Choosing the right vehicle for the ancient ritual of Christmas tree transport is an important task.
As you heard in the Beach Boys immortal classic “Little St. Nick,” “Christmas comes just once a year,” and on this St. Nicholas Day weekend we are certain that millions of Americans will be picking out their Christmas trees. After the critical choice and purchase, the big question is always, “How did I get it home?” While we can’t be there physically, we’d like to think we’re here to help. Many of today’s vehicles aren’t particularly well suited to bringing home something as prickly and awkward as a Christmas tree, but a couple of vehicle types are much better suited to the effort than others. We know because we’ve tried them, from subcompact sedans to full-on traditional SUVs.
Now we’re not suggesting you go out and buy a new vehicle just to get the Christmas tree home. That wouldn’t just be excessive; it would also be silly. But if you have access to any of the vehicles on this list or if you simply want to know the vehicles that are best for hauling Christmas trees so you can buy one the next time you change vehicles, well, we got you covered. Counting down from number 10 all the way to number one, here are the 10 Best Vehicles to Haul the Christmas Tree.
If you decide to go in the wild to cut your own Christmas tree the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will … [+]
10. 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
A very popular midsize pickup truck, the Chevrolet Colorado is the right length and height to make hauling all but the biggest Christmas trees a snap. As they say online, just drag (the tree) and drop. Should you decide to cut your very own Christmas tree somewhere in the wilderness, the off-road-oriented Colorado ZR2 is an especially good choice. With either the base 308-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 or the 186-horsepower high-torque 2.8-liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine, the ZR2 is well-equipped to get where you need to go to pick out the perfect tree. For added stability front and rear track widths are 3.5 inches wider versus the standard Colorado, and for added ground clearance the suspension has been lifted 2.0 inches higher than a standard truck. The Colorado ZR2 also features class-exclusive front and rear electronic locking differentials.
The 2020 GMC Canyon Denali has both the style and the substance to be a good Christmas tree toter.
9. 2020 GMC Canyon
If your Christmas tree acquisition style is the tree lot at the local upscale garden center rather than an off-road adventure in the wilderness, the GMC Canyon midsize pickup might be a better choice for you versus the Colorado ZR2. Like the Chevrolet Canyon, its size and bed height that makes it especially good for the easy handling of a Christmas tree. To do it in style, a great choice is the luxury-oriented Canyon Denali. It features a unique chrome grille, 20-inch aluminum wheels, heated and ventilated front leather-appointed seats, spray-on bed-liner, and additional special trim to let you know it’s not just another pickup truck. Key fob-operated tailgate lock control is standard on the Denali trim as is remote start. To make certain your tree won’t get away, the Canyon has 13 standard tie down locations within the bed with available tie-down rings.
The 2020 Honda Ridgeline brings crew-cab comfort and carlike ride to the tree-hauling task.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
8. 2020 Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline midsize pickup is an excellent choice for Christmas tree transport because it offers more car-like handling and ride quality while offering a reasonably sized, easily access bed. The Ridgeline stands alone among other pickups in the segment in its use of unit-body instead of separate body-on-frame construction. Another car-like feature is its all-independent suspension. The Ridgeline is a four-door pickup that can accommodate five passengers, so can take many whole families on their search for the perfect tree. All but the front-drive-only base model Ridgelines offer all-wheel-drive, and the AWD system features Snow/Sand/Mud modes should you be forced to brave the elements. Power comes from a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter direct-injected single overhead cam V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma brings a rigged off-road capability to the Christmas tree transport task.
7. 2020 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma midsize truck has captured a reputation as a solidly reliable vehicle with the inner toughness to win off-road endurance races, so there is little doubt it will also fulfill your Christmas tree hauling needs. Its two durable engines, a 159-horsepower 2.7-liter in-line 4-cylinder and a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, contribute to the Tacoma’s born-tough reputation. Each can be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the V-6 also offers a six-speed manual transmission option. The Tacoma is available in Access Cab (with rear-hinged rear doors) and Double Cab (with larger conventional rear doors) in rear-drive and all-wheel drive versions. For those of you seeking to get a tree in the wild, the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Pro versions are superior 4-wheel-drive trucks.
The 2020 Ford F-150 comes in a wide variety of configurations that make Christmas tree toting a … [+]
6. 2020 Ford F-150
Midsize pickups are fine for most families’ Christmas trees, but if you typically buy a tree taller than seven feet or so in height, you might be better served by enlisting a full-size pickup truck. Of course, the Ford F-150 is numero uno in that category. There are seven separate F-150 series, each with a personality of its own, and each provides a unique way to move your tree. A 3.3-liter V-6 with 6-speed automatic remains the standard powerplant for 2020, but choices also include 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, 5.0-liter V8, 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Every one of those engines is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The F-150 Raptor off-road performance truck and the top-of-the-line F-150 Limited both feature a high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine for unprecedented performance.
