“The Ram truck has generated a lot of excitement in 2014 and has won numerous awards…”
Pickup trucks continue to push new sales records every year and with more and more advancements in technologies and lightweight materials, we are witnessing a dramatic change to the automotive industry.
The 2015 Ford F-150 is a reinvention of North America’s most popular pickup. It is 317 kilograms (700lbs) lighter, due to its aluminum body. It can tow up to 500 more kilograms (1,100lbs) and carry up to 240 more kilograms (530lbs) of cargo. The other benefit of losing all this weight is the fuel economy numbers, projected to be five to 20 percent better gas mileage. Four engine choices, 2.7 litre EcoBoost V6 delivering 385 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque, a 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 twin turbo that produces 365 horsepower and an incredible 420 lb-ft of torque, a 5.0-litre V8 with 385 horsepower with 387 lb-ft of torque and a 3.5-litre with 283 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. Some new technologies incorporated in this truck include; a 360-degree camera that offers the driver a bird’s eye view to help manouevre the vehicle out of tight spots, LED headlamps, LED taillamps, integrated loading ramps, and a trailer hitch assist rearview camera that helps line up their truck and trailer without the use of a spotter.
Starting at $17,999
The 2015 Ram 1500 Diesel features a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 with an eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, delivering an impressive 7.1 L/100 km highway fuel economy, powers. The Ram also includes active grille shutters to improve airflow for improved aerodynamics. There is also an airbag option available that can lower the ride height to create less drag. The Ram truck has generated a lot of excitement in 2014 and has won numerous awards. In Canada, Ram has maintained a strong following and with a diesel engine offering, the light truck market just became more interesting.
Starting at $19,995
The 2015 GMC Canyon has breathed new life into the midsize pickup market. This vehicle is equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and is mated with a six speed manual transmission, with a six-speed automatic available as an option. You can also order a more powerful 3.6 Litre V6 with 302 horsepower engine, but it is only available with the automatic transmission. Available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connection through OnStar turns your pick up into a mobile hotspot. Brand new body style will attract a lot of attention, especially on the west coast where midsize trucks were so popular.
Starting at $22,395
The 2015 Chevy Silverado HD marches in with an all new exterior styling designed around improving airflow, which helps the 6.6-litre Duramax turbo diesel or the 6.0-litre Vortex V8 maintain full power during heavy towing and higher temperatures. Auto grade braking and diesel exhaust braking help keep towing in check on those steep hills. Starting on a hill is no problem thanks to the hill start assist that holds the brakes until you press the accelerator. The trailer sway control automatically senses if a trailer is swaying and brings it back in line by applying both the truck’s and trailer’s brakes. The rear bumper has steps integrated into each corner making it easier to access the pickup’s box.
Starting at $39,995
The 2015 Toyota Tundra is equipped with a 5.7-litre i-force V8 engine producing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque can tow up to 4,760 kg (10,500 lb). The Tundra went through a complete makeover last year with dramatic changes to the body. The grille is much larger and gives the truck a more aggressive look. The 1794 Edition is a Western themed truck that features 20” chrome clad alloy wheels, chrome surround grille with 2 bar silver inserts, a chrome and silver bumper, 1794 Edition badging, power moonroof and a heavy duty towing package. The Tundra tailgate opens very easily with the hydraulic assist and can close with as little as two fingers.
Starting at $27,225
Not too long ago driving a heavy duty truck with a diesel engine meant you were in for a bumpy ride, not to mention the noise and smell of diesel fuel. Not now…
You can feel your voice get deeper when you climb aboard this big guy.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado HD I tested recently featured a 6.6-litre Duramax Turbo V8 diesel engine, mated to an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission, capable of putting out 397 horses and provides 765 lb ft of torque.
It gets deeper. This guy can carry up to 1706kg and tow up to 8119 kg. And the truck box has load-bearing upper hooks are rated to hold 113 kg each.
The interior is very well organized, comfortable leather 12-way front bucket seats that are heated and cooled. The rear seats are a 60/40 split. Heavy use of dark wood burl is very prominent and gives the truck a different level of sophistication.
The navigation screen is positioned perfectly and is easy to program without distracting you from the road. Steering wheel controls help with all radio functions and incoming phone calls. The dash could have been better, lots of plastic and not that appealing.
There is a single stage driver and front passenger airbag. An OnStar protection service is available, and offers direct communications between emergency services and the vehicle.
An electronic immobilizer is standard equipment and prevents the vehicle from being started without the key. Forward collision alert, lane departure warning and safety alert driver seat are all standard.
The steering is very direct and responsive and makes driving a large truck very easy. There is no fighting the steering wheel which can be a problem with other trucks in this category. The cab is very quiet and you can barely hear any road or tire noise. The diesel engine is a little noisy but not a big concern. The EZ lift tailgate is a nice feature, especially opening with one hand, gone are the days when the tailgate just drops and almost takes out your hips.
This vehicle can tow up 8,119kg and combined with the improved trailer sway control makes towing enjoyable. The stabilitrak control system can sense if your trailer is swaying and help control it by combining the power of the engine and the braking system to keep the trailer under control. The rearview camera is a nice touch helping to align the trailer during hookup. Hill start assist is a good feature and helps prevent you from rolling back on a hill by maintaining brake pressure until the engine delivers enough torque to move the truck up the hill.
15.8/10.2 L/100 km (city/highway)
Not too long ago driving a heavy duty truck with a diesel engine meant you were in for a bumpy ride, not to mention the noise and smell of diesel fuel. Not now. Fast forward to today and the ride is smooth, the noise is greatly reduced and you can hardly smell the fuel. These trucks still work hard as ever, but are also used as mobile offices, meeting rooms, and for family outings.
Price: as tested $65,690
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