By on June 29, 2020

Image: GM

Compared to the clattery, soot-spewing 350 diesel that helped sink General Motors’ reputation in the 1980s, the 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six introduced in the automaker’s full-size pickups late last year is a refined affair. It’s also making something of a reputation for itself, drawing buyers to the company’s truck-only brand who might otherwise have looked elsewhere in the industry for a pickup.

GMC now says it’s targeting a surprising take rate for the Flint-built engine. (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

No, this has nothing to do with the goings-on in your bedroom, but it does have everything to do with your garage.

To say the full-size pickup segment is a cash cow would be an understatement. Ultra-lux trims and specialty editions have led to obese ATPs and decadent margins, and few would disagree that we’re living in the golden age of the pickup. Still, not everyone’s getting what they really want — perhaps even you. (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2020

ford

Given that domestic full-size pickups generate more money for their respective builders than a war bonds drive, every redesign is fraught with danger.

OEMs walk an especially fine line in this segment, fearful of making a vehicle too bland or too similar to the previous generation, but understandably nervous about breaking out of the box and alienating loyal return customers. Polarizing styling isn’t a recipe for success — the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado taught us a lesson about that (though GM might disagree).

As it prepares for a launch later this year, spy shots of the upcoming Ford F-150 reveal enough to show Ford’s playing it safe… but not too safe. (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2019

Ram 1500 MultiFunction Tailgate

Many stories can be told of the events of 2019, but one of the headliners should be Fiat Chrysler’s growing presence in the full-size truck segment. Not domination of it, obviously — that role continues to be reserved for Ford Motor Company and its F-Series pickups. Still, the past year did see the Ram brand relegate Chevrolet to the third-place spot in U.S. sales.

North of the border, where people love big trucks just as much as Americans (regardless of what virtues are signalled on the world stage), it’s a similar story. Let’s see how the Detroit Three are faring in the snowy full-size segment up yonder. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2019

With Ram having surpassed Chevrolet as North America’s number two truck brand, automotive outlets everywhere rushed to report on it — we sure did.

Unfortunately, General Motors hasn’t been fond of the framing used to discuss the matter. Tough cookies, right? Well, the situation is pretty nuanced and we should always strive to be thorough. GM officially still trumps Fiat Chrysler in terms of overall full-size pickup sales, thanks to the one-two punch of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. And the company is also keen to point out that Ram’s volume has been inflated by the previous-generation 1500 being sold alongside the new version as a “Classic” model.

GM feels that this has made FCA’s win less legitimate and takes umbrage with the media sensationalizing the news as it prepares to totally destroy Ram by making a “massive move in full-size pickups” that will absolutely blow the doors off anything you could have possibly imagined. Insane!  (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2019

Everybody who obsesses over automobiles knows that the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado is a hideous monstrosity with a disgustingly small four-cylinder engine as its base powerplant. At least that’s the gist among automotive journalists. While yours truly doesn’t understand how anyone could claim that GMC’s new Sierra boasts the more-attractive mug, both ended up with mildly disappointing interiors and a ride that’s not quite on par with their domestic rivals — especially the Silverado.

Shade has been thrown and the public has responded by buying fewer full-size trucks from Chevy, forcing it to give up its second place sales ranking to Ram. However, General Motors seems to think the issue has been overblown and only represents a temporary setback.  (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

Truly, this is a momentous year for trucks. Not one, not two, but three completely revamped or wholly new domestic pickups greeted us in Detroit last week, ready to capitalize on America’s unyielding hunger for vehicles that can haul, tow, ford, climb, traverse, and commute daily with a single occupant.

While we haven’t yet had an opportunity to put the 2019 Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, or Ford Ranger through their paces, we’d hope to find an increase in refinement and capability in returning models. Over at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, there’s a different testing regimen planned. Let’s just say it’s a hard-hitting one.

And if Ram or Chevy wants to get into the IIHS’ good books, those trucks had best perform better than their so-so predecessors. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak, Image: FCA

Ford’s F-Series is the undisputed king of the domestic pickup market. It’s high atop the mountain, looking down upon its rivals as they savagely bludgeon each other with gnarled branches. For years, the majority of that abuse fell on Ram. Then, all of a sudden, 2017 came and Chevrolet ended up with a broken nose. In the primeval battle of truck sales superiority, Chevy’s Silverado no longer occupies the second place position for full-size pickups. Ram does.

Alright, it isn’t quite that dramatic. General Motors’ truck offerings aren’t exclusive to the Silverado and the automaker still outsold Fiat Chrysler when factoring in pickup deliveries from its GMC division. However, we’re counting this as a victory for Ram because FCA needs one — and overtaking Chevy sales isn’t exactly small potatoes. This is a major leap forward for a brand that seemed perpetually in last place.  (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2016

2017 Ford F-150

It’s not a revolution in fuel efficiency, but an evolution.

Ford added a healthy dose of new technology to the 2017 F-150’s 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 powertrain, but the significance of the newfound efficiency depends on who you ask. To the folks at the Blue Oval, it’s a mileage boost worthy of celebration. To would-be buyers, it’s a minor perk, but tell me more about the torque. (Read More…)

By on August 29, 2016

2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty Platinum Crew Cab 4x4

Ford Motor Company clearly wasn’t secure in knowing that its new 3.5-liter Ecoboost engine will give the F-150 the most V6 power in its class, or that the 2017 Super Duty will have the most torque in its class. And never mind that a looming diesel variant of the F-150 will likely get the best fuel economy in its class.

Ford wanted the gold medal in the fuel tank capacity race, and it just won by a mile. Actually, many miles. (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2016

3.5-liter-EcoBoost-engine-close-up

Ford clearly low-balled its power figures when it issued a sneak peek of the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 back in May.

The newly massaged engine, which will get its debut in the 2017 F-150, was thought to gain 30 pounds-feet of torque. Now, Ford claims the mill will gain 10 horsepower and 50 lb-ft, for a total of 375 hp and 470 lb-ft — a torque figure that beats the F-150’s V8-powered competition. (Read More…)

By on June 29, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

The extended-cab Ford F-150 was somewhat louder than a conventional model, but it was the emissions certificate in the rear window that proved the pickup packed something unusual under the hood.

A partially disguised F-150 recently photographed testing in Michigan wore a code showing the presence of a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine, and sported a tell-tale diesel exhaust tip. It looks like Ford is serious about besting its pickup competition in every way. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

2016 Ford F-150 Limited

Ford Motor Company didn’t want an opportunity to claim bragging rights to pass by, so it sent its 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in for a massage.

The result was a torque (eco)boost of 30 pounds-feet, raising the engine’s output to 365 horsepower and 450 lb-ft. That places Ford’s F-150 ahead of its closest full-size six-cylinder competitor, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which claims 420 lb-ft. (Read More…)

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