Trucks are about as American as baseball and apple pie, and likely more prevalent even during the World Series or a family reunion. This year was a big one for the truck market. We’ve seen both Ford and Chevrolet release new products while Ram Trucks still burns bright from its homerun with the latest Ram 1500 and its EcoDiesel engine.

As the year winds down, the TopSpeed staff has tallied votes on which truck made the biggest impact on the automotive industry, made the best strides in advancing technology, and which will likely be well-received by potential truck buyers.

Our field of contenders includes three all-new trucks – the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, and the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban twins — along with the refreshed 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and the carryover 2015 Ram 1500. The latter was only eligible for voting due to its new Ecodiesel engine.

In many ways both the F-150 and Colorado represent a new approach to trucks. The Ford sports an all-aluminum body that will drastically change the way the industry manufactures, repairs, and recycles aluminum vehicles and the Colorado is reviving the midsize truck market that’s lied dormant for nearly a decade. The Tahoe and Suburban take a more traditional approach and stick with what they’re good at while adopting the new design forged by the 2014 Chevy Silverado.

Which one takes the win? Keep reading for the full results including the order of finalists.

Click past the jump to read more about TopSpeed’s 2014 Truck of the Year.

The Winner

2015 Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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The votes came in with the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 squeezing past the Chevrolet Colorado. The combination of its aluminum skin, overall restyled looks, and the new 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 helped it clench the title. Those three areas are certainly the most talked about parts of the truck. While other automakers like Audi and Jaguar Land Rover have been using aluminum extensively in their vehicles for years, the pair deal on much smaller scales and sales volumes than the F-150. As associate editor Christian Moe points out below, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover’s combined sales pale in comparison to the F-150’s yearly units sold. The fact that Ford is now making nearly a million trucks a year with aluminum bodies is a big deal.

The F-150’s new 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is yet another contributing factor. Producing a respectable 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, the twin-turbo V-6 competes with V-8s while still getting better-than-average fuel economy. Of course, Ford offers other engine choices like the 3.5-liter V-6, the 5.0-liter V-8, and the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6.

The Finalists

2nd place - 2015 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

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The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado came in at a close second. Our judges like the tuck’s size, its list of engines, and its act of reviving the midsize truck market. The Colorado offers truck buyers a smaller package that’s easier to park and drive in tight places while offering more capability than the majority of people actually use. Far more updated and relevant than its outdated competition, the Colorado moved the bar forward for its segment. The truck will undoubtedly make a huge splash in the market.

3rd place - 2015 Ram 1500

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The Ram 1500 isn’t new for 2015, but its advancements in 2013 and 2014 still carry it strongly across the finish line. Much of that praise can be attributed to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and the eight-speed automatic transmission. Getting an EPA-rated 28 mpg highway is no small feat for a full-size truck. Add to that the coil-over, five-link rear suspension and the optional air-ride suspension, and the Ram makes the best highway cruiser and occasional hauler.

4th place - 2015 Chevrolet Silverado

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Like the 2014 Silverado 1500 before it, the 2015 Silverado HD adopts the new exterior and interior design theme. The looks help make the truck more competitive against the Ford Super Duty and Ram Heavy Duty. While the exterior looks great, the interior is the place of most improvement. New materials and updated gauges and infotainment systems bring the truck up to date. Things under the hood, however, are nearly carryover. Besides a slight engine tune, the 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel is unchanged, making 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque. Chevy still uses an outdated, 6.0-liter, gasoline V-8 as the base engine.

5th place - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

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Just as the Silverado HD did, the Tahoe and Suburban twins get an all-new look for 2015. The interior is also immensely updated and more refined. A change in normalcy has the two SUVs getting their own design of dashboard, moving away from the parts-bin Silverado dash. While the Tahoe and Suburban are nearly identical, the Suburban gets a longer wheelbase and overall length, offering more legroom for the third row passengers. Thankfully GM has included fold-flat seating that doesn’t require removal and out-of-vehicle storage for carrying longer items. Under the hood are the Silverado’s updated 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8s.

What the TopSpeed Team Thinks

Christian Moe - Associate Editor

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So yeah, in a way the all-new 2015 F-150 is actually one of the most advanced vehicles manufactured in the world today.

The new Ford F-150 may not look like such a big deal to most outsiders, but this one pickup is changing the way the world builds cars. Just as Henry Ford modernized the world with mass-production automobiles, the new F-150 is pioneering new methods to create mass production cars from aluminum. Yes, there are lots of companies that produce cars made from the alloy, but nobody has ever attempted to produce aluminum body cars on such a great scale. Audi, Land Rover and Jaguar are three of the biggest names when it comes to aluminum-bodied machines, and between the three of them they sold about 225,000 cars in 2013. Ford sells more than twice that many F-Series trucks every year.

So yeah, in a way the all-new 2015 F-150 is actually one of the most advanced vehicles manufactured in the world today. When you start adding in the fact that the reduced weight of that body allows for better fuel economy, better towing, and better hauling capacities, the F-150 is a no-brainer choice for our Truck of the Year award. As an extra cherry on top of that cake, Ford also introduced the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine that is small, fuel efficient and incredibly capable.

Short of just wanting a smaller truck like our runner-up, the Chevrolet Colorado, I see no real reason why anyone would buy a truck that isn’t the 2015 F-150.

