Each year, the editors of both Cars.com and PickupTrucks.com get together to determine which all-new or significantly revised models for the past model year deserve to be called the Pickup Truck of the Year. Key watchwords for this contest are power, capability and value, and we only allow select judges to offer their opinions if they've driven a good selection of the different models offered by each qualifying manufacturer.
This year, four pickups made the cut. Here's a few brief descriptions and highlights of each player. Our winner will be announced Jan. 31. Which do you think will win?
Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The latest generation half ton from Chevrolet offers an all-new frame and newly tuned front and rear suspension, as well as a new front grille design and larger, heavily reworked interior. The new truck is more aerodynamic, lighter by more than 400 pounds, stiffer and offers eight different trim packages, including two lifted 4×4 Trail Boss versions with up to 33-inch tires. Lastly, the new Silverado 1500 will have a that will include both a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, as well as a coming I-6 turbo-diesel option – versions of both the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 engines will be available, as well. Pricing for the trims range between $30,000 to well above $65,000.
Ford F-150 Power Stroke: Although not an all-new model, the 2019 Ford F-150 did offer in the most competitive half-ton class we've seen in decades. The all-new, turbocharged 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 diesel is rated at 440 pounds-feet of torque and is EPA-estimated to get a class-leading (along with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel) 30 mpg on the highway. The new diesel engine comes standard with a new 10-speed transmission and is offered in lower trim packages in fleet and commercial dealerships, while mid- to higher-trim packages will have the diesel choice at regular Ford dealerships. Prices range for mid- to top-trim packages from around $46,000 to more than $68,000.
GMC Sierra 1500: The GMC Sierra 1500 shares many of the upgrades and improvements that have been noted for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (platform, suspension, powertrains, interior) but also benefits from a restyled front grille area and body panels, as well as a choice of interior materials and textures. Additionally, the GMC brand offers a better top-of-the-line Denali premium package that delivers unique suspension capabilities (active-ride shock absorbers) and a system, which allows for a six-position tailgate feature that allows for more versatility in load carrying and bed access. Prices range from around $35,000 to just under $70,000.
Ram 1500: The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 has been getting a lot of attention because Ram has also done a complete redesign of their biggest-selling pickup just when trucks are the hot commodity. Although engineers upgraded the frame for better towing and payload numbers, they smartly kept their retuned coil-spring and air suspension choices the same while improving a few other features. All cab models are larger and quieter than before, with crew-cab models offering sliding, reclining rear seats with larger in-floor storage bins; however the most dramatic change to the new half ton is in the top-notch materials and styling choices Ram made with its new luxury interiors. Add to that an all-new 12-inch infotainment screen and a new pair of mild-hybrid powertrains, and you begin to see why Ram is getting so much attention. Prices range from around $32,000 to more than $60,000.
Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry, Evan Sears