We explain what each top-selling model pickup offers that makes them special.
The top three selling vehicle models in the American vehicle market are the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra twins. There isn’t a bad truck in the bunch. All of them claim “class leading” capabilities in power, payload, and towing. Each has a very strong sales history that matches closely with the production capacity of its company. In other words, they sell about as fast as they are built. Although all three certainly have their similarities, there are aspects of each that makes them stand out. Here is what makes each top-selling model special.
Ford F-150 – Technology
When Ford introduced its latest F-150 generation the big news was aluminum. Instead of using steel for the body panels and cargo bed, Ford opted to instead move to light-weight aluminum. The move was mainly to save weight to improve both fuel economy and performance, one other advantage of aluminum is that it doesn’t rust. If you’ve ever stepped down through a rusted-out cargo bed (like we have), you know the inherent advantages of a non-corrosive body and bed.
The second major differentiator between Ford and its rivals is that Ford opted to move to smaller, turbocharged engines and away from large V8s. This was no half-measure on Ford’s part. It didn’t make the EcoBoost engines a niche option on a stripped down truck trim. Quite the opposite. We are testing a $75,000 Ford F-150 Limited this week and it has the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost engine. So too did the last three Raptors we drove. Ford is putting its EcoBoost engines into its best trucks. And as performance enthusiasts, we could not be happier. The EcoBoost engines provide their peak torque down low in the rev band. This isn’t just a great design for quick acceleration, low-end torque is also ideal for towing. Unlike a diesel engine which also offers low-end torque, the EcoBoost gasoline engines don’t run out of breath at the top end of their rev-band. That means that in addition to being strong and fuel economical, these trucks are also fast.
Ram 1500 – Ride, Infotainment, Winter Capabilities
The Ram 1500 stands apart from its peers in three ways. The first is the ride. No other truck available in America can rival the ride offered by Ram 1500. It is smoother over rough surfaces, yet still handles as well or better than other trucks. If a comfortable truck is what you want, the Ram 1500 is the obvious choice.
The second way Ram’s 1500 stands out is infotainment. All three of the trucks on our list have great infotainment. Simple operation, great touch screens, and intuitive menus. However, Ram offers an optional large screen that no other truck maker comes close to. If you are a fan of a large infotainment screen you will love the Ram. And the great part is you don’t have to be a “Techie” to use it. It is just as intuitive and just as simple to operate as the smaller screen offered by Ram’s competitors. It’s just bigger and easier to see.
The third way that Ram stands apart from its peers is winter capability. The folks at Ram, including Vice Presidents, product managers, and a hard-working group of communications professionals, are frequent visitors to the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA). These Ram team members bring trucks with them and they do ride-alongs with the motor press in winter regions. They ask questions and then listen closely to what truck owners and those who test and evaluate trucks for a living say. They then change their products to meet the needs and wants of truck buyers in cold climates. One result of this on the ground research is the Ram 1500 North Edition. It is the only truck in its class that comes standard with mountain snowflake-rated winter tires. A simple thing, but hugely important if you live where it snows seven or eight months of the year. The North Edition also has standard water-proof floor mats and options like a heated steering wheel. The Ram 1500 earned the title of 2019 Offical Truck of New England from NEMPA. BestRide’s Car Doctor and NEMPA President, John Paul summed up the Ram by saying, “The 2019 Ram rides like a car, works like a truck and shows winter who is boss.”
Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra – Tailgates and Carbon Fiber
General Motors builds some amazing trucks. What stands out in our mind when we think of the GM truck twins is carbon fiber and tailgates. GM is the first automaker to offer a non-metallic cargo bed in a full-sized truck. Opting for carbon fiber will allow GM to remove weight, add a new level of toughness to an already rugged design, and like Ford, ensure that its cargo beds never again suffer from corrosion.
GM is also at the front of the pack when it comes to tailgate innovation. GM’s tailgates don’t just open, they fold like an origami swan into shapes that real-world users can put to use. The tailgate is the working end of every truck and GM is doing its best to make that tailgate function in ways never seen before.
Every one of the top-selling trucks on our list is a winner. We hope that we have given shoppers a bit of insight as to what makes each one stand apart from the crowd.