2015-2016 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - Pickup Trucks

Once the purview of farmers and tradesmen, the advent of the crew cab body styles, better driving performance, greater refinement and the proliferation of luxury models has resulted in a new type of buyer who may now chose a pickup truck as a daily commuter and family use vehicle. 

The biggest news in the pickup world for 2016 is the advent of a brand new Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling midsize pickup for many years. Honda's second-generation Ridgeline went on sale as an early 2017 in the spring of 2016 and Nissan will finally put the mainstream version of the second-generation Titan on sale in the summer of 2016. 

A note about mileage figures: The APA's is using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy figures as those form the Canada EnerGuide were not available when this research was being done. 

 

Chevrolet Silverado  GMC Canyon  2016 Nissan Titan  Toyota Tacoma 
Chevrolet Colorado  GMC Sierra  RAM 1500  Toyota Tundra 
Ford F-150      

Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

Specifications


 

 

 

What’s new
The 6.2L V8 is linked to a new eight-speed automatic transmission for 2015. MyLink (Chevrolet) and Intellilink (GMC) offer Siri text messaging this year. OnStar can turn these trucks into 4G LTE WiFi hotspots. Magnetic ride is now optional on the Sierra. Spray-in bedliner is now available.

Performance
The 5.3L V8 is smooth, flexible and quiet and is suitable for most uses. The stiff throttle inhibits smooth take-off from rest. The variable cylinder shut-off technology is quite transparent to the user but does deliver reasonable fuel economy. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts inperceptibly. Good handling and roadholding. The strong brakes have good pedal feel but are very heavy, which can be fatiquing in urban conditions. Smooth, quiet operation.  Small exterior mirrors. In a multi-truck APA test, GMC's duo were judged first in a quartet of pickups that included the (previous-generation), F-150, the Ram 1500 and the Toyota Tundra. Most occupants will find the seats very comfortable but some drivers will find them a bit soft. Good rear legroom and comfortable seats on the crewcab body style. Good driving position. Elegant instrumenation and controls are fashioned from very attractive materials. GM's pickup cabins are the best in the segment.
Comments
The Silverado and the Sierra sell in about equal numbers but combined they sell no more than the Ram 1500 or the F150 do on their own, which is expensive in terms of design, manufacturing and marketing.
Pricing
Massive model range encompasses two namesplates, three body styles and a multitude of wheelbases andpowertrain possibilities All-wheel drive will set you back anywhere from $3600 to $4600 depending on the model. Moving from a single cab to a double cab costs around $4000; with an extra $2000 needed to step up to a crewcab. The 4.3L V6 base engine can be replaced by a 5.3L V8 with cylinder deactivation. The 6.2L V8 is available in top-end models. 
Reliability
New model, not rated. The normally-aspirated engines may prove more durable than the turbo engines used by Ford. The 160,000 km powertrain warranty is the longest in the segment but GM is said to be abandoning this reasuring coverage starting with the 2016 model year. Unproven eight-speed automatic transmission.


Body Style:  Regular cab, extra cab and crew cab
Occupants:  2, 2/3, 3/3
Engines:
4.3L-V6 (285 HP), 5.3L-V8 (355 HP)*, 6.2L-V8 (420 HP)
 
Transmissions: 6A*, 8A 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  14.7L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy: 10.7L/100 km


Additional airbags: None
Active safety equipment: Available lane departure and forward collision warnings

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Ford F-150

Specifications

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
All-new pickup truck range featuring a radical all-aluminum body.

Comments
While the new F-150 may look little different than before, what you are looking at is a radical aluminum body that weighs aroung 320 kilograms (about 700 pounds) less than its predecessor. Like other pickups, the F-150 is offered in a vast variety of wheelbases, cargo bed lengths, body styles and powertrains. The base normally-aspirated 3.5L can be supplemented by a 2.7L V6 turbo, a 3.5L V6 turbo and a 5L normally-aspirated V8.  Rear-wheel drive is standard with four-wheel drive optional.
Driven briefly by the APA, The new 2.7L V6 turbo was quick and flexible. Nicely weighted and geared steering. Good ride and handling compromise for a truck and the brakes get their job done with little drama. There is no sense of the F-150's radical body construction when you drive it. The previous F-150 had fallen behind GM's duo and the Ram in terms of cabin fit and finish as well as apparent structural integrity. The new F-150 has progressed little with the new model in these areas and thus feels downmarket and behind the times compared with its major domestic rivals. The F-150 was the best-selling truck in 2014 but wasn't significantly ahead of the GM duo or the Ram. 
Pricing
Three body styles, various wheelbases and cargo bed lengths that can be powered by a number of powertrains make for a bewildering model range. Trim updgrades are very expensive for what you get. All-wheel drive, standard on King Ranch and Platinum models, is optional at multiple price points up and down the model lineup. Good value leasing.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. The general body shop community is unfamiliar with repair of aluminim structures and repairs are expected to take longer than those performed on a conventional steel vehicle and thus increase costs and insurance premiums as well. Ford's EcoBoost turbo engines haven't yet secured an enviable reputation for durability. An extended warranty may be a good idea if you plan to keep your EcoBoost F-150 past the five year/100,000 powertrain warranty.


