The pickup truck segment has been one of the biggest bright spots in the auto industry's recovery, and full-size pickups, in both heavy- and light-duty configurations, dominate the landscape. Three of the top five best-selling vehicles in the country are pickups. We've collected some of the best and brightest stars for this year's inaugural Best Pickup Truck of 2014 award where we reward capability, power and value. The nominees are (in alphabetical order):
* Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Chevy's biggest selling pickup truck is brand new, bumper to bumper, for 2014. It offers an all-new frame, powertrain lineup, interior layout, a new extended cab and more safety features than ever before.
* Ford F-150: The winner of our most recent Light-Duty Challenge and the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, the F-150 has been a perennial favorite of ours, balancing rugged capability with impressive interior refinements.
* GMC Sierra 1500: The fraternal twin of the Silverado, the Sierra 1500 is all-new this year as well, with all the new foundational changes as well as some unique and premium trim packages. The Sierra half-ton reflects a more sophisticated and powerful light for 2014.
* Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Although for all practical purposes the Ram 1500 is a carryover vehicle, it does get an impressive little turbo-diesel engine that produces a mountain of torque and class-leading mileage numbers.
* Ram HD 2500/3500: Probably the biggest secret in the auto industry, the new 2500 gets a revolutionary rear suspension setup with heavy-duty coils and an airbag option as well as a new front suspension and all-new 6.4-liter Hemi.
* Toyota Tundra: The new Toyota half-ton gets a more dramatic evolutionary push with a bolder and more powerful exterior look and design, but the interior is really where the power sits; it's practical, state of the art and more refined.