Category: Trucks

By on February 27, 2017

2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 W/T

The pickup is as much of a stereotypical American icon as gun ownership and throwing things away. Last year was a particularly good one for trucks, with Ford F-Series sales reaching pre-recession volume and a 10-year high and Ram recording a seventh year of growth. However, with sales peaking for the other domestic labels, General Motors’ share of the market shrunk.

What’s the solution to whatever consumers find lacking with GM’s product? A price war, of course. While Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are scaling back, GM upped incentives from last February by 56 percent for the Chevrolet Silverado and 82 percent for the GMC Sierra. With the pickup segment being so important in North America, nobody wants to lose ground. Aggressive discounts are often the only way to overwhelm brand loyalty, but the practice is also guaranteed to eat into profits while annoying the competition. Read More >

By on February 18, 2017

2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD

In the dark days of the recession, as General Motors was frantically attempting to save itself from the abyss, many thought it odd that the automaker’s GMC division was saved while a storied brand like Pontiac met its executioner. As for Saturn and Hummer, well, let’s just say far fewer tears were spilled over those deaths.

Clearly, GM saw long-term profitability in its carless brand — a prediction that has since panned out. From a low point in 2009, GMC sales doubled to 558,697 units by 2015. However, it isn’t the number of vehicles sold that’s the sweet spot for the automaker — it’s the number of GMCs sold in top-end Denali trim.

At GM’s utility brand, luxury versions of non-luxury vehicles are proving increasingly popular. Read More >

By on February 13, 2017

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab - Image: Nissan

By broadening its lineup, rethinking the dealer approach, and focusing on prime markets, Nissan intends to increase its Titan pickup truck’s share of America’s full-size market to 5 percent.

5 percent. One in twenty trucks. One Titan for every 19 Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram P/U, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra.

That doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?

Nah, at least until you realize that in 2016, Nissan sold fewer than 22,000 Titans, or slightly less than 1 percent market share. Read More >

By on February 10, 2017

2016 Fiat Toro

Ralph Gilles, global design head for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, just loves the little Fiat Toro pickup. He can’t get enough of it.

Unfortunately for FCA, and especially the Fiat brand, Americans certainly can say “no” to FCA models adorned with a classic Italian badge. Fiat, which returned to these shores just six short years ago, is floundering in North America, so ears perked up in Chicago yesterday when Gilles seemed to imply the brand might introduce a life-saving model into the U.S. market.

Alas, the company appears to have no intention of trying something desperate to stop the sales bleeding. Read More >

By on February 9, 2017

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab and Titan XD King Cab, Image: Nissan

In 1977, Nissan released the revolutionary King Cab option for the Datsun 620 pickup, which opened up 10 extra inches of space behind the front row of seats for people or stuff.

Forty years later, Nissan has revealed the new King Cab for the Titan and Titan XD, joining the Crew Cab and Single Cab options to round out the product line.

Interestingly, the Titan and Titan XD King Cab is offered with a rear-seat delete option, giving extra cargo space behind the front row for the coveted work-truck market.

Read More >

By on February 9, 2017

2018_toyota_tundra_trd_sport_01_8ee19ebe1c41ad354b59edf3a42fdf0bac4ded48

It’s hard to go a day without overhearing people on the street whispering excitedly about the scandalous Toyota Sequoia. Okay, that statement is completely false, and no doubt part of the reason why Toyota saw fit to add an off-road-minded sport trim to its lightly refreshed full-size SUV for 2018.

Ah, hell, why not add it to the full-size Toyota Tundra pickup, as well? Read More >

By on February 8, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Chevrolet gave many truck lovers what they wanted when it previewed the 2017 Colorado ZR2 last year. Sporting a cutaway front bumper, towering suspension travel and all the right components to turn a basic midsize pickup into a mini Ford Raptor, the ZR2 was General Motors’ way of saying, “Look, we’re listening!”

After releasing pricing for the ultimate Colorado today, GM really wants you to know that the $40,995 ZR2 is way cheaper than a model it won’t mention. Read More >

By on February 8, 2017

raptor1

A sharp-eyed reader caught this and sent it to me on Monday. There’s been a variety of speculation about the “2017.5 Raptor” ever since a few Raptors with camouflaged rear ends were spotted on public roads late last year — but this truck, as you’ll see, isn’t wearing any disguise.

