Gone are the days when pickup trucks were only used by cattle ranchers. These days, you can see these powerful vehicles in urban centers, driven by professionals who love its toughness and power. Pickup trucks are also ideal for families as these vehicles have enough space for their stuff, especially when they go out of town.
When you say pickup trucks, three models would immediately come to mind—the F-150 of Ford, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the Ram 1500. That’s not surprising, since the three have traditionally been top sellers. In fact, the three models again lorded it over other pickup trucks in the United States last year.
The F-150 is considered the king of pickup trucks, and for good reason. For 37 years, it has held on to the title of ‘best-selling pickup truck.’
The 2015 version of the F-150 is more than 500 pounds slimmer compared to the previous model. This is due to the vehicle’s body and bed made of glued and wrapped- up aluminum. Coupled with a downsized engine, the slimmer body of the F-150 has slightly increased the truck’s fuel economy by at least five percent.
There are two new engines available for the 2015 F-150, while two other engine models have been retained. The base engine of the F-150 is the 3.5 liter V-6 engine that has a 283 horsepower, replacing the 3.7 liter engine of the 2014 model.
For a $795 upcharge, you can opt for the more powerful turbo-V6, 2.7 liter Eco-Boost engine with a 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. This engine also delivers the best fuel economy ratings according to Ford. With the Eco-Boost engine, the F-150 can accelerate from standstill to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.
The other engine options are the 5 liter, V-8 engine with 385 horsepower and the twin turbo, 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 365 horsepower. All of the four F-150 engines are complemented by a six-speed automatic transmission.
The leaner frame does not mean cramped space inside. In fact, the cab is wider by two inches giving more space for the legroom and headroom. It can comfortably sit six adults. In terms of safety features, it has advanced functions like lane keeping, blind spot warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The base price of the F-150 is around $26,600.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The new Chevrolet Silverado is powered by an updated, Ecotec 5.3 liter V-8 engine that boasts of 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a six speed automatic transmission. However, the new Silverado engine does not really perform that well on the road. It can zoom to 60 miles per hour in nearly 7 seconds, a few milliseconds slower than the F-150.
While the Silverado’s performance on the road is not that noteworthy, it does have outstanding features. One is the CornerStep bumper that, along with the integrated hand grip, makes it a lot easier to climb up and retrieve stuff in the bed. There are also LED lamps integrated into the bed rails which make it easier to locate smaller items.
The top LTZ models have multiple USB ports so you can charge your phone and tablets while on the road. There’s also a 110-volt outlet for powering your devices and other accessories. Another impressive feature is the optional 4G LTE Wi-Fi, which basically makes it possible for you to work while on the road with this pickup truck.
Like the F-150, the Silverado has improved its fuel economy ratings. The 1500 V-6 models can go up to 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 24 while on the highway, while the V-8 models have fuel efficiency ratings of 16mpg for city driving and 23 for highway driving.
The base price of the Silverado is pegged at $26,100.
Like its competitors, the Ram has also focused on improving its fuel economy ratings. Its EcoDiesel 3 liter V6 engine can go an impressive 20 mpg for city driving and 28 mpg for highway driving, while the four wheel drive model slightly drops to 19 and 27.
The base engine in the Ram, the 3.6 liter V6, is rated 17 mpg for city driving and 25 mpg for highway driving. It can produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound feet of torque.
The Ram can go toe-to-toe with the F-150 in terms of performance, but the real weakness of this vehicle is its pedestrian safety features. The standard safety features like stability control, airbags, and anti-lock brakes are there, but the Ram does have a ‘marginal’ rating in the roof crush strength from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The base price of the Ram is around $25,000.
Judging by the features of the three vehicles, it is not easy to understand why the F-150 is considered the top choice for the past three decades. It’s safe to assume that the trend will continue this year.
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