The Best New 2019 Pickup Trucks
A quick glance at 2018’s sales numbers would seem to justify the decisions coming down from Ford and General Motors to dial production of cars back in favor of trucks and SUVs. Of course, anybody who has been paying attention knows the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado have long been rivals for numbers one and two on pretty much every list of best selling vehicles in the USA for years. With trucks now taking on an outsized role in the American auto industry, it’s a good time to take a look at what’s new for 2019 pickup trucks.
All-new exterior styling maintains the ruggedness of Silverado’s facade, while a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline-fired engine and turbocharged inline six-cylinder diesel powerplant find their way into Chevy’s mainstay pickup for 2019. As is to be expected, the Silverado is offered in a variety of guises, ranging from basic work truck to a near Cadillac-level luxury version called the High Country. And, for those who spend more time on dirt than asphalt, there is the fully off-road capable Trail Boss.
While an all-new F-150 rolled into dealerships for 2018, Ford knows Chevy and Ram are constantly nipping at the heels of America’s perennially best selling automobile. To that end, the 2019 F-150 gets a new diesel engine, making it the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup you can buy. Sport truck fans will appreciate the new Recaro seats and suspension upgrades applied to the F-150 Raptor. Meanwhile, the range topping F-150 Limited gets the Raptor’s 450-horsepower 3.5-liter turbocharged V6.
The blue oval is once again applied to a mid-size pickup for the first time in seven years with the reintroduction of the Ranger. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine good for 280 horsepower and 310 ft-lbs of torque. This will endow the F-150’s little brother with a towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds. The Ranger is also capable of returning 29 miles per gallon on the highway with this engine—when it isn’t towing. Naturally, both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are offered.
Changes are minor for the 2019 Canyon. Revisions include a revised infotainment system and an improved rearview camera. Rear parking sensors are added to the options list, along with an expansion of the availability of wireless charging, as well as heat for the steering wheel.
Given Sierra and Silverado share DNA, it makes sense the former would also be all-new for 2019. In addition to styling changes, Sierra flaunts the same new engine choices outlined above for the Silverado. However, the GMC also gets a carbon fiber cargo bed, a multi-color head-up display, and a monitor for the rearview camera in the rearview mirror. Silverado’s six-way Multi-pro tailgate incorporates a variety of hinges to improve ingress and egress, load stopping, second-tier loading, and access to the bed—all of which can be configured at the touch of a button.
With a full redesign expected for 2020, the 2019 Ridgeline only sees modest improvements. These include a second USB port for less expensive models and the addition of a power-sliding rear window and moonroof for mid-range Ridgelines. Not to be completely outdone by Sierra, the Honda pickup offers a tailgate capable of opening to the side as well as downward.
America’s smoothest-riding pickup truck gets a full redesign for 2019, giving it improved fuel economy and a broader slate of standard features. Shedding 225 pounds improves handling as well as contributing to that aforementioned improved fuel economy. Ride quality is improved over preceding models with the adoption of two-mode shocks capable of enabling both a comfortable ride and the handling of heavy loads. A mild hybrid system supplements Ram’s V6 engine and is offered as an option with the Hemi V8.
While mostly unchanged for the 2019 model year, there are a few notable additions to the Tacoma catalog. The TRD Pro Tacoma now boasts 16-inch TRD Pro alloy wheels rendered in black and Kevlar-reinforced al-terrain tires. A JBL audio system is another new feature, along with GPS navigation. An optional snorkel is available to minimize dust entering the air intake.
The TRD Pro treatment is enhanced for Toyota’s entry in the full-size segment as well. Two more inches of ground clearance come courtesy of improvements to the suspension system. A set of Fox internal bypass shocks with 46mm pistons help keep Tundra TRD Pro grounded and soften landings when the big truck jumps. Other touches include LED headlights and fog lights along with 18-inch forged aluminum wheels from BBS. Further distinguishing the model are a front skid plate, a black air intake on the hood and TRD Pro emblems on the front seats.