2019 Ram 1500 By Mopar
It’s been just a month since Ram debuted the brand-new 1500 pickup truck at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, and FCA is already offering a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories. Showcased on a concept truck at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, these new accessories cover everything from the exterior and interior to the drivetrain and the chassis. Most of them will become available in a few months, so you can start planning a Moparized model if you’re not happy with the standard and optional Ram features.
Described as an "outdoor, sport-themed truck," this Mopar-specced vehicle sports a unique, slightly more aggressive exterior, a more upscale interior, and lift kit that turns it into a more capable off-road explorer. The parts and accessories are taken from a list of around 200 items that can be purchased from Mopar via FCA dealerships. That’s quite a big selection, unlike anything you get from the competition. Let’s have a closer look at some of these features in the review below.
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2019 Ram 1500 Sport
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 hasn’t even hit showrooms yet, and Ram is already rolling out the special editions. Just this week saw the new iteration of the Texas-inspired Lone Star edition. But now, it’s Canada’s turn. Ram is launching a Canada-only trim called the Sport.
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2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Toyota’s 2019 updates to its trio of TRD Pro models brings some impressive upgrades to the Tacoma. Headlining the features is the new Desert Air Intake, a high-rise snorkel that not only looks awesome but sucks in cleaner air from higher above trail. The suspension is also updated Fox Racing Shocks and a handful of cosmetic changes keep the truck fresh.
The Tacoma TRD Pro has been around since 2015 and jumped to the third-generation Tacoma for 2017 after skipping the 2016 model year. Now for 2019, the truck’s updates work to better align the Tacoma TRD Pro with the new and highly impressive Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. While the Tacoma enjoys a fat sales margin over the Colorado, its lead has been dwindling. Once Ford’s new Ranger his the streets for 2019, Toyota will have a real fight on its hands. Read on to see how the 2019 updates prepare the Tacoma for a tough battle.
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2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Toyota has upped the ante with its Tundra TRD Pro for the 2019 model year. The off-road package receives a mid-cycle refresh that includes both cosmetic and suspension upgrades. The move is completely understandable considering how hot the off-road segment is getting these days.
It’s important to understand the Tundra TRD Pro’s place in the market. It competes most directly with the Ram 1500 Rebel, both of which fall short of the Ford F-150 Raptor’s outright ownership of the high-speed desert racing niche. But while Ford is busy making the Raptor an extremely capable but very expensive upgrade to the F-150, both the TRD Pro and Rebel are more obtainable for the everyman. In other words, the Tundra TRD Pro might not match the Raptor’s off-road performance, but it’s also far less expensive.
Nevertheless, Toyota’s 2019 updates push the Tundra TRD Pro beyond what it was capable of from 2015 to 2018.
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2018 Mercedes X-Class Camper Concept
The new Mercedes X-Class is lustful looking machine with an upscale vibe typical of the three-pointed start mixed with rugged capability thanks to its body-on-frame architecture and beefy solid rear axle. And despite the X-Class still being extremely new, aftermarket companies are already building interesting products for the pickup. Perhaps the most interesting is this – a slide in camper build specifically to the X-Class’ bed dimensions.
The camper is designed and built by the coachbuilder Tischer and features a main sleeping area over the cab, a three-person seating area that converts into a sleeping area, a kitchen with a three-burner stove, and a bathroom with a swivel toilet, fold-away sink, and a shower.
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2018 Toyota Hilux
The Toyota Hilux pickup receives several new trims for the 2018 model year. These include three new SR cab-chassis variants, a new WorkMate grade for the 4WD Double Cab-Chassis, and the Hi-Rider option on 2WD trucks is now offered on the WorkMate Double-Cab, SR Extra Cab, and the SR5 Double Cab. What’s more, the availability of an automatic transmission expands from 12 models to 17 models. In other words, there are now more choices for customers.
This is the first change Toyota has brought to the Hilux since the current generation’s introduction in 2016. It comes in part as a response to changing customer wants as the expectation for higher comfort levels increase, while the need for work-grade trims holds steady. In fact, Toyota saw more than 60 percent of new Hilux sales have automatic transmissions – a first for the rugged pickup.
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2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition
Ram has introduced the Laramie Longhorn trim level on its all-new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup. Like on the outgoing truck, the Laramie Longhorn is western-themed luxury trim filled with high-end materials. However, thanks to the vast improvements made on the 2019 Ram 1500, the Laramie Longhorn trim sees equally impressive advancements.
Designed to compete against the Ford F-150’s King Ranch and the Chevrolet Silverado’s High Country trims, the Laramie Longhorn goes above and beyond with real barn wood accent trim, full leather seats with contrast piping, brushed-nickel badging and accent trim, and Ram’s new 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen engulfing the dashboard. There is even the Laramie Longhorn badge branded into the wood trim above the glovebox – branded, like with a hot iron. That attention to detail continues through the cabin and onto the exterior.
