Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
All-wheel drive (AWD) systems make it easy for drivers to steer their machines through the roughest and toughest terrains. Are you considering getting a full-size or midsize pickup truck? We’ve scavenged through the web’s most reliable automotive sources to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best power-packing AWD truck options.
Here’s our list of the most powerful pickup trucks with AWD:
- 2020 Ford F-150
- 2020 Honda Ridgeline
- 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Z71
- 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
- 2020 Nissan Titan XD
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
- 2020 GMC Sierra Z71
- 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel
- 2020 GMC Canyon All Terrain X
- 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
These AWD trucks utilize their advanced tracking system to shuffle engine torque between all four wheels. As expected, there’s more to these modern all-wheel drive pickups than an impressive power transmission. Keep reading to unravel each truck’s unique features and why you should add them to your list of top considerations.
2020 Ford F-150 Lariat
Simply put, the 2020 Ford F-150 Lariat is the prime epitome of substance and versatility. 2019 witnessed a colossal refresh, so the 2020 model year has very minimal changes.
This midsize pickup offers standard equipment, including the fuel-efficient EcoBoost 2.7-liter V8 engine with an automatic 10-speed transmission. The powerful motor delivers an impressive 325 horsepower with a 400 lb.-ft. of torque. The exterior of the F-150 h a Chrome bumper, both on the front and the rear.
The 2020 Ford F-150 Lariat interior is equipped with a responsive and easy-to-use voice-activated technology, simply known as the SYNC-3. The SYNC-3 brings the power Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to your F150. Also included is a Co-Pilot360, which is a suite of advanced driver safety aids.
2020 Honda Ridgeline
The redesigned 2020 Honda Ridgeline provides insane levels of handling sophistication, ride smoothness, and general comfort. Compared to its competitors, the Ridgeline boasts more cargo space and legroom at the back once you fold the seats.
Hauling and towing capabilities are pretty efficient for a truck (can tow loads of up to 5,000 lbs). This is made possible by the all-powerful 280-hp V6 engine. The Ridgeline’s ground clearance measures approximately 7.8 inches and performs very well as far as on-the-road performance goes.
The truck’s scratch-resistant bed is probably its biggest highlight. It features walls that can blast a good sound range without speakers, a lockable trunk, as well as a dual-opening tailgate.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck features magnificent payload and towing capabilities that make it among the best work trucks around. The Equinox’s exterior is a perfect blend of the mean-looking Raptor and the easy-riding Ridgeline.
Features worth mentioning about the 2019 Chevy Silverado include the automatic climate control (with dual-zone capability), average 252-hp V8 engine, all-encompassing LED headlights, and top-notch connectivity technologies.
The Equinox comes in a variety of shades to choose from, including the iridescent pearl tri-coat, Cajun red tintcoat, kinetic blue metallic, among others.
2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Today’s high-performing trucks with midsize dimensions and AWD and people know them for their off-road-oriented models. One such example is the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. One word describes Colorado’s handling and ride qualities: car-like.
Despite its physical size, this midsize machine can easily maneuver through parking lots and other tight spots. Colorado’s 3.6-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine boasts a whopping 186 hp and 369 lb-ft worth of torque with improved direct-injection and valve timing systems.
The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a full-fledged performance truck that features, among other impressive highlights, the Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV). Colorado extends an impressive towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
2020 Nissan Titan AWD
The 2020 Nissan Titan XD has a slightly bigger build compared to the rest of the AWD trucks on this list. This beast was designed to slot between the heavy-duty work crew and the light-duty full-sizers.
From this description, expect nothing less than the most outsized and robust under-the-hood hardware. When properly equipped, the 5.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 powertrain can release a maximum torque of 413 lb.-ft and achieve a tow limit of 9,660 lbs.
The Nissan’s Brake Limited-Slip Differential bolsters the 2020 Nissan Titan’s 4-wheel drive system and backed by the hill-start assist and hill-descent control capabilities.
Worth mentioning is the exceptional off-road gauge that monitors the machine’s roll and pitch angles, which is a significant technological advantage over other midsized trucks.
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – like most off-road-oriented SUVs and trucks – owns a great marketing worth as well as a naturally high profile. The ‘TRD Pro’ specification is made evident by a variety of functional and cosmetic enhancements, including the 16-inch wheels, cat-back exhaust system, and a more volatile suspension.
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma trims offer a nifty AWD/4WD system, complete with a limited slip differential and an electronic transfer case. Off-road and TRD Sport models can substantially take it up a notch with crawl control, sport-tuned shocks, and a special Multi-Terrain Select drive system for automatic transmission trucks.
