2017 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 all-purpose family use vehicle. 

There is litle news in the pickup field for 2017 except for the release of the mainstream version of the new-generation Nissan Titan. 

A note about mileage figures: The APA's is using the Canada EnerGuide fuel economy figures once again as they were avaiable at the beginning of the 2017 model year. 

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

2017 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

 


 

 

What’s new
Silverado and Sierra: A Teen driver feature allows parents to monitor the use of their vehicles is new for 2017, as is capless fueling. Low speed forward auto braking has been added to the Enhanced Alert package for 2017 Tri-Motor power running boards that can slide rearward to gain access to the tailgate are a new option this year. 

Performance
The 5.3L V8 is smooth, flexible and quiet and will suit most users. With the audio system off and the truck at idle, drivers can detect an interesting 'ping' from the engine every second or so. The variable cylinder shut-off technology is quite transparent to the user but does deliver reasonable fuel economy. The automatic transmissions shift inperceptibly but the new eight speed doesn't appear to deliver better rear-world fuel economy than the previous six speed. Good handling and roadholding. The strong brakes have good pedal feel but are very heavy, which can be fatiguing in urban traffic. Smooth, quiet operation. Small exterior mirrors.  Most occupants thought that the seats very comfortable but some drivers find them a bit soft and a less thickly padded than key rivals. Good rear legroom with the crew cab body style, but again, space is less abundant than in key competitors. Rear seat head restraints are very skimpy. Good driving position. Elegant instrumenation and the various controls are fashioned from very attractive materials. GM's pickup cabins feature the best appointments in this segment. The audio system in top-end versions of this platform delivered astoundingly good sound. 
Comments
The Sierra outsold the Silverado by about 5000 units in 2016. Combined, GM's duo outsell the RAM 1500 pickup, but are comprehensively outsold by the Ford F150. Selling two versions of the same platform is an expensive way to market a product.  
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 $3700 to $4300 depending on the model. Moving from a single cab to a double cab costs from $4200 to $4600. Upgrading from the double cab to the crew cab with four real doors costs from $2200 to $2600. The 4.3L V6 is standard on base models with the 5.3L V8 available with most configurations. The big 6.2L V8 is offered on more models this year. Leasing, not offered at the beginning of the model year, turned out to be good value once it showed up. 
Reliability
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. Unproven eight-speed automatic transmission.  

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:  15L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 10.7L/100 km
Additional airbags: None
Active safety equipment: Available lane departure and forward collision warnings and low-speed forward auto braking

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/160,000
Country of Origin: United States and Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2017 Ford F-150

 

 

 

What’s new
Updated 3.5L V6 turbo that is hooked up to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. An STX appearance package is new for 2017. Ford showed a 2018 F-150 at the Detroit show in January but it won't go on sale until the fall of 2017. 

Comments
While the new F-150 may have a typical pickup look, it actually has a radical aluminum body that weighs around 360 kilograms (about 700 pounds) less than its conventional 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 is quick, flexible but sounds coarse when pushed. Nicely weighted and geared steering. Good ride and handling compromise for a truck that is used as a passenger vehicle but the truck quickly loses its composure when asked to tow anything. 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 desigh, fit and finish as well as apparent structural integrity. The F-150 has progressed little with the new model in these areas and the interior features a blocky design, decidedly subpar materials with hard, scratchy plastics and rough cloth upholstery. Range topping models feature sumptuous leather upholstery but this co-exists uneasily with cheap fittings common to all models. Ragardless of its deficiencies, Ford seems to have a lock on this segment, with the F-150 outselling the RAM and GM's duo by a big margin. 
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 upgrades 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. 

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. The pre-update (revised for 2017) version of Ford's 3.5L V6 EcoBoost turbo engine had an unenviable reputation for durability. An extended warranty may be a good idea if you plan to keep your 2.7L or 3.5L V6 turbos 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 (282 HP), 3.5L-V6 T (375 HP), 5L-V8 (385 HP)

Transmissions: 6A, 10A
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
The mainstream 1500 Titan went 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, a single cab followed; with a club cab expected sometime during the 2017 model year.  A 5.6L V8 hooked up to a seven-speed automatic transmission is the sole powertrain at launch but Nissan notes that a gasoline V6 is an evenutality. 

Pricing
Trim level upgrades are overpriced, with the SL model particularly expensive considering the additonal equipment that comes with the model. Four-wheel drive, standard on crew cab models, is packaged with a trim upgrade from S to SV, for $6652, about $2500 of which can be attributed to additional equipment. Moving from a four-wheel drive regular cab SV to its equivalent crew cab body style costs $6500. Very good value leasing. 
Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Some reports have been received regarding underperforming electrical equipment such as heated seats, steering wheel and rear window defrosters as well as rough sliding power seats and problems with the sensors for the active safety features. 
 

 

Specifications


Body Style: Extended cab, crew cab

Occupants: 2, 2/3


Engines:
5.6L-V8 (400 HP, estimated)

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

City Fuel Economy: 15.2L/100 km
Highway fuel economy: 11.1L/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: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


RAM 1500

 


 

 

What’s new
A micron cabin air filter is standard this year.

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 is a feature of 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. However, diesel sales are currently suspended. 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. Two main engines, a 3.6L V6 and a 5.7L V8, are available. Availability of the VM Motori 3L V6 diesel is currently suspended due to emissions issues.  


