The heavy duty pickup trucks represent a very special niche of vehicles. These trucks are usually bigger than you’ll need, stronger than you’ll need and they surely drive worse than expected, as their gargantuan dimensions aren’t exactly suited for speedy driving. Not to mention about the high center of gravity and the bone breaking suspensions.
Yet models like the Toyota Tundra had always managed to attract a lot of attention and most of them are equipped with monstrous engines which are capable of towing massive loads without breaking a sweat.
The Toyota Tundra made its big entrance in 2007, but it was met by a pretty unenthusiastic response from the market. Despite the fact that it was the biggest pickup ever build by Toyota, the Tundra never managed to attract the same interest as its American counterparts.
The Toyota Tundra is priced quite competitively with the regular cab model starting at $25,155 and it’s offered in both 2WD and 4WD configurations.
The Chevrolet Colorado shares the same design and underpinnings with the GMC Canyon. The actual generation Colorado is around since 2004 but the company has announced that it will be completely replaced in 2013.
Chevrolet’s decision to replace its aged Colorado is a smart one, as the vehicle was a half step behind most of its rivals lacking the safety features, engines and other useful equipments found at pickups like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier.
The vehicle is available in three body styles including regular cab, extended cab and Crew cab. Chevrolet offers a choice of three engines in the Colorado namely 2.9, 3.7 and 5.3 liter units which develop 185, 242 and 300 hp, respectively.
The F-150 is one of the best known pickups produced by Ford and its part of the famous F Series which is around for 60 years.
The F-150 is also one of the best sold trucks in the United States and was designed as a tough work horse able to tackle any kind of terrain with poise. Thanks to its versatile nature the F-150 is also able to deal with a wide range of applications and can be used for family transportation as its available in both single and double cab configurations.
Since its inception, the Ford F-150 was continuously improved and the latest models have anything they need to keep their head up against their competitors with dignity.
The 2011 Ford F-150 comes with a choice of four engines including a 3.7 liter, 5.0 liter, 6.2 liter and 3.5 liter units which develop between 302 and 411 hp. When proper equipped, the vehicle is able to tow 11.300 lbs and has a maximum payload of 3120 lbs.
The Ford Ranger has arrived to its third generation and its latest upgrades were made in 2011. The new model features a new exterior design and also improved driving dynamics and upgraded engines.
The latest generation Ford Ranger was developed to be suited for both personal use and commercial applications offering a better compromise between comfort and utility.
In order to raise its new Ranger to the expectations of modern buyers, Ford decided to completely redesign it from the ground up. The company says that the vehicle is completely new and it’s available in a wide range of body styles including regular cabs and double cabs. Depending on the version, the Ford Ranger’s maximum payload ranges from 1.090 kg to 1.309 kg which is slightly above average.
GMC’s vehicles have been around since the begging of pickups history and the newest model in the company’s lineup bears the name Sierra.
The old Sierras were capable workhorses, but were devoid of a proper cabin and the overall build quality was more on the poor side of things. The new generation however (launched in 2011) is a big improvement over the old ones as the vehicle managed to keep its work horse character and to also offer a high class cabin with a decent build quality and adequate comfort.
The Ford Ranger is around from some time now, and when it was first launched in 1992, it managed to attract a lot of interest thanks to its generous size and payload capacity which placed it slightly ahead its competitors.
The Ranger’s rivals however, didn’t remained long time behind and after a pretty short period of time they’ve recovered the lost ground and came up with better products.
The battle between the Ford Ranger and its rivals continued over the years, and the year 2006 brought a new set of cosmetic and technological upgrades for the American pickup.
Though, despite the fact that the Ranger remained on top of the sales charts, its old platform never managed to catch up with the high standards imposed by its Japanese competitors which are currently the segment leaders when it comes to quality and performances. Even American pickups from Chevrolet, Dodge and GMC are positioned slightly ahead of the Ranger.
Leaving apart the cons, Ford Ranger is offered in two cab configurations (Standard and SuperCab) and two bend length options at a pretty competitive starting price of $ 21.700. Two wheel-drive models can tow 750kg unbraked or 1600kg braked, while four wheel drive Rangers can deal with up to 3000kg braked.
Suzuki isn’t the first manufacturer that will cross your mind when somebody asks you about pickups. There is no secret that the company didn’t had the necessary know-how to build its own 4x4 platform and in order to spare a serious amount of money, Suzuki decided to ally with Nissan.
The result was Equator, Suzuki’s first 4x4 pickup which is basically a rebadged Nissan Navara (also known as the Frontier). The product is a pretty interesting one, offering a good mix between Suzuki’s core values and Nissan’s reliability.
The Equator price starts at $ 17200 and is available as either a four seat Extended Cab or a five seat Crew Cab. There are two power outputs available namely 152 hp and 261 hp, with 883 kg and 1393 kg payload capacities.
The pickup trucks try to satisfy a very wide range of needs and, this makes them the most practical vehicles from the roads. They are usually built to tow massive loads, to offer spacious cabs and to deal with tough road conditions without backing down.
This mix however isn’t easy to achieve and during the long pickup’s long history we’ve seen a lot of uninspired ideas which failed to please the crowds (for instance take a look of the El Camino or Caballero).
Chevrolet’s Avalanche however, brought something new on the table and unlike the classical pickup trucks it features a special trait which makes it unique. For increased practicality, the open bed of the vehicle opens to the back seat area through a folding panel – named the Midgate - and a removable rear window.
The old Ford Ranger sold between 1999 – 2006 and was designed mainly as a rugged workhorse, unlike the modern version (launched in 2011) which can be also used as a family vehicle in its spare time.
Between the old Ford Ranger and the Mazda B Series there was a very strong bound as both models shared a lot of components technologies. However, despite the resemblance with its Japanese sibling, the Ranger kept its unique American character.
The Ford Ranger competes with the likes of Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 and Isuzu Rodeo, but unlike its rivals who were fitted with strong diesel units, the old American Pickup was offered only with a two 2.5 liter unit which developed 84 hp and 109 hp.