Pickup Trucks Top Picks November 2008

More power, lighter weight and increased safety are just a few of the developments being seen on current pickup models. Here, major manufacturers introduce what they have to offer to help you on the job and on the road.

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Redesigned Ford F-150 features increased durability and safety
Ford introduces a completely redesigned F-150 for 2009, combining a tough new exterior with a high-strength, lighter-weight chassis that delivers 10 percent more torsional rigidity for better durability and safety. Complementing the modern frame is a suite of features including standard AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control) and Trailer Sway Control, plus available Rearview Camera Assist as well as Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, a segment first on light-duty pickups. The new F-150 is powered by three modern V-8 engines, mated to either a four-speed or a new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission. Engines include: 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton V-8; 4.6-liter, 3-valve V-8; and 4.6-liter, 2-valve V-8.

Dodge Ram offers over 35 safety and security features
In addition to a standard four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC), the new 2009 Dodge Ram includes standard advanced multi-stage front driver and passenger air bags, standard supplemental side-curtain airbags and available ParkSense Rear Park Assist System. Along with more than 35 safety and security features, Ram features a solid-axle, coil-spring, multi-link rear suspension and
versatile cargo management system including unique “RamBox.” Dodge Ram offers a new 5.7-liter HEMI that provides 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque, with 20-mpg highway (4x2 models).

New Chevrolet Silverado HD has increased strength, responsiveness
Ready for any task, the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado heavy-duty models are offered in a range of 2500 HD (three-quarter ton) and 3500HD (one-ton) models and are available in WT, LT and LTZ trim and a wide range of configurations. The standard engine is a 6.0L gas V-8 with variable valve timing, rated at a best-in-class 360 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque and single rear-wheel configurations. A Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engine is available. In addition to an innovative cargo management system, Silverado features a group of specific accessories, such as rails that enable the use of an overhead utility rack rated at 500 pounds loading capacity, a sliding diamond-plate toolbox, sliding bed divider and more.

New GMC Sierra HD models pull their weight
GMC Sierra heavy-duty trucks are offered in a range of capable 2500HD (three-quarter ton) and 3500HD (one-ton) models. Available in Work Truck, SLE and SLT trims and a range of configurations, the Sierra HD pickups offer many segment-best capabilities, including 18,500-pound gross combined vehicle weight rating for vehicles with a gas V-8 and a 13,000-pound conventional trailer weight rating enabled by a larger-capacity trailer hitch platform. A number of new safety-related and convenience features include: Rearview camera system; OnStar 8.0 navigation system; Bluetooth connectivity for phone; XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic; and an array of new exterior colors.

Choices abound in Toyota Tundra
Toyota’s Tundra is available in over 40 model configurations encompassing three cab styles, three wheelbases, three bed lengths, three engines, three trim levels and a choice between 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains. With a 10,800-pound maximum towing capacity, Tundra is powered by a 4-liter V-6 (standard for regular and double cab versions) or 4.7-liter iForce V-8 (standard for CrewMax models). Optional on all models is a 5.7-liter iForce V-8. Tundra offers standard rear Automatic Limited Slip Differential (ALSD) which provides better control on poor surfaces compared to mechanical LSD, and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), a driver selectable system which integrates active traction control.