According to GM, more than half of light-duty pick-ups on the road are at least 11 years old. Could it be time for you to upgrade? Here's a look at the 2014 truck models from Chevy, Ford, and Ram.
2014 Chevy Silverado Reduces Mass, Boosts Strength
Improved designs for the 2014 Silverado 1500's frame and engine options let the truck haul large loads with reduced fuel usage. Three available EcoTec3 engines (a V6 and two V8s) feature Active Fuel Management, whereby the engine drops down to four cylinders when full-capacity torque and horsepower aren't needed. The resulting fuel savings is further improved by the trucks' high-strength steel frames, which are stronger but lighter. Altogether, see up to 24 mpg fuel economy.
New interiors for the Silverado include ample storage, multiple power and USB connections, and available high-wear cloth for bench or bucket seats. Most 2014 Silverados also feature MyLink with a 4.2-inch or 8-inch color touch screen radio interface. The 4.2-inch radio, standard on 2WT and LT models, includes Bluetooth for phone streaming, two USB ports, an SD card slot and natural voice recognition. LTZ and High Country models receive an 8-inch high-definition touch screen that enables users to scroll or drag through menus. Chevrolet | chevrolet.com
Ford F-150 SXT SuperCrew Delivers Power and Value
Positioned between Ford's XL and XLT models, the F-150 STX SuperCrew is outfitted with high-functioning engine options at a value-oriented pricepoint. The standard 3.7-liter V6 engine delivers 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, and offers the half-ton segment's only compressed natural gas (CNG) prep package. A 5-liter V8 is also available with towing capacity up to 9,500 pounds. Fleet managers will like the MyKey feature that lets owners limit top speed and audio volume and set speed-alter chimes to encourage safer driving.
With the rapidly expanding full-size pickup market continuing to benefit from economic growth and replacement demand, price-conscious buyers are returning looking for an affordable truck with space, capability and style,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Adding the Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew and the new STX Sport Package to our 2014 lineup gives these truck shoppers more value-oriented F-150 models to consider.” Ford | ford.com
Ram 1500 New Engine Option is a Diesel Workhorse
The 2014 Ram 1500 is currently the only light-duty, full-size pick-up to offer diesel technology, thanks to its 3-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. The engine delivers 240 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and makes torque like a V8, the maker says, achieving 420 pound feet at 2,000 rpm, without the V8s fuel consumption. In addition to its strength, the EcoDiesel engine can use B-20 biodiesel, and features a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) to help reduce emissions. The exhaust system reduces soot output while improving fuel economy and meeting emissions standards. The Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system also alerts drivers to low DEF levels while allowing the engine to maintain full power.
Not looking for diesel? Other 1500 engine options include a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar or 5.7-liter V8 HEMI. Get a max towing capacity up to 10,350 pounds depending on the model. Keep your gear accessible but protected with the available class-exclusive RamBox Cargo Management System. The boxes are lockable, drainable, and lighted with remote keyless entry for extra convenience. Chrysler | ramtrucks.com
Lauren Hunter is Chief Editor of Products for Hanley Wood. Find her on Twitter at @ProductsHunter.