Chevy and Ram are launching new pickup trucks this year to take on Ford -- here's what to expect

Ford
  • Ford, Chevy, and Ram will have revamped full-size pickup trucks in the US market.
  • The stage is set for an epic battle among these hot-selling rides.
  • The main contest will be between the Ford and Chevy, but don’t discount the Ram’s appeal.

Last year, Ford enjoyed its first year of full sales for its new F-150 pickup truck. The bestselling vehicle in the US for over four decades, the F-150 along with the rest of the F-Series will close out 2017 with nearly a million in total sales.

Last year began with a bumpy start for the F-150 as Ford brought the new truck – assembled with lightweight aluminium – to market. Crosstown rival General Motors and its Chevy division will likely face the same thing in 2018 with its own full-size pickup, the Silverado. The new truck, usually America’s second-best-selling vehicle, will debut in a few weeks at the Detroit auto show and go on sales later this year.

A third combatant will also take the field: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram brand will also unveil a new 1500 pickup in Motown.

Obviously, the stage is set for an epic pickup-truck battle in 2018. So how do these three champions stack up against each other?


The 2018 F-150.

Ford

The F-Series has technically been around since 1948. In 2015, Ford rolled out the thirteenth iteration for the 2015 model year and undertook a massive risk with the redesign, using lightweight aluminium in place of steel to shed hundred of pounds and improve fuel economy.

We reviewed the truck when it came out and were impressed. So far, the new F-150 has been a big success for Ford: just 100,000 shy of a million were sold in 2017 (if years had 13 months, the F-150 would have almost hit that mark).

This full-size pickup starts at $US28,000 and received a mid-cycle design refresh for 2018. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the vehicle.

The F-150 is pretty much the platonic ideal of a full-size pickup. With a crew-cab setup, it can easily haul around a work team of a family of five. The bed is large enough to move an entire small apartment or tackle almost any home improvement project.

If you spend the money, you can up the tech and luxe factors, making the F-150 quite plush and equipping it with 21st-century infotainment and driver-assist features.

Ford’s total towing capacity is best-in-class for 2018, at 13,500 lbs.

Correction: I misread the towing stats for an earlier version of this post and wrongly accused F-150 of being able to tow less than it now can!


The 2019 Silverado.

Chevy

Behold the 2019 Silverado! The auto industry will get it first real look in Detroit in a few weeks, but Chevy did a pre-reveal in Dallas in late 2017.

Chevy’s truck line dates back a century, a fact that the brand touted when it presented the new Silverado. This pickup’s legacy isn’t quite as long as the F-Series: the Silverado can trace its DNA to the early 1960s, and the nameplate itself arrived in the late 1990s and is now headed into its fourth generation.

Chevy hasn’t yet announced pricing for the Silverado, but the previous-gen starts at about $US28,000, although most pickups buyers choose better-optioned and more expensive trim levels.

The current Silverado’s towing capacity is a bit lower than Ford’s when maxed out, and capacity for the 2019 model hasn’t yet been announced. Where the new Silverado should truly shine is with its 4G LTE wifi connection and its easy-to-use infotainment system. The styling of the new pickup is also quite sleek.


The 2019 Ram 1500.

FCA

The current model is the pickup in the photo because we haven’t yet gotten an official shot of the new Ram.

The base Ram 1500, at $US27,000, is a bit cheaper than the F-150 or the Silverado, and that pricing should carry over to the new truck.

The Ram has its fans – half a million units are sold a year – but it’s the third-place pickup, and really the fourth, if you consider that GM also uses the Silverado platform as the GMC Sierra. What has traditionally helped it stand out is super-aggressive, big-rig styling, a suave interior, and a more sophisticated suspension than the Ford or the Chevy.

The current Ram’s towing capacity is less than the 2018 F-150 or the current Silverado. We’ll see if it’s improved on the new truck.

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