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2019 Ford Ranger
Well, it’s back. The Ford Ranger mid-size pickup has returned to the U.S. and in glorious fashion. The pickup made its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit right beside the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. While it’s not the F-150, the 2019 Ranger will put Ford back in the mid-size pickup fight against the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and most importantly, the venerable Toyota Tacoma.
The addition of the Ranger positions Ford as having the widest-spread pickup lineup in the world. Entries include the new Ranger, the half-ton F-150, the heavy-duty Super Duty lineup, and the commercial medium-duty segment with the F-650 and F-750 cab chassis.
Of course, the Ranger will have its work cut out; the Toyota Tacoma has long been the leader in mid-size trucks and the General Motors twins aren’t too far behind. Let’s see how the 2019 Ranger stacks up.
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2019 Ram 1500
The 2019 Ram 1500 is completely new from the tow hooks to the hitch and wears a new design that departs from the iconic crosshair grille of the last 25 years. It rides on an all-new frame that’s lighter and stronger, boasts a new interior that’s far more user-friendly and luxurious, and has a new mild hybrid system on both its 3.6-liter V-6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
The truck moves into its fifth generation for 2019 and doubles down on every major selling point in a bid to win market share from Ford and General Motors. Weight has been reduced by 225 pounds, the frame is built from 98 percent high-strength steel for increased payload and towing, and the segment’s first-ever deployable front air dam will work in conjunction with the mild hybrid systems to improve fuel economy. Ram will continue offering its popular 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, too, but with more power and torque.
The Ram Rebel returns, as well, but with more off-road equipment and twice the attitude. The other familiar trims include the Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited.
While pricing hasn’t been announced, the 2019 Ram 1500 will arrive in showrooms by the end of Q1 of 2018. That means we don’t have long to wait.
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2019 Chevrolet Silverado
Chevrolet has pulled the covers off its all-new, 2019 Silverado 1500 half-ton pickup truck. While Chevy teased the truck back in December at the Texas Motor Speedway at Chevy’s centennial celebration, the full details only became available at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Chevy also made sure everyone knew the 2018 Detroit show marked 100 years since the brand launched its first pickup.
The 2019 Silverado is completely new and shares almost zero parts from the outgoing truck. Even the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s are revised for increased efficiency. The truck’s fully boxed frame is now 88 pounds lighter but has 10 percent more torsional rigidity, and the truck’s overall weight has dropped 450 pounds when comparing crew cab V-8 models from 2018 and 2019. Chevy did this by using aluminum. Yes, after years of dogging Ford for building its trucks from recycled beer cans, Chevy has made the switch, too. But not every body panel made the transition – only the parts that swing, which includes the hood, doors, and tailgate. The rest is steel. This includes the bed floor, which Chevy says is made from higher-strength, roll-formed steel than before.
Of course, the interior has been completely revamped, too. You’ll find those details, along with so much more, down below.
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2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven
The Toyota Tacoma has been a mainstay in the compact and mid-size pickup segments for more than 30 years. Even before the Tacoma name, the Toyota pickup impressed hard-nosed Americans with innovation, durability, and performance. Those traits continue today with the third-generation truck. And like any proper truck should, Toyota offers the Tacoma with several cab, bed, trim, and drivetrain combinations. Generally speaking, there is a Tacoma for everybody.
If I were a single man who didn’t need room for car seats and kiddos, the Tacoma Access Cab would be a tempting acquisition. I’ve never really been a big fan of extended cab trucks, favoring the roomier crew cab (double cab in Toyota’s case) over the cramped quarters behind the front seats of an Access Cab. However, a week behind the wheel of a 2017 Tacoma Access Cab has changed my mind. There’s enough room for smaller people and plenty of room for groceries. Better still, the Tacoma’s six-speed manual transmission won my heart thanks to its more engaging driving experience over the automatic.
Continue reading for my full thoughts on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.
2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker
Stars Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting theaters next week, and like in year’s past, Nissan is hitching its wagon on the monolithic movie franchise. We saw the fruits of that partnership last year with the launch of the Nissan Rogue One Edition. This year, Nissan and LucasFilms are upping the ante by launching a whole fleet of Stars Wars-inspired creations, including the vehicle you see here.
This is a Nissan Titan, or at least it was until it was redesigned to look more like one of those giant AT-M6 Walker bots that the First Order deployed against the Resistance in The Force Awakens. The overall look and the details that went into creating the Titan Star Wars is a feast for the senses. We should give credit to Vehicle Effects for making this transformation. The California-based company is famous in Hollywood circles for building some of the best cars to hit the silver screen, including all the vehicles in The Fast and Furious and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. In addition to the Titan, Vehicle Effects also created the Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer, Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma, Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-Wing with BB8, and Nissan Rogue Sport A-Wing.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Star Wars Edition