Back in the early nineties, Joe Diffie crooned the lines, “I’ve got an eight foot bed that never has to be made; you know if it weren’t for trucks, we wouldn’t have tailgates.” An ode to what was previously known as a workman’s vehicle, the pickup truck has evolved into a stylish and sporty vehicle that has bridged not only a labor gap, but a gender gap as well. Pickup trucks are no longer the truck of the blue collar world, they’ve evolved with society.
Not long ago, there were certain auto makers that made certain trucks, and other brands simply didn’t offer a pickup model. As pickup trucks became more mainstream, even the die-hard foreign makers came up with a version to add to their rosters. However, for many years, the names in pickups were Ford, Dodge, Chevy, and GMC. The four truck giants have expanded their lineups, while Japanese powerhouses like Toyota and Nissan have come up with pretty popular pickup models of their own.
Since 1948, Ford’s F series has been outselling its competitors, by weighing in as the most popular truck on the market. Even the new lightweight model with aluminum added to the body has proven quite popular as well. Coupling function and style, Ford has manufactured a pickup truck that not only gets the job done, but also offers a comfortable ride, excellent gas mileage, and all the bells and whistles offered in newer vehicles. No longer do pickup drivers have to sacrifice technology when purchasing a vehicle that meet their transportation and hauling needs. If the past 32 years, in which the F series has taken the title of most popular vehicle, prove anything, the Ford F series isn’t going anywhere.
Since 1981, Dodge has been recruiting loyal fans with the production of their Ram line. Only recently, the Rams have been transferred to the Ram Trucks brand name, but have seen no loss in popularity. A rugged brute of a truck, the Dodge Ram meets all the function requirements of a standard pickup, but does so without sacrificing the comfort and class of the interior cabin. Available in a variety of models, engine sizes, and gas options, the Ram offers pickup lovers exactly what they’re looking for, while also enticing newer drivers with unsurpassed styling and an impressive gas mileage.
Certainly sporting the most diverse line of trucks, Chevrolet and GMC have been producing versions of their top two models, the Silverado and the Sierra since the late nineties. However, a version of both of these models has been under production by both manufactures for a long time. Both GMC and Chevrolet offer many different models of their full sized truck and have also begun offering a smaller version as well. Chevrolet calls this model the Colorado and GMC calls theirs the Canyon. Chevrolet’s trucks, and their identical counterpart GMC, are known as the longest lasting trucks on the market, so they have clinched the market there.
Not to be outdone, popular foreign automaker Toyota has joined the truck party, offering not only one, but two models. Previously called the T-150, before Ford stepped in and made them change the name, the Toyota Tundra has been a full sized truck offering since 2000. Offering both the functionality of a standard pickup, with excellent towing and hauling capacity, and outstanding long lasting reputation of Toyota. Also rounding out their lineup with the Tacoma, a smaller yet spacious pickup, Toyota has managed to hold their own in the truck market.
In 1997, Nissan threw their hat in the ring with the production of the Frontier, a smaller yet still functional pickup. In 2003, they followed up this offering with the production of the massive Titan. Standing up to its larger than life name, the Titan is prepared for every heavy duty task thrown at it. Gaining popularity amongst the foreign automaker fans, Nissan’s trucks have all the form and function of the American truck offerings and all the reliability of Japanese cars. Boasting an impressive gas mileage, but perhaps sacrificing some of the comfort offered by other full size trucks, the Titan performs quite well in terms of sales.
Whether you’re a traditionalist that wants a truck made by the big four, or you’re willing to step out of line to purchase a foreign model, a pickup is the way to go. If you require a heavy duty vehicle to handle all the jobs in your life, you’ve got options!
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