10 Trucks We Can't Wait to Test

2019-Chevrolet-Silverado-Reveal-06 II

Things are ramping up in the pickup truck world, with 2017 sales up almost 5 percent from January through November 2016. And 2018 is shaping up to be one of the best years we've seen in a long time with several all-new models and powertrain upgrades, as well as completely new players in expanding classes. At this time of holiday wish lists, here are the top 10 vehicles we hope to drive in the coming year.

 

1. Ram 1500 Rebel Quad Cab

Ram will have two plants producing Ram 1500 pickups, instead of just one. We assume that means it will be making a lower-cost work truck off the old platform at the current Warren Truck Assembly production plant while building the all-new Ram 1500s at the upgraded Sterling Heights Assembly plant. That should mean Ram might be able to increase its trim lineup to include more Quad cab versions of various trim levels. We hope a lighter, nimbler and more aggressive Ram 1500 Rebel is in our future. That would be fun to drive.

2. 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Trailboss

After seeing the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Trailboss revealed at the Texas Motor Speedway in December, we're hoping this is only a taste of what Chevy has in store for us. Chevy announced it will have seven trim levels, which could allow it to provide more creativity if it get smart about the lineup. We're guessing Chevy will offer Work Truck, LS, Custom, LT, LTZ, Trailboss and High Country trims. Let's hope there will be multiple levels to the Trailboss trim, maybe a 1, 2 and 3 setup.

3. Ford F-150 Power Stroke

2018-Ford-F-150-front-three-quarter-in-motion II

We've been hearing rumors about a diesel for the Ford F-150 for a long time. The five-cylinder diesel Ford uses in the full-size Transit van would probably work quite nicely, but our guess is that much of that will depend on how well it can work with the new 10-speed Ford is including across the lineup. If it can't work, there are several other modern, small turbo-diesel engines available.

4. 2020 Ford Ranger

Ford has been selling the current-generation global Ranger around the world for several years with great success — especially in Australia — but we can't wait to get our hands on one of the U.S.-built Rangers. We've seen quite a few spy photos of the truck floating around and it looks like it will be targeting the Chevrolet Colorado in size and shape, with a Raptor version in the pipeline as well (see below).

5. Toyota Tundra TRD Sport

We first saw the 2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport in February at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, but it seems to be like unicorns — it's rare to see one. It makes sense that a new TRD Sport would work well on the full-size Tundra — half of all Tacomas are TRDs — but the fact that it has Bilstein shocks, street tires and heavy-duty sway bars doesn't make it sound like it's for backcountry adventures. This one piques our curiosity.

6. Nissan Titan Warrior

We fell in love with the Nissan Titan Warrior concept the first time we saw it almost two years ago at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Producing it seems like a no-brainer to us, but we still have not heard anything about that. Just in case the Nissan product planners are reading this, the Titan needs a serious off-road package beyond the Pro-4X if it wants to become a serious player in the half-ton class. Creating a special-edition Titan like the Warrior will give Nissan the halo model its truck lineup needs. And we'll be happy to test-drive it.

7. All-New Nissan Frontier

Nissan Navara copy II

The current-generation Frontier is now the oldest pickup truck sold in the U.S. It hasn't had a mid-model refresh or redesign in more than 13 years. The global Frontier known as the Navara has enjoyed tremendous success, but we've had to wait. We know that whatever next-generation Frontier shows up here will be a huge improvement over the current Frontier. Despite its age, due to aggressive pricing the Frontier remains a popular seller, averaging around 7,000 sales monthly, which puts it on target to sell 75,000 vehicles by year end.

8. Mercedes-Benz X-Class

As the newest major player set to jump into the global pickup truck marketplace, Mercedes-Benz has taken a version of the current-gen Nissan Navara and given it some MB upgrades. The result is a sturdy form of transportation. Although the X-Class will be a minor player for the MB commercial brand, it won't likely make it to the U.S. until after the new Nissan Frontier hits our shores. Still, we're available for test drives and consulting.

9. Ford Super Duty Raptor

If there is one absolute wish-list, Frankenstein-monster pickup we could ask for, it would be a Super Duty version of the Ford F-150 Raptor. We'd love to do a cross-country jaunt over muddy and snowy rutted trails in something like this. Yes, it would weigh too much and probably stick out like a sore thumb, but this would keep us happy for a long time if someone (anyone) could toss us the keys to a beast like this.

