What’s the best pick-up truck for a family in the UK in 2021?

Which pick-up truck for a family? Now that’s a question. Welcome to our brief starter guide to help you choose!

Kids, luggage, dog, camping gear - and saving on your company car tax.

We understand why you need a family pick-up truck that will stand up to the punishment of everyday life in 2021. So, welcome to our brief rundown of UK family pick-ups! It’s designed as a quick overview of some the the most popular models, and we hope it will help you choose the best pick-up for your family.

And if you’re after a family pick-up truck, we’ve got the UK’s widest selection of high-quality used pick-ups in the south - so just get in touch if you’d like to try a few out in person. What better way to help you decide on the best pick-ups for family life than to experience them for yourself?

Comfort and feel

Like all classes of vehicle, pick-ups in the UK have their own distinct personalities in terms of how they drive and feel.

The Ford Ranger is a good choice for starters, with Limited and Wildtrak versions offering an effortlessly attractive combination of plush fittings and responsive handling. It’s also easy to drive, with a refined and settled ride for the class. It’s a great balance between durability and comfort when you don’t need to be going off road, and rugged ability when you do. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Amarok has similar draws - but with more of a focus on its premium interior quality and finish. The VW’s badge prestige goes a long way too, and these are arguably two of the most stylish and prestigious pick-up trucks on UK roads at the moment.

Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak looks great and is good to drive
Volkswagen Amarok
Volkswagen's Amarok has a premium feel and holds its value well
Nissan Navara
The Nissan Navara is a family-friendly balance of comfortable familiarity and durability
Mitsubishi L200
Mitsubishi's L200 offers good value and a wide range of trim levels

But perhaps the all-round family pick-up truck of choice is the Nissan Navara. It’s really an ideal family pick-up - specifically the 2016-onwards Navara, which majors in balancing hard-working, off-road durability with well-mannered composure on the road. This is partly because it benefits from coil-spring rear suspension - giving the truck more civilised road manners - whilst the interior remains a comfortable and familiar place to be for those more used to an SUV. Go for the high-spec Tekna version to make the most of the Navara’s pleasant interior ambience, and feel secure on the road.

Interior specification is one area where the Mitsubishi L200 performs highly, with a spacious interior and generous levels of equipment on Barbarian spec trucks in particular. Compared to the likes of the Ranger, Amarok and Navara, the L200 feels chunkier and more business-like to drive, which might appeal more to those already familiar with vehicles this size. Capable and dependable, it’s at its happiest carrying heavy loads or tackling tough terrains, and combined with its stylish looks it’s remained a very popular used pick-up choice for years.

The Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux may often be considered working vehicles, but don’t let that put you off. The D-Max’s interior, particularly in style-statement Blade spec, is a great balance of comfort and hard-wearing flexibility for the most demanding elements of family life. Whilst the higher-spec Invincible model Hilux offers a superb level of leather-trimmed comfort and finish, combined with Toyota’s legendary go-anywhere dependability. If you’re specifically after the toughest machines you can get for the strains of family motoring - both the D-Max and the Hilux are probably at the top of your list.

Isuzu D-Max
The Isuzu D-Max really is a tough machine both inside and out
Toyota Hilux
Toyota's Hilux has a legendary reputation - but you'll be surprised at the levels of comfort and refinement on offer

The safest pick-up truck for a family

And then, of course, there’s the question of which pick-up truck is safest. Passenger safety has got to be high on the list when choosing which pick-up truck is best for a family. So how do they compare according to Euro NCAP’s crash safety ratings?

Well, the good news is that modern pick-ups are fundamentally all safe choices. Every tested model achieves at least a four-star rating from Euro NCAP - with the Ford Ranger, Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota Hilux (with the Toyota Safety Sense package) and Isuzu D-Max (2019 onwards) all exceeding that even further as 5-star rated Euro NCAP pick-ups.

The Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara and Volkswagen Amarok all achieve a respectable 4-star rating. Perhaps surprisingly, the Toyota Hilux (tested in 2016) was the only 3-star rated pick-up we found on our list - however, this was without the Toyota Safety Sense package. The Hilux instantly goes all the way up to 5-stars with it included, so it certainly pays to check you’ve got it fitted if you’re in the market for a used Hilux for the family.

Here's a list of the pick-up truck safety ratings we’ve found, taken directly from Euro NCAP’s website.


Rating and date tested. Data collected in May 2021.

Ford Ranger (2012) 5*
Mercedes-Benz X-Class (2017) 5*
Toyota Hilux (Safety Sense) (2016) 5*
Isuzu D-Max (2012) 5*

Mitsubishi L200 (2015) 4*
Nissan Navara (2015) 4*
VW Amarok (2010) 4*

Toyota Hilux (Safety Sense not included) (2016) 3*

Click here to see Euro NCAP's list of tested pick-up truck safety ratings for yourself


So, which pick-up truck is best for the family?

There’s no definitive route to finding the best family pick-up truck for you personally. We’re all different, so whilst it’s not quite as black and white as us telling you which UK pick-up is best for a family, the choice available to you in 2021 demonstrates how the pick-up market has transformed in the past 20 years. Gone are the days of purely utilitarian work vehicles, and here instead are the days of combining that working durability with ever more refined handling and comfort that can really surprise you. We hope we’ve given you an idea to get you going in your search.

Ultimately, sitting in and test-driving the different vehicles available will be the best way for you to make your mind up. And as pick-up truck experts - with the UK’s biggest range of used pick-ups in the south - where easier to do that than here at TMC?

Click below to see our current selection of used pick-ups, and we hope to see you soon.

View our pick-up trucks for sale

We are TMC, The Motor Company. Based in Oakhanger, near Bordon, Hampshire, we are pick-up truck specialists and one of the largest suppliers of used pick-up trucks in the UK. Let us help you find the best pick-up trucks for the family today!

TMC - The Motor Company
The Goodwood Building, The Yard, Oakhanger, Bordon, Hampshire, GU35 9JU.