Photography by Joe Bruzek
We get to drive a lot of new pickup trucks here at PickupTrucks.com, and we take our responsibility seriously when it comes to communicating our impressions and test data to our audience. Within that vein, we've decided to conduct, with our colleagues at Cars.com, an "Annual Physical" on various pickup segments to collect data and information you might find interesting when comparing similar pickups.
This type of event will be different from our regular Challenges, where we put similarly outfitted vehicles in head-to-head competition with various scored events, eventually declaring a winner.
Our Annual Physical will be an opportunity to field as many vehicles as possible within a segment to find out how they perform in tests including zero-to-60 mph and quarter-mile times and what kind of fuel economy they return.
For this first attempt, we concentrated on V-6-equipped pickups for the 2014 model year. We contacted every truckmaker in the U.S. and made our request. The vehicles in this category that are missing from our 2014 Annual Physical are the 3.7-liter V-6 Ford F-150, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost Ford F-150, the 3.6-liter Pentastar Ram 1500 and the 4.0-liter regular cab 4x2 Toyota Tundra. We were told by each truckmaker that they could not get a truck to us in time for our event.
In alphabetical order, here are the pickups we had for our inaugural Annual Physical and their specific options and costs.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Silverado is a two-wheel-drive LT double-cab pickup with 3.23:1 gears and the 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6, rated at 285 horsepower and 305 pounds-feet of torque. Base pricing for this model is $33,785, with our particular model including the All Star Edition Package ($2,640) that offers dual-zone climate control, a trailer package, 18-inch wheels, remote start and the 8-inch MyLink screen. Our test Silverado also included side steps ($750), a trailer brake controller ($230), all-terrain tires ($200) and movable upper bed tie-downs in the bed ($60) for a grand total of $38,605 (including $1,095 destination). Click here to see the Chevy Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
GMC Sierra 1500
The Sierra is a four-wheel-drive SLE double-cab Z71 truck with the stronger pulling 3.42:1 gears and base 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6 rated at 285 hp and 305 pounds-feet of torque. Base pricing for the well-equipped SLE 4x4 is $37,065. Our test unit had the SLE Convenience Package (power pedals, park assist and sliding rear window) for an extra $665 and the SLE Extra Value Package ($1,620) that offers power seats, remote start, dual-zone climate control and a trailering equipment setup. The SLE also included an 8-inch screen for navigation and IntelliLink ($795), and the Z71 Off Road Suspension Package ($775), which includes aluminum wheels, high-capacity air cleaner, monotube shocks, extra skid plating and hill descent control. Finally, the truck had a trailer brake controller ($230) and all-terrain tires ($200), for a total of $41,595, which includes destination of $995. Click here for the GMC Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
Honda Ridgeline Special Edition
This Ridgeline came with the SE Package that offers a unique, blacked-out honeycomb front grille, high-gloss black rims, darkened headlight and taillight surrounds, and standard fog lights. Our test unit came to us in Alabaster Silver Metallic with 4.53:1 gearing and an all-aluminum 3.5-liter SOHC V-6, rated to make 250 hp and 247 pounds-feet of torque. The base price for the SE starts at $37,505 and is fully equipped with every option Honda offers, including the somewhat-outdated-looking navigation system and three months of free XM satellite radio. Including destination ($830), our SE Ridgeline cost $38,335. Click here for the Honda Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
Our test Frontier crew cab came to us in full four-wheel-drive apparel with 3.36:1 gearing and a powerful all-aluminum 4.0-liter DOHC V-6, producing a Society of Automotive Engineers-rated 261 hp and 281 pounds-feet of torque. Base pricing for the rugged 4x4 is $31,850, but our pickup had the Pro-4X Luxury Package ($2,650) that includes an outdated navigation system with a 5.8-inch screen, leather-accented seats and Pro-4X logos, power seats, power moonroof and roof rack. Lastly, our truck had a spray-in bedliner, Class IV trailer hitch and detachable bed extender (all for $570). Total pricing, including destination ($860), came to $36,050. Click here for the Nissan Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
Although the EcoDiesel is offered in almost every trim package Ram offers, our test truck came to us fully loaded. The turbo-diesel engine sat inside a Laramie Longhorn 4x4 with 3.92:1 axle gears (according to the axle tags, not the Monroney); the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 is rated at 240 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque. Base price for this edition is $48,730, with our test unit adding the 28K Convenience Group that includes auto high-beam control, rain-sensing wipers, 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome sidesteps and monotone paint ($495). Other big-ticket items included the $2,850 upcharge for the EcoDiesel (over the Hemi), a tri-fold tonneau ($500), power sunroof ($995), a trailer brake controller ($230) and the segment-exclusive air suspension ($1,595). All tallied, including destination ($1,095), our test Ram cