  • Open rear differential
  • Tow hooks
  • MSRP: $43,990

Ram 1500 Tradesman

Traders are for work but also serve as a hunting truck.
This work truck doubles well as a hunting 4×4. To dodge

The Tradesman was designed with blue-collar workers in mind, but it doubles as a hunting truck. The optional Off-Road Package, electronic-locking rear differential and 3.55 rear axle ratio provide tons of off-road capability without inflating the final price too much. On the other hand, the 3.6-liter V6 produces low horsepower, torque, payload and towing numbers compared to other competitors. The Off-Road Group is also forcing buyers to forego vinyl seats in favor of cloth, and disappointment for those who like easy cleaning. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 3.6L V6 with 8-speed automatic transmission
  • 3.55 rear axle ratio
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • 18-inch wheels with LT275/65R18C A/T tires
  • Trader Tier 1 Gear Group
  • off-road group
  • Class IV hitch receiver
  • MSRP: $43,210

Toyota Tundra SR

The new generation Tundra SR is designed for certain end users, but budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts don’t seem to be one of them. Although this truck wins the price battle, the trade-off is that it skimps on tires, which limits its potential. It also lacks the full-time all-wheel-drive option and, oddly enough, Toyota has omitted tow hooks altogether for all 2022 Tundras. The SR is one of the most affordable trucks on this list, but its lack of off-road features keys will frustrate hunters looking for a hassle-free experience. As configured, this truck includes:

  • 3.5L twin-turbo V6 with 10-speed automatic transmission
  • 3.31 rear axle ratio
  • Limited-slip rear differential
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • 18-inch wheels with 245/75R18 all-season tires
  • SR Trailer Tow Package
  • TRD front skid plate
  • TRD Performance Air Filter
  • MSRP: $41,755

Japanese Trucks vs. American Trucks

A breakdown of how the trucks scored.
The author’s scoring grid. Brian Smith

Making decisions based on stereotypes is a quick way to get into hot water, but once in a while the pigeon just fits right into the locker. While Japanese truck makers have come out with some impressive pickups, their relative newness to the US market has resulted in noticeable blind spots. On the other hand, American automakers seem a little better equipped to meet the gripper hunters. However, let the numbers speak for themselves:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500WT: 58.5 points
  • Ram 1500 Dealer: 58 dots
  • GMC Sierra 1500 Pro: 52 dots
  • Nissan Titan S: 46.5 points
  • Ford F-150XL: 45.5 points
  • Toyota Tundra SR: 45.5 points

Read more : Is the Toyota Tacoma a real hunting truck?

crown the champion

After configuring each truck for this competition, I quickly realized that the Chevy and Ram pickups would be vying for the top spot. In all honesty, however, I did not expect such tight competition. With half a point separating these two mics under $45,000, I ended up with a virtual tie.

When equipped with the Off-Road Package, The Tradesman blows its competition out of the water with 10 factory-installed off-road upgrades. The Ram’s maximum payload dips 355 pounds below the Silverado, and the 1,490-pound towing gap tips the scales decisively in Chevy’s favor. On the other hand, the Ram’s naturally aspirated (i.e. non-turbo) V6 should be much easier to maintain and repair in the long run than GM’s turbocharged inline-four. The Ram also has a nicer interior than the Chevy.

While no truck is considered the ideal hunting truck, I think the Ram 1500 Tradesman manages to generate the best value for most hunters at a respectable price of $43,210.

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