Read More >

By on February 8, 2017

2017 Ram 2500/3500 Heavy Duty Night

Ram plans to introduce a brace of special edition trucks at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show this week.

A new Copper Sport trim will augment the existing 1500 rim choices and color palette, and Ram will port a popular package from the 1500 to create the new Heavy Duty Night model.

Read More >

By on January 31, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4

Spy shots are circulating that show a current-generation Ram 1500 pickup with something missing under the hood.

The picture on the side of the milk carton contains at least two cylinders, as this unusual Ram variant has dispensed with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ familiar V6 and V8 engines. Yup, this Ram packs an inline-four. Read More >

By on January 26, 2017

Detroit Three Work Trucks

Earlier this morning, Jack regaled us with a tale of a young man buying himself a loaded regular-cab F-150. Such a beast still exists, often selling at the rate of glacier progression and celebrating birthdays as they loiter on dealer lots. At the other end of the spectrum, rear-drive regular cab base models – with an 8-foot box, natch – ply the roads and work for a living.

How do entry-level trucks from the Detroit Three stack up when compared to each other? Ace of Base breaks them down in alphabetical order with the caveat that, based on price and feature content, there is a clear winner.

Read More >

By on January 25, 2017

Nissan Titan crash test 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap crash test — the bane of every automaker’s existence — has prevented another pickup from achieving high marks.

This time, it’s the 2017 Nissan Titan — a full-size pickup struggling to stand apart from its domestic competition after recently undergoing its first redesign in 13 years.

In IIHS testing, the Titan crew cab, like many of its rivals, folded under pressure during the small overlap test. That keeps the truck out of the running for an ad-worthy Top Safety Pick rating. Read More >

By on January 23, 2017

Midsize trucks - Images: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GMFive members strong, America’s midsize pickup truck sector reported nearly 450,000 sales in 2016.

After claiming only 11 percent of the overall pickup truck market’s volume in 2013 and 2014 and 14 percent in 2015, 17 percent of all pickup truck sales in 2016 were produced by the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon, and Honda Ridgeline.

Midsize pickup truck sales growth wildly outperformed the overall auto industry in 2016, leaping forward nine times faster than the full-size truck sector, year-over-year.

Every candidate got in on the action, but one truck in particular did more than its fair share of the heavy lifting. Read More >

By on January 20, 2017

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

If you want a new midsize truck, you have four-and-a-half options. The geriatric but delightfully trucky Nissan Frontier, the recently reintroduced unibody Ridgeline, the insipid GM Colorado/Canyon twins, or the relatively fresh Toyota Tacoma. Each of these trucks has something to recommend it, but the midsize segment is not the dynamic space it once was. There are more station wagons available to American consumers today than mid-size pickups.

Amid the thin field of competition, the Toyota Tacoma is the undisputed sales leader. In 2016 it outsold its next closest rival by 46,000 units on its way to a 43 percent market share. And despite the lack of choice, consumers acquired 25 percent more midsize trucks in 2016 than they did in 2015. Thankfully, growth ensures that this highly visible yet under-served corner of the market will soon offer a selection more like Amazon than a Soviet-era grocery store. The Ford Ranger returns to the market in about two years, along with the much-anticipated Wrangler pickup. Nissan will soon update the prehistoric Frontier. And both Volkswagen and Mercedes are contemplating midsize entries.

Sales are robust for Toyota’s mid-sizer, but is it ready for tomorrow’s competition? Read More >

By on January 17, 2017

2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept - Image: Hyundai

Two years have passed since Hyundai dropped the Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept at 2015’s North American International Auto Show.

A small, stylish, affordable, diesel-powered trucklet? Give’er the green light, the internet says.

Hyundai has consistently supplied plenty of information in the 24 months since the truck’s debut to stoke Santa Cruz-oriented hype. “There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck soon,” now-departed Hyundai USA boss Dave Zuchowski said 20 months ago.

Soon? Clearly not.

Acknowledging Hyundai is “working as hard as we can to make it happen,” Hyundai’s vice president of corporate and product planning, Mike O’Brien, told Car And Driver that Hyundai is still not entirely certain the Santa Cruz is bound for production. Read More >

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