Every truck owner in the U.S. has their preference of which brand they would drive, and no brands are more competitive with each other than Ford and Chevrolet. For years Ford has put out hundreds of thousands of trucks that are used as family vehicles, work trucks, and emergency services vehicles. They have had a history of producing both cost efficient and comfortable lines and options all in between to satisfy a wide range of consumers.
Chevrolet has developed a brand with a reputation of highly dependable, comfortable rides that can last for many miles. Although they have not always been as competitive with Ford's low prices as they are today, Chevrolet now competes strongly for emergency vehicles and fleet options. If you do not have a preference between the two of these brands, you have never driven either or do not care to drive a pickup truck.
GM Midsize Trucks: GMC Canyon And Chevy ColorodoThe design of both GM and Isuzu, the Chevy Coloroda/GMC Canyon began production in 2004 to replace the S-10/Sonoma. Although the truck is not large, in looks and size it is a step up from the old S-10, and you can definitely see the Isuzu influences in the design, if not, just look at one parked by a Isuzu D-Max which began production 2 years prior to the joint venture.
The Colorodo has a bit more height to the cab, causing the larger look, than the S-10, and compares well with other small to midsize trucks on the market today in size and power. The truck has options for a 4 cylinder, 5 cylinder, and the 5.3 L v8 that is the main powerplant for the larger Silverado. Fuel efficiency for the platform is close to the top of the field in each of the sizes of engines, so even though there is plenty of strength under the hood, your wallet won't sacrifice.
Ford Ranger, Ford's Small PackageAlthough the Ford Ranger has ceased as a U.S. Ford product, their are still many 2011 Rangers on the market. Ford ceased its production of the Ranger in the U.S. in December of 2011 after 29 years of production of the small pickup truck. Though the Ranger was never known for comfort or a smooth ride, it was, however, known for dependability and utility.
Ford is still producing the Ranger in Australia, although their newest version is a larger Ranger, much more comparable to the Chevy Colorodo or Toyota's Tacoma line. It is understandable that Ford decided to drop the current Ranger from its American line, considering lower sales in small trucks as half-ton trucks have risen in mileage, and they have joined Dodge in dropping the smaller end of their pickup line.
It will be interesting to see, when the U.S. truck market and auto market in general begin to rebound, if Ford will incorporate the flashy new Australian Ford Ranger design into its American Ford Truck brand.
Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra, The GM Pick Up FlagshipsThe underlying design of the current Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra has been in production since the 2007 model was released and met with the North American Truck Of The Year and Motortrend's Truck Of The Year awards. Although the basic shape has stayed the same since the initial model, these trucks have incorporated some recent changes that have definitely strengthened the Silverado/Sierra brand.
First, the trucks now come with more packages that offer the 6 speed transmission which translates into higher fuel efficiency. Eventually, as 4 speed transmission are phased out, all of the full size GM trucks will have the 6 speed transmission, mostly to help reach the new cafe standards.
Second, the truck line is phasing out the 6.0 L V8 and replacing it with a 403 Hp 6.2 L V8. This engine, along with the standard 5.3 L, come with a "Cruise Grade Braking" option (Jake Brake) which downshifts the engine to assist with slowing so brakes are not overused.
Some other new options include a WiFi hotspot option which reaches 150 ft from the truck, mobile apps that can link your cell phone to your truck via On-Star, and Bluetooth options that allow you to answer and end phone calls without touching your smartphone. The new Silverado/Sierra truly has every toy you could think of. Some future options for this truck are rumored to include an option for a built in air compressor built into the rear of the truck, and side rails that actually lower down from the body when the truck is placed in park. What will they think of next?
F150, Ford's Bread And ButterBeginning with the F-1 in 1948, the F series pickup truck has provided versatility and utility to Americans and Canadians alike for well over 60 years. What quickly became known as the F-100 was replaced by the F-150 as the half ton model and the main seller for the F series in the late 1970's. The F-150 is currently the best selling truck when the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra sales are not added together, and it was once the most sold vehicle in the U.S. for 24 years.
The new F-150 has a stronger looking front end to make it closer to the design of the Ford Super Duty trucks. In 2011, the F-150 was given a small cosmetic change which carries over to the 2012 model, including a new grill, a more muscular hood design, and the addition of some more modern designs on the tailgate of the truck. The interiors are similar to the last few F-150's with a few small changes, including more packages with Ford's Sync system available.
The engine changes are some of the best that Ford has made to the F-150 in recent years. With the addition in 2011 of the 365 hp V6 Ecoboost and a relatively new 6 speed transmission that has Ford trucks at tied for the top in full size truck fuel efficiency. With a 411 hp 6.2L V8 also available, Ford has the horsepower competition pretty much in hand.
Although Ford has upped its warranty from the old 36/month 36,000 mile to a more competitive 60/month 60,000 mile warranty they still are behind the new standard of 60/month 100,000 miles. I mean, how many people are going to buy a truck that is as fun to drive and use as the 2012 F150 and only average 10,000 miles a year?
Chevy And GMC HD TrucksAfter being totally redesigned for their 2007 models, the GMC Sierra HD and the Chevy Silverado HD quickly became a replacement for the Ford SuperDuty in many ambulance services as well as in work truck roles around the country. The move was largely due to the dissatisfaction with Fords 6.4 L Powerstroke Diesel which had plenty of problems. Whether or not the GM HD brand will maintain its new strength in the HD market is hard to know, considering the early reviews on Fords new 5.7 L Powerstroke seem to be great.
The current model of GM HD trucks has been given a heavier frame, a safer cab with more side protection, and more capability with best in class towing and only 3 Hp less than the Ford SuperDuty. With few changes from their JD Power Truck of the Year model in 2011, the 2012 is definitely pleasing to both sit in and drive.
Ford Super Duty TrucksWith a newly updated exterior from last years model, the 2012 line of Super Duty Ford trucks are bigger and better than ever before. These 2012 Super Duty Fords also include a larger diesel option, increased from the 6.4L Powerstroke to the 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel V8. They also upped the available size gas engine, from the 5.4 Triton V8 that is in most of the F-150's to the 6.2L "Boss" V8 engine.
Besides the bulkier and stronger looking exterior and the definitely stronger engines, the new Super Duty can carry more while burning less fuel than ever before. The fact that the F-250 or F-350 can pull over 8 tons with 400 horsepower and do so with less fuel is amazing. The somewhat recent addition of Ford's Sync system also adds even more creature comfort to one of the largest cabs in the truck market.