Three V-8 engine choices include a 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton optimized for better performance and capable of running on E85; a 4.6-liter, three-valve utilizing open valve injection for increased horsepower during towing and reduced emissions; and a 4.6-liter, two-valve promising the same fuel economy as the previously available V-6. The engines are mated to a four-speed or new fuel-efficient six-speed transmission.
The pickup box has a 65.5-cu.-ft. cargo capacity when properly equipped. A Box Side Step is available on 6.5- and 8-ft. Styleside boxes to help customers gain access to the front of the box. The tailgate step introduced on the F-Series SuperDuty is also available on the F-150.
New electronic features include Ford SYNC, a voice-activated, hands-free, in-vehicle communications and entertainment system; SIRIUS Travel Link, which provides real-time traffic and weather information; and voice-activated navigation.
Honda updates the Ridgeline for 2009 with new features and a more powerful engine. All models are now powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 250 hp at 5,700 rpm and 247 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. Power is transmitted through a five-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission and a Variable Torque Management (VTM-4) four-wheel-drive system. The VTM-4 system continuously proportions torque to the rear wheels during acceleration and low traction situations.
A trailer hitch is now standard on every model. A Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and a rearview backup camera are available on RTL models equipped with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System.
Capable of accommodating 4-ft.-wide sheets of plywood between the wheel wells, the composite cargo bed gains two tie-down points, for a total of eight. An In-Bed Trunk provides hidden, dry and secure storage for luggage, tool boxes and coolers.
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GM adds a fuel-saving six-speed transmission to its Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups equipped with 5.3-liter, 6.0-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines. A new 6.2-liter V-8 with variable valve timing and E85 capability is also offered on crew cab models.
New XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy) models of the Silverado and Sierra use a combination of mechanical, aerodynamic and mass reducing enhancements. This is accomplished through a lowered suspension, extended front lower air dam, soft tonneau cover, aluminum lower control arms, aluminum spare wheel, 17-in. aluminum wheels, automatic locking rear differential and low rolling resistance tires. The pickups feature a very low 0.349 coefficient of drag. XFE models are offered in two-wheel-drive crew cab body styles only.
A Silverado hybrid model will also be available. It promises a 25% improvement in overall fuel economy, while offering a 6,100-lb. towing capacity.
Convenience and safety-related features being introduced for the Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 pickups include OnStar 8.0 with turn-by-turn navigation, Destination Download and available bluetooth connectivity; a NavTraffic feature; and optional rearview camera system.
Pickup boxes on the heavy-duty models are 1.18 in. deeper in the front and 1.57 in. deeper at the rear than previous generations. Stronger inner walls offer improved performance when fitted with ladder racks, tool boxes and other accessories.
Entering its fifth year of production, the Nissan Titan rolls into 2009 with revised features and equipment packages, including the Max Utility Packages. These packages combine some of the most popular towing and bed utility items.
The Titan is offered in King Cab and crew cab body styles in two-wheel or four-wheel drive with two wheelbase and four bed length options. There are also four trim levels. The PRO-4X model offers an off-road equipment package that includes Rancho shock absorbers, a lower final gear ratio, two additional skid plates and electronic locking rear differential.
The vehicle’s power is derived from a 5.6-liter DOHC Endurance V-8 engine rated at 317 hp and 385 lb.-ft. of torque, and is transmitted through a five-speed automatic transmission. A flexible fuel option enables the Titan to run on E85 fuel.
Toyota expands the Tundra full-size pickup line with an E85 flex-fuel option, available on 5.7-liter four-wheel-drive models in select regions. New Toyota Racing Development (TRD) packages include the Rock Warrior Package featuring off-road suspension and unique wheels, and the Sport Package, which is optimized for on-road performance.