Top 10 Pickups
The trucks that shoppers on MSN Autos research the most.
Modern pickup trucks have evolved from traditional, heavy-duty workhorses to everyday runabouts, thanks to their versatility, carlike comfort and amenities typically found in luxury cars, such as high-tech audio systems and heated seats. While truck sales fell 25 percent in 2008, full-size pickups continue to be the most sought-after vehicles in America, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Domestic trucks are particularly popular. They continue to outsell the imports five to one, a trend reflected in the list of trucks most researched on MSN Autos, where seven of the top 10 trucks are American brands.
As it happens, the top-selling truck in United States, the Ford F-150, is also the most popular truck on MSN, which is determined by the number of visits to its vehicle information pages. This is nothing new. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle on this side of the pond for more than 30 years, and while sales of the big truck were off by more than 25 percent in 2008, the F-150 still outsold every other vehicle in America. This was helped in part by the introduction of the all-new 2009 F-150 earlier this year. It features fresh styling and a number of new innovations like Ford’s new Work Solutions package, which features an in-dash computer that lets you access the Internet, check inventory, print invoices, dispatch workers to job sites and maintain tool inventory, basically run your business from the truck’s cab. Ford’s compact Ranger pickup also did well in this popularity contest, taking the sixth position on the list.
General Motors fielded the most trucks on the list. The Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Sierra captured the third, ninth and tenth positions, respectively. The Silverado is second only to the F-Series in terms of annual U.S. sales with just over 465,000 units out the door, and is one of the few vehicles in its class to be offered as a hybrid.
The fourth-most-popular truck, the Dodge Ram, was completely redesigned for the 2009 model year with fresh styling, upgraded materials and more powerful engines. The Dakota, which introduced the idea of a midsize truck when it went on sale in the late 1980s, also remains popular with MSN shoppers, capturing the eighth position on our list.
The Toyota Tundra was specifically designed to compete directly with the F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram. Although the Tundra has made inroads into that market, its sales numbers are still considerably lower than those of the domestic trucks and followed the same sales decline as seen with the other trucks, with 30 percent fewer Tundras rolling off Toyota lots in 2008. The Tundra falls below those three competitors as the fifth-most-researched truck on MSN Autos, while the Tundra’s smaller sibling, the Tacoma, took position No. 2.
Nissan’s compact Frontier was the only other import-branded pickup to make the list, taking the seventh spot.
All of the Trucks
Here’s the list of the most popular pickup trucks on MSN Autos:
As the company producing the top-selling truck in North America for more than three decades, Ford must be doing something right. While sales are declining for all the best-selling trucks, Ford is hoping to slow that trend with its all-new Ford F-150. The F-150 has been revamped inside and out, boasting more power, more towing and payload capacity, improved fuel economy and more interior space. Thanks to partnerships with Microsoft, Sony and SIRIUS, the communication and entertainment features have also been greatly enhanced.
First launched in 1964, the Tacoma compact pickup is now in its eighth generation. The 2009 model continues primarily unchanged, but a new Star Safety System with ABS, brake assist, stability control and traction control is now standard on all trim levels. Also new is an argent painted grille, restyled LED taillights and an optional backup monitor on Access and Double Cabs. An automatic limited-slip differential, side-curtain airbags, front passenger seat-mounted side airbags and active front head restraints have been added to the standard equipment for Access Cab and Double Cab versions.
Chevrolet updated its full-size pickup a few years ago, including an all-new platform, a new front-end look and next-generation V8 engines. The Silverado 1500 comes in 40 different configurations, ranging from $19,375 for a rear-wheel-drive 2-door Regular Cab, to more than $41,000 for an LTZ Crew Cab with four-wheel drive. For 2009, the Silverado gets a new 6-speed automatic transmission available with the 5.3-liter, 6.0-liter and 6.2-liter engines. OnStar 8.0 with Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Destination Download, Bluetooth phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic feature and a rearview camera system are just a few of the useful options.
The boldly styled Ram replaced the previous Dodge pickup in 1994 and quickly moved up the sales ladder. Redesigned for 2009, the new Ram maintains its familiar look but features a more aerodynamic design, rear coil-spring suspension and a new 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that delivers 390 horsepower and 407 lb-ft of torque with an estimated 4 percent improvement in fuel economy. The Ram is awash in new features, the most noteworthy of which is the RamBox cargo management system, providing weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into the cargo-box sides. RamBox also includes a bed-divider/2-foot bed extender and a rail system with adjustable tie-down cleats.
The Tundra is Toyota’s full-size pickup truck. It was completely redesigned for 2007 and is larger in every dimension than its predecessor. The Tundra is available in Regular Cab, Double Cab and CrewMax styles. At more than 19 feet long, the Tundra CrewMax is the biggest truck in Toyota’s history. Three different engines are available, including a 381-horsepower V8 that helps the truck tow more than 10,000 pounds. For the 2009 model year, the Tundra adds E85 flex-fuel capability when equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 engine in certain regions, as well as two new Toyota Racing Development (TRD) option packages.