There are pickup trucks and then there are pickup trucks. I’m talking about ones with dual rear wheels, diesel engines that push up to 1,000 pound-feet of torque and that can tow over 33,000 pounds. Well, that’s exactly the resume of this all-new Ram 3500 Heavy Duty. And on top of that, it can be optioned like a luxury sedan.
The 3500 is the biggest, most capable truck that Ram sells and for 2019 it brings with it many of the polished innovations first seen on the all-new 1500; fusing the brawniest mechanical elements with those of a luxury rig. Like all trucks, Ram’s Heavy Duty series can be configured in a multitude of cab, box and engine layouts in both 2500 and 3500 payload capacities. But they don’t get any bigger than this one – the 3500 Mega Cab 4X4 dually weighing over 4 tons and measuring 21’ long with a 6’4” box. Payload: 5,420 pounds. Max Trailer Weight Rating: 33,020 pounds, thanks to the twisting force of Ram’s newest high output turbo. The 3500 Laramie 4X4 Mega Cab starts at about $55,000 and totals $83,670 as-tested. Made in Mexico, this new Heavy Duty is for the ranch or business owner who doesn’t sacrifice comfort for capability.
So you really want a Raptor but you’re finding that to be a hard sell to the spouse. Well, the 2019 F-150 Limited offers Raptor-level power with the finesse of a luxury pickup.
Here are the facts: the average new-vehicle transaction price is up to nearly $37,000. But for full-size pickups that number is closer to $50,000! And as you can see here, manufacturers’ believe there’s plenty of room to expand beyond that. Ford says this Limited is the most powerful, luxurious and advanced F-150 ever. If you’ve seen my Raptor reviews you know how highly I think of that truck. But understandably, that’s more than most customers need. So the Limited takes the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, leaves its off-road shocks behind and takes the design in a more upscale direction to create a workhorse in a black tie. You still get all 450 horses but its look is more buttoned up and its interior more boutique.
Twenty-two-inch wheels, power deployable running boards, a twin panel moonroof, unique Camelback leather interior, massaging seats…you get the picture. And with a 5 ½ bed, 1,200 lb. payload capacity and 8,000 pounds max towing, the Limited could easily be the ultimate family SUV.
2020 FORD SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. Serious work trucks are judged on 2 main criteria; towing and payload.
So Ford is ratcheting up both in their all-new 2020 Super Duty. Shipping to dealers this fall, the Super Duty lineup which includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450 is powered by a 6.2-liter gas V8 as standard or customers can upgrade to the next generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 making more horsepower and torque or opt for a new entry; a 7.3-liter gas V8.
Though numbers have not been released, Ford says they expect the 7.3 to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class. All 3 engines will use a new Ford-developed 10-speed automatic transmission designed for the harshest towing conditions.
Without citing specifics, Ford says this Super Duty offers its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings. Optimized cooling across the range is courtesy of a new front-end design that also enhances the performance of the LED headlamps.
Ford says the improved front bumper also makes using the utility hooks easier. The cabin has been completely refreshed, crafted with the use of even more luxurious materials on the Limited model and modern touches such as wireless charging, Wi-Fi, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist add technology, connectivity and convenience.
Though pricing has yet to be released, the current Super Duty lineup starts at under $35,000 while an F-450 Limited can cross $90,000.
The smaller, midsize truck segment as it is now called is red hot again with a trio of new entries about to shake things up. But no matter what the competition throws at it the Tacoma is the mainstay best-seller.
In full disclosure, I own a Tacoma; a 2001 Prerunner that’s been in my family ever since I reviewed it for the show 18 years ago and then bought it out of the press fleet. So I have particularly high standards for this truck. It has been the segment’s sales leader for 12 years running so I can’t really blame Toyota for their if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach. But…
2020 Ford Explorer First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. Ford says this Explorer is roomier in all 3 rows, and more capable, comfortable and sportier.