2018 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 new in the pickup field for 2018, but GM's Silverado/Sierra twins and the RAM1500 are both in the last year of their current forms.  

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

2018 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra

 


 

 

What’s new
New custom trim level on the Silverado is about all that is news for this pickup platform for 2018. 
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 imperceptibly 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 instrumentation 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
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 Crew cab: all-wheel drive will set you back anywhere from $3700 to $3800 depending on the model. Moving from a regular cab to a double cab costs from $4805 to $6150. Upgrading from the double cab to the crew cab with four real doors costs from $2600 to $4525. On the crew cab body style, moving up from the WT to the LS and from there to the Custom trim is reasonably priced. Upgrading from the LS to the 1LT and from there to the 2LT are overpriced. The 1LZ and 2LZ trims are overpriced and the High Country range topper is priced at nearly twice the amount  of the value of its equipment. 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 than it used to be. The GMC Sierra variant of this platform is priced a bit higher than a similarly equipped Silverado. Good value leasing. GM will be phasing in a new-generation of pickups in the summer of 2018, which may lead to big rebates and rich incentives to clear out the current generation truck. 


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 than other trucks in this segment other than the Nissan Titan. 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:  15.6L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 11.6L/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: 


2018 Ford F-150

 

 

 

What’s new
The F-150 undergoes a mid-cycle update for 2018 including revised styling and a cabin refresh. The base engine this year is a normally-aspirated 3.3L V6; with the 2.7L and 3.5L V6 turbos and the 5L V8 return. A ten-speed automatic transmission is featured on all but the 3.3L V6 engine for 2018. An auto stop-start system is standard this year. Ford has announced that a diesel engine will become available but no details were available as of April 2018.  

Comments
While the new F-150 may have a typical pickup look, it actually has a radical aluminum body that weighs around 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 3.3L 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 design, 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, while improved for 2018, still looks shabby compared to the cabins of the RAM and the Silverado/Sierra twins.  Range topping models feature sumptuous leather upholstery which co-exists uneasily with cheap fittings common to all models. Regardless 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. Some mind-blowing rebates and incentives are available on the F-150 which can radically alter the actual monthly payment or transaction price of the truck. Reasonable value leasing. 


Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. The general body shop community is unfamiliar with repair of aluminum 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)*, 3.3L-V6 (290 HP), 3.5L-V6 T (375 HP and 450 HP), 5L-V8 (385 HP)

Transmissions: 6A, 10A*
Drive Layout: Rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy: 12.6L/100 km
Highway fuel economy: 9.8L/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: 


2018 Nissan Titan

 

 

 

What’s new
Midnight Edition replaces the SV Premium. Fender side grilles eliminated. Numerous minor trim and packaging changes. The powertrain warranty is now five years/160,000 for 2018.

Performance
A 5.6L V8 is the sole engine available on the 1500 version of the Titan. This engine provides ample power and torque, and while quieter than it was in the old Titan, it is still omnipresent inside the truck. High fuel consumption. The Titan's sevens-speed automatic transmission shifts well but can be reluctant to kick down a gear. Unladen, the rear suspension is very stiff, a long-time pickup truck failing that most other makers have at this point managed to eliminate. The suspension of the Titan smoothes out with a heavy load or when towing a trailer. Predictable steering, but some drivers found steering effort higher than expected at low speeds. Braking is very good but pedal effort is high. The multi-view camera on the APA's Titan tester delivers a great view of the vehicle and its environment, making this gigantic vehicle easier to place. 

Comments
The Titan's cabin is dominated by a massive dashboard that seems to be part and parcel of vehicles in this segment. Logically arrayed and easy to operate controls. Large, comfortable and very welcoming front seats. The rear seat of the Titan is as roomy as that of GM's Silverado-Sierra twins but its seat is more comfortable. 

Pricing
The base S trim is offered only with the regular cab body style and is exclusively rear-wheel drive. This configuration has little appeal for mainstream buyers but allows Nissan to advertise a low MSRP to entice buyers into the showroom. Massive price jump of $8600 between the base S and the regular cab SV with all-wheel drive. Moving up from an SV all-wheel drive with the regular cab to the king cab costs $4000, but migrating from there to the crewcab costs just $1500. The SV Premium trim upgrade on the king cab body is a bargain. On crewcab models, the SV, Midnight Edition and Pro 4X trims are very good value. Pro 4X Luxury and Platinum Reserve models are overpriced. 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 (390 HP)

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, 5/160,000
Country of Origin: United States

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating:


2018 RAM 1500

 


 

 

What’s new
A Tungsten limited edition model is new for 2018. The VM Motori 3L turbodiesel returns for 2018. A new-generation RAM was shown at the Detroit show in 2018 and should be available by the summer of 2018.

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 visiblility. 

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 was suspended due to emissions issues but is available once again. 