10. Chevrolet Suburban Heavy Duty

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This is more of a "just because" request. We bet that many people know Chevrolet still makes an eight-lug heavy-duty Suburban SUV with an 11,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating and up to 4,000 pounds of payload capacity. Unfortunately, we'll never see one of these GM special orders in the media fleets that supply our test vehicles, but it's the type of SUV a pickup truck enthusiast can appreciate. The truck comes with the stout, old-school 6.0-liter V-8 and is designed for armor-fitting applications. It starts around $80,000.

Manufacturer images; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

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Comments

A lot of "overdues" and "too long in comings" on this list...

The new Silverado, Frontier, Ranger, Mercedes truck, Fiat and F150 diesel all bringing that "why did it take so long?" factor.

The SD Raptor is a wonderful insane pipe dream. Puegot certainly could use the Warrior package to bring some much needed spice, excitement, press to the Titan.

TRDs come and go and are always nice.

More abailablity or mainstreaming of a HD Suburban would be cool.

The continued success of the Nissan Frontier mid size truck is a testimony to the values that mid size buyers are looking for.

1. a 2wd crew cab v6 grocery getter priced in the mid-20s
2. a 2wd extended cab base model (available in colors other than white) with a stick shift for less than 20k
3. quality build, and...
4. after all these years they still offer a competitive 4wd off roader at a reasonable price

Nissan Frontier is down -15.3% YTD.

@trucker

the year isn't over yet.

Haha. Yes it is. Educate yourself.

A-hole! Have you seen the December totals yet? No

Haha. Look at the sales chart before you speak. Idiot.

I don't care about any new models cause my ecoboost and aluminum body F-150 will last forever.
My 2015 F-150 Ecoboost unchanged will still be modern and a leading contender in 2025.
Ford can't change what already is the best!
Chevy and Ram will never catch up to the current F-150 even 10 years from now.

PUTC strikes out again.

On Friday, FCA announced a recall of 1.8 million Rams for a potential brake-interlock malfunction on trucks with column shifters. It's now Tuesday, and PUTC still hasn't made a post of the situation.

Instead, we get this "wish list" that has no useful information.

Sad.

In order:
1 - Nope;
2 - Nope;
3 - Nope;
4 - Yup;
5 - Nope;
6 - Nope;
7 - Nope;
8 - Nope;
9 - Nope;
10-Nope.


I don't care about any new models cause my ecoboost and aluminum body F-150 will last forever.
My 2015 F-150 Ecoboost unchanged will still be modern and a leading contender in 2025.
Ford can't change what already is the best!
Chevy and Ram will never catch up to the current F-150 even 10 years from now.

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Dec 26, 2017 11:37:13 AM

Boy you really are strung out on the blue Kool-Aid aren't you?

I like the idea of a SD Raptor. The HD Suburban not so much, why would you put 2 tons in the back of a station wagon?

Nissan needs to move along rapidly with their pickups. The Titan needs better FE and the Frontier needs replacing. Maybe Cummins can improve the V8 diesel. Nissan sales are not well.

But, the numbers are also an indication that Nissan is behind.

It would make sense to us the 3.2 diesel in the aluminium vunders trucks over the V6 Lion diesel. Ford also has a good 2 litre diesel (apparently) to replace the 3.2. Maybe Ford can use the 2 litre diesel in the Ranger, Transit and F-150. This would definitely be a plus for FE, especially over the EcoThirst gas engines.

@Mark Williams
Ranger Raptor will have a very new twin turbo2 LITRE DIESEL Ford have tested upgraded versions of the 3.2 diesel AND the 3.5 Ecoboost and the new 2 litre Diesel beat them for Power. Responsiveness and Economy..
Mercedes Pickup is defintely NOT coming to the US

@Mark Williams
As well there appears to be a lot of activity with " hot" versions of Pickups
No doubt due the demise of the local sedans this includes a Raptor Colorado
"
Take for instance the HSV-tuned Colorado, the Tickford-tuned Ranger, Ford’s upcoming Ranger Raptor and, if the rumours are right, a more powerful Amarok V6, a HiLux TRD with go to match the show and even a twin-turbo V6-powered Colorado from Walkinshaw”"

