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 2016?
For 2016, the growing pickup truck segment is not slowing down, adding new entries in all categories from small to large.
Starting with big trucks, Ford has rolled out an all-new Super Duty, which takes a page from the F-150 by using aluminum body panels. This new lightweight design helped the truck lose up to 350 pounds. A 6.7-liter diesel is available along with two different gasoline engines, a 6.2-liter V8 and a 6.8-liter V10.
Ram has also updated its large pickups for the new year, but only in the power department. Ram’s 3500 HD trucks can now be had with 900 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine, mated to an Aisin six-speed automatic.
One of the biggest shakeups coming to the world of pickup trucks for 2016 is the Nissan Titan XD. Thanks to its heavy gross vehicle weight rating, the new Titan XD classifies as a three-quarter ton truck, though Nissan aims to fit it between the half-ton and heavy duty market. Power for the truck comes from a 5.0-liter Cummins V8 diesel, which makes 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. Maximum tow rating for the new Titan XD is pegged at 12,314 pounds. The standard, non-XD version of the Titan will be released in summer of 2016.
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In the half-ton market, Chevrolet has updated both the Silverado and Sierra with new looks and a new eight-speed automatic which is now available with the 5.3-liter V8 and the 6.2-liter V8. Along with facelift, Chevy added a few new small features to the truck, like power running boards that articulate backwards to act as steps for the bed.
Midway through 2015, Ram introduced the Rebel and Limited models, an off-road and luxury version of its 1500 pickup. Both of these trucks wear a new fascia, while the Rebel takes things a step further with unique wheels, tires and suspensions tuning.
Ford isn’t making any major changes to the F-150 for 2016, though the blue oval brand has also added new features to the truck, like pro backup assist, which allows you to reverse with a trailer on using a knob on the dash. Ford’s off-road version of the F-150, the Raptor, will become available in late 2016 as a 2017 model.
In the small truck segment, Toyota and GM have been introducing new products. Toyota has a totally new Tacoma for 2016, which is powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 engine. A new look, a thoroughly revised interior and new levels of refinement have been introduced with the new Tacoma, along with the promise of a more fuel efficient engine. Heading off-road remains a priority for the Tacoma, which now comes with crawl control, an automated throttle and braking system that handles the truck’s gas and brake while off-road so the driver can focus on wheel placement.
Over at GM, the emphasis for its small truck is on towing with the introduction of the Colorado and Canyon diesel. Powered by a small Duramax diesel engine with 369 lb-ft of torque, these midsize trucks can pull 7,700 pounds and achieve 31 mpg on the highway. Each diesel-equipped truck comes with an integrated trailer brake controller and a diesel exhaust brake, showing this truck’s focus on pulling trailers.
What’s next in Trucks?
Ford’s new F-150 Raptor will be a big deal when it arrives in 2016 as a 2017 model year truck. It will come sporting a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo engine that will make more than 410 horsepower.
Now that the redesigned Nissan Titan has been revealed, expect the Nissan Frontier to eventually be redesigned, though it may not happen until 2017/2018.