Big truck showdown:Published June 22, 2013
Of all the vehicle segments, none offers as many choices, or must meet as many needs, as that of the pickup truck. Its customers tend to be brand-loyal and keep their vehicles longer than car owners do.
Manufacturers are fighting to win new buyers, and get current owners into new models.
The result is better trucks than we’ve seen in many years.
There’s no clear-cut winner among the Detroit Three, which dominate truck sales in Canada.
GM has an all-new line for 2014 with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which are mechanically identical. Both have engines with cylinder-deactivation, which improves fuel-economy. The interior is vastly improved, and the upper trim levels, for appearance and quality, may be the best of the bunch.
For 2013, there are only a few trim changes to the top-selling Ford F-150. The truck offers four engines, including its turbocharged 3.5 L EcoBoost, which tops all other V6 competitors with a towing capacity of 11,300 lb. (5,125 kg).
Although the EcoBoost is as big as the other versions, it has a surprisingly nimble feel, and I find it the most responsive of them. The new GM models come in next.
The Ram 1500 “drives big” and can seem tougher to manoeuvre, but I’m still partial to its sweet 5.7 L V8 Hemi engine.
Much comes down to the little things. Ford has a flat rear floor, where the other two have driveshaft humps, which make it tougher to load cargo. Ford still puts its trailer plug under the bumper, while Ram and GM have theirs up top, where they’re easier to reach.
All three trucks are needlessly oversized, and it can be an issue getting in and out of them. GM’s the easiest, thanks to a lower seat position. It also has the simplest solution for bed access: an integrated bumper step and handhold in the bed rail.
Ford’s tailgate-mounted ladder system works well, but it’s more complicated.
It’s toughest to get into the Ram’s bed, but I like its integrated storage boxes.
Among other trucks, Toyota will be introducing a refreshed Tundra later this year, but there’s no word on when we’ll see a new Nissan Titan.
FOR THE FULL REVIEWS:
Click here for full review of Chevrolet Silverado
Click here for full review of Ford F-150
Click here for full review of Ram 1500
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