1. Neat but nobody cares bout it.
2. Not neat and nobody cares about it.
3. Fake news until it's official. Rumors are not news. I know this is a Ford Fellatio Fanclub run by fakenews.pickuptrucks.com but don't let your blue oval bias get the best of you.
4. Finally something worth trying. Welcome to the midsize category Ford, you're over a decade late and have no excuses to screw it up.
5. Not sure why this is even a package. Either get a basic 4x4 or a TRD Pro, anything else is pointless.
6. Looks okay, maybe make it a real contender against the Power Wagon and Raptor if you really care about sales and reputation, otherwise it's another offroad package with nobody who wants it before they see it on the lot late in the season.
7. The older one looked better. Goodbye grassroots reliability reputation and low cost incentive.
8. I actually want to see this one. Kudos to Mercedes for acting boldly. Isn't that what truck buyers wanted?
9. Build a Super Duty version of the Power Wagon, especially with the powerstroke and you will have a winning concept that sells. You know I'm right.
10. Not a pickup truck. Violently expensive. For that price it should include the 6.6 duramax.

I think Ill wait for this

Elon Musk confirms Tesla pickup

https://electrek.co/2017/12/26/elon-musk-tesla-pickup-truck-coming-after-model-y/
Musk has indeed been talking about building an electric truck for a while now. During a Tesla owners event in 2013, Musk discussed his idea for a Tesla truck:

“I am quite keen on building a truck and I think there’s a lot one can do with truck technology.

One of the things that I think should be present in trucks is something like an air suspension that dynamically adjusts the load and sorta keeps the angle of the truck correct and the ride height even and adjust the dampening in real-time. Because the challenge you have with any vehicle where there’s a big potential difference between the minimum and maximum load is that the suspension is always wrong and usually wrong by a lot.

I was driving an F-250 down the 405 one day and honestly that thing… it was resonating on 405 on the little ridges.

I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head. If you put load on it it’s fine, but if you’re empty it’s not

. It would be good to do that and obviously to make it light and really handle well. That’s where having a battery pack low can improve the center of gravity. I think it’s possible to produce a really well handling truck that feels good at any load point. That would be really great.”

Now, we have a slightly better idea of the timing since it’s coming “right after Model Y.”

Ford trucks are outdated and always suck! While everyone else's trucks are with the times, and blow Fords junk out of the water year after year!

Ford trucks are outdated and always suck! While everyone else's trucks are with the times, and blow Fords junk out of the water year after year.
Posted by: johnny doe | Dec 26, 2017 5:59:49 PM
JD- gives us another example why jealously, envy, and drugs are bad.
When beaten in full size pickup truck sales and soon to taste defeat in the mid size arena, the posts are all too predictable.
Wait for the probable Detroit reveal ,there will be great foaming at the mouth or should I say keyboard. I can't wait it will be way too funny

I don't care about any new models cause my ecoboost and aluminum body F-150 will last forever.
My 2015 F-150 Ecoboost unchanged will still be modern and a leading contender in 2025.
Ford can't change what already is the best!
Chevy and Ram will never catch up to the current F-150 even 10 years from now.


Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Dec 26, 2017 11:37:13 AM

Well you are certainly blinded by your brand. I doubt my new F150 will last more than 10 years, it is already having issues and the interior is loosening up, so after 5 years it will be a rattle trap for sure.

Wake up pickuptrucks.com!

The F-150 is already officially annonced with a wellproven 3 liter V6 diesel that´s coming in a few months. In production already at Tupy.

"Plus, stay tuned for the new 3.0L Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel, available spring 2018."
from

https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/

@Papajim,
I agree with you. Even though Frontier sales are down, it was nice to have a price leader. I went to the dealership some months ago and played with the idea of getting a base model king cab. Yah definitely very low 20K's. I was trying to figure out that without a radio and other frivolous stuff, if it could be had for $19,999. The salesguy was very motivated, but I kind of lost interest after that because they really don't have any on the lot in bare bones configuration. Dealerships always trying to get the consumer to buy up, ie part with a few less $ in their pocket. Eh, that's what sales is all about.

I'm not really interested in what Frontier has coming new because I don't think it will be all that different from twins and whatever else comes along. It will have a too small crew area, or it will come with a 5' bed, and at best a 6.000' long bed. Clearly not cab forward enough yet for this generation still.