Pricing
Vast model range with multiple body types, drive systems, engines and a bewildering number of trim variants. Migrating from the club cab to the crew cab costs from $1700 to $2700 on most trims. Four-wheel drive costs $3600 on most crew cab 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. Most trim upgrades are reasonable value; with the Sport and Laramie being worth taking if you like the equipment in the upgrades. The 3L V6 turbodiesel, at $4300, is a very expensive option. Good value leasing as of April 2018. 


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 require more frequent service after several Canadian winters. An extended warranty from FCA is recommended if you plan to keep this truck past the powertrain 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), 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: 


2018 Toyota Tundra

 


 

 

What’s new
Mid-cycle update including revised frontal styling. The regular body style and TRD Pro trim variant have been discontinued. New TRD Sport package on four-wheel drive models. Numerous package and packaging changes. Toyota's Safety Sense-P active safety suite is standard for 2018.   
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 smoothes out with a load in the tailgate or when pulling a trailer. Good brakes. Good visibility.

Comments
Sales of the Toyota Tundra pale in comparison with those of its domestic-branded rivals.   

Pricing
Offered on the SR DoubleCab 4.6L, the SR5 upgrade brings a lot of equipment to the Tundra but is a bit overpriced. Upgrading from a DoubleCab SR 4.6 to a 5.7L SR5 Plus is very expensive. Upgrading from the double cab to a crewcab costs an extra $1600 to $1900. Four-wheel drive commands a $4200 supplement over the rear-wheel drive model with the same equipment. The SR5 Plus trim and crewcab Platinum are good. 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: 18.2L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 14.2L/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

2018 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

 

 

 

What’s new
Colorado: ActiveTow helps a driver align the truck with a trailer is standard with all engines except for the 2.5L. Chevrolet's MyLink audio system with a seven inch screen and a reverse camera are standard on all trims this year. A Shoreline special edition is available on the crewcab models this year. Colorado: a low fluid windshield washer reservoir is standard on all trims for 2018. 

Performance
The Colorado and Canyon are more pleasant day-day driving trucks than its closest competitor, the Toyota Tacoma. The 3.6L V6 delivers better mid-range response than the V6 in the Toyota Tacoma but is a tad noisier and is as thirsty with a litre of fuel. The eight-speed automatic transmission upshifts well but needs a firm nudge to generate a downshift. Nicely weighted steering. The expensive 2.5L turbodiesel is very noisy and expensive. Reasonable ride quality for a body-on-frame truck with a live rear axle. 

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 competitor 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 $1600 to $2600 on rear-wheel drive variants and from $1400 to $2875 on all-wheel drive versions. Opting for all-wheel drive on the either body style costs from $3850 to $4105. 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 $4000 to $4585 option on crew cab variants. The base Canyon is priced $700 higher than the equivalent Colorado but the high end Canyon Denali can cost up to $8300 more than the priciest Colorado. Leasing was not available in the spring of 2018.  

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. 

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:  14.1L/100 km
Highway City Economy: 10.0L/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: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


 

2018 Honda Ridgeline

 

 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for 2018.

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
The Honda Ridgeline Touring is priced about the same as a Toyota Tacoma crewcab with V6 and all-wheel drive. Moving up from the base Ridgeline LX trim to the Sport reflects the value of the content included in the upgrade. The EX-L trim is overpriced but the range-topping Touring trim is priced to reflect the value of its additional equipment. The Black Edition doesn't seem to offer anything to justify its additional expense. The Ridgeline was in very short supply for about a year after its launch but availability is much better now. Exceptional value leasing for 2018.

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
The Toyota Safety Sense-P active safety suite is standard on the Tacoma for 2018. The TRD Sport trim now includes leather upholstery. The cargo bed on the Limited model is shorter than last year. 

Performance
The Tacoma's 3.5L V6 lacks torque below 3000 rpm, and accelerates in a leisurely fashion when pulling a trailer. The manual transmission on our TRD test unit was hampered by a long-travel gearchange and a heavy clutch that make urban driving less pleasurable than it could be. The Tacoma's ride is turbulent when unladen; morphing to overly compliant at other times. Unlike its on-road behaviour, the Tacoma's suspension is very supple and capable off road. Braking effort is difficult to modulate and the truck dives in hard stops, but overall stopping performance is competitive within its segment.    
Comments
In a market segment where identity is important, the Tacoma is instantly recognizable as a Toyota truck. The Tacoma's cabin is practical and useable but its design is blocky and cabin materials are distressingly cheap looking. Cabin access is hampered by a high door sill and a low roof due to a cabin that is shallow from the floor to the roof. The front seats are comfortable but the seats are mounted low to the floor and the seating position is oddly similar to that of a sporty car. 

Pricing
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. The TRD Pro and Limited trim upgrades are overpriced. There are essentially no deals on Tacomas to lessen the transaction price of the truck. Exceptional value leasing. 

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: G

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: