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. 

Ford's F150 was all new for 2015 so enjoys just  minor tweaks this year. GM's Silverado/Sierra duo enjoy a mid-cycle refresh including styling, mechanical and equipment updates. The RAM pickup line remains unchanged for 2016. Nissan introduced a new Titan but is is only beeing sold as a heavy-duty premium priced vehicle so is not included in this section devoted to mainstream and compact pickups. GM did very well with its new Canyon/Colorado twins last year but GM will face off against the new Toyota Tacoma in 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      

2016 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

 


 

 

 

What’s new
The 5.3L V8 is now hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. MyLink (Chevrolet) and Intellilink (GMC) are now compatible with Apple CarPlay-Android Auto. Revised frontal styling on both nameplates. Silverado: now available with xenon headlamps. Sierra: now offered with L.E.D. headlights. 

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 and powertrain combinations Silverado: all-wheel drive will set you back anywhere from $3600 to $4300 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 crew cab. 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. Good value leasing.  
Reliability
New model, not rated. The normally-aspirated engines with their simpler cylinder deactivation technology will likely be more durable than the complex and sometimes troublesome V6 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 during the 2016 model year. Unproven eight-speed automatic transmission. Free oil changes (up to four changes, based on oil life monitor in the car) for two years or 40,000 kilometers.

Specifications


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: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


2016 Ford F-150

 

 

 

 

What’s new
Pro-Trailer option helps guide a trailer into a parking spot. The BlackBerry designed Sync3 infotainment system replaces the previous Microsoft designed apparatus. Special Edition versions of the XLT and Lariat. 

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 F-150 has progressed little with the new model in these areas and thus feels downmarket and behind the times compared to 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 varying prices up and down the model lineup. Reaonable value leasing. Ford offers some compelling incentives on the F150.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. The general bodyshop community is unfamiliar with repair of aluminim structures and repairs are expected to take longer than those performed on a conventional steel vehicle; this will increase costs and possibly insurance premiums as well. Ford's 3.5L V6 EcoBoost turbo engine has an unenviable 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.

Specifications


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: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Nissan Titan

 

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
Mainstream half ton Titan goes on sale as a 2017 model in the summer of 2016.

Comments
Nissan finally showed its mainstream Titan 1500 pickup at the New York show in March 2016, more than a year after it debuted the premium priced, diesel-exclusive Titan HD. Initially only available in the popular crew cab body with a choice of 5.5, 6.5 and 8 foot cargo boxes, King Cab (club cab) and Single Cab (regular cab) bodies should follow. A 5.6L V8 is hooked up to a seven-speed automatic transmission is the sole powertrain at launch but Nissan notes a gasoline V6 is an evenutality. The Titan goes on sale late in the summer of 2016.

Pricing
No pricing details are available at this time.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated.

Specifications


Body Style: Crewcab
Occupants: 2, 2/3
Engines:
5.6L-V8 (400 HP, estimated)

Transmissions: 7A*
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: n.aL/100 km
Highway fuel economy: n.aL/100 km
Additional airbags: No info available
Active safety equipment: No info available

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: Not Rated


RAM 1500

 


 

 

 

What’s new
A new Rebel trim level and a revised centre console are the only changes for 2016.

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 fairly heavy loads for towing. Low fuel consumption for such a big vehicle with this engine. Except when a little extra acceleration is requested, the V6 diesel is smooth and quiet. The RAM is the only 1500 series light-duty pickup to offer a diesel option. The steering is nicely geared but requires more effort than some drivers are comfortable with and lacks any road feel. Compliant, plush ride for a pickup with the tested air suspension, but it blunts cornering response a bit. 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 supplements for the Sport and Bighorn trims reflect the value of their extrra equipment. SLT, Outdoorsman, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn packages are overpriced.  With rear-wheel-drive, moving from a regular cab to a Quad cab (occasional second-row seat accessed by small flip out doors) costs $6700 in the ST and $4800 in the SLT. Moving up from Quad cab to the Crew cab costs an extra $1600 regardless of trim level. On four-wheel-drive models, the Quad cab costs from $3500 $ to $4800 extra and moving from there to the Crew Cab bumps the price an additional $1300 to $2900. Four-wheel-drive costs $4000 more on most models. At $5700, the 3 L V6 diesel is an expensive option compared with the base engine.