Pricing
Vast model range with multiple body types, drive systems, engines and a bewildering number of trim variants. Depending on the version, moving from a regular cab to a club cab costs anywhere from $4000 to $8000. Migrating from the club cab to the crew cab costs $1700 on most trims but is $2700 on the four-wheel drive ST model. Four-wheel drive costs $4000 on most variants. Very good value upgrade from the ST to SXT trims. The SLT lacks equipment for the money asked but the Outdoorsman trim is a bargain. The Big Horn model is priced to reflect the value of its extra content but the Sport trim is overpriced. Of the more luxurious models, the Laramie, Longhorn and Limited, only the Laramie is good value. Sales of the V6 turbodiesel were suspended for potential emissions non-compliance early in the 2017 model year.


Reliability
Predicted reliability is average to below average. The diesel engine, supplied by FCA company VM Motori is unproven. Reports have emerged about a condition called Hydraulic Lock disabling a number of engines, and some owners have experienced 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 (240 HP, not offered currently), 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: 16.1L/100 km
Highway fuel economy:  11.5L/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: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: M

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Toyota Tundra

 


 

 

What’s new
Four-wheel drive: Heated seats are standard on the SR5 trim. Rear-wheel drive: New extended cab SR5 model. Revised equipment groups and options. 
Performance
The Tundra's 5.7L V8 is strong and flexible but is noisy; with its exhaust system being excessively loud. 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
Toyota sold over 11,000 Tundras in Canada in 2016, which pales in comparison with the nearly 90,000 RAM pickups sold last year.  

Pricing
Moving from a regular to a double cab costs around $5000 if you account for the equipment included in the SR5 Plus package. Upgrading from the double cab to a crewcab costs an extra $1700 to $2200. Replacing the 4.6L V8 with a 5.7L V8 costs about $2300. Four-wheel drive commands a $4100 supplement over the rear-wheel drive model with the same equipment. The SR5 Plus trim models are good value, as are the TRD Off Road and Crewmax Platinum trims. Overpriced TRD Pro model. 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: 13.9L/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. Front: M

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: A

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Midsize Pickups

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

 

NEW

 

 

What’s new
Colorado and Canyon: Revised 3.6L V6 with direct injection and active fuel management sends its power to the wheels via a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Teen Driver feature allows parents to monitor the use of their vehicle. Colorado: LT and Z71 trims powered by the V6 engine now employ an autotrac transfer case. Canyon: A Denali trim level, All Terrain X and Nightfall editions are new for 2017.  

Comments
Having abandoned the midsize pickup market at the end of the 2012 model year General Motors returned to the segment with a new entry marketed under both the Chevrolet and GMC banners. Though referred to as midsize, GM's duo and their only other competitior in the segment, the Toyota Tacoma, would have been considered fullsize a decade ago. Compared with GM's fullsize pickups, the wheelbase of the Colorado/Canyon is up to 387 mm (15.2 inches) shorter, with overall length being up to 440 mm (17.3 inches) less. Compared with the Tacoma, GM's twins are over 400 mm (15.7 inches) 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 two automatic transmissions, a six-speed with the gasoline and diesel fours and an eight-speed with the V6, are available. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional regardless of engine.

Pricing
Looking at the Colorado, moving up from an extended body style to a crew cab costs from $3075 to $4375 on rear-wheel drive variants and from $2875 to $3125 on all-wheel drive versions. Opting for all-wheel drive on the extended cab costs from $4305 to $5100 and from $2865 to $4105 on the crew cab models. The V6 engine is a $1050 to $1365 option on rear-wheel drive Colorados and is standard on all-wheel drive versions of the truck. The 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine is a $4390 to $4585 option on crew cab variants. High value leasing for 2017. 

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:  Extended cab, crew cab
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.5L-4 (200 HP), 2.8L-4 TD (181 HP)*, 3.6L-V6 (305 HP)

Transmissions: 6M, 6A*, 8A
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive
City Fuel Economy:  12.1L/100 km
Highway City Economy: 8.4L/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: NR

Side: NR

Roof: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: 


 

2017 Honda Ridgeline

 

NEW

 

 

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

Comments
Though the original Ridgeline was perceived as a marketing failure in some circles, it easily outsold 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. 

Honda has dropped the unique styling of the first Ridgeline for a conventional pickup appearance that gives no hint of its unibody design. The crew cab body of the new Ridgeline shares a lot of elements with the related Honda Pilot and its cabin is Pilot derived 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 on top-end versions of the truck is a gigantic, waterproof speaker. Except for its 81 mm (3.2 inches) 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 Ridgeline, 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: Crew cab
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:  12.8L/100 km
Highway City Economy: 9.5L/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: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


Toyota Tacoma

 


 

 

What’s new
Colour-keyed fender flares are standard on all trims this year. A Tacoma 4x4 double cab V6 TRD Off-Road edition is new for 2017. A power sliding rear window is a feature on TRD Off-Road and Limited trims for 2017. 

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 (V6). All-wheel drive is offered with either body style. The crew cab version is roomy and comfortable. Sales were up about 25 percent, to around 12,700, in 2016, about the same as the combined total of GM's Canyon-Colorado duo.  

Pricing
Bewildering array of variants at price supplements that are not always logical. Extravagantly priced automatic transmission option on the 4x4 access cab model and double cab TRD PRO packages. Replacing the 2.7L four for the 3.5L V6 in the access cab model costs only $1655. Fantastic value Limited double cab V6 trim upgrade and TRD Offroad package. 
Moving up from an access (two big doors with jump seats) Cab SR5 V6 to a double cab (four front hinged doors) SR5 V6 costs only $1240. 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:  Extended (Access), crew cab (Double cab)
Occupants:  2/3
Engines:
2.7L-4 (159 HP), 3.5L-V6 (278 HP)*

Transmissions: 5M, 6A*
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy:  13.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 10.7L/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: NR

Rear: NR

NHTSA Rating: