Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: like last week, this comparison isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Truck buyers are a notoriously loyal lot, so the online bleatings of a shrimp-filled journalist are unlikely to curry favor with folks whose work boots are firmly entrenched in one of these three camps.
Thing is, though, I do know a thing or two about trucks. Plus, I had a deadline to meet and needed a topic for today. Having recently completed the trifecta by finally getting the chance to drive all three diesel behemoths listed here, I started to ask myself how these workhorses would compare in single cab, four-wheel drive, base trim. Fleet managers, please click on through: we’re about to step into the world of bare-bones diesel trucks.
Not unless it’s a big, honking full-sizer, that is.
After giving serious thought to introducing its X-Class pickup in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz has decided to stay away from the American market. Why? The midsize field probably isn’t a good place to make money with a luxurious pickup. (Read More…)
With the possible exception of the upcoming Ford Bronco, no automotive product has more Americans feeling giddy with anticipation than the pickup version of Jeep’s beloved Wrangler.
Dreamed of by wistful Jeep aficionados for years, the go-ahead given to the Holy Grail of Jeepdom seemed to signal that yes, your dreams really can come true. Unfortunately, this seems to be a case of “all good things come to those who wait,” because wait you will. Two and a half years, to be exact.
Some of that time will be spent figuring out a name that doesn’t offend people. (Read More…)
The next time you’re driving behind a semitrailer take notice of that metal bumper hanging off the back. That’s the underride guard, and its job it to prevent your minuscule hatchback from hurdling beneath its hulking mass on the off chance that you have a collision.
Sadly, not all guards are created equal and some buckle during an accident — allowing the car’s passenger compartment to impact the rear of the trailer, frequently shearing off the part of the vehicle that your head occupies.
To further scare you out of tailgating trucks, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a 2011 report stating that the majority of those guards would fail and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s minimum structural guidelines for underride bars was inadequate. While some manufacturers had begun installing stronger and safer guards, mainly to satisfy higher Canadian standards, the initial round of IIHS’ testing resulted in most underride guards failing in a 30-percent overlap test. (Read More…)
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…)
Colorado. Canyon. Tacoma. Frontier. Ridgeline. X-Class?
That could be the lineup Mercedes-Benz has in mind for the competitive — and growing — U.S. midsize pickup segment. Ever since the automaker unveiled its questionable-looking X-Class midsize pickup last fall and declared America off limits for now, there’s been no end to the speculation that we’d eventually end up with a German offering on these shores.
The midsize pickup segment has now grown to 17 percent of all U.S. truck sales, and Mercedes apparently likes what it sees. (Read More…)
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…)
European drivers have a problem. Motorists who own Nissan Navara pickups keep finding their trips cut short by an annoying noise: the sound of their trucks splitting in half.
So many Navaras — sold in North America as the Nissan Frontier — are snapping in two due to extreme frame rust that owners are pressuring governments to do something about. Check out these photos if you think it’s an isolated problem. (Read More…)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been on a bit of a mental streak lately.
Rip the seats out of a Hellcat to create the Demon? Sure!
Drop a V8 engine the size of a grand piano into a Durango and perform all-wheel drive burnouts? Why not?
The level of brash, automotive lunacy on offer from Auburn Hills is appalling. I think it’s great.
It’s no surprise, then, Ram chose to amp up the capability and in-your-face style of its Power Wagon when it came time for a refresh. Big tires, bold grilles, and billboard-sized badges; customers in the market for a Power Wagon are not generally a bunch of wallflowers.
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
Yesterday I told a story about a colleague of mine who was lookin’ for love in all the large places. Because this is TTAC, the conversation in the comments quickly turned to the traction merits of various drivetrain systems. You crazy kids. I bet that when most of you think about Fast Times At Ridgemont High, your minds immediately go to the one scene where we get a good look at the voluptuous curves of … Judge Reinhold’s 1960 LeSabre.
We’ve had a lot of conversations about trucks lately, whether it’s a Nissan Frontier, a Toyota Tacoma, or a Honda Ridgeline. You could say that we’re in some kind of trucking phase, and that it might be a while before we get the truck out of here.
So, what the truck do you want?
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.