Good news for fleets! Due to their popularity, manufacturers are continually making improvements to trucks. Many of these improvements have been added for better fuel efficiency and safety, and to make the truck easier to use for work.
Here’s a roundup of what’s available or what’s coming in the pickup truck segment.
FORD – An all-new F-150 is coming for 2021. It will ride on the same frame as before and is virtually the same overall size, but it has new exterior and interior styling, and several new features including an on-board generator available in three power levels up to 7.2 kW with bed-mounted outlets, and a centre console that turns into a work table.
The 2020 engines carry over: 3.3-litre V6, 2.7-litre V6 EcoBoost (turbocharged), 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost, 3.0-litre Power Stroke V6 turbodiesel, and 5.0-litre V8.
Ford says the engines will be upgraded but full details hadn’t been revealed at press time, except that the V8 now gets cylinder deactivation for better fuel economy.
Along with those engines, Ford adds a new 3.5-litre PowerBoost V6 Hybrid. It’s a full hybrid, capable of running on electricity alone, and will be offered as an optional engine on all trim levels. It recharges its battery through regenerative braking and doesn’t get plugged in.
The F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models got a refresh for 2020, and along with the 6.2-litre V8 gas engine and the 6.7-litre PowerStroke V8 diesel, which makes 1,050 lb-ft of torque, there’s also a new 7.3-litre V8 gas engine making 475 lb-ft of torque.
For lighter duty, the midsize Ranger comes in SuperCrew or SuperCab configuration, with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 lbs.
GM – The mechanically-similar Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 carry over into 2020 with a few upgrades, including more engine choices on certain trim levels; available trailer tow mirrors; and available bed-view camera.
The Sierra continues to offer a MultiPro tailgate with six functions and positions, including second-tier loading. Both Silverado and Sierra offer a 4.3-litre V6, 5.3-litre V8, turbocharged 2.7-litre four-cylinder, 6.2-litre V8, and 3.0-litre inline-six turbodiesel.
All gas engines use cylinder management, and it either deactivates the same cylinders each time or in an alternating pattern, depending on the engine.
The Silverado and Sierra 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty models are all-new for 2020, and they’re larger and with new features, including advanced towing technologies. Engines are 6.6-litre V8 gasoline or 6.6-litre V8 Duramax turbodiesel making 910 lb-ft of torque.
For lighter-duty work, the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon offer a 2.5-litre four-cylinder, 3.6-litre V6, or 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel, with maximum 7,700-lb towing capacity.
RAM – The Ram 1500 was all-new for 2019, and for 2020, the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 now returns, alongside the 3.6-litre V6 and 5.7-litre V8. Standard on the V6 and optional on the V8 is eTorque, a self-charging mild hybrid system that can’t run on electricity alone, but which smooths out acceleration and increases fuel efficiency.
Other new features include a Multifunction Tailgate that opens sideways out from the centre, and high-tech safety features now available on more trim levels. The 1500 comes in Quad Cab or Crew Cab only.
The last-generation Ram carried over as the “1500 Classic” for 2019 in limited trims and configuration as a lower-cost option, and some dealers may still have stock.
The Ram 2500 and 3500 carryovers for 2020 with some new available features, including trailer tire pressure monitoring.
Engine choices are 6.4-litre V8 gasoline or 6.7-litre inline-six Cummins turbodiesel, which makes 850 lb-ft of torque, or 1,000 lb-ft in the high-output version.
NISSAN – The Titan receives a redesign for 2020, with new interior and exterior styling, and standard safety features including front and rear emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and driver alert. In Canada, it comes only as a Crew Cab 4×4.
The 5.6-litre V8 carries over but now has a nine-speed automatic transmission, instead of the previous seven-speed.
Nissan said it retuned the V8 and advertises 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, but that’s only on premium-grade gas. On 87-octane fuel, it makes 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft as before.
The larger Titan XD also gets the new styling. It shares the Titan’s 5.6-litre V8 and nine-speed automatic but loses the optional 5.0-litre V8 Cummins turbodiesel that used to be offered.
The midsize Frontier will undergo a complete transformation in the future, but for now, the 2020 model is the same as before but with the upcoming new model’s engine, a 3.8-litre V6 making 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic.
All Nissan trucks come with a segment-exclusive warranty of 5-years/160,000-km bumper-to-bumper.
TOYOTA – For 2020, the Tundra no longer offers a 4.6-litre V8, which was available only in a single trim level on the Double Cab.
Carried over, and now all by itself, is a 5.7-litre V8 that makes 401 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Double Cab comes in two- or four-wheel drive, while all CrewMax models are 4×4. A tow package is standard on all models, and maximum towing capacity ranges from 8,800 to 10,000 pounds.
The midsize Tacoma is available in Access Cab or Double Cab, but for 2020, the base four-cylinder engine is no longer offered.
All models use a 3.5-litre V6 engine making 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The maximum towing capacity is 6,500 lbs.
HONDA – While it’s not a fleet-oriented truck, Honda’s Ridgeline may be a good choice for light-duty work.
Based on an SUV platform, it uses a 3.5-litre V6 making 280 horsepower, and its all-wheel-drive system does a good job on rougher roads.
It can tow up to 5,000 lbs and includes a 207-litre locking trunk in the bed, along with a liftgate that drops down conventionally, or swings sideways like a door.
The maximum payload ranges from 674 to 713 lbs, depending on the trim level.