2O18 Pickup Truck Report
New styling, added technology, towing power, cargo capacity and driver comfort are key features of 2018 pickups
Just because you drive a truck for work doesn't mean you don't want to drive in comfort, that's the message being sent by truck manufacturers as a big part of their 2018 offerings. From Ford's upscale and powerful Super Duty Limited to the sporty but rugged midsized Honda Ridgeline, there are a wide range of features in this year's pickups to make driving more comfortable. Plus, there are a number of other advancements and upgrades that you may find appealing when it comes to the selection of a new pickup.
Ford offering luxury along with capability
The F-450 Limited is the newest addition to the Super Duty line and adds technology and comfort that was previously only seen in high-end sedans.
"There are heavy-duty truck customers who need Super Duty-level capability and want true luxury," Eckert said. "We created this new truck to answer the call for even more premium choices in the Super Duty range as we see more and more truck customers trending to more premium models."
Ford has seen more than 50 percent of its Super Duty sales occurring in the high-end range of its trim levels, including the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models; the Limited offers an even greater level of comfort to buyers.
Innovative features are available, including such technologies as Ford's high-definition 360-degree camera with Trailer Reverse Guidance, the BLIS blind spot warning system with trailer coverage, controls such as adaptive cruise control and steering, lane-keeping alerts and forward collision warning with brake support.
Buyers can select their F-Series Super Duty with regular cab, SuperCab or Crew Cab, depending on their seating needs.
Many technological features are also available on other Super Duty trucks, as well, including the F-250 and F-350 in various trims. A variety of cameras, reverse sensing systems, telematics options and more offerings are available either standard or depending on the owners' needs.
The Super Duty Limited crew cab will launch this winter with the 6.7-L Power Stroke turbodiesel V8, one of two engine options available across the entire line, along with the 6.2-l V8 gas engine. The Power Stroke puts out 440 hp and provides drivers with 925 lb.-ft. of torque. When drivers opt for the 6.2-L engine, they can take advantage of 385 hp and 430 lb.-ft. of torque.
F-Series trucks come standard with the TorqShift heavy-duty six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
When it comes to pulling power, Super Duty trucks can trailer up to 32,500 pounds and carry up to 7,630 pounds depending on the trim level and engine configuration.
Cummins diesel provides 30,000-pound fifth-wheel towing capacity for Ram pickup
For Ram, 2018 is about punching up the power of its largest pickup in the heavy-duty segment of its line. The company, which says that it takes heavy-duty towing and hauling seriously, provides positive proof of that with the 2018 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty.
The 3500, paired with a 6.7-L I-6 Cummins diesel engine, pushes the capabilities of the truck to 930 lb.-ft. of torque - on par with the capabilities of Class 4 and 5 trucks. In addition, the company says its new 3500 offers a 30,000-pound fifth-wheel towing capacity, thanks to a newly engineered trailer hitch design.
Working closely with Cummins, the 2018 diesel improvements include higher boost limits through a variable geometry turbo and flow rate increases through the fuel delivery system, enabling the 6.7-L I-6 to produce an additional 30 lb.-ft. of torque. This improvement ranks the Cummins engine ahead of the competition with 930 total lb.-ft. of torque, while maintaining the diesel's hallmark durability and efficiency.
The 30,000-pound fifth-wheel towing uprating is made possible by an in-house hitch design from Ram Engineering. Ram's new hitch will allow customers to move away from Class 4 and 5 trucks to haul trailers that would have otherwise been limited to 24,000 pounds. The truck's conventional hitch maximum weight rating is 20,000 pounds.
Towing and payload power is strong across the Heavy Duty line for Ram trucks; for example, the Ram 2500 pulls up to 17,980 pounds, while the 3500 can haul payloads up to 7,390 pounds. Owners are able to pick their power level, with the Cummins 6.7-L diesel, the 6.4-L HEMI V-8 putting out 410 hp and 429 lb.-ft. of torque, and the 5.7-L HEMI V-8 generating 383 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Ram 2500 offers two rear suspensions: a five-link coil system or air suspension system. The Ram 3500 continues to utilize the rear Hotchkiss leaf spring system and offers a supplemental air suspension system.
For owners looking for a dash of nostalgia and an exciting off-road experience, the venerable Ram Power Wagon has made a return; powered standard by the 5.4-L V-8, the rugged Power Wagon has a unique suspension system that gives it the ability to be a capable production off-road truck.
On the technology side, the 2018 Heavy Duty line offers the Sirius Guardian system, providing such options as SOS, Assist, Remote Services, Send and Go and Vehicle Finder.
A Fleet Telematics Module is also available for more efficient vehicle tracking. Backup cameras are now standard in all models.
Convenience features include a new remote exterior switch located in the truck bed, allowing owners to turn on LED bed lights from outside the truck. Ram trucks are available in either two- or four-wheel-drive; the regular cab is available with an 8-foot bed, crew cab in 6-foot 4-inch or 8-foot lengths, and the Mega Cab with a 6-foot 4-inch bed.
