With 2015 rapidly approaching, the face of the full sized truck market has changed forever and as it turns out, is completely different than it was 10 years ago. While the past 10 years have brought a whole new crop of technology for trucks and driver safety aids, we wanted to take a look at some of the changes that have been made and get to the bottom of what our readers really care about.
Years ago, the thought of a diesel-powered half-ton pickup in the U.S. was only a pipe-dream. Fast forward a decade, and Ram has had a diesel 1500 offering for some time now and Nissan is rumored to be introducing a Cummins motor in the next generation Titan as well. The conventional wisdom for gas-powered half-tons has always been the bigger the displacement, the better, and that full sized trucks can only be powered by V8s. Ford single handedly turned that idea upside down as they are now headed into the second generation of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and are debuting an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2015 F150 as well. Finally, the current generation of half-tons have a downright invasive amount of traction control systems and technology that has driven up their price as well as their complexity.
Now that there will be not one, but two, small displacement turbocharged V6s available in the F150 along with two naturally aspirated engine options, we wanted to get a feel for what our readers thought about the trend. Having driven and worked on numerous current-gen F150s with EcoBoosts and the five-liter V8, we really like them both as they both have two distinctively different feels. While the stock five-liter-powered F150 has yielded shockingly good gas mileage – 19.3 MPG average over 13,500 miles – and has that “classic” feel of a V8 powered full-sized truck, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost has amazing power on demand and feels very cutting edge. They are both great trucks, but they serve as two opposing viewpoints for Ford – the old way of thinking (V8), and a new way of thinking (EcoBoost).
Unlike a child’s competition where everyone gets a trophy, the fact of the matter is that Ford, and the rest of the half-ton pickup market, is right in the middle of a literal power struggle that will define the way half-tons are powered long into the future. Ram is heavily invested in diesel, Ford is heavily invested in small displacement turbocharged gas motors, and GM is holding true to the old platform of naturally aspirated gas engines, albeit with some new and innovative tech (direct injection, active fuel management, etc).
With so many different options, right now is an exciting time to be in the market for a half-ton pickup. In addition, strong competition drives innovation and improvements so this steep competition between the big three is sure to drive change that will be beneficial for consumers long into the future.
At the end of the day, consumers have the power as we have many different options. Considering the half-ton trucks of today are tomorrow’s off roaders, which direction do you hope the half-ton market goes? Do you want to see more turbo diesels, small displacement turbocharged gas motors like the EcoBoost, or keep it simple and stay with what’s worked in the past – naturally aspirated V8s?
We want to know what you think – weigh in your thoughts in the comment section below!