All the Pickup Truck News: Crash-Test Woes, Ford Ranger Blacks Out and More

img752565848 1553724258421 jpeg 2019 Toyota Tundra | IIHS image

The biggest news out of the pickup truck world lately is just how poorly trucks fared in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, particularly the passenger-side small overlap front test. Only two trucks in the latest round of testing received the highest rating of good: the 2019 Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. Those two join the already-tested 2019 Ram 1500 and Honda Ridgeline as the only trucks to ace that crash test. Check out the article linked below to see how the rest of the field fared.

Related: More Pickup Trucks News

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RIP Manual Transmissions

If you were hoping to buy a new full-size pickup with a manual transmission, you’re out of luck. Ram has ceased offering a manual in its heavy-duty pickups, becoming the last major manufacturer to phase out row-your-own shifting in favor of increasingly advanced automatic transmissions. You’ll have to read the story below to find out just what led to the doom of the stick shift in full-size models.

Ford Ranger Blacks Out

Ford joins the ranks of manufacturers offering blackout appearance packages with the creatively named Black Appearance Package for the 2019 Ranger. The package blacks out a variety of trim bits, as well as the wheels, running boards and grille — and a host of other things, too. Bumpers will remain body-colored, however, so you’ll have to order your Ranger in black — as Henry Ford intended — in order to get a fully blacked-out truck.

2019 Ram 1500 Still a Big Deal

We had two fun articles about the 2019 Ram 1500 this past week. For one, we consulted our staff and listed our collective likes and dislikes with our choice for Best Pickup Truck of 2019. In the other, we explore just what owners of air-suspension-equipped Ram 1500s need to do when towing with a weight-distributing hitch, since there’s an auto-leveling component to the suspension that needs to be considered.

Baby Duramax Numbers Leak

Finally, horsepower and torque figures for the upcoming “Baby Duramax” six-cylinder diesel engine soon to be available in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 leaked and were later confirmed by GM. The new engine is rated at 277 horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of torque. What does mean for diesel offerings from other automakers? Check out the story below to find out.

You can catch up on everything has covered since March 21 below:

Report: Pickups Struggle in New IIHS Crash Test

Why the Full-Size Truck’s Manual Transmission Is Dead

New Ford Ranger Package Does Its Best “Back to the Future” Impersonation

2019 Ram 1500 With Air Suspension: What You Need to Know Before Towing

Baby Duramax Diesel Makes 277 HP, 460 Torque in Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra

2019 Ram 1500: 5 Things We Love (and 5 We Don’t)’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Brian Normile
Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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