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4x4

4x4

Posted on by Serafim

Between GMC and Chevrolet there was always a strong bound, as these two brands shared a lot of platforms and technologies. It’s the same case for the Sierra truck that even since its inception shared the same design and engines with the Silverado.

A new generation Sierra was launched at the same time with the first Silverado pickup in 1999 and both models were based on the old Chevrolet C/K pickup.

The new Sierra represented a huge step forward in terms of engines and technology, undergoing a lot of upgrades which helped it climb to the top of the pickups food chain.

The 1999 GMC Sierra was offered with a new family of V8 engines and also some upgraded old units. There were various configurations available including regular or extended cabs, short bed or long bed, three trim levels and rear- or four-wheel-drive versions.

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The year 1999 was a major one for Chevrolet . In this year, the company has launched on the market its completely redesigned C/K pickup and gave it a true identity.

The first generation Silverado was born from Chevrolet’s desire to come up with a better pickup, but the main problem was that the old truck was already a hot seller, so the new one needed to be at least as good as its processor.

In the end, Chevrolet ’s gamble with the Silverado paid off and the new truck was a huge success. It had stronger engines, a better ride and also superior handling abilities. For its time, the Silverado was among the most luxurious trucks from the streets, yet its exterior design was still a half step behind the main rivals from Ford or Dodge.

Between the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra was a strong bound as Chevrolet and GM offered parallel lineups and except for a few exterior details and some unique features, the two models were basically the same.

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The first generation Avalanche was launched in 2001 and its main attribute was the famous unique foldable mid gate. Thanks to this feature, the Avalanche can be transformed from a five passenger SUV with a 5-foot-3-inch bed into a standard cab pickup with a full 8-foot-1-inch load bed.

The Avalanche is based on the Suburban model and was designed to fill the big gap between the SUVs and pickups. The Chevrolet Avalanche however, is a couple inches longer than the Suburban, but half a foot shorter than the Silverado extended cab.

At the launch the first generation Chevrolet Avalanche was offered with a standard 5300 Vortec V8 engine and comes in both 4x2 and 4x4 flavors.

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The previous generation Dodge Ram was a big success for the company and Dodge didn’t risk to made radical exterior changes for the 2002 model. Hence most of the upgrades were made under the skin.

The newer generation may look very close to its predecessor, but it comes with radically improved driving dynamics and technologies which helped the Ram stay in front of the pack. This major update included an all new frame, suspension, powertrains and interiors.

The third-generation Dodge Ram 1500 came with a choice of 3.7 liter V6, 4.7 liter V8 and 5.9 liter V8 engines. The redesigned Ram trucks revamped Dodge’s sales with 400,000 units sold in 2002 and nearly 450,000 sold in 2003.

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The Isuzu Hombre was the first pickup truck build by the company and was basically a rebadged Chevrolet S-10 . The Chevrolet S-10 was also the base model for the GMC Sonoma and all these three clones shared the same design, and technologies.

Isuzu preferred this strategy, as it was the cheapest variant and the company saved a serious amount of money. The Isuzu Hombre was offered in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations with either regular cab or extended cab body styles (Spacecab).

Like the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma , the Isuzu Hombre is offered with 2.2, 4.3 V6 and a 4.3 Vortec engine. The vehicle was priced pretty competitively at $11.500 for the base rear drive model equipped with manual gearbox.

The Isuzu Hombre was offered with 36-month/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warrantee, a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain guarantee and roadside assistance.

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At the beginning of the 90s, Dodge’s pickups flew under radar and its models never managed to conquer a healthy market share. In 1994 however everything has changed, after the launch of the innovative Ram pickup that took everyone by surprise.

The new Dodge Ram attacked its rivals with a modern style and one of the most comfortable and ergonomically designed cabins. There was also offered a complete lineup of engines which included both diesel and petrol units. Not to mention about the biggest payloads and towing capacities in the segment.

The 1994 Dodge Ram was offered in 118.7-inch and 134.7-inch wheelbases (6.5-foot and 8-foot boxes respectively). Engines options included 5.2, 5.9 and 8.0 liter engines.

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The first generation Dodge Dakota was commercialized between 1986-1996 and was a total success for the American company as the rugged nature of the truck conquered a lot of hearts. The second generation continued the success of its predecessor and came with a totally new style based on the bigger Ram model, but technical upgrades were pretty limited.

The new Dodge Dakota was available in three different wheelbases combined with single, extended or double cabs.

The 1997 model kept the same powertrains as its predecessor and was offered with a choice of 2.5 liter, 3.9 liter and a 5.2 liter V8. The truck has a maximum payload capacity of 1179 and can tow up to 3084 kg.

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The first Toyota Tacoma was introduced in the US market in 1995 and came as a replacement for the Hilux. Unlike the old Hilux (also known as the Toyota Pickup) the Tacoma was more refined and came with better ride quality, superior handling abilities and also a bigger payload capacity.

The Tacoma was considered for a long time one of the best pickups form the market, mostly due to its high reliability and versatility.

Unlike the American pickups, the Tacoma wasn’t only a basic, utilitarian workhorse as thanks to its comfortable cab and the decent ride quality it also coped great with non commercial applications and many used it as a lifestyle vehicle.

The Toyota Tacoma was available in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and came with a choice of 2.4, 2.7 and 3.4 liter engines which developed between 142 – 190 hp.

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The Chevrolet S-10 shared the same underpinnings with the GMC Sonoma and it’s around since 1980. During its long life, the Chevrolet S-10 was sold in two generations and represented the American offensive to the success of the Japanese pickups.

However, despite being cheap, reliable and practical, the S-10 was still a half step behind its Japanese rivals which continued to be the segment leaders.

Basically, the Chevrolet S-10 was a compact pickup designed to offer a good compromise between practicality, comfort and efficiency.

The second generation Chevrolet S-10 was offered in regular, extended and crew cab bodies with short and long beds. The vehicle was also offered with a choice of three engines including a 118 hp 2.2 liter, 165 hp 4.3 liter V6 and a 195 hp 4,3 liter Vortec. The Chevrolet S-10 went out of production in 2005 when it was replaced by the Colorado model.

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The GMC Sonoma was commercialized between 1994 -2004 and served as a base for all the following midsized pickups designed by the company.

The truck had a competitive price, was pretty efficient and was also highly versatile being able to cope with a wide range of arduous applications.

The Sonoma was built in two generations and the second generation can be still seen today, in isolated corners doing some heavy duty jobs.

The old GMC Sonoma however, wasn’t at the same level with its Japanese rivals and this is one of the reasons which made GMC realize that it should leave this model behind and move on.

The latest generation GMC Sonoma was offered in regular, extended and crew cab bodies with short and long beds. Engine choices included a 2.2-liter four-cylinder (118 horsepower), a 4.3-liter V6 (165 hp) and the Vortec 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp).


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