Bad weather won’t stop the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado from its Yuletide task.
5. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet offers its full-size Silverado pickups in an array that is very similar to its head-to-head Ford F-150 competitor. From a basic “work truck” that is designed for low-cost utilitarian functions to luxurious models like the Silverado High Country, you can have it your way. The Work truck at less than $30,000 features an 8-foot bed and rear drive. Power is supplied by a 285-horsepower 4.3-liter V-6 that has been in the General Motors engine lineup for decades, and it is backed up by an equally venerable 6-speed automatic. Going to the opposite end of the Yuletide tree-hauling Silverados, the High Country features an exclusive two-tone grille design, body-color accents and helpful chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. For added tree-hauling convenience, it also includes an industry-first power up/down tailgate as standard equipment. Under its hood the top-level High Country has a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation tech and auto stop/start.
The recently reintroduced Ford Ranger midsize pickup is an added choice this year.
4. 2020 Ford Ranger
To the great relief of its many fans the midsize Ford Ranger pickup truck is back, better than ever. It offers a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine boasting 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, and the engine is paired to a sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission. If you want rear-drive or four-wheel-drive, the Ranger has you covered. Maximum payload is1,860 pounds and maximum towing is 7,500 pounds, so even the largest Christmas tree in the forest should not be out of line. While the base Ranger model is a nice choice around town and on the highway, an FX2 model punches it up with off-road styling and functionality. Included are electronic-locking rear differential, off-road tires, off-road-tuned suspension, front underbody guard and Ford’s off-road cluster screen.
The go-anywhere 2020 Jeep Gladiator midsize pickup combines Jeep and RAM technology.
3. 2020 Jeep Gladiator
While most of today’s pickup trucks offer very similar exterior styling and capabilities, the Jeep Gladiator midsize pickup throws the norms out the window. It cheerfully looks like no other truck on the market with its bold CJ-like exterior design. Under the skin — and the bed — the Gladiator borrows unashamedly from the Dodge RAM. It’s our opinion that if you’re going to crib off another brand’s paper, RAM is a good one to copy. The 2020 Gladiator has three powertrain options: a 3.6-liter V-6 with 6-speed manual transmission, a 3.6-liter V-6 with 8-speed automatic, and a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission that is coming after Christmas 2019. The Pentastar V-6 produces 285 horsepower and 260 lb- ft of torque, so the Gladiator can haul a 1,600 pound payload and tow a 7,650-pound trailer load. A crew cab, it is also be a fun way for the whole family pick up the tree.
The GMC Sierra Denali full-size pickup brings quiet luxury to the tree-hauling chore.
2. GMC Sierra 1500
GMC has staked out the high ground in the full-size truck segment with its Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4 versions, which it treats as additional models. While a lot of us like bright and shiny things on our Christmas trees, the Sierra Denali features a lot of special brightwork of its own. It has a chrome grille, 20-inch wheels and six-inch chrome steps. Of course, GMC’s world-famous MultiPro Tailgate is standard on Sierra Denali, and it offers six functions and positions for second-tier loading and load-stops, a standing workstation, and easier access to items in the cargo box. And speaking of the cargo box, the Sierra can be equipped with an industry-first carbon fiber cargo box offering best-in-class dent, scratch and corrosion resistance. All Denalis are crew cabs because your family’s Christmas tree shopping adventure demands nothing less. The standard 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 engine uses cylinder-deactivation tech for enhanced fuel economy, and a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine with cylinder-deactivation and 4-wheel-drive is available should you want to haul an entire forest.
With an adjustable air suspension, sumptuous interior room and a wide variety of powertrains the RAM … [+]
1. 2020 RAM 1500
While all the aforementioned trucks are great ways to tote a Christmas tree, this year’s top Christmas tree hauler is undoubtedly the RAM 1500 full-size pickup. With its exceptional ride quality, innovative tailgate, startling maximum payload and trailer towing capability, the RAM 1500 gets the job done in a style no other truck can offer. Since picking out a tree is a family affair, having the largest cab among midsize and full-size trucks is a great feature. The truck’s second row of seating offers eight degrees of slide recline, heated and cooled seats, a flat-load floor with integrated bins, tie-down rings and expandable under-seat storage. The class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel efficiency, improves ride, offers load-leveling and gives greater off-road capability. The RAM 1500 will even lower itself so you can slide the tree in easier. When it comes to power to tow and haul, the RAM offers 305-horsepower 3.6-liter eTorque Pentastar V-6 engine, 260-horsepower 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, and 395-horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with variable-valve timing. And should you lose your way between the tree lot and home, Uconnect 4C with a substantial 12-inch touchscreen will help you rediscover your position. The 2020 Ram 1500 is the vehicle my family and I used to get our Christmas tree home on Tuesday night, and it couldn’t have worked better. We hope your luck is just as good this weekend.