Top 5 Full Size Pickup Trucks Based on Style

Lyle Romer Author Circle
By , Consumer Advocate
Published January 25, 2016

When you are shopping for a new pickup truck there are many things to consider. One of them is how the truck looks from the outside. We will rank the Top 5 2016 full size pickup trucks by the external appearance. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to compare apples to apples. There are a ton of different configurations for each truck that change the external appearance.

For example, the cab can be standard, extended and super (each manufacturer has different names for them) and the bed can be short, medium or long. Without getting into the countless appearance packages there are 9 different looks for each truck.

2016 ford f150 xl

The appearance packages range from the standard white work truck with steel rims all the way to things like the Ford F-150 Limited. You can see an example of the low end in the picture above and the high end in our F-150 section below. Even though one is a standard cab and one is a SuperCrew, you can clearly see the differences in styling. These ratings are based on the overall design. Hopefully these rankings will help you in deciding which truck you want to buy.

1) Ford F-150

Our top rated 2016 truck based on appearance is the Ford F-150. The lines are aggressive yet refined. When you show up at a work site, it looks like a truck that can get things done. However, it doesn't look out of place when you pull up to the valet on a Saturday night out.

2016 ford f150 limited

From the front, the grille has a clean, symmetrical appearance. The interesting headlight and turn signal lens design is just unique enough to spice up the look. From the side, the design is sleek and flows well from front to back. The sculpting of the doors and body panels blend well with the bumper lines and create a cool looking reflection that almost looks like a painted stripe.

The rear finishes off the design nicely. The tailgate components are well proportioned and the tail lights blend into the design well. The rounded off top of the tailgate is one of the signature design elements of the aluminum body redesign and helps to enhance the appearance. The only negative about the design of the F-150 is the strange look of the power rear window. It just has an odd appearance but it is only a minor detriment to the overall look and is only present on certain trim levels with certain option packages.

Click here to see what people in your area are paying for the F-150.

2) Ram 1500

Coming in a close second is the Ram 1500. The Ram's design is a little softer with the designers choosing to use more curved elements compared to the sharper angles in Ford's design. Which one is nicer comes down to personal preference. The rounded grille and hood design makes for a very retro, sleek look. We especially like the mean appearance of the grille, which makes the truck look like it is ready to attack. The designers missed an opportunity to enhance the look by going with a pretty bland, standard headlight lens design.

2016 ram 1500

From the side nothing really stands out, which is not a bad thing. It blends well into the environment and incorporates many aerodynamic cues. We think the Ram looks its best from the rear. The tailgate is flared on the top which is well complemented by a crease in the middle. The bumper is shaped nicely and blends well into the sides of the vehicle. The combination of design elements creates a unique and recognizable rear end that is our favorite of all the contenders.

Click here for local pricing information for the Ram 1500.

3) Toyota Tundra

The Tundra is a decent looking truck. The front could use some work. We don't like the weird looking angle around and beneath the headlights. The grille is okay but doesn't seem to have anything to say. It seems to just be there to perform a function but it wasn't designed with style in mind.

2016 toyota tundra

Moving around to the side there are some things we like and some things we don't. They sculpted the lower part of the doors like Ford, but didn't place the sculpting in a way that flows well with the overall design. The highlights created by these elements don't line up with the front and rear bumper so it creates a bit of a disjointed appearance.

The rear is a little bit boxy for my taste. The tailgate has a similar design to the Ram but the flare at the top doesn't look as good and the crease doesn't work well with the more boxy overall design. The Tundra is a decent looking truck but would not be our choice based on appearance.

Click here for price intelligence on the Toyota Tundra.

4) GMC Sierra

We are going to start with the side view because it is the reason why this truck is so far down on our list. We can't get past the decision to design the wheel wells as squares. The old saying is that "you can't put a square peg in a round hole" but, apparently GM's designers though it made sense to put a round wheel in a square hole. I hope that they change the wheel well design soon. What's next? Triangles?

2016 gmc sierra

If we can block out the area around the wheels, the Sierra is a great looking truck. If it wasn't for the wheel wells, this truck would have been number two on our rankings. The appearance from the front is fantastic. The lines of the grille integrate perfectly with the bumper and headlight trim. The stepped and angled hood design also integrate well and brings the front view together.

The side is nicely sculpted (when ignoring the wheel wells). We think that Ford has a slight edge but the GMC lines flow from front to back much better than they do on the Tundra. The appearance from the rear is clean but very pedestrian. It's a toss up between the Sierra and the Tundra from this angle. We don't have a strong opinion either way.

Click here to see what others have paid for a GMC Sierra.

5) Chevrolet Silverado

The Silverado is basically the exact same truck as the GMC Sierra. The only major difference on the exterior is the design of the front end. The front of the GMC has a much more aggressive appearance and stands out nicely where the Chevrolet version pales in comparison. Unfortunately, the wheel wells are a shared design so the Silverado finds itself last on our list.

2016 chevrolet silverado

Click here for Chevy Silverado pricing informaion.

Save Money Buying Your New Truck

While our opinion about appearance is helpful, the mission of is to save you money when you buy a new car or truck. You should read our entire new car buying guide to learn how to get a great deal on your new truck.

Author Lyle Romer

About The Author: Lyle Romer is a consumer advocate, Founding Contributor and Vice President of A 20 years veteran of the auto industry with a high level of expertise, Lyle has been researching all aspects of the automotive sales industry.

Lyle's expertise and research played a vital role during the creation of in 1999 after years of industry research. He carefully observed every aspect of his own car buying experience as the internet began to take a foothold in the process. He also designed the site to make sure that consumers had easy access to the best consumer advocate education.

Lyle has been an auto industry insider since 1999. He also has worked with other automotive websites to help improve their offerings based upon feedback from users. He covers important industry events and gathers off the record sources while attending industry conventions.

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