Best full-size, fuel-efficient pickup trucks

LOS ANGELES

"Not only can you use them for heavy work or towing but now they're also civilized enough to serve as family transportation," said Tom Mutchler of Consumer Reports.

Ford's F-150 pickup truck is the top-seller and the ladder for climbing into the bed is a clever feature. But it doesn't earn top scores in Consumer Reports' test - in part because handling isn't agile and the ride isn't defined.

"In our tests, both the Chevy and the Ram outscores the Ford F-150 by a considerable margin," said Mutchler.

Redesigned for 2014, the Chevy Silverado handles well plus it gets 16 miles per gallon - the best fuel economy of any full-size V8 pickup.

"It also has very competitive payload and tow ratings and it has a low-step in height that makes it easy to get in and get out," said Mutchler.

The Ram 1500 trails the competition in sales. It was updated for 2013, plus a unique rear coil spring suspension gives it the best ride of any full-size truck and the interior is very quiet.

So which one should you choose?

"The Silverado is the better truck," said Mutchler. "It has a higher payload and tow ratings. It also is more fuel-efficient. But for everyday commuting, if you're not using all that truck capability, the Ram is more luxurious and more pleasant."

These trucks are expensive, but, Consumer Reports says, because it's a competitive market, bargaining could save you thousands.

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