When it comes to getting things done, trucks are second to none. These versatile machines are like big, golden retrievers, dedicated, reliable and part of countless people’s families. For many, life without one of these animals – a dog or a pickup – is unthinkable.
What’s New in Trucks for 2017?
The best-selling brand of pickup trucks receives an all-new Raptor off-road model for 2017, ready to tackle the sand dunes or the snow. Based on the F-150, the Raptor gets a unique version of the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 making 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, hooked to a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
That same 10-speed is also now attached to the standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6, which has been updated to produce 370 hp and 460 lb-ft.
If you’re looking to work properly hard with a Ford, the brand also introduced an all-new version of its Super Duty for 2017, packing tons of technology including cameras all around, a variable steering ratio and the same aluminum body that can be found on the new F-150. To backup all the driver’s assistance features, the updated 6.7-liter diesel now makes 440 hp and 925 lb-ft of torque.
Chevrolet went back to the drawing board with its 2017 Heavy Duty models, introducing an all-new version of its Duramax diesel, making a whopping 410 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. Plenty of new special editions are also available from Chevy for its half-ton trucks, though no major updates have come to the Silverado or Sierra this year.
In its smaller trucks, GM introduced an eight-speed automatic with its 3.6-liter V6, which was massaged to produce slightly more power, 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. A Denali luxury-trim was also introduced to the GMC Canyon.
The Ram brand is planning to unveil an all-new version of its 1500 sometimes next year, so for now, all we can expect are more special editions of the truck to tide over customers until the all-new version arrives. Same applies to Ram Heavy Duty models, the redesign of which has been pushed back until at least 2020 or 2021.
Toyota has brought an all-new Tacoma TRD Pro model to market this year, offering off-road enthusiasts a small truck package with big off-road capability. The TRD Pro gets unique suspension and some stylistic elements to help it stand out from the crowd and allows it to be capable off roader.
The Tundra soldiers on unchanged in 2017.
Nissan has finally released the new Titan half-ton, the bread and butter of its pickup truck strategy. The new Titan runs a 5.6-liter V8 with 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque sent through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The truck may not have the capacities of its competitors, but it does offer a few neat tricks like the bed rail system and a trailer light check setup.
The Titan XD is also available with its 5.0-liter Cummins diesel making 555 lb-ft of torque.
Honda has rolled out a brand new 2017 Ridgeline, offering buyers looking for a small truck more options. While it may not have the same capacities as its small truck rivals, the Ridgelne offers unparalleled on-road driving dynamics. This little truck from Honda is often counted out, but it is a legitimate player and can haul more gear than most folks need.
What’s next in Trucks?
For 2018, there is lots of trucks news coming. Ram will begin production of an all-new 1500 in 2018 packing an entirely new platform and engines. GM is also planning to release an all-new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra in 2018, though both the Ram and GM trucks will likely be 2019 models.
Both of these half-tons are expected to adopt new technologies to help with fuel economy and capability. Small turbocharged engines are in the cards for both brands while GM will turn to aluminum, like Ford, to help cut weight. Diesel engines are also supposed to be in both trucks, though with the current regulatory climate surrounding diesel, we will have to wait and see what hits the market.