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.
Need a big truck? Toyota has one, the Tundra CrewMax.
Need a luxury pickup? Consider the Tundra Platinum version. That’s what I drove this past week and luckily it was the 4-wheel-drive model as we still had a fair amount of snow to navigate on the side streets.
Toyota continues to apply pressure to the top-selling Big 3, Ford, Chevy and Ram (formerly Dodge). One model year back the Toyota designers beefed up the hood and grille on Tundra to prove it was manly enough to challenge the big boys. Production also moved to San Antonio, Texas, an aim to calm buyers’ fears that their truck was being made overseas. Point taken!
So at 5,675 lbs. and riding on a 145.7-inch wheelbase, the crew cab model is hefty and a hauler. It’ll pull 9,800 lbs. and packs a strong 5.7-liter I-Force Flex Fuel direct-injected V8 that creates 381 horsepower. That’s 26 more ponies than Chevy Silverado’s plenty strong 5.3-liter V8. Torque rating here is 401 and Tundra uses a 6-speed automatic to put that power in action. Yet, for the record, the Silverado will pull 11,400 lbs. with trailering options. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum 4X4→
Chevy’s new ‘mid-size’ Colorado only slightly smaller than Silverado
Chevrolet is patting itself on the back and most of the automotive media are ladling on the praise for Chevy’s new “mid-size” pickup, the Colorado.
The later probably has more to do with ad dollars being spent in the national publications, but there’s some justification. Yet let’s not go too full-bore crazy here, this is simply a slightly smaller pickup.
First, the idea of a mid-size truck has been out there a while, witness the Dodge Dakota. Years ago, Ford and Chevy both made compact pickups too, the S-10 in Chevy’s case. DO NOT confuse the Colorado with the S-10.
As trucks have gained popularity, they, like cars, have grown in size and stature. So this second generation Colorado is still big, just not as big as a full-size Silverado.
Let’s take some stock of the differences. But first note that the Colorado comes in two styles, Extended Cab and Crew Cab. Gone is a Standard cab without extra cargo room behind the front seat. Extended cabs now are the norm. The bright red test truck was the crew cab, which gives you full-size rear doors and a second row bench seat. This allows five people to ride in the Colorado comfortably, with rear seat room being particularly generous.
But here are the numbers you need to consider. The Colorado rides on a 140.5-inch wheelbase, just three inches shorter than a full-size Silverado. A Colorado is 224.9 inches long, just 5.1 inches shorter in length than a Silverado. The width is where you’ll notice the most difference when riding in a Colorado, as it is just 74.3 inches wide, about 5.7 inches narrower than Silverado. You’ll notice that in a lack of elbow room. More on that in a minute. Continue reading 2015 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Long Box→
Hefty Tundra ready to take on the Big 3’s Big Boys
Toyota needn’t worry about folks pooh-poohing their full-size (and then some) Tundra pickup as not manly enough, or strong enough to take on the Big 3’s big boys.
Heck, the tested metallic black Tundra CrewMax Limited 4X4 is nothing if not big. First, it’s U.S.-built in San Antonio, Texas, a state that’s the prototype for big, including attitudes. The new 2014 Tundra appears to be trying to out-RAM the Chrysler Corp,’s massive RAM pickup, and it easily outsizes the popular Chevrolet Silverado I tested a month or so ago.
The CrewMax Limited’s engine is Toyota’s 5.7-liter I-Force Flex Fuel direct-injected V8 that creates 381 horsepower. That’s 26 more ponies than the Silverado’s plenty strong 5.3-liter V8. Torque rating here is 401 and Tundra uses a 6-speed automatic to put that power in action.
But the 5-passenger Tundra CrewMax is a behemoth, a heavyweight in every sense. It needs that horsier engine to tote around its 5,850 lbs. That’s about 900 lbs. more than the Silverado Crew Cab I tested, although it was only 2-wheel drive. Not sure what end-of-the-world scenario Toyota is building this to endure, but that’s a lot of girth that helps explain my gas consumption for the week.
The EPA rates this at 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. Ugh, that’s old school math, albeit the numbers weren’t helped by out below 10-degree nights much of this week. I got just 12.9 mpg while the tested Silverado got 17.9 mpg and was rated a much greener 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Granted it was zero to 20 degrees the test week. Can you say frozen Tundra? Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Ltd. 4X4→