Truck buffs, your time is nigh.
It’s hard to think of a more ideal time to be a pickup truck lover than now. The current automotive market conditions have created an atmosphere in which vehicles are not only becoming more technology-saddled and fuel-efficient, but also more powerful and capable at the same time. The result? A pickup enthusiast’s paradise, with new trucks being released left and right that cater to a myriad of different tastes and preferences.
Case in point, we can look at the new Ford F-150. As the current long-time best-selling vehicle in America, and all-around solid pickup truck, Ford has not simply sat back and let the profits roll in. Instead, it has invested in making the truck even better, with aluminum construction, as well as a variety of engine choices and trim levels. Rivals have done the same, with a huge selection of new and improved models that can fill even the most refined consumer standards.
From performance and speed, to power and hauling capabilities, there is plenty of reason to be excited for the next generation of pickup trucks, some of which are starting to hit the market this year. Here at the Cheat Sheet, we’ve previously covered many of these pickups through the concept and development stage and, like many, are excited to finally see them hit the streets.
So what new pickup trucks should we all be excited about? Read on to see our top 5 picks.
1. Toyota Tacoma
The refreshed Toyota Tacoma has a lot of midsize truck fans on the edge of their seats. The popular pickup, which has been a mainstay in the midsize truck segment for years and years, is set to hit the market for the 2016 model year with a facelift. We previously got the skinny on the new truck, when it made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show this year, and the most exciting new features are the rough, rugged exterior, and a new 3.5-liter V6 engine. The Tacoma has made a name for itself by being dependable and long-lasting, and with the new 2016 redesign, a few more adjectives may get added to that list with time.
2. Nissan TITAN XD
Aiming to take a bite out of American auto maker’s truck sales, Nissan is finally releasing the long-gestating rehash of the Titan pickup, imposingly-dubbed the TITAN XD. There’s plenty of reason to be excited about the new Titan, as it will feature a Cummins 5.0-liter V8 Turbo Diesel, rated at 310 horsepower and producing 555 pounds-feet of torque. There will also be an available V6 engine as an option for those who don’t want to splurge for the oil-burner. What makes the new Titan truly stand is that it won’t be a full-size pickup, and yet, it won’t quite be a heavy-duty truck either. Nissan is pushing into the middle ground, and it will be interesting to see how consumers respond.
3. Ford F-150 Raptor
Having quickly become a fan favorite in its short lifetime, the Raptor variant of Ford’s F-150 is getting a redesign for the 2017 model year, and everyone is champing at the bit to see it in action. The new Raptor will come equipped with an EcoBoost 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine, which will supply a hearty 450 horsepower. The truck itself is on a brief hiatus before it returns to market, and when the redesigned version was shown off at the Detroit Auto Show this year, fans were justifiably excited. The new Raptor is a part of Ford’s new focus on performance vehicles, so seeing what it can do on the track, or mountain trails, is enticing.
4. Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon
The new midsize pickup offerings from General Motors are already garnering plenty of attention from the world’s foremost automotive publications. The hot-off-the-presses GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are back, and better than ever. Motor Trend even named the Colorado its 2015 Truck of the Year. But what will be truly interesting to see is how well both of these trucks hold up against rivals like the Toyota Tacoma. They’re both loaded with new technology and features, and perform solidly in terms of power and fuel-economy. How much damage they can do together in the midsize pickup segment? We’ll find out soon enough.
5. Ram Rebel
Taking a cue from Ford, Ram is set to unleash its entrant into the performance pickup race. The Ram Rebel a 1500-level pickup with some imposing exterior augmentations — from the bold new grille, to the intimidating liftgate that reads “RAM” in large, black lettering. Under the hood, drivers can choose from a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, or a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, depending on your power preference. The Rebel gives Ram a foothold in a segment that is quickly expanding, and allows drivers who are fans of the 1500-level pickups another upscale trim level. Is it a Raptor-killer? Probably not, but plenty of consumers can’t wait to hear this rebel yell.