So what’s the news so far for 2017 trucks?

Many commercial vehicle fleet buyers want to do business with a manufacturer able to provide a full line of trucks.  Ford, for example, brags that it has a Class 1 to Class 7 truck line-up.

Whether your company is fleet purchaser or not, all benefit from the competition.  When truck shopping, just a few of the things to compare from one truck to another are frame, engine, cab configuration, driver convenience and safety features, hauling and towing capability and off-road prowess.

Fully loaded Ford Super Duties at the Colorado test drive event.

Customers can order the STX package on F-150 in either SuperCab or SuperCrew, and for the first time on the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty.   The STX package is designed for customers who want the utility of an F-Series truck in a stylish, well-optioned package at a competitive price.  The F-150 STX starts at: $35,615, F-250 STX starts at $34,910, and F-350 STX starts at $36,080

Ford’s All-New Super Duty:  “The toughest, smartest and most capable ever”

With Ford’s roll-out of the first “all-new” Super Duty in 18 years, every truck in that comprehensive line-up is fresh and new in design and capability.  The new SD hits the top in towing and payload capacities, towing heavier trailers and hauling heavier cargo than ever before.  Its maximum gooseneck towing capacity is raised to 32,500 pounds on F-450, fifth-wheel towing capacity is boosted to 27,500 pounds and conventional towing is 21,000 pounds; maximum payload is now rated at up to 7,630 pounds.  With a 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel, horsepower also tops its segment with 440 and torque and 925 lb.-ft. for all pickup models – from F-250 to F-450.  The 6.2-liter V8 gas model offers torque of 430 lb.-ft. 

Our test drive event in the Colorado Rockies proved just how far the SD segment has come and how much safer the advancements make everyone on the road.  Snaking a fully loaded payload in the bed of one of the test vehicles and pulling a fully loaded trailer in another through an obstacle course to test responsiveness and braking of the fully loaded down trucks, we almost forgot we had thousands of pounds behind us.  The new high strength steel frame is up to 24 times stiffer than the previous generation while weight is reduced by up to 350 pounds by implementing high-strength, military-grade aluminum on body and box

Ford has extensively studied how people use their trucks in designing smart technologies and conveniences. To name just some on the list of class exclusives are Trailer Reverse Guidance, adaptive steering and cruise control designed to work with the heaviest of trailers, a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage, and a 360-degree camera with split-view display to see front, side-view, over the cargo bed, on the tailgate and even behind the trailer.

Cleverly designed cabs are common across the line-up, whether it’s an F150 or a F450.  This makes it easier to add ever-evolving technological and creature comfort advancements to all models.  Whichever cab configuration you choose, Ford has thought about everything—how many cupholders you and a crew might need, what you might need to store, and all the devices you might need to power.  Both front and rear seat comfort and a smooth ride make occupants forget they’re in a Super Duty truck.

Nissan is calling 2017 Its “Year of the Truck”

Nissan’s new half-ton truck, an addition to its top-ranking Titan lineup,
 is put to the test at an off-road course in Carmel Valley. California.

The nation’s second largest car brand is attacking the truck!  In July, Nissan revealed a new Pathfinder, an all-new Armada and TITAN arrived in August, and another SUV announcement is promised this month.  In January, Nissan promises a new crossover reveal and for February 2017, the full TITAN lineup will be big news. 

So, it all begins and ends with Titan.  Last year, Nissan earned the Truck of Texas title from the Texas Auto Writer’s Association for its Titan XD.  Sized in between a Half Ton pickup and a Heavy Duty pickup, the XD can be ordered with a Cummins diesel engine for max towing of 12,314 lbs, or with a V8 gas engine for acceleration performance, outstanding payload and affordability.  And now, the half-ton Titan joins its big brothers, with a completely different chassis sporting 390 hp, 394 lb-ft torque, payload of 1,930 lbs and max towing of 9.730 lbs.  Additionally, it will have a single cab version—the first in Titan history—as well as the Crew and King Cab configurations.  The Endurance V8 5.6-liter gas engine is the only engine choice on the new half-ton Titan. It’s 28% more fuel efficient than the previous Titan gas engine, partially due to Active Grille Shutter technology that closes shutters behind the radiator grille when large amounts of airflow are not needed; the open/close happens based on coolant temps, vehicle speed and AC system pressure.   Five trim levels are offered across the XD and Half Ton lineup.

Focus areas for the 2017 Titans include styling and aerodynamic enhancements, new powertrain and capabilities handling, steering and ride comfort, as well as utility and driving aids.  Towing aids include the Titan’s 360-degree Around View® backup camera, integrated trailer brake control, downhill speed control, trailer light check and trailer sway control. And the really big news is the 5 years/ 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper limited warranty (about double the standard among Titan’s competitors).

On our test drive in Carmel Valley California, the zero gravity seats were noticeably comfortable, the Rockford Fosgate audio impressive, and all the comforts that you used to only find in the highest trim level SUVs were there.  Acceleration was smooth and quick, ride was quiet and comfortable.  Overall it felt lighter and yet sure-footed—a good mix for a work /recreational truck.  Few would put it to the off road test that we did, but it’s nice to know all that it can do there, too!

RAM already Focusing on 2018!

The Rebel is an off-road ready iteration of the RAM 1500.  
The 2017 Rebel adds a long list of value-added standard features.

Ram Truck continues to build great pickups that help the RAM brand gain market share. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 29 miles per gallon (mpg). Or choose a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine for 25 mpg, 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque, or the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with variable-valve timing (VVT) for up to 22 mpg, 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line boasts towing at 31,210 pounds and torque at 900 lb.-ft., but RAM has held one title longer than any production pickup: the most off-road-capable. Engineered to conquer the great outdoors, the 2017 RAM Power Wagon receives all-new exterior and interior design elements to match its aggressive behavior and off-road biased lifestyle.  A RAM 2500 4×4 Off-Road Package is also new.

While 2017 adds to the standard feature across the line, hang tight for 2018 to be another the big overhaul year for the RAM brand.  The all-new generation of RAM’s 1500 is expected to appear in late 2017, followed a year later by the new RAM 2500 and 3500.

GM/GMC Perfect All-New 2016 Model Updates with 2017 Enhancements

The 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD’s bold hood design
 features an all-new, patented air intake system.

After substantial updates for the 2016 model year, the news from Chevy and GMC for 2017 are plans to phase out 6-speed automatic transmissions for more sophisticated 8-speed automatics. New paint colors and packaging options were also be added to the 2017 Silverado and Sierra lineup.  Both the 2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD and the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD have an all-new, patented air intake system that is clearly marked by a bold hood design.

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