Best double-cab and crew cab pick-up trucks

With huge loadspace, off-road ability and luxury options, the best pick-ups are surprisingly good family cars - with tax benefits

Leon Poultney
May 26, 2021

There was a time when the thought of using a big, basic, unwieldy and fuel-guzzling pick-up truck as a family car was preposterous, but customers that don't work on a farm or building site have begun to use pick-ups in the American way - as lifestyle vehicles.

Large loading areas are used to carry motorbikes, boating equipment and other bulky goods around with ease, while powerful engines and four-wheel drive make them suited to towing heavy trailers and caravans.

As a result - and partly thanks to the favourable company car tax benefits that come with four-door double-cab pick-ups - manufacturers have begun adding car-like comforts, such as touchscreens, heated seats and leather interiors. With a row of rear seats (complete with Isofix mountings) and large door bins for storing drinks and snacks, you could feasibly use a pick-up as a family car.

Opting for a double-cab pick up does mean that the rear load area is smaller than a standard two-door pick-up, but it remains a great deal larger than any standard car boot. Scroll down for the best double-cab pick-ups on the market now.

Best pick-ups

1. VW Amarok

Used deals from £17,995
Monthly finance from £423*

List price from £25,430 exc. VATLength 5,254mm
Maximum payload 1,126kgLoad length 1,555mm

 

Sadly, the Volkswagen Amarok has now been discontinued by the German brand, but this family-orientated double-cab pick-up is still readily available on the used market. It's powered by a hugely capable 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that's designed to spend more time cruising along motorways than hauling bricks across a building site.

Although the rival Mercedes X-Class is more er, classy, the Amarok comes top of this list because it drives extremely well, with a generally smooth ride and less bouncing over bumps and dips than most rival options. It's still capable off-road, though, and it represents slightly better value for money.

Inside, there's plenty of room for five occupants and access via the four large doors is relatively simple, even if it does require a bit of a step up. There is also scope to specify a roll cover or hardtop for the bed area, should you wish to use it as a more conventional boot space.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Mercedes X-Class

Used deals from £27,995
Monthly finance from £644*

List price from £29,365 exc. VATLength 5,340mm
Maximum payload 1,092kgLoad length 1,587mm

 

This list wouldn't be complete without a mention of the Mercedes X-Class, as it is arguably the first pick-up truck to target this new comfortable and family friendly philosophy. Clamber into the interior and gawp at the typically flashy switchgear, the over-sized media display and the incredible fit and finish of the dashboard.

Seats can be festooned with leather, floor mats are fashioned from deep-pile carpet material and on-board technology includes a digital radio, a reversing camera, live traffic information and the ability to stay connected to the vehicle via a dedicated smartphone app.

Mercedes also claims that this is the most customisable pick-up interior on the market, with the widest choice of interior trim options and accessories, while the driving experience has been tuned for comfort. It's a tough call between the Amarok and this but based on value and power, the Volkswagen just about pips it.

MERCEDES X-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Fiat Fullback

Used deals from £14,833
Monthly finance from £350*

List price from £23,074 exc. VATLength 5285mm
Maximum payload 1,045kgLoad length 1,520mm

 

Although this is a Mitsubishi L200 underneath the fancy clothing, the Fiat is more focused on the consumer market, so it's only available in a double-cab body style and with a 2.5-litre engine in a choice of two power outputs.

The more powerful 180hp version is quieter at speed, and worth the premium if you are going to be racking up the miles. The car's standard specification includes a good-sized media display, alloy wheels, climate control and cruise control.

FIAT FULLBACK BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Nissan Navara

Used deals from £17,058
Monthly finance from £373*

List price From £19,988 exc. VATLength Up to 5,300mm
Max payload up to 1,074kgLoad length Up to 1,758mm

 

The Nissan Navara range recieved a big overhaul in 2016, ditching the archaic suspension and introducing a modern system that ensures it rides better and more comfortably on the road, without diminishing off-road capability.

The current Navara has also been transformed inside, where it now more closely resembles a Nissan Qashqai than a truck. Higher-specification models include a seven-inch touchscreen with digital radio and reversing camera; all Navara models have Bluetooth, comfy seats and plenty of room for a family in the double-cab variants.

NISSAN NAVARA BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Ford Ranger

Used deals from £15,999
Monthly finance from £377*

List price from £18,645 exc. VATLength up to 5,362mm
Maximum payload 1,296kgLoad length Up to 2,317mm

 

What was once a mightily powerful workhorse for those used to lugging cement mixers around is now a more rounded lifestyle offering thanks to the introduction of Ford's excellent SYNC 3 touchscreen and improved interior and exterior styling.

Many of the cabin's materials are now soft to the touch and finished with greater eye for detail, while the technology on-board includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, as well as adaptive cruise control and voice control.

As double cab pick-up trucks go, this is still one of the most aggressive to behold, with an imposing grille, bulging bodywork and a neat range of alloy wheels. However, despite the push towards a more stylish pick-up, some of the old handling habits still come to the fore, as it can become uncomfortably bouncy over rough road surface and the engines are a bit noisy.

FORD RANGER BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Isuzu D-Max

Used deals from £16,250
Monthly finance from £344*

List price from £16,509 exc. VATLength 5,315mm
Max. payload 1,196kgLoad length 2,305mm

 

The D-Max is the most workman-like truck on this list, and can be optioned in single-cab styles too. But the better-appointed double-cab versions, while less sophisticated than others on this list, are good value for money.

Blade variants get leather seats and a touchscreen media system, and become even better value for money when on the used market.

Engine choice is easy - there’s only one. It’s a 1.9-litre diesel unit, with strong mpg levels and low emission figures. It’s far noisier than engines offered by Nissan, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, while the six-speed manual gearbox is vague and cumbersome to use too.

ISUZU D-MAX BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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