Pick-up trucks have come a long way, from full-sized cabs to heavy towing capabilities to aluminum bodies. Recently, Car and Driver decided to rank the latest, most popular models from worst to best. Our fleet fuel card company thought we’d share their findings:
1. Ford F-150
“The battle for pickup-truck supremacy rages on, with the new-for-2015 F-150 using aluminum as its secret weapon. The use of aluminum in the body and the bed reduced weight by hundreds of pounds, but it really just put the once mega-porky F-150 largely on par with the Silverado. The frame is still made of steel for strength and durability.
Engines include a 3.5-liter V-6, 2.7- or 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6s, and a 5.0-liter V-8… Always a top contender, the F-150 has a seamless blend of technology and traditional truck values that put it on top in its first comparison test, where it edged out the Chevy.”
2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500
“In a pickup market gone fancy, the Chevrolet Silverado largely sticks to its basic-truck recipe, but even the bow-tie truck offers a luxe-grade trim. Yet no matter which Silverado you choose, the steering is accurate and the handling more like that of a big car than a big truck.
Unfortunately, while the truck was largely revamped for 2014, the exterior styling closely resembles the previous generation’s. A 4.3-liter V-6 makes 305 lb-ft of torque and is rated for 24 mpg highway; optional 5.3- and 6.2-liter V-8s stand ready with greater towing and hauling capabilities.”
3. GMC Sierra 1500
“Completely updated for 2014, GMC’s pickup twin to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offers all the basics done well, plus muscle, mature styling, and tons of goodies. The hugely improved 4.3-liter V-6 is an outstanding base engine, thanks to an impressive 305 lb-ft of torque matched with a 24-mpg highway rating, and it’s joined by two V-8 options—displacing 5.3 or 6.2 liters—that offer more than 400 horsepower for big towing jobs.
Although it’s technically in third place here, the GMC Sierra really occupies second-second place, as it shares most of its mechanical bits with the Silverado. But the additional bling and the opportunity to spec a slightly more luxe interior comes at a price. For that privilege and a little exclusivity, you’ll likely pay more at the dealer.”
4. Dodge Ram 1500
“From work-truck basic to leather-lined luxury rig, the Ram 1500’s smooth ride, comfortable seats, and tons of storage make it a tool worth consideration. A 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6 is standard, but a 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is optional. A brawny and efficient 240-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 is also available. All are mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic with either rear- or four-wheel drive.
We’re thrilled that Ram still offers a two-door “street truck” version in the 2015 Ram 1500 R/T Hemi, and it’s hard to argue with the convenience of the RamBox bedside storage bins.”
The oft-snubbed Toyota Tundra got a makeover for the 2014 model year. Available with myriad body styles, bed lengths, and two- or four-wheel drive, as well as offering either a 310-hp 4.6-liter V-8 or a 381-hp 5.7-liter V-8, the Tundra can be tailored to your needs. While the makeover brought some bold styling cues, a more competitive tow capability, and a beautifully finished interior, the finished product is still a little less cohesive than its competitors.”
Honorable Mention: Ford F-150 Raptor
“It’s the charismatic off-roader Ferrari would build if it built 4×4 pickups. Absent for the 2015 and 2016 model years, the Raptor is back for 2017, and based on our experiences with the previous model, it’ll set the bar for factory off-road pickups…
There has been some paraphrasing in the engine bay, where, instead of the old truck’s 411-hp 6.2-liter V-8, sits a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine with direct fuel injection. While it shares a displacement figure with the larger of the two EcoBoost V-6s available in the regular F-150, the Raptor’s mill features a new aluminum block and upgraded internals, revised heads, and tweaked fuel-delivery equipment.
The Raptor’s aluminum body is bolted to an equally new frame… Four-wheel drive is standard, as is Ford’s first application of its new 10-speed automatic transmission.”
Honorable Mention: Nissan Titan
“Having been barely changed from its 2004 debut, the Titan was seemingly the truck that time forgot—at least until an all-new 2016 Titan was introduced at the 2015 Detroit auto show. While the remaining examples of the current model are powered by a 317-hp V-8 teamed with a five-speed automatic, the 2016 Titan will arrive at first packing a Cummins turbo-diesel V-8 producing 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of twist mated to a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission.
Slated to hit showrooms in mid-to-late 2015, the new Titan will initially be available only in extrastrength XD guise with the Cummins V-8 diesel. Nissan will roll out additional gasoline V-8 and V-6 options soon after the XD’s late-summer launch, as well as a conventional, lighter-duty version, but full details on those haven’t been released yet.”
*Photo courtesy of ford.com