December 5, 2018 by Mario Cywinski
Not long ago, pick-ups were seen as little more than dedicated work trucks.
Those days are long gone. With the rise of crossovers and SUVs, people want bigger vehicles, and for many, pick-ups have become “an SUV with a truck bed.” It’s a net gain for those who depend on trucks for their day-to-day operations. ‘Work’ trucks now come with more bells, whistles and options than ever before.
For the 2019 model year, light-duty pick-ups take centre stage. General Motors has introduced all-new versions of its GMC and Chevrolet 1500 variants, Ford has added a diesel to its F-150 line-up, Ram has a new version of its 1500, and Toyota and Nissan are offering updated versions of the Tundra and Titan respectively.
The mid-size segment, which has seen an increase in interest over the last few years, has Ford introducing the Ranger to market, with many other options still available from a variety of OEMs.
Here, On-Site looks at what’s available and what’s new in the pick-up truck market for 2019:
Ford has been the number one selling pick-up truck brand in Canada for many years with the F-series.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Ford is adding a diesel engine to the F-150 line-up, as well as offering the Raptor’s engine on the Limited trim. The diesel is a 3.0-litre Power Stroke V-6 diesel with 250 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It is capable of 11,400 pounds of towing and 2,020 pounds of payload. The high-output EcoBoost 3.5-litre V-6 offers 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. Four other engine choices are also available: 3.3-litre V-6 with 290 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque, 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6 with 325 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 with 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 5.0-litre V-8 with 395 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. All but the 3.3-litre V-6 are mated to a 10-speed automatic.
Three box sizes, three cab sizes (regular cab, supercab, and supercrew) and seven trim levels (XL, XLT, Lariant, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited, and Raptor). Max payload is 3,270 pounds and max trailer towing is 13,200 pounds.
The 2019 Ford Super Duty, meanwhile, does not receive any major changes for the coming model year. It is available with two engines, a 6.2-litre V-8 gasoline engine (385 hp and 430 lb.-ft. of torque) and a 6.7-litre Power Stroke V-8 turbo Diesel engine (450 hp and 935 lb.-ft. of torque). Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It comes with standard rear view camera, front stabilizer bar, SYNC, four/seven pin trailer tow connector and more. Safety is top-of-mind as the Super Duty comes with standard trailer sway control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a plethora of air bags. Available features include: fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch kit, hill start assist, SYNC 3, adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering, spray-in bedliner, and many more.
With the mid-size segment growing in popularity over the last few years, Ford has brought its Ranger nameplate back to the market after a brief hiatus.
All-new to North America for 2019, it offers a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ranger will be available in XL, XLT, and Lariat trims, and in Supercab or Supercrew cabs. Auto start/stop, four cargo box tie downs, quick-release tailgate and a variety of safety features (including trailer sway control, rear view camera and automatic emergency braking) come standard.
An FX4 Off-Road package has off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate and skid plates, a status screen for monitoring pitch and roll, as well as FX4 badging. It also features the Terrain Management System, which offers four drive modes (normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand). All-new Trail Control works like cruise control but for low-speed, rugged terrain. It takes over acceleration and braking and can send power and braking to each individual wheel.
GM stable mates Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 were both redesigned for the 2019 model year. For the sake of space, let’s focus on the Silverado. It will come with six engine options, of which four are new. The new engines are: 2.7-litre turbocharged I-4 with active fuel management mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, 5.3-litre V-8 with dynamic fuel management mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, 6.2-litre V-8 with dynamic fuel management mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 3.0-litre I-6 turbo diesel mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A 4.3-litre V-6 and 5.3-litre V-8, both with active fuel management and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission are also available.
The new Silverado is bigger, stronger and lighter. It has a wheelbase that’s up to 100 mm longer and is 41 mm longer overall. The truck also has more cargo room and interior room, is up to 204 kilograms lighter, has a higher payload for crew cab models (increase of 14 per cent), stronger tie-downs (12 in all) with 227 kilograms of force before bending (doubled), and more.
Silverado will offer regular cab, double cab and crew cab configurations (all with all-wheel drive), three cab lengths (8’, 6’6”, and 5’8” depending on model) and eight available trim levels (work truck, custom, custom trail boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country.
GM also offers two mid-size pick-ups: the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Nissan’s Titan and Titan XD have three major changes for 2019 model year, including NissanConnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offered as standard, as well as rear door alert — which reminds drivers to check the back seat when the vehicle is parked — added as standard. The big change, however, is the addition of a new Fender audio system (replacing the Rockford Fosgate system). The system offers: 12 speakers (10 on King Cab), 485 watts of power and Panasonic acoustic motion control.
Nissan also offers the Frontier mid-size pickup truck.
All-new for the 2019 model, the Ram 1500 is available in three configurations (quad cab with 6’ 4” bed, crew cab with 5’ 7” bed, and crew cab with 6’ 4” bed), all available in either 2WD or 4WD. Engine options are a second generation 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 (with 305 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque) or a 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 (with 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque). The eTorque mild hybrid system is standard on the V-6 (adds 90 lb.-ft. of supplemental torque) and available on the V-8 (adds 130 lb.-ft. of torque). Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
New for 2019 is the fourth-gen Uconnect system with available 12” touchscreen, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with active braking, and more. Ram also offers an air suspension on 1500 models that provides more capability off-road and makes for easier loading and offloading with four different ride heights. For 2019, the maximum payload is now 1,043 kilograms with max trailer towing of 5,783 kilograms. Ram’s exclusive RamBox is available and allows for storage of items on the side of the bed. It locks for security.
Ram is also continuing to sell the previous generation 1500 model as the Classic. It is available with a V-6, V-8 or V-6 diesel engine.
Toyota’s full-size pick-up truck continues into 2019 with TRD Pro grade returning and offering 18” forged alloy wheels, 2.5” FOX internal bypass shocks, Rigid Industries fog lights, hood scoop, “TOYOTA” heritage grille design, black chrome exhaust tip and red TRD logo on the skid plates. The SX package comes with glossy black 18” alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, black grille, foot well lighting, fog lights and privacy rear glass. A power tailgate lock is added to Platinum and 1794 models.
Two engine options are available, a 4.6-litre V-8 with 310 hp and 327 lb.-ft. of torque, or a 5.7-litre V-8 with 381 hp and 401 lb.-ft. of torque, both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Tundra comes in three bed lengths (5.5’, 6.5’ and 8.1’), two cab sizes (doublecab and crewmax), and in 4×4 or 4×2 configuration. Toyota Safety Sense P is standard on all Tundra models.
The mid-size Tacoma updates the TRD Pro grade desert air intake, JBL premium audio system, black chrome exhaust tip and updated TRD skid plate with red logo. All trims now offer a dual USB port, while Limited trim gets power tailgate lock. Toyota Safety Sense P is standard on all Tacoma models.
Tacoma is available with a 2.7-litre inline-four cylinder engine that offers 159 hp and 180 lb.-ft. of torque or a 3.5-litre V-6 engine with 278 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque, both are available with a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available on TRD off-road models with V-6 engine. Two cab sizes are available: the access cab and double cab, and in 4×4 and 4×2 configurations.
Mario Cywinski is the Editor of Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), a judge for Canadian Truck King Challenge and has over 15 years of automobile industry experience.
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of On-Site. You can read through the complete issue here.