Body Style:  Regular cab, extra cab and crew cab
Occupants:  2, 2/3, 3/3
Engines:
2.7L-V6 T (325 HP)*, 3.5L-V6 (283 HP), 3.5L-V6 T(365 HP), 5L-V8 (385 HP)
 
Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.1L/100 km

Highway fuel economy: 10.2L/100 km


Additional airbags: Standard
Active safety equipment: Available adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 



2017 Nissan Titan

Specifications

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
The second-generation mainstream Titan goes on sale in the summer of 2016.

Comments
Nissan finally showed its mainstream Titan 1500 pickup more than a year after it debuted the premium priced, diesel-exclusive Titan HD. Initially only available in the popular crew cab body style with 5.5, 6.5 and 8 foot cargo bed lenghts. King Cab (club cab) and Single Cab (regular cab) bodies should follow eventually. A 5.6L V8 is hooked up to a seven-speed automatic transmission is the sole powertrain for the vehicle launch but Nissan noted that a V6-engined variant will be available at some point. The Titan goes on sale in the summer of 2016.

Pricing
No pricing details are known about the 2017 Titan.

Reliability
New model, not rated.


Body Style:  Regular cab, extra cab and crew cab.

Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
5.6L-V8 (400 HP estimated)
 
Transmissions: 7A 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive

City Fuel Economy:  n/a

Highway Fuel Economy:n/a


Additional Airbags: n/a
Active Safety Equipment: n/a

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: N/R

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: Not Rated



RAM 1500

Specifications


 

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2015

Performance
Hooked up to a slick shifting, responsive eight-speed automatic transmission, the base 3.6L V6 is strong, smooth and flexible. The V6 easily copes with big loads to tow. Low fuel consumption for such a big vehicle. Except when a little extra acceleration is requested, the V6 diesel is smooth and quiet. The RAM is the only 1500 pickup that offers a diesel option. The steering is nicely geared but requires more effort than some drivers are comfortable with and lacks any road feel. Good visiblity. 

Comments
A nearly infinite number of body, cargo bed and mechanical units are available on the RAM.

Pricing
Good value SXT trim upgrade. The price supplement for the Sport and Bighorn trims reflect the value of theyr extrra equipment. SLT, Outdoorsman, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn packages are overpriced. Upgrading from a regular cab to a quad cab costs $3600 on the ST and $4400 on the SLT. The diesel costs $5600 more than the gasoling V6.

Reliability
Not rated. The diesel engine, supplied by FCA company VM Motori is unproven, and some reports emerged in the winter of 2015 regarding a condition called Hydraulic Lock, which disabelled a number of engines. Unproven air suspension. An extended warranty from FCA is recommended if you plan to keep this truck past the powertain marranty period.


Body Style: Regular cab, extra cab and crew cab
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
3L-V6 TD (3.6L-V6 (240 HP), 3.6L-V6 (305 HP), 5.7L/100 km (395 HP)
 
Transmissions: 6A, 8A* 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 14.7L/100 km

Highway fuel economy:  10.2L/100 km


Additional airbags: None
Active Safety Equipment: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: N/R

Roof: M

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: Not rated



Toyota Tundra

Specifications


 

 

 

What’s new
Equipment and package changes for 2015.

Performance
The Tundra's 5.7L V8 is strong and flexible but lacks refinement. Goo isn't the quietest unit and intrudes into the cabin. Good handling overall but the rear suspension can become unstable and some steering wheel shimmy can be felt when in all-wheel drive mode. The automatic transmission works very well in normal driving but needs to downshift frequently to maintain momentum when driven hard. The Tundra's ride is stiff and bouncy when lightly laden but smooths out with a load in the tailgate or when pulling a trailer. Good brakes. Good visibility.

Comments
The revised Tundra enjoyed a spike in sales during 2014 to about 10,000 units, which pales in comparison with the 90,000 or so units sold by the Silverado-Sierra, F-150 and RAM.

Pricing
Good value SR5, SR5 Plus and Technology package. The TRD model is priced to reflect the value of its content. Good value leasing.

