It appears that the 2019 model year is going to be a “Battle Royale” in the full-sized pickup truck market segment. Long a big profit center for the traditional domestic automakers, the public has been flocking to them in droves in recent years. Better fuel economy, more capability, and more occupant-friendly amenities has aided the automakers in continuing the upward momentum.
With the 2019 model year, General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are all bringing to the market dramatically new and improved full-size pickup trucks. These new trucks are much more than cosmetics, with the manufacturers going for broke with every aspect of the vehicles being launched. Here are the highlights:
The mantra “The Best Never Rest” has been an advertising tag line for the automaker in the past, the numbers continue to bear that out as fact. Even with its much touted (and some say derided) move to aluminum in 2015, Ford has managed to keep its “Best Seller” crown against Chevrolet and Ram. As one of the first automakers to realize that a growing share of truck owners do not use them for work. The “weekend warriors” have been the main driver of Ford F-150 truck sales in recent years. These are those who tow a boat or camper – more of an active outdoor lifestyle – and the F-150 allows them to get it done in style. The Ford F-150 heads into 2019 after a mid-cycle design refresh for 2018. With a best-in-class towing capacity of 13,500 pounds, it remains a formidable competitor.
As the perennial number two in the full-size truck market, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck heads into its fourth generation for the 2019 model year. Boasting aggressive new styling, the Silverado is all-new for the first time since 2007. The automaker’s intent is to win back market share from Ford. Featuring eight different trim levels, two new V-8 engines and some 450 pounds lighter than the current model, Chevrolet is taking no prisoners. A major difference between the Silverado and the F-150 is Chevy’s choice of going with high-strength steel for the cargo bed as opposed to Ford’s aluminum. Make no mistake, the Silverado hood, doors and tailgate are aluminum, but even its frame is 80 percent high-strength steel, expecting to make a hit with those who actually use their truck for work. The cargo bed is also wider than the current model.
Fiat Chrysler’s Ram may be number three in this horse race, but don’t count them out. RAM will also introduce an all-new ½ ton pickup truck for the 2019 model year with more upscale features and amenities. Featuring a 12-inc touchscreen, self-parking capabilities, and noise-canceling technology, the Ram also packs some nifty tricks including active air-vents on the grill to make the truck more aerodynamic and a small electric motor to boost torque. Add in Ram’s sophisticated control hardware and you have a real contender! Let the battle begin!