There was a time when pickup trucks were purely utilitarian modes of transport, built exclusively to haul materials to the jobsite with drivers enduring little in the way of comfort or amenities. How things have changed. Today at least half of all pickup trucks sold are luxury-oriented models that treat their occupants to rich leather interiors and a full slate of upscale features that sell for $50,000-$60,000 or more.
A good part of the allure here is that despite their top-shelf accommodations, luxury pickups remain rugged work trucks under the skin. Four-door versions in particular make ideal vehicles for active families towing boats and trailers to the lake or campsite, or transporting dirt bikes, horse tack, and other sports equipment in a truck bed that can easily be hosed off, rather than the carpeted cargo hold of an expensive SUV.
All of the major players – Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Nissan, Ram, and Toyota – are attacking the top end of the full-size pickup market aggressively these days, with multiple models that deliver the goods in high style, and carry evocative nameplates like Denali, King Ranch, Laramie Longhorn, High Country, and Platinum Reserve. The costliest model among them – the top 4WD Platinum Crew Cab edition of the Ford F-450 heavy duty truck – approaches $90,000, which leaves the once-unimaginable notion of a $100,000 pickup truck well within the realm of possibility.
Curiously perhaps, there are currently no bona fide luxury brands participating in the full-size pickup market. Lincoln tried – and failed miserably – a few years ago with its opulent Blackwood, while Cadillac found few takers for the since-discontinued Escalade EXT pickup/SUV mashup. Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled a luxury-minded X-Class pickup, though it’s not expected – at least for the time being – to be sold in the U.S. Ironically, this remains the only automotive segment where mainstream domestic brands dominate, with the Ford F-150 continuing as the best-selling model among all vehicle types in the U.S.
We’re featuring the costliest models among each automaker’s standard-duty and (where applicable) heavy-duty full-size pickup truck lines in the accompanying gallery. All prices noted include the manufacturer’s destination charge and are expressed as a range, with the first number representing the base model with standard equipment and the second a fully loaded model with all available (or the most expensive) options and accessories.