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We’re looking for a truck with a gas engine, a crew cab (we’ve got two tall teenagers) and four-wheel drive in the low-$30,000 range. We’d prefer something North American. My brother says a truck is overkill as a daily driver, but I want to be able to haul things if I need to. — Ricardo, Edmonton

In Canada, we like our trucks – even if most of us don’t use them to do much of the stuff, like hauling cords of firewood, you see in truck commercials.

For around $30,000 for 4WD with a crew cab, you’ll likely have to look at trucks from 2015 or earlier.

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Options include the 2015 Ford F-150 ($29,144, on average, according to Canadian Black Book), 2015 Ram 1500 ($26,865), Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ($28,671), GMC Sierra ($29,702), 2013 Toyota Tundra ($31,704) and 2015 Nissan Titan ($29,995).

Of these, the Tundra is the only one recommended by Consumer Reports.

2015 Ram 1500

The 2015 Ram 1500.

  • Fourth generation: 2009-2018 (facelift for 2013)
  • Average asking price for base (with 4WD and crew cab): $26,865 (Canadian Black Book)
  • Engine: 3.6-litre V-6 (305 hp), 3-litre diesel V-6 (240 hp), 5.7-litre Hemi V-8 (395 hp)
  • Transmission/Drive: 8-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic (available on Hemi)/rear-wheel or four-wheel
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 14.6 city, 10.1 highway (4WD, base 3.6-litre V-6); regular gas

The 2015 Ram 1500 might be “Ram Tough,” as the slogan goes, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be civilized, too.

“The Ram 1500 has the nicest interior of any full-size pickup…. [and] a composed, smooth ride both on- and off-road,” Edmunds said. “Whether you're looking for a basic work truck, a loaded-up family vehicle or a little of both, the 2015 Ram 1500 is a satisfying solution.”

For 2015, there were nine trims: ST, SXT, SLT (regular, quad or crew cab), Outdoorsman, Big Horn, Sport, Laramie (quad or crew cab), Laramie Longhorn and Laramie Limited (crew-cab-only). The crew cab was available with either a 5-foot-7 or 6-foot-4 bed.

Consumer Reports said the 1500 was “impressively refined yet can still handle truck chores” and had the most comfortable ride of any truck. It liked the excellent powertrains, “slick” transmission and the “super-quiet, super-roomy crew cab.”

It griped about the “huge climb into the cabin,” heavy tailgate and lack of steps to climb into the bed.

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Consumer Reports gave the 2015 Ram 1500 two out of five for reliability.

There were ten recalls, including a glitch that could potentially cause a power tailgate to open while driving.

2015 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150.

Ford

  • Thirteenth generation: 2015 to present
  • Average asking price for base (with 4WD and crew cab): $29,144 (Canadian Black Book)
  • Engine: 3.5-litre V-6 (282 hp), 2.7-litre turbocharged V-6 (325 hp), 3.5-litre turbocharged, V-6 (365 hp), 5-litre V-8 (385 hp)
  • Transmission/Drive: Six-speed automatic/Rear-wheel, four-wheel
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 13.8 city, 10.9 highway (4WD, base 282-hp V-6); regular gas

The Ford F-150 has been the most popular vehicle in Canada for decades, even though the most rugged driving a lot of us see is city streets before the snowplows come out.

“I still don't ‘get’ why so many Canadians choose full-size pickups as their daily drivers, [but] that said, this new F-150 feels really good to drive.” Globe Drive said.

For the half-ton’s 2015 redesign, Ford cut about 220 kg (500 lbs) by switching from steel to aluminum for the bodywork. It also added an optional 2.7-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 with stop/start (13.3 city, 10.4 highway).

You could choose between four trims (XL, XLT, King Ranch and Platinum), three cabin styles (regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew) and either short or long bed.

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Review site Edmunds liked the “strong power and excellent fuel economy” from the turbo V-6s, the impressive payload, towing and off-road capabilities and the long list of comfort, convenience and safety tech.

Its gripes? The aluminum body panels were pricier to repair than steel. And with an empty bed, the truck had a stiffer ride than competitors, it said.

Consumer Reports gave the 2015 F-150 two out of five for reliability.

There were seven recalls, including one to fix door latches that could potentially freeze.

Send your used car questions to globedrive@globeandmail.com with the subject: “Buying used.”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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