Reliability
Good reliability predicted as the power units were used in the pre-facelift version of the Tundra were reliable. Previous Tundra models were susceptible to rust so an oil-based anti-corrosion treatment is recommended. 


Body Style:  Access (extended) cab, crew (Double) cab.

Occupants:  2/2, 2/3

Engines:4.6L-V6 (310 HP), 5.7L (381 HP)*

 
 
Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  18.1L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy: 13.8L/100 km


Additional Airbags: Knee airbags for both front occupants
Active Safety Equipment: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


 

Midsize Pickups

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

Specifications

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
Though as big as a full-sized truck was two decades ago, GM's new duo are sold as midsize trucks. 

Comments
Having abandoned the midsize pickup market at the end of the 2012 model year General Motors returns to the segment with a new entry marketed under both the Chevrolet and GMC banners. Though referred to as midsize, GM's duo and the only other competitior in the segment, the Toyota Tacoma, would have been considered fullsize a few years ago. Compared with GM's fullsize pickups, the wheelbase of the Colorado/Canyon is up to 387 mm shorter, with overall length being up to 440 mm less. Compared with the Tacoma, GM's twins are over 400 mm longer overall. Available body styles include an extended cab, with rear flipper doors and vestigial rear seats and a crew cab with four forward hinged doors. The crew cab body style is offered in two different cargo bed lengths. Two engines, a 200 horsepower 2.5L four and a 305 horsepower 3.6L V6, are offered. A six-speed manual transmission is available on extended cab models but a six-speed automatic is standard with the crew cab and optional on the extended cab. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional regardless of engine. 

Pricing
Pricing for all-wheel drive and the crew cab body style defy logic. All-wheel drive will set you back anywhere from $1400 to $4100, with the crew cab (5.2 ft box) priced from $1400 to $2500 higher than an extended cab model. With rear-wheel drive, the V6 is priced at $2365 (WT, includes automatic transmission), $1365 (LT) and $1050 (Z71). The supplement for the V6 on all-wheel drive variants is $1365 (WT), $1365 (LT), and $1050 (Z71). Good lease value.  

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Colorado/Canyon will lose its 160,000 km powertyrain warranty after the 2015 model year.


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.4L-4 H (182 HP combined), 3.6L-V6 (303 HP)*
 
Transmissions: 6A* 
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  13.8L/100 km

Highway City Economy: 9.8L/100 km


Additional airbags: None
Active safety equipment: Available forward collision and lane departure warnings. 

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: N/R

Roof: N/R

Rear: N/R

NHTSA Rating: 



Toyota Tacoma

Specifications


 

 

 

What’s new
Formerly optional on the Tacoma 4x2, the Convenience package is now standard.

Comments
The crew cab version of the long-established Tacoma is roughly the same size as its only direct rival, GM's new Colorado/Canyon pickup. The Tacoma is available in both extra (sold as the "Access") cab and crew (sold as "Double") cab body styles. Two engines, a 2.7L four and a 4L V6, are available. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual, a four-speed automatic (2.7L) and a five-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is offered with either body style. The crew cab version is roomy and comfortable. With around 10,000 units sold last year, the Tacoma has been warmly embraced by the buying public. It will be interesting to see whether GM's new Colorado/Canyon will hurt sales of the current Tacoma, which is nearing the end of its run.

Pricing
Price supplements to move from Access cab to Double cab and from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive and from four to six-cylinder power are all so variable as to defy logic. You will just have to pick the particular variant you want and don't ask for any explanations. For the Access cab models, the SR5 package for the rear-wheel driver version is priced to reflect its extra features, but the same package on the four-wheel drive Access cab is an outright bargain. On the Double cab V6, the SR5 package, which includes a towing group, is great value, the TRD Sport group is priced to reflect the value of its contents but the TRD Sport Premium package is priced way beyond its worth. Comparing a rear-wheel drive four-cylinder Tacoma Access cab to a Chevrolet Colorado four-cylinder rear-wheel drive WT model, the Coloroado is a bit cheaper, but the reverse is true when you stack up a Tacoma Double cab V6 against an equivalent Colorado LT. Very good value leasing for the Tacoma.

Reliability
Rated above average. Previous Tacomas have suffered from rusty frames, so an oil-based anti-rust treatment is strongly recommended.


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.7L-4 (159 HP), 4L-V6 (236 HP)*
 
Transmissions: 4A (2.7L), 5A (4L)*, 6M 
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy:  14.7L/100 km

Highway Fuel Economy: 11.2L/100 km


Additional airbags: None

Active safety equipment: None

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000

Country of Origin:  United States

 

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: N/R

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: M

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: