The 2019 model year marks the start of a new cycle for some of America’s top trucks, led by redesigned pickups from Chevrolet and Ram. Ford’s top-selling F-150 had updates in 2018 and more may be in the offing for 2019. Typically, Japanese truckmakers Nissan and Toyota aren’t far behind with their own updates. It’s a great time for full-size truck shoppers. Most pickups offer similar capabilities, so look for such qualities as comfort and innovative technology to make a difference.
Here’s a look at today’s crop of full-size pickups.
2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
Arriving at dealers in the fall, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado features a ground-up redesign that results in a longer, lighter pickup. Weight savings of around 205 kilograms should pay dividends for fuel economy and acceleration.
The new Silverado offers a taller driving position and more room in crew-cab models. It also has the largest cargo box in its class and a power-lowering and -raising tailgate that’s exclusive to the class.
The Silverado offers a variety of engines: a V-6 (285 horsepower), a V-8 (355 horsepower), a larger and stronger V-8 (420 horsepower), and a turbocharged four-cylinder (310 horsepower). A six-cylinder diesel arrives in early 2019.
The Silverado’s mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra, is also new and goes on sale in the fall. The 2019 Sierra will offer a more upscale interior than the Chevy, along with other exclusive features such as a carbon-fibre cargo box and enhanced technology.
2018 FORD F-150
Perennially the top-selling vehicle in America and Canada, the F-150 reigns supreme among full-size trucks. Multiple trims and configurations, four engine options and remarkable capabilities make the F-150 a benchmark. Engines include a new base-level 3.3-litre V-6 (290 horsepower), along with two turbo V-6 options (325 horsepower or 375 horsepower), a V-8 (395 horsepower) and a new diesel V-6 (250 horsepower).
With towing capacity nearly 6,000 kg and up to 10.6 litres/100 km combined city/highway fuel economy, there’s not much the F-150 can’t do. There’s even the bonkers 450-horsepower Raptor edition that can traverse broad swaths of off-road terrain without breaking a sweat. The 2019 F-150 is expected to be released later this summer.
2018 NISSAN TITAN
Built in Mississippi, the Titan is nearly as American as its domestic rivals despite its Japanese origins. The current Titan was redesigned for 2017 with a bold new look and a new XD model that splits the difference between the capabilities of regular half-ton and heavy-duty pickups. The Titan offers a single 390-horsepower V-8 engine and can tow up to 4,415 kg. The XD version comes with the same V-8 or an optional diesel V-8 that helps the truck tow up to 5,733 kg.
The Titan’s not our first choice among full-size pickups, but it’s roomy and comfortable and it delivers legitimate capability at an attractive price. The 2019 Nissan Titan arrives this fall.
2019 RAM 1500
Ram shook up the truck world a decade ago with a new rear suspension design that delivered sedan-like ride comfort without sacrificing capability. A refined, comfortable cabin and advanced tech features made its rivals look like archaic work trucks almost overnight. The rivals have since caught up, but the new Ram, thoroughly overhauled for 2019 and now on sale, continues to innovate.
A new frame and body design yield more room for rear passengers and reduce weight by about 90 kg. The Ram’s V-8 engine (395 horsepower) returns with a revamped eight-speed transmission that makes more timely shifts. There’s also a 3.6-litre V-6 base engine that will be paired up with an electric-assist system for smoother power and acceleration and a maximum tow capacity of 12,750 pounds. Redesigned front seats, new technology features and an optional 12-inch infotainment display add to the Ram’s winning streak of refinement.
2018 TOYOTA TUNDRA
The Tundra has gone the longest of any in this group without a full redesign. It’s still plenty capable, offering two V-8 engines (310 horsepower and 381 horsepower), two body styles and three bed lengths. It can tow up to 4,627 kg, carry a 785-kg payload and handle itself well off-road. The Tundra also is built in the U.S.
The aging Tundra could benefit from a diesel engine (increased towing strength), a smaller turbocharged V-6 (better fuel economy) and a thorough technology update. Still, the Tundra has a charm for certain truck buyers. The 2019 model arrives in the fall.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds.