Trucks

First Drive: 2011 HD trucks from General Motors

This past winter we got our first experience with the new Heavy Duty trucks from Ram. Spring brought a new Super Duty from Ford (along with more HD Rams) and finally, summer 2010 put us in the driver seat of the newest big rigs from General Motors, wearing Silverado and Sierra badging. Along the way I noticed one thing different about the way marketing folks presented information from their colleagues…


Toyota Tacoma now calling Texas home

Big news for Texas and Toyota yesterday. OK, the news actually came out a while back that the automaker would shift midsize pickup production to their full-size truck plant in San Antonio but it was guns blazing Friday as Governor Rick Perry helped kick off the official celebration.


2010 Nissan Titan in Heavy Metal Chrome

The more things change, the more some things seem to stay the same. Take Nissan’s Titan fullsize pickup. When first introduced it bowed with the highest power in the half-ton segment nearly eight years ago and was one of the first to offer more than four gears in an automatic. As we approach the arrival of the 2011 model vehicles on the lot, Titan has fallen nearly to the back…


How to complete your Ram Heavy Duty fashion statement? Accessorize!

This past winter I ran my first review of the new-for-2010 Ram Heavy Duty pickup line. (Notice I did not say “Dodge Ram” as the vehicle brand. Remember, Chrysler has chosen to spin its truck division apart from the Dodge world and simply call it “Ram.”) It was a Ram 3500 Crew Cab duallie 4×4 in SLT trim. Since then my driveway has been blessed with two additional Ram HD…


Ford F-150 expanded portfolio: Harley and Raptor

If it seems like reviews of certain brands seem to come in waves it is because I get the vehicles by brand in waves. There are five companies regionally located here in north Texas that rep for the major automakers. A couple of them only handle families of brands, i.e. the Ford office delivers Ford/Lincoln/Mercury product and the agency working for Toyota only brings Toyota/Lexus/Scion models. As I have been…


2011 Ford Super Duty the answer to the $64,000 question

Didn’t Ford just give us a new Super Duty, like, two years ago? Yes they did. So why a complete makeover for this segment? The government. Yes, lawmakers in our nation’s capitol have mandated stricter emissions guidelines for the (diesel-powered) heavy duty pickup segment for 2010 and automakers have hit the end of their “grace periods.” Ford (with GM to soon follow and Chrysler did theirs last year) gave its…


2010 Ram Heavy Duty

As the automotive industry prepares for the 2010 North American International Auto Show I thought I would lead my ‘teen’ reviews with the vehicle that garnered truck of the year honors, the 2010 Ram Heavy Duty. Notice I did not say “Dodge Ram” as the vehicle brand. Chrysler has chosen to spin its truck division apart from the Dodge world and simply call it “Ram.”


New Dodge Ram 1500 charges head-on at competition

It all started on a frigid morning in downtown Detroit outside the North American International Auto Show in January, 2008. Anticipation was in the air (along with our frozen breath) as thousands of journalists eagerly waited for the thunderous roar that was coming around the corner. Dodge decided to introduce the all-new Ram 1500 pickup to the world in unique fashion – a cattle drive through the streets of motor…


2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid 1500 pickup

My relationship with the new fullsize GM hybrids continues to be a love/hate one. I love the fuel savings and cleaner emissions delivered by these “green beasts,” but I hate that consumers still cannot get an SUV for less than 50 grand. I also hate the acceleration/deceleration whine produced by the transmission/generator unit while operating in electric mode at low speeds, but then, this is the tradeoff for new technology….


2009 GMC Canyon – a date with a V-8

As if straight out of a “Pimp My Ride” episode on TV, General Motors is offering its compact pickup trucks with a fullsize V-8 powerplant under the hood, complete with a factory warranty and fully-intact fenders and hood.


Dodge Ram vs. Ford F-150: Round two

Even before my Oct. 23 AutoworldToday hit the newsstands, controversy was brewing over which new pickup can lay claim to being the best. Our review looked at the 2009 versions of the Dodge Ram and Ford F-150 half-ton trucks, each completely made over from the ground up. As I was preparing that piece for the print edition, press releases began flooding electronic mailboxes from the Dodge and Ford marketing divisions,…


The Ford Rouge Factory Tour: Featuring the 2009 F-150

Last week I had the opportunity to not only take the all new 2009 F-150 for several grueling test drives, I also got to see its creation from the frame up. Grinding Gears editor David Goodspeed and I met with other journalists at the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Our day started at the Henry Ford Rouge Factory Tour…


Wednesday Walkaround: Most capable 2009 Ford F-150

OK, granted it is now Friday, but we could not bring you the entire story of the all-new Ford F-150 before today due to embargo restrictions. The GearDiary team of Judie Lipsett and David Goodspeed spent two days in Michigan for a first-hand, full-tilt experience with the latest version of the world’s best-selling vehicle.


2009 Suzuki Equator and Grand Vitara

UPDATED WITH REVIEWS: Special Wednesday Walkaround: Two new models coming from American Suzuki – the all-new 2009 Equator pickup and the refreshed 2009 Grand Vitara. Suzuki hosted this press launch in the Texas Hill Country at the historic Knibbe Ranch. Click on image for video.


An Afternoon with Ford

Tuesday I was in Dearborn, Michigan, with about 200 other journalists attending an event held in and marking the reopening of the renovated historic Ford Dearborn Glass Plant. Before I get into the particulars of our day, I want to mention that the Dearborn Glass Plant was designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1922. It has a “front wall and ceiling made of glass” which allowed the plant to…