2020 GMC Sierra 1500
The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 prides itself in providing what has got to be the best upscale interior of any full-size truck. Though it’s not as smooth-riding as its competitors, it makes up for this minor setback with the front leather-trimmed cushioned seats and an intuitive infotainment system complete with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
The 2020 Sierra 1500 was ranked third overall in the 2020 Full-Size Pickup Trucks with a 7.4 score out of 10. The Sierra’s standard rearview camera, durable Goodyear DuraTrac tires, hill descent control, off-road inclinometer, and excellent hauling and towing capabilities influenced its near-perfect rating.
2020 Ram 1500
When duty calls, rely on the refined and luxurious 2020 Ram 1500 to do the dirty work. The unique coil-spring suspension provides a surprising level of comfortableness when riding through the roughest of tracks.
The Ram 1500 rides on mammoth all-terrain 33-inch tires, bolstered by the all-exclusive air suspension system with a ground clearance of 10.3 inches. The hard-charging 3.0L V8 EcoDiesel engine choice delivers 480 hp and torque worth 410 lb.-ft with a towing capability of 12,560 pounds.
While shopping for this car, keep in mind that the Ram 1500 released fresh content for the next model year, including a Uconnect infotainment system that features an anti-spin differential and an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
2020 GMC Canyon All Terrain X
Back in 2015, the luxurious GMC Canyon All Terrain X was renewed for a second-generation along with its twin, the Chevrolet Colorado.
For 2020, the Canyon has plenty to offer, including two bed lengths and two cabs (crew and extended). The previous V6 option was also revamped to the current 3.6-liter model, coupled with an advanced eight-speed automatic. When properly equipped, the 2020 GMC Canyon All Terrain can tow up to 7,700 pounds.
The All-Terrain X rides on Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, displays hill-descent domination, and features all-weather floor liners. Drivers will benefit a great deal from the intelliLink 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and LED headlight accents.
2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
The last of our AWD favorites, the updated 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, offers nothing but the best as far as ride comfort is concerned. Comfort is assured in all conditions by the power-adjustable 10-way driver’s chair and classic leather-trimmed TRD Pro seats.
The full-size Tundra Pro undoubtedly has what it takes to take on nature’s most savage terrain. The TRD Pro stands out with its massive grille and Toyota logo. The new shade for the 2020 model year is the bold Army Green. This color occurs on the rest of the TRD Pro models, including the Sequoia, 4Runner, and Tacoma.
The tuned-up Bilstein shocks feature external piggyback reservoirs, internal hydraulic bump stops, and 3-stage compression damping. These features improve the off-road performance and limit cabin movement while navigating over huge rocks.
Why Do Many Trucks Not Have AWD?
If you’re a careful truck observer, you’ve probably noticed that most trucks and other larger vehicles use the standard 4WD, as opposed to the more convenient AWD. While AWD can work in a variety of road and weather conditions, serious off-roaders generally consider it a lesser option.
It’s worth mentioning that despite AWD having a boosted grip and traction, it also has a more significant fuel consumption rate. Aside from trucks, smaller vehicles with AWD (SUVs and cars) are often used for passenger safety and comfort since they don’t need the added torque.
That’s why drivers who like to venture into beaten paths would instead engage truck with 4WD than AWD.
What’s Better For A Truck, 4WD, or AWD?
Here’s a brief description of the two configurations to help you decide which one is right for you:
AWDs come in a wide variety of vehicles, such as SUVs, trucks, and cars. It offers added traction in light off-roading and under normal winter conditions, and delivers the least compromises in fuel economy on dry terraces.
It also relieves the driver of the decision-making process of whether to power all four wheels or decide the corner that gets the torque.
If you live in a remote location, drive through harsh weather conditions, or enjoy off-road riding, this might be the best option. 4WD is mostly present in SUVs and trucks with higher-than-average ground clearance. It is the most qualified to handle steep grades, rocky terrain, and deep snow.
Your area of residence, the driving conditions, and of course, your personal taste should determine the truck system you purchase.
Do Some Trucks Only Have 2WD?
We’re so accustomed to 4-wheel-drive vehicles that we’re oblivious to the fact that 2-wheel-drive trucks also have a place in the vehicle industry. What is a 2WD?
Two-wheel drive is a standard setup in vehicles that offers power directly to two wheels (either the front or the back). The following trucks operate under a two-wheel-drive configuration:
- 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma
- 2019 GMC 1500
- 2019 FORD F250
2WD vehicles are not that safe for off-riding as they’re also not all that easy to navigate over rough terrain. They are better for everyday road driving. We strongly recommend you go with 4WD trucks or riding on uneven ground.
Our post about 4WD Vs. 2WD Trucks (Which Should You Choose?) highlights the features and benefits of both setups to help you make a solid decision.
All-wheel drives are rare animals, powerful ones as well. For the most exemplary performance, settle for an AWD truck with a four-wheel-drive capability. We hope the alternatives provided above will suit your taste and keep you moving despite the road or weather conditions!