Trucks are big profit generators for automakers. The half-ton and heavy-duty pickup segments are probably the most fiercely competitive categories in the industry. Brands fight tooth and nail for every sale they can make. To move the metal they’re willing to leverage any and every competitive advantage no matter how small. Not surprisingly this winner-take-all mentality is delaying common-sense reform that benefits truck buyers.
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Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.
For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.
Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.
Vehicle quality was not the only thing making news when Consumer Reports unveiled the results of its latest reliability study in Detroit earlier this week. Amongst the issues highlighted by the consumer publication were real world fuel economy and forced induction engine technology.
5. Nissan Frontier 4.0 2WD: 17 mpg
Trucks aren’t known for fuel economy, but finding a pickup that isn’t a gas hungry beast is a top concern for many truck shoppers. So if you’re looking for a good way to save money, both in terms of overall vehicle cost and especially at the pumps, check out this list of our Top 10 fuel friendly pickups.
The six cylinder Nissan Frontier can achieve a solid 17 mpg when packaged up with the either transmission, or drive-train. That’s right, it doesn’t matter which model of the 4.0 Frontier you choose, you’re looking at exactly the same EPA numbers: 16 mpg city, and 20 mpg highway. That V6 gets 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. The V6 Frontier starts at $22,620 and while it’s not the most fuel efficient, most powerful, or cheapest car on this list, it does offer a nice balance of the three.
10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab: $1,149
Those looking to save a few bucks when buying a new car, might want to take a look at this list from Insure.com of the least expensive cars to insure. They may not be the flashiest vehicles around, but we’re sure your bank account will appreciate the frugal cost of insuring these new cars – listed in cost per year.
Pickup trucks are usually used for work, and that’s probably why the Silverado, not to mention a few other pick-up trucks, are so cheap to insure. This model, with the V6 and Extended Ca,b features some good safety features and Chevrolet‘s OnStar vehicle safety service. The extended cab Silverado starts at $26,340, and comes with a 4.3L V6 with a meager 195 horsepower.
Out of all the current 2012 vehicles available, which would you think are the most suitable when it comes to winter driving?
Well, given that the snow, sleet, ice, hard rain and other glorious aspects of winter weather are now with us for the next few months, making motoring conditions rather dicey at times, that’s something the editors at Kelley Blue Book.com decided to investigate.
When all was said and done, the results of their findings revealed a rather diverse range of vehicles. From cars to minivans, trucks and SUVs, all which shared a common trait, namely a user friendly all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive system, designed to maintain traction under slippery conditions.
According to KBB.com executive editorial director Jack R. Nerad, the top 10 winter driving vehicles were machines that ”help keep you on the road, whether that journey involves a mundane commute to work or a well-deserved weekend getaway to a favorite ski resort.”
Ranked on the list from 10th place to number one were the following vehicles:
10th Subaru Outback; 9th, Toyota Sienna AWD; 8th, Acura MDX; 7th, Ford F-150 4x 4; 6th, Honda CR-V AWD; 5th, Audi A6 Quattro 3.0T; 4th, Chevrolet Traverse AWD; 3rd, Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2nd, Subaru Impreza.
And the winner? Well perhaps not surprisingly, considering the accolades it’s been receiving since launch last year, was the 2012 Range Rover Evoque.
According to KBB.com, the Evoque not only represents “the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model to ever grace the Land Rover lineup,” it’s also a highly capable machine both on and off the tarmac thanks to its “intelligent all-wheel drive system, Terrain Response feature and Tri-mode Adaptive Dynamics suspension designed to maintain optimal ride and handling characteristics under all driving situations.”
[Source: Kelley Blue Book]