Now Tesla will clearly bring something new to the market, but I'm not holding my breath: I don't see any Model 3's yet, and I work 1mile from the plant, and my friend who put a deposit down has no clue when he'll get his. He's still inking out the last few miles from his Honda Insight hoping it doesn't blow up before his Model 3 is delivered. We don't even talk about it anymore during our Saturday coffee after work out because all targets have been missed.

How about a regular cab power wagon, which is long over due and way more appropriate? Can you at least test a regular cab 2500 6.4 hemi 4x4 off road package? Quad cabs be damned, the next 1500 should come in regular, crew, and mega cabs like the current 2500. You didn't mention the new jeep pickup? How about an iron block version of the 6.2 in the 1500 Chevy's to replace the 6.0 vortec in the 2500? How about gm and ford apply 10 speeds across the board, including the HD's? Where is the replacement for ford's 6.8 v10? Ford is probably gonna use a 3.0 v6 diesel in the f150. Hopefully gm will replace the 4.3 v6 with a 3.6 with port and direct injection and a 10 speed auto. The frontier is long, long overdue. Expect a v6 for the titan when the new frontier finally shows up. What the hell is up with Toyota, the tundra went m.i.a. the 5.7 is fine, but the 4.6 could be phased out in favor of a good v6. What is crazy is the fact that other car companies have used Toyota's 8 speed automatic transmission before they have (8 speed aisin in Cadillac cts for example). Why does the tundra not use the aisin 8 speed with the 5.7? They could go to a ring gear that gives better fuel economy if they did. If Honda was serious about the transverse engine truck they would make a Ridgeline type R that is like a giant Subaru wrx sti. And lastly, as a ram fan and owner, ram, please please please get ur transmissions straight in the HD's. What do I mean? Drop the 66/68 rfe for the aisin 66/69 re across the board. As far as the the g56 goes, drop it unless there is a market for it then replace it with an aisin unit. As far as trucklets go, how about a renegade based trucklet for jeep? Just my thoughts...

Ford and GM have adopted the LEGO look. What ever happened to styling.

A Super Duty Raptor actually makes sense.

I see mild to heavily modified HD pickups multiple times per day.

Why not cash in on that market!

The continued success of the Nissan Frontier mid size truck is a testimony to the values that mid size buyers are looking for.
1. a 2wd crew cab v6 grocery getter priced in the mid-20s
2. a 2wd extended cab base model (available in colors other than white) with a stick shift for less than 20k
3. quality build, and...
4. after all these years they still offer a competitive 4wd off roader at a reasonable price

Posted by: papajim | Dec 26, 2017 10:07:24 AM

I owned one and really liked it. 6 speed NISMO. The sad thing is the new Frontier will not sell any more because it will be in the same price range as the other new trucks. The current one is doing poor in crash test etc and probably needs replaced to meet govnt. requirements.

Would be good to see a column on what is the best base truck for the money especially in the midsize truck range with just standard equipment. It would be good to cover also basic work trucks in the half ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 ton category. There are those on this site that would like to see more coverage of the base work truck.

@papa jim--Agree the Frontier is a good value for what you get. I also agree with others comments that the old Frontier's days would be numbered due to safety standards which was the case with the old Ranger and the Ford Crown Victoria. I hope that Nissan keeps a competitive edge in price and value with the new Frontier. Not everyone wants the latest and greatest in a new truck, there is room in the market for a value priced pickup even though the numbers would be limited and the profit is greater on the newer more optioned trucks.

This is the problem with PUTC. Why are you still talking about the 3.2 inline 5 cylinder diesel for the F150? They have announced it is a 3.0 V6. A truck website should be all over obvious information like this.

It will be interesting to drive Ford F-150.

Can't wait....Then don't. Dumb comment.

You have to wait.

Guidance needed... I presently haul my daughters two horse bumper pull trailer with a 2013 Ram Longhorn, 97,000 miles. We would like to move up to gooseneck + horses of 11,000 pounds and need a truck that can do mountain grades and LAST. I do not want to be a mother daughter on the side of the road in four years. Which 2018/2019 truck is going to be reliable and will a 6.? bed pull a gooseneck or must I get an 8' bed? I do buy the 4 door truck, 4x4, all the tech and comfort.



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