Chevrolet Centennial Editions and 2500HD and 3500HD models
To mark the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet trucks, the company is offering the 2018 Silverado and Colorado Centennial Editions which feature design elements inspired by Chevy Trucks throughout history, including a distinctive Centennial Blue paint colour and exclusive heritage bowtie emblems and 100-year badges inspired by colours and design cues found on early Chevrolet Trucks. The Silverado Centennial Edition is available on the LTZ Z71 crew cab and the Colorado Centennial Edition is offered on Z71 crew and extended cab models.
In the regular lineup for 2018, Chevrolet's Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD have few major changes from last year. The company has added such features as a tire pressure monitor system that now includes a tire fill alert on single-rear-wheel models with GVWR below 10,000 pounds and rear-vision cameras standard on all models with cargo boxes.
Regular, double cab and crew cab models are offered across the lineup. Regular cab models feature an 8-foot box, while double cab and crew cab models are available with 6-foot 6-inch or 8-foot boxes. Single- and dual-rear-wheel configurations are available.
The Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD both have similar features across the line. Chevrolet offers trim levels from Work Truck (WT) through LT and LTZ to the premium High Country, available exclusively in crew cab. There are a number of packages and special edition vehicles available - buyers can opt for everything from a Custom Sport and the all-black Midnight Edition to the Alaskan Edition, which is prepped for snow plow duties right off the lot.
Both the 2500 and 3500 are available with two engine options. Standard is the 6.0-L Vortec V-8, which generates 360 hp and offers 380 lb.-ft. of torque. The popular Duramax 6.6-L turbodiesel V-8, paired with an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission, cranks out 445 hp and produces 910 lb.-ft. of torque.
The power from those two engines means that the Silverado is capable of handling big payloads, whether hauling or towing. For example, the 3500HD with the 6.0-L engine offers a payload up to 4,124 pounds, and trailering capacities of 14,100 pounds (on the ball hitch) or 14,000 pounds (fifth wheel). Using the Duramax diesel, those numbers go up - payload is increased to 5,381 pounds, while the truck can pull 20,000 pounds on the ball hitch and a 23,100-pound load on a fifth wheel.
Safety and driver support comes in the form of a driver alert package that includes Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat and Front and Rear Park Assist (available on LT and LTZ and included on High Country models). A rear-vision camera system is standard.
Toyota takes Tundra forward with all-four-door lineup and new look
For 2018, Toyota has taken a bold step with the Tundra line. The company no longer offers Regular Cab models of its popular full-size pickup, instead focusing on an all-four-door lineup featuring the Double Cab and roomy CrewMax models. In addition, buyers will find the Tundra boasting a new look, a new sport package, and additional safety on all Tundra grades.
The Tundra offers a wide range of configurations, plus a towing capacity of up to 10,200 pounds. New for all models is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P (TSS-P), which includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function, Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.
TSS-P uses millimetre-wave radar and a monocular camera sensor designed to help detect a preceding pedestrian or a preceding vehicle in the surrounding area. Once a pedestrian or vehicle is detected in front of the vehicle, TSS-P can automatically apply braking if necessary to help mitigate or avoid collisions in certain conditions.
New styling has also been introduced for the 2018 model year.
Double Cab models, offered with either a 6.5-foot standard-bed or 8.1-foot long-bed configuration, use forward-hinged rear doors, and offer 34.7 inches of rear seat legroom. CrewMax's longer cab, larger rear doors, and shorter 5.5-foot bed make for 42.3 inches of rear seat legroom. All Tundra beds are 22.2 inches deep and, when properly equipped, offer a payload capacity of up to 1,730 pounds.
The Tundra continues with a choice of two available i-Force V8 engines. The standard 4.6-L i-Force V8 produces 310 hp at 5,600 rpm and 327 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,400 rpm. The popular 5.7-L creates 381 hp at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. Both i-Force V8s utilize an aluminum cylinder block, double overhead-cam heads with four valves per cylinder, Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), and an Acoustic Control Induction System for a broad torque curve.
All Tundra models are equipped with a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
The foundation of Tundra's strength and 10,200-pound max towing capacity is its TripleTech frame. "Triple" refers to the wide, full-boxed rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab and an open C-channel beneath the bed for strength, ride quality and durability.
On Tundra 2WD models, the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system integrates traction control (TRAC) that enhances grip on or off-road. The system also incorporates Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto-LSD), which provides better performance in deep sand or mud and on mixed-friction surfaces because it doesn't restrict engine power. Tundra 4x4 models use the on-demand, electronically controlled 4WDemand part-time 4WD system featuring a six-pinion planetary reduction gear set to provide 4x2, 4x4 Hi and 4x4 Lo ranges.
Heavy-duty GMC Sierra models offer flexibility in boxes, cabs and engines
A range of trim levels are available for buyers considering the heavy-duty 2018 GMC Sierra models; the trucks, available in regular, double and crew cab models, feature 6-foot 6-inch or 8-foot boxes, and the 6.6-L Duramax diesel is available for high horsepower across the line.
New this year are a number of exterior colours, standard rear-vision camera on all models with a cargo box, the addition of tire fill alert in the tire pressure monitor system (on single rear-wheel models with GVWR below 10,000 pounds) and a number of other safety and comfort features.