Mark McNabb - Associate Editor

2015 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
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While the Colorado may shake up the midsize pickup truck class, the F-150 will surely do the same for the full-size category – all while selling nearly a million units a year.

The Ford F-150 offers a ton of new features, including its new lightweight skin and updated powertrain. The auto industry as a whole, including parts suppliers, repair shops and recycling facilities, will have to take notice of the truck’s new materials. The cost of saving weight on the F-150 has put everyone on their toes.

Besides that, the new 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 brings more functionality to the truck without costing the owner a premium in fuel bills. The twin-turbo unit offers up to 8,500 pounds of towing and 2,250 pounds of payload while still getting V-6 levels of fuel efficiency. All of this rides on a brand new, high-strength, hydroformed, steel frame that is fully boxed.

While the Colorado may shake up the midsize pickup truck class, the F-150 will surely do the same for the full-size category – all while selling nearly a million units a year.

Kirby Garlitos - Associate Editor

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An important quality of a truck deserving to be named as Truck of the Year is its ability to transcend multiple buyer markets. The Ford F-150 does that and then some. Whether you’re a grizzled thrill-seeker or a neophyte in the off-road business, the F-150 is going to be one of your top choices.

It certainly has a history of excellence to fall back on and its sales numbers — roughly in the neighborhood of 30 million — are utterly mind-blowing. The new F-150 builds on that rich tradition with a lighter package, thanks to a body that’s now made out of aluminum, that allows the pickup to have a heavier payload. These things aren’t that important on sedans, but when you’re talking about pickup trucks, it’s the difference between a good one and a great one.

The F-150 also gets the traditional litter of engine options, minus the 6.2-liter V-8 that’s been set aside in favor of a 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 that still packs quite a punch at 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. You can’t get much better power and efficiency than what you can get with the EcoBoost.

So all hail the Ford F-150. In a year where there have been a high number of exceptional pickup truck releases, the F-150 still stands out like it always has.

Jonathan Lopez - Associate Editor

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But beyond all those ethereal representations, this Ford product is, above all, a simply fantastic truck.

When it comes to American trucks, and indeed American vehicles as a whole, it’s hard to best the F-150. For many, it’s the workhorse that keeps business moving, the tool belt on four wheels, a symbol of America’s builders. But beyond all those ethereal representations, this Ford product is, above all, a simply fantastic truck.

It’s that excellence that’s made the F-Series one of the most popular vehicles in North America since 1948. Now in its unbelievable thirteenth generation, the F-150 is just as utilitarian and capable as it was in years past, but comes with a new level of refinement that’s altogether unexpected for a vehicle in this segment. Throw in a drastically reduced curb weight, new engine options, and if the mood is right, even a little sportiness, and result is the 2014 Truck of the Year.

Ciprian Florea - Associate Editor

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First and foremost, going aluminum allowed Ford to shave 700 pounds off the weight of the F150, freeing up more of the engine's power and torque when towing and hauling

When you’re building America’s best-selling vehicle for more than three decades, finding new ways to improve its performance and credentials can be a daunting task. Amazingly enough, Ford managed to do more than that by developing the world’s first aluminum-bodied mainstream truck. Sure, many could argue that aluminum may have the potential for greater repair expense, but this initially soft and ductile metal boasts many more advantages when cast into a truck shell. First and foremost, going aluminum allowed Ford to shave 700 pounds off the weight of the F150, freeing up more of the engine’s power and torque when towing and hauling, which also results in improved fuel economy. Then there’s the fact that aluminum doesn’t rust. This property not only makes the F150 more resistant in places that use lost of salt in the winter, but also protects the body from corroding from scratches and dents.

Of course, fixing aluminum is still seen as a challenge as of late 2014, but with Ford being elbows deep into training dealers to work with aluminum body parts it might not be an issue once F150s start hitting the road in large numbers. More importantly, with Ford having triggered more interest toward aluminum from its competitors, finding an independent shop that knows how to fix aluminum dents won’t be a drawback in the near future. The F150 deserves the 2014 Truck of the Year award for many reasons; it’s the lightest half-ton truck, it’s packed with the latest technology and offers a great balance between capability and efficiency. But most importantly, the F150 is a major first step towards a future with aluminum-bodied cars as the norm.

Justin Cupler - Editor in Chief

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This year, however, trucks have gone in the right direction, starting with the more efficient Ram Ecodiesel and the less-thirsty Colorado/Canyon boys, but the one that truly broke the mold was the F-150.

No one will ever mistake me for a truck fan, as I have always believed that unless you use your pickup for its intended purpose of, well, picking up things every day, then you don’t need it. For the most part, my main issue with trucks was their massive fuel-consumption figures that likely put a healthy dent in the oil supplies themselves year in and year out. This year, however, trucks have gone in the right direction, starting with the more efficient Ram Ecodiesel and the less-thirsty Colorado/Canyon boys, but the one that truly broke the mold was the F-150. For a truck to go all-aluminum is a huge step in the right direction in my opinion.

The best part of this is that if the aluminum-intensive construction of the F-150 works as well as intended, then Ram and Chevy will likely follow suit. This is great for everyone, so hat’s off to you for having the guts to step into the crazy world of aluminum construction. Blase that trail well, Ford, then completely thrash it by giving us a new Raptor!

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