Category Archives: TRUCK

2014 GMC Sierra

Compared to the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, not very much. The two trucks share the same underpinnings for most of the body panels and the same basic interior design. The front styling, of course, reflects each brand’s respective styling themes. The lone exception is the upcoming GMC Sierra Denali, which features an 8-inch digital display in the instrument cluster in addition to the requisite bling that comes with the Denali badge. There are three engine choices, all of which come with direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation.

2014 GMC Sierra front

2014 GMC Sierra


Inside, the Sierra offers a clean interior with a layout based on functionality. All of the buttons and controls are easy to find, including the large icons on the touchscreen to control the latest IntelliLink infotainment system. The Sierra also offers a built-in trailer brake controller as well as front and rear parking radar.

2014 GMC Sierra

2014 GMC Sierra

Forward-collision alert and lane-departure alert are available on the Sierra. Both systems use a forward-looking camera to scan the road ahead for obstacles in front or to warn of wandering over the yellow lines. And given the Sierra’s size, both features are welcome safety additions.

2014 GMC Sierra rear

2014 GMC Sierra

We drove the Sierra up the coast of Southern California to the Camarillo, where we picked a 23-foot Airstream trailer. Either with or without the trailer, it’s amazing how quiet the Sierra is inside the cabin—we would hardly have noticed the nearly 5000-pound trailer behind us if not for the fact that it obstructed the rearward view. And the engine had no trouble handling the extra weight.

2014 GMC Sierra interior

2014 GMC Sierra


More surprising was how often the instrument cluster displays V-4 mode, in which half the cylinders shut down to save fuel. On a later drive with the truck unladen, we saw average mpg on the trip computer higher than 21 mpg despite hilly terrain and plenty of hard acceleration.

Right below the climate control lies all the power you’ll ever need: three USB ports (there are two more in the center console), two 12-volt outlets, and an AC outlet. What makes it even better is a small rubber channel right in front of all the plugs that is sized perfectly to park a phone upright and still see most of the screen.

GMC Sierra 2013-2014 comparison

GMC Sierra 2013-2014 comparison

Look closely from the side and you notice that the Sierra’s steering wheel is slightly off-plane with the dashboard. It’s also off center with the middle of the driver’s seat. This issue stems from the positioning of the steering column, and it was also the case on last-generation GM trucks. But we’re surprised that engineers didn’t manage to fix such a fundamental ergonomic flaw, even if it’s tough to notice.

While GMC does a better job of differentiating the rest of its products from Chevrolet, the Sierra is basically a Silverado clone. But that’s not a bad thing. We like the Silverado quite a lot and the Sierra is just as good, and slightly fancier in terms of optional trim materials. Like the Chevy, there is nothing groundbreaking here, but the refinement and driving dynamics make it one of the most comfortable and easy-to-use trucks on the market.

GMC Sierra 2013-2014 comparison

GMC Sierra 2013-2014 comparison

Competitors: Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra

Powertrains: 4.3-liter V-6, 285 hp, 305 lb-ft; 5.3-liter V-8, 355 hp, 383 lb-ft; 6.2-liter V-8, 420 hp, 450 lb-ft; six-speed automatic; RWD or RWD/AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 17–18/22-24 (4.3-liter); 16/23–24 (5.3-liter)

Base Price: $33,210 to $36,660

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is the automaker’s first out-and-out sport truck powered by a turbocharged V-6 engine, versus a thirstier V-8. Wild body graphics and a cabin loaded with high-tech features drive the point home that this pick-up is more at home on public roads – or even racetracks – rather than muddy construction sites.

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is a typical sport-oriented truck, except for one key ingredient. Instead of the usual V-8 you’d expect in the engine bay, the Tremor packs a 365-hp turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. This motor comes from Ford’s “EcoBoost” range of engines, which aim to offer the power of a larger engine with the economy of a smaller one.

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

In fact, this V-6 delivers 5 more horsepower than the 5.0-liter V-8 available in the rest of the F-150 range. Ford says the Tremor has the punch of a traditional V-8, combined with the fuel economy of a V-6. While it’s true that this EcoBoost engine has plenty of poke, the lofty mileage claim can be misleading.

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

The EPA ratings for the regular F-150 equipped with the EcoBoost V-6 are 16/22-mpg city/highway. Yet compare this to the 5.0-liter V-8, for example, and the economy difference is negligible – the V-8 is about 1-mpg thirstier in both city and highway driving. You’d have to step up to something like the fuel-guzzling F-150 SVT Raptor – with its 411-hp 6.2-liter V-8 and 11/16-mpg city/highway economy – to really appreciate the mileage benefits provided in the Tremor.

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

Still, there is a lot more to this sport truck than fuel mileage. The FX Appearance Package includes flat-black accents, 20-inch black wheels, bold side graphics and black badging with red lettering. A 4.10 rear axle is the shortest final drive offered with the EcoBoost V-6, and it ensures the Tremor’s acceleration is a match for its brash exterior. Buyers also have a choice of rear or four-wheel-drive.