The Sierra Denali is GMC's top trim level, and is exclusively offered with a crew cab.
An All Terrain HD off-road package is available on the SLT crew cab 4WD models, with spray-on bedliner and off-road suspension with Rancho twin-tube shocks.
The Duramax 6.6-L turbodiesel V-8 provides 445 hp and generates 910 lb.-ft. of torque, providing hefty towing and carrying capacity. If a gasoline engine is preferred, the 6.0-L Vortec V-8 also offers plenty of punch, cranking out 360 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. Duramax engines are paired with an Allison 1000 six-speed transmission.
Pulling power for Sierra ranges up to 23,100 pounds using a fifth-wheel - a gooseneck/fifth-wheel prep package is available - and 20,000 pounds for standard towing.
The 3500HD can carry up to a 5,381 pound payload. Trailering and hauling is assisted by a suite of technology additions, including StabiliTrack, with a Trailer Sway feature. Integrated cruise control, auto grade braking and available diesel exhaust braking help provide greater driving control and reduced brake wear on grades.
Digital Steering Assist power steering enables easier handling and maneuverability, greater steering response, greater road-holding capability and greater stability control assistance (included on SLE, SLT and Denali crew cab models and double cab models with Duramax diesel engine).
Workhorse midsize Nissan Frontier adds more features in 2018 models
The Nissan Frontier is a workhorse designed to tackle both professional and personal projects.
Enhancements for the 2018 model year include the addition of standard Rear-View Monitor across all models and updated base grade content - including standard air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, 5.0-inch colour display audio and Siri Eyes Free. In addition, a new Midnight Edition is offered on Frontier for the first time.
Exceptional acceleration, towing capacity and all-around off-roading ability is provided, in large measure due to its powerful engine, a 4.0-L DOHC V6 producing 261 hp and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. The V6 is specifically tuned for the unique demands of truck use.
An advanced 2.5-L DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine with 152 hp and 171 lb.-ft. torque is also available on the Frontier King Cab S-I4 and SV-I4 4x2 models. The 2.5-L King Cab 2WD M/T-equipped Frontier is rated at an economical 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Frontier is offered with a choice of three transmissions - a smooth 5-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual transmission (King Cab 4-cylinder models), or a 6-speed manual (Crew Cab V6 models). Frontier 4x4 models include a shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive system with 2WD/4H/4LO modes operated by an electronically controlled part-time transfer case.
Frontier's maximum towing capacity is rated at up to 6,690 pounds (maximum, when properly equipped).
Long Bed models are available with Frontier Crew Cab SV. Measuring more than 13 inches longer than the Crew Cab's standard bed, the Long Bed models offer the roomy interior of the Crew Cab plus the extended bed space of the King Cab. Frontier also provides levels of innovation in an area where it matters most to truck owners - the bed. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and first-in-class Utili-track Channel System.
The Utili-track system provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel). Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attaching points for securing cargo.
Frontier's interior features functionality combined with comfort and intelligent design. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab have large rear doors (rear hinged on King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo areas and flip-up rear seats, along with excellent cab storage and flexibility.
Midsize Honda Ridgeline delivers comfort, quality and working capability
Honda's Ridgeline midsize pickup was named North American Truck of the Year for 2017 and was also recognized as a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2018 model offers strong fuel economy ratings along with power and refinement for users looking to enjoy their truck while getting the job done.
The 2018 Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-L direct-injected SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) mated to a wide ratio 6-speed automatic transmission, with peak engine outputs of 280 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net).
All-wheel-drive models utilize Honda's most advanced AWD technology - Intelligent Variable Torque Management (i-VTM4), providing all-weather performance and enhanced dynamic handling capability.
For the new model year, Ridgeline's trims have been streamlined from 12 to 9, including all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive variants, to better suit the needs of midsize truck buyers and providing a more compelling value. The 2018 Ridgeline offers customers an array of standard and available premium features and technologies in a cabin outfitted with high quality, soft-touch materials.
Available advanced technologies include an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, HD Radio, SiriusXM 2.0, up to four USB ports and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System.
The truck offers capabilities for both recreational and work users requiring a higher degree of utility and versatility. When it comes to cargo hauling, Ridgeline can manage a load up to 1,584 pounds (depending on the trim level) and up to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. All models incorporate a button-operated Intelligent Traction Management System that enables up to four different operating modes: Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand for the AWD models, as well as Normal and Snow for 2WD vehicles.
Ridgeline also continues to offer the comprehensive Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver assistive features including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The Ridgeline also offers numerous consumer-popular features, including a Dual Action Tailgate that provides easy access to an In-Bed Trunk which doubles as a cooler and a variety of other unique options.
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As one of the latest models in the R2-Series excavator lineup, the Bobcat® E88 delivers durability, performance and quality for more productivity. Technically speaking, it's a compact machine, but it brings big performance with its redesigned engine and optimized lift performance, plus undercarriage and counterweight improvements. All these enhancements make this excavator one of the highest-performing models in its size class. With impressive over-the-side lift capacity, you can dig with greater confidence over the side of the machine. Put it to the test against similar models from other manufacturers. You'll see that the E88 can outwork the competition.