The Best Pickup Truck for the Philippine Terrain

Philippine Automologist, GAT, takes his pick of pickup trucks. 

Over the past few years, there has been significant growth in the sales of pickup trucks. From the early pickup trucks, they have come a long way in terms of driving comfort, design and technology, while still being that “workhorse” when you need it to be.

Modern-day pickup trucks have now become the everyday vehicle for some people. The diesel engines, higher ground clearance, stylish and modern interior and exterior designs, and bang for your buck price point have put the pickup trucks up there in terms of vehicle sales year after year.

In the Philippines, almost all brands have a pickup truck in their lineup. The Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Strada, and Isuzu D-MAX are just some of the notable trucks out there.

Ford Ranger/Ford Ranger Raptor

The Ford Ranger is one of the most sellable models from Ford Philippines. For the 1st quarter of 2021 alone, Ford Philippines reported a 40% market share in the 4×4 pickup truck segment. The multiple engine variants available – 2.2-litre engine, 2.0-liter single turbo and the 2.0-Bi-Turbo, which is also available for the Ford Ranger Raptor model – give the consumers more choices depending on their needs. The smoother ride and advanced features make it a popular choice in the market.

Toyota Hilux

A household name in the pickup scene for so many years, the Toyota Hilux is known for its durability and reliability. The eighth-generation model sports a 2.4-litre or 2.8-litre engine and has a better rear suspension, which makes it possible to do a lot of heavy lifting in the back. Also, with its upgraded and high-tech features and the brand’s strong following in the country, it easily is one of the favourite pickup trucks out there.

Nissan Navara

Since the release of the new Nissan Navara back in 2016, it has been a top pick for almost everyone. The comfortable ride, thanks to the rear multi-link suspension, makes it unique from other pickup trucks in the market. The 2.5-litre diesel engine and the multi-link suspension will provide you with the power and riding comfort of an SUV.

Mitsubishi Strada

Another mainstay in the pickup market is the Mitsubishi Strada. The latest model now follows the Dynamic Shield family face and gives it the futuristic and aggressive look of its brothers, the Xpander and Monterosport. It is equipped with a 2.4-litre engine and is one of the more affordable pickups in the market.

Isuzu D-MAX

Workhorse. That’s how we would describe the Isuzu D-Max. Known for its fuel efficiency and reliability, the Isuzu D-Max stands the test of time. The latest models now carry a 1.9-litre and a 3.0-litre variant for the higher-end models.

Going back to the question of what is my choice of pickup truck from the Philippine market? Cliche as it sounds, my answer is: it depends on what you need it for and what specific features you are looking for; it will also depend on your budget. Safe to say, the pickup trucks available in our market are all value for money. The higher-end trucks are equipped with the latest technology while the lower-priced trucks are more basic in features.

At the end of the day, a pickup truck is one of the most versatile vehicles out there and I think you can’t go wrong with owning one. Truth be told, I am waiting for Honda to launch one. It will surely increase their market share massively – and that would probably be my choice! Happy driving!

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