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor interior

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor interior

Inside, the cabin features bucket seats covered in black leather with red piping, brushed metal accents, and a red-stitched steering wheel. Ford says it has optimized the standard MyFord Touch interface, which is standard on the Tremor, to accommodate truck users who might be wearing work gloves. To this end, the Tremor has easier access to climate controls and audio presets…

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

The Chrysler Group has remained surprisingly quiet about what new features are coming to the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty lineup but a bit of prematurely posted information on the Ram Trucks website has revealed that the Ram HD will soon be powered by a similar 6.4L Hemi V8 to that found in the current high performance SRT lineup along with a new air suspension setup.

The 2014 Ram HD owner’s manual on the internet and included in the details was a mention of a 6.4L Hemi V8. Unfortunately, that information has seemingly been removed from the site in question but it was up long enough for someone to read parts of the 2014 Ram 2500/3500 owner’ manual and report back to the rest of the Mopar lovers.

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

The 6.4L Hemi V8 is expected to offer buyers a more powerful option over the 5.7L Hemi but with a much lower price point than that of the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine option for the Ram 2500 and 3500. It is unclear whether or not the 5.7L Hemi V8 will continue serving as the base engine for the ¾ and 1 ton Ram trucks so this new mill could serve as the new base engine for the 2500 and 3500 or it could be a new optional engine for those who want a little more power but who also do not need the massive power of the diesel option – or the huge price increase that comes with the Cummins engine. It is also expected that the new 6.4L Hemi will serve as a “base” engine for the big Ram 4500 Chassis Cab rigs and that should equate to a lower entry price for the Ram 4500 which is currently only available with the expensive Cummins Turbo Diesel.

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

The 6.4L Hemi V8 spent some time in the Mopar Performance catalog as a high performance crate engine before becoming a production engine in the Street and Racing Technology (SRT) variants of the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300C and Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is expected (almost guaranteed) that the 6.4L Hemi destined for the 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 will be a very different engine from those high performance applications designed by SRT. Where the SRT 6.4L Hemi engine from those aforementioned performance cars offers 470 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque, it is expected that the 2014 Ram HD will have a specially tuned version of the 6.4L engine that will be optimized for doing “truck stuff”. While the power output and the powerband (the RPM range at which the most power is made) are both ideal for high performance applications, tuning the 6.4L Hemi to offer torque at a lower engine RPM will make for a more capable truck while also likely improving fuel economy measures (as heavy duty trucks go, of course).

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty

We can almost certainly expect to see lower horsepower and torque numbers in the 2014 Ram HD than we do from the SRT vehicles but the tuning process for the Ram lineup will likely present a larger powerband for more consistent pulling and towing attributes. I would expect something in the area of 425 horsepower and 450lb-ft of torque with a massive amount of that torque being available just above idle. This engine has the very real potential to make the Ram Heavy Duty lineup the most powerful gas powered “big truck” in the US market, becoming a much more viable alternative to someone who needs more power than what is offered by the 5.7L Hemi but who doesn’t need the power of the Cummins – or the massive upcharge that comes with the diesel engine option.

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty interior

2014 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty interior

In addition to the new 6.4L Hemi V8, the leaked owner’s manual referenced a rear air suspension that has been rumored to be on the way for some time now.

While the 2014 model year change rapidly approaching, it shouldn’t be very long before we have a full complement of information on the Ram 2500, 3500 and 4500 Chassis Cab…

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

The 2014 RAM 1500 will offer diesel power. Chrysler recently confirmed a diesel variant would join the pickup’s lineup this summer. That makes the RAM 1500 today’s first light-duty pickup with a diesel powerplant.

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

According to Chrysler, the diesel-powered RAM 1500 will arrive at dealers during the third quarter of this year. That means, by the end of the summer, pickup buyers will finally be able to drive a light-duty diesel pickup. Chrysler says customers have been requesting it for a long time.

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

Officially dubbed EcoDiesel, the RAM’s new engine will be a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Chrysler hasn’t announced further details on the engine, such as power or torque figures. But the automaker says it will be mated to the same 8-speed automatic that powers today’s RAM 1500 pickup.

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

2014 Dodge Ram 1500

The RAM will share its new diesel engine with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is also adding diesel power for the new model year. In the Grand Cherokee, the V6 will make 240 horsepower and a muscular 420 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler says diesel-equipped Grand Cherokee models will get up to 30 mpg on the highway.

The diesel V6 will join three other engines currently available in the RAM. Base-level RAM models use a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6. Optional engines include a 310-hp 4.7-liter V8 and a 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8.

2014 Dodge Ram 1500 interior

2014 Dodge Ram 1500 interior

While the RAM 1500 will become the first light-duty truck to offer diesel power, most brands offer diesel in their heavy-duty pickups. That’s because diesel is generally preferred for buyers looking to tow or haul large loads. Heavy-duty RAM models offer a 350-hp 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that boasts a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque…