The Ultimate Laborer’s Pickup Truck: RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

Happy Labor Day from the USA! Pickup trucks started life as common work vehicles, but they have more recently evolved into the preferred luxury vehicle for well-to-do blue collar workers, as well as white collar works who don’t mind getting themselves dirty.

One of my most recent test vehicles was the 2020 RAM 1500 Limited EcoDiesel. It is the most luxurious truck on the market; it is in a league of its own. So I am not quite sure if I should compare it to other trucks or a big luxury sedan designed for heads of state, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. To be fair, this is a $72,000 pickup truck.

Like you would expect on a luxury sedan or suv, the 2020 RAM 1500 Limited that I tested featured a cabin wrapped in leather: on the dash, doors, seats, steering wheel, and armrests. The seats are both heated and cooled. Wood trim is tastefully presented on the dash and doors. Additionally, fancy stitching in unique patterns brings an arguably new level of sophistication for a 4X4. I personally think the stitching is a little much, but I think buyers of this truck will like it.

The vehicle is enhanced with the latest technology: a gigantic touch screen infotainment display, 360 degree cameras for parking, automatic emergency braking. Oh and by the way, the truck can use computers to park itself.

Also like you would expect on a luxury sedan or SUV, the 2020 RAM 1500 Limited EcoDiesel has adjustable ride height and comfort settings. You can raise the entire truck for off-road use, you can raise the back for hauling a trailer, you can lower the truck to make it easier to get into, or soften the suspension for a comfortable ride. When at highway speeds the RAM 1500 Limited will automatically lower itself in order to improve fuel economy.

The $5,000 optional 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 powertrain on my test vehicle supplied me with nearly unlimited driving range, at 32 mpg with an unusually large gas tank. The engine only has 260 horsepower, but it delivers 480 pounds of torque.

Because this is in fact a pickup truck designed for work, RAM made sure the 1500 Limited can get the job done. It can be optioned to have full off-road capabilities, complete with a low-speed four-wheel-drive system. You can also two up to 12,750 pounds.

And in case you missed geometry class, there is a job site cheat sheet hidden underweight the center console’s storage compartment.

So whether you are a blue collar laborer building homes, or a white collar worker who needs to haul his boat to the lake, you can get the job done in luxury and style.

Unsolicited Bonus: As a thank you to all of the laborers who build this country’s homes, office buildings, and infrastructure, RAM Trucks is offering a sales event of up to $4,500 off the price of a 2020 RAM 1500.

First Drive: The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Delivers More Of Everything

When I received an invitation from Chevy to travel to Wyoming and test the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado last week, I was excited for more than one reason. I knew that there was going to be a new and improved truck along with amazing scenery, but I didn’t realize that Chevy would actually let us put the vehicle through its paces in the real world. We got to test the various trim levels of the Chevrolet Silverado off-road, on the highway, in the city, towing things, and on the job site. It is essentially the same the truck, but different personalities.

The LT Trail Boss trim level on the Chevrolet Silverado was designed for customers who consider themselves off-road adventurers. New for 2019, it comes from the factory with a 2-inch suspension lift in order to give you more ground clearance. It also comes with a locking rear differential and skid plates should you decide to go rock crawling. To help out with the mud, 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires comes standard. During my real-world tests, the truck offered a high-level of driver confidence while venturing on rocky trails with steep elevation. The Trail Boss comes with a high and low speed transfer case standard, but the 5.3L V8 motor with an eight-speed automatic transmission (LT Trail Boss) delivered so much torque at low RPMs that the low range gears were not necessary. I will admit, I was a little nervous driving the Chevrolet Silverado off-road because I didn’t want to break this beautiful truck. But after seeing a Chevrolet engineer jump a Trail Boss with no damage, I can attest that the Silverado truly is “built like a rock.”

The LTZ and High Country trim levels were designed for owners who want the capability of a truck, but the driving dynamics and comfort of a premium sedan. Most of my testing with these two trucks were on the highway or around town. The High Country is the nicest of the two vehicles with the most standard features, as well as, a few exclusive features. But both trim levels deliver a polished exterior look; one that would make you proud to drive it to a fancy dinner party or equally suited to arrive at an executive board meeting. The interior of these two vehicles are dressed in leather – standard. Faux wood trim was tastefully placed throughout the cabin of High Country Silverado that I tested. Just by looking at it, you wouldn’t think that it was fake, but I would like to have seen real wood trim on a truck that costs $65,000 to buy. The driving dynamics of the LTZ and the High Country are significantly improved over the previous generation and the ride is noticeably smoother over the lower tier trim levels. Both vehicles drove more like a luxury sedan than a truck. They felt well planted at highway speeds with no vibrations and road noise was minimized. I credit the Silverado’s latest suspension tuning, dramatically improved aerodynamics (the drag coefficient was reduced by 6), and the use of advanced construction materials to lower the truck’s weight (by 450 pounds) as the main contributor. The LTZ and the High Country come standard with a 5.3L V8 and 8-speed automatic transmission, but the crème de la crème is the 6.2L V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It is a modified version of the same engine that powers the Corvette. It also gives you up to 12,200 pounds of towing capacity. If you are going to haul a trailer, I strongly recommend checking the “Surround Vision” option on the order form. Multiple cameras are placed around the vehicle in order to make hitching a trailer and maneuvering easier.

The “Work Truck” trim level is your bare bones option for the job site. While there are no thrills with this Silverado model, it is a great value – priced at around $30,000. It offers up to 63 cubic feet of cargo volume in the bed, which is reportedly 20% more than the competition. Additionally, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado model uses a higher-grade steel for the truck bed in order to increase durability by 47%. There is also 12 fixed tie-downs in the bed to secure what you are hauling – this up from 8 tie-downs on the 2018 model. If you are working with power tools on the job site, a 120-volt power outlet and storage bins are handy options.

I was told that truck buyers are very loyal customers and often never switch brands – I can respect that. So, for current Chevrolet owners, the 2019 model is a worthy upgrade over the 2018 model. The truck delivers more in every way. For new truck buyers, my advice is to ask your friends why they love their trucks. Then take a test drive in the all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado.

The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is the ultimate pickup truck.

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I am not a construction worker, I don’t own a farm and I am not handy around house… But I could picture myself driving a luxury pickup truck everyday. The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali turns the workman’s pickup truck into a vehicle that is equipped to lure executives from boring sedans and SUVs. The outside features a muscular grill and 20″ polished aluminum wheels, as well as, chrome doorhandles, mirrors and side moldings. The looks make you feel powerful.

The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali isn’t just a pretty face. It is powered by a 6.2L V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pounds of torque. That is powerful enough to pull a 7,200 pound trailer. The truck also features GM’s next generation magnetic ride control, which allows to improved handling or a comfortable ride.

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A look inside and you will find that the cabin offers a spacious interior, both front and back. With heated and cooled large leather seats, the driver and front passenger will be ridding in first class. The rear passengers will enjoy an extreme amount of legroom – more legroom than S-Class Mercedes. I also noticed that the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali offer an unusually quite ride, for a pickup truck.

This vehicle is loaded with tech… It comes standard with a large touchscreen display, bluetooth connectivity and a natural voice command system. The GMC Sierra Denali also comes with 4G LTE connectivity from OnStar – This allows you to turn the truck into a wifi-hotspot. If your mobile devices are running low on power, I spotted 4 usb outlets, two 12V sockets (cigarette lighter) and an AC power outlet.

While I wasn’t hauling lumber or moving furniture, I was able to appreciate having a full-size in my driveway. It was comfortable for everyday use and I looked really cool driving it! General Motors recently did a study comparing men who drive trucks and sedans…. Can you guess which guys were more attractive to women?

 

The Chevrolet Colorado Z71 is the best mid-sized pickup truck on the market!

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If you are looking for a truck that is easy to drive, can comfortably seat 4 to 5 passengers and has a bed that is big enough for most home improvement projects … then the Chevrolet Colorado Z71 is your truck!

What I like most about the Colorado is that is the perfect size. It is big enough so you are high off the ground, but not so big that it is intimidating to drive. Because of its size and weight, the Chevrolet Colorado feels solid on the highway. 

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The interior of the Chevrolet Colorado Z71 is sporty. Its leatherette and cloth seats are built to be durable and stylish. They remind me of something you might find in a Camaro. The hub of the car is the 8″ MyLink infotainment center. It is powered by OnStar and features access to your navigation system, phone via Bluetooth, and all of your multimedia controls. If you are having trouble locating a venue, you can call OnStar to find it for you. They will then automatically input into your car’s navigation system. In the event of an emergency, you can call for help.

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The bed of the Chevrolet Colorado Z71 comes in two sizes: short box and long box. The short box version that I test was perfect for my trip to Home Depot. I picked up a power washer and patio furniture with room to spare. The EZ-lift tailgate made it quick to load the truck. The rear bumper has a built-in step, which gives easy access to bed. An optional bed liner will protect the bed from scratches.

If off-roading is more of your thing, the Z71 trim level offers an off-road suspension, locking rear differential and transfer case shield. Large Goodyear Wrangler tires are also equipped. I didn’t get a chance to fully test the off-road capabilities, but the truck felt great on a gravel road.

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The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 is a sexy looking truck, it feels solid on the road, offers a comfortable ride, and is perfect for hauling… It is no wonder why Motor Trend named it their truck of the year… It’s mind too!