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by Jay Traugott
Need a full-size workhorse? These five pickup trucks will happily do the job.
Despite the seemingly endless number of hybrids and EVs hitting the market today, it's good to know that the classic full-size pickup truck segment is alive and well. Sales continue to be strong, with Ford's F-150 regularly being named as the best-selling vehicle in the US as yet another indicator that there'll always be a demand. Now, it's important to know that these five full-size pickups are the only five currently on the market. Whichever brand people are loyal to, each of these trucks offers stump-pulling V8 power and the ability to get things done.
Since 1948 Ford's F-Series has been the choice pickup for millions. Today's latest F-150 continues this tradition by offering a dizzying array of possible combinations in terms of cabin and bed size, engines and convenience features. Everything from the base work truck to the Baja ready Raptor is available along with a choice of body styles that suit every possible need out there. Despite new competition, Ford is already preparing its next-gen F-150 that will be constructed from lightweight high-strength steel in order to reduce weight while still soldiering on as the workhorse truck it's always been.
While many swear by the F-150, countless others do the same when it comes to the Chevy Silverado. Along with its corporate cousin, the GMC Sierra, the Silverado offers plenty of body styles and engine options to suit every need. GM recently unveiled an all-new Silverado/Sierra that's stronger, safer, more powerful and more efficient than ever before. The classic and somewhat conservative styling has been retained, and unlike the F-150, its engines aren't turbocharged like Ford's EcoBoost lineup. Instead they have direct injection, variable cylinder deactivation and other modern technologies to make them more fuel-efficient.
Without question, the Ram 1500 is one of the best-looking pickups out there. With its now trademark front-end styling, the Ram 1500 continues to sell well thanks in part to its powerful engine options and variety of trim packages. The base engine is Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower which can be paired up with an eight-speed automatic. But serious off-roaders and enthusiasts will want the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 hp under the hood. Although it may not sell in numbers like the F-150 or even the Silverado, the Ram 1500 remains an extremely competitive pickup and has possibly the sexiest exterior design of any truck on the market today.
Just days ago did Toyota unveil the latest update of its full-size pickup, the Tundra, at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Many were surprised when the Tundra first hit the market back in 2007 by how much Toyota got right. The Tundra looks great, has V8 power and is made right here in the USA. With its chiseled front fascia, Toyota's designers added an even larger chrome grille and squared-off wheel wells that help to give the truck an even wider stance. The bed was also redesigned along with the cabin and dashboard. Buyers can choose between a base V6 engine as well as two V8s and even 18- or 20-inch wheels.
First debuting back in 2003, Nissan has done seemingly few updates to its full-size pickup. Certainly not a bad vehicle, the Titan is clearly in desperate need of a complete redesign if Nissan wants to remain competitive in the segment going forward. But the news isn't all bad. The Titan's sole engine option is a 5.6-liter V8 that's good for 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Buyers can choose between a King or Crew Cab and each comes with a full-size rear seat. Nissan has so far given no clear indication as to when (or if) the Titan will be properly updated.