Reliability
Predicted reliability is average to below average. The diesel engine, supplied by FCA company VM Motori is unproven, with reports emerging of a condition called Hydraulic Lock disabling a number of engines as well as disturbing reports of outright engine failures. Replacing the diesel engine requires the cab of the truck being removed from the chassis. Air suspensions generally cost more to repair and requiremore frequent service after several Canadian winters. An extended warranty from FCA is recommended if you plan to keep this truck past the powertain warranty period, especially is equipped with the diesel engine.

Specifications


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: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: NR

Roof: M

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Toyota Tundra

 


 

 

 

What’s new
The towing package on the 5.7L models include trailer brake controller and a 144 litre fuel tank. 

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
Stepping up from a regular cab to a double cab (rear flip-out doors and rear jump seats) costs around $5400. Trading up from a double to a Cremax (crew cab) cost from $1650 to about $2000. Replacing the 4.7L V8 with the 5.7L witll set you back around $2300. When not aleady standard, four-wheel drive is priced at about $2300. Compared with the base trim the SR5 delivers a truck equipped to suit most owners at a price that reflects the value of it extra content. The SR5 Plus trim upgrade is good value and though the Platinum trim is very expensive, it is tremendous value when compared with the SR5 Plus. Exceptional 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. 

Specifications


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: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic monitors.
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Midsize Pickups

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

 

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
A 2.8L four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is a new option for 2016. Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system is now compatible with Apple CarPlay. 

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. Three engines, a 200 horsepower 2.5L four, a 305 horsepower 3.6L V6 and 2.8L turbodiesel four with 181 horsepower and a stump-pulling 369 lb-ft of torque, 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. Free oil changes (up to four changes, based on oil life monitor in the car) for two years or 40,000 kilometers.

Specifications


Body Style:  4SD
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.5L-4 (200 HP), 2.8L-4 TD (181 HP), 3.6L-V6 (305 HP)*

Transmissions: 6M, 6A*
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, four-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: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


Midsize Pickups

2017 Honda Ridgeline

 

NEW

 

 

 

What’s new
After a time out, Honda s Pilot-based second-generation Ridgeline goes on sale in the summer of 2016. 

Comments

Though the original Ridgeline was perceived as a marketing failure in some circles, it easily sold the Nissan Frontier pickup in its best years, and with annual sales in the 3000 unit range, compared reasonably well with the 7000 odd sales registered by the compact pickup market leader, the Toyota Tacoma. The powertrain is the 3.5L V6 hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.

Honda has dropped the unique styling of the first Ridgeline for a conventional pickup appearance that gives no hint of its unibody design. The crewcab body of the new Ridgeline shares a lot of elements with the related Honda Pilot. The cabin uses a lot of Pilot pieces as well. Rear seat space in the Ridgeline is competitive for a midsize pickup. Storage space is ample, including an area under the rear seats that can accommodate golf bags. With the rear seat cushions rotated rearward to rest vertical against the backrest, Ridgeline owners can carry a few bicycles right in the cab with them. The tailgate once again features a drop-down/swing-out tailgate and the under-floor storage bin that were popular with owners of the previous Ridgeline. Trivia alert, Honda notes that the whole bed-liner of the truck is a gigantic, waterproof speaker. Except for its 81 mm greater width and marginally higher roof, the Ridgeline is smaller in all other key dimensions than popular Toyota Tacoma Double Cab. At 714 kilograms, the payload of the new Ridgeline is slightly higher than that of the conventional Tacoma. Towing capacity is around 2272 kg versus up to about 2950 kg for the Tacoma.


Pricing
Like the Toyota Tacoma, the Ridgeline is marketed as a mid-size pickup but is considerably more expensive than its rival from Toyota. The lower trim Sport trim has an MSRP that approaches that of the fully-equipped Tacoma Limited and the top trim, named the Black Edition, is priced around $10,000 more than the top Tacoma. The supplement requested to move up from the base trim to the Sport reflects the value of its extra content very closely. The EX-L and Touring trim upgrades are overpriced. The range-topping Black Edition trim seems to have little content for the money asked. All this may be a moot point as dealers will only be receiving a handful of units each and the limited number of Ridgelines available will likely be sold for full MSRP. The Ridgeline is an impressive lease value.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. The Honda products it is related to are all rated as above average but engine and transmission failures after the powertrain warranty expires are not unknown.

Specifications


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:  13.1L/100 km
Highway City Economy: 9.4L/100 km
Additional airbags: None
Active safety equipment: Available forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings.
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Country of Origin:  United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: NR

Mod. Front: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: Not Rated


Toyota Tacoma

 


 

 

 

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.

Specifications


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: NR

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: M

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: Not Rated