Tag Archives: pickup

2018 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Platinum

F-150 Platinum is both a work truck, luxury hauler … 2018 Ford F-150

Ford’s F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the United States because it’s both a muscular work truck and a macho man’s luxury family hauler.

That dichotomy is precisely represented by this week’s test vehicle, the upscale F-150 Supercrew Platinum. Anytime you see the word platinum you can be pretty sure there’s luxury involved and a high price tag to go with it. Continue reading 2018 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew Platinum

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2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

New Honda Ridgeline redefines pickups2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

Honda has reinvented the pickup and it’s a darn sight nicer than whatever you’ve driven before.

To be honest, it’s a suburban cowboy’s pickup, but that’s what so many pickups are used as anyway – kid haulers and the occasional run to a home improvement store or big-box garden center. This one is just being honest about it and making your ride simply oh, so, comfy.

The Ridgeline is not about who has the bigger engine, toughest body, greatest towing capacity, it’s about refinement in a crew cab pickup body with a big open bed for hauling. It’s also quite a bit more.

2017 Honda Ridgeline Black EditionMy test truck was the Black Edition, which (not surprisingly) is black, with black wheels and a black grille to give it a decidedly elegant, yet macho look. Think I wanna be formal, but I’m here to party too! This is Honda’s top-of-the-line Ridgeline.

Like all Ridgelines it comes with a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 that creates 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s just fine. Acceleration is good and steady from a stop and ultimately Honda says it’ll carry a 1,584-lb. payload, best in class. It’ll even tow 5,000 lbs., which is well shy of competitors like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma, but plenty for pulling a camper or boat or snowmobile trailer.

Ridgeline rides on Honda’s sturdy Global Light Truck platform with a 125.2-inch wheelbase that calms road imperfections. This feels smooth and controlled like Honda’s Pilot, a full-size SUV. Continue reading 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLT 4WD

GMC Sierra strong, powerful, luxurious, roomy …sierra1a

No matter the TV truck commercials, be they for Chevy, or its cousin GMC, if you have a bear chasing you you’ll pick ANY big ol’ pickup you can haul your tushie into and away from the beast.

Ah, but there’s the joke, any quarter-ton pickup you buy will be strong and powerful. However, will it be as luxurious and roomy as a fine luxury sedan? That’s what a lot of truck buyers want these days as trucks have become the family wagon. That’s why the top-end of the truck market continues to expand. Take the tested GMC Sierra Crew Cab SLT.

Continue reading 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLT 4WD

2016 Ford F-150 4×4 SuperCrew

F150Sorry Chevy, lighter Ford F-150 still a strong hauler  

The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States virtually forever and there’s a reason for that, it’s a darned nice truck.

Now that it has an aluminum body and notwithstanding the funny Chevy commercials poking fun at it, it’s even better. It’s lighter and more fuel efficient and at least from all outward appearances, just as strong and reliable as in the past.

Chevy can tweak Ford all it wants, but over the past several years Ford has come up with a series of new Ecoboost engines that are high horse, high torque and more fuel efficient. Now it lightens its pickups by roughly 700 lbs. by developing high-strength aluminum for the bodies. Hmm, sounds to me like a leader protecting its lead!

F150bLet’s make no bones about it, the bright blue (blue flame metallic) test truck, a 4×4 SuperCrew was still plenty heavy, tipping the scales according to Ford and other automotive test sites, at nearly 4,700 lbs. But that’s about 900 lbs. lighter than a Toyota Tundra I tested earlier this year and a several hundred pounds lighter than a similar Chevy Silverado.

That does help fuel economy, which I realize is of minor importance to some folks now that gasoline has dropped back below $3 a gallon. But it’s a money saver over the life of the truck, and, one could argue, better for us all.

The test truck was rated 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, which may not sound great, but is an improvement over most trucks and better than the 14/18 mpg that the previous F-150 I’d driven was rated. This time I got 18.4 mpg in about 60% city driving and 40% highway. Continue reading 2016 Ford F-150 4×4 SuperCrew

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

New Silverado quieter, more refined and plenty strong

A pickup is a pickup, there’s no two ways about it.chevy

Pickup trucks are tall and boxy and, well, originally intended for work, primarily in farm fields and on construction sites. That’s why they ride higher and even the new – nose to tail – Chevrolet Silverado has an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

But you and I know that somehow over the last two decades pickups have gone from being affordable work trucks to expensive everyday vehicles, although still plenty capable of work. Pickups aren’t simple in any sense of the word anymore and their price tags prove it.

A base 2-wheel-drive standard cab starts at $23,590, but the tested Crew Cab, which is more popular because you can carry the whole family to the mall or to town if you’re still a rural dweller, started at $35,855, about $4 grand higher than an average new car. A base Silverado Crew Cab with standard bed lists at $32,200, plus a $995 destination charge. Want 4-wheel drive? That’s just $300 more. Continue reading 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

2013 RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab

CNG powered RAM aims at farms and fleets

cng4
The RAM 2500 with CNG power has a huge bed, but that’s mostly filled with a huge steel container to house the large CNG tanks.

There are big trucks and Monster trucks, no not those with the giant wheels that crush cars in arenas around the Midwest all winter, but Really Big trucks, like the RAM heavy-duty beast I just drove.I’ve been on the commercial test truck list for Chrysler Corp. of late. So this week I ran the RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab 4X4, with the CNG option. That’s a long name for a giant truck, but the key differentiator is that it runs on both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).

To be honest, no one who isn’t into the construction trades or farming is likely going to even consider this monster. RAM says it only offers the truck to fleet and commercial buyers. But here’s the lowdown on it, in case you fall into one of those categories.

The RAM, formerly known as Dodge, is the normal three-quarter ton heavy-duty crew cab model with a long (8-foot) bed. It needs the long bed because it hauls along two large CNG tanks (130-liters each and equivalent to 18.2 gallons of gasoline) under a steel cover in the bed, just behind the cab. You can fill the tanks via an outlet in the normal fuel filler area, or fill its 35-gallon gas tank in the same spot. Continue reading 2013 RAM 2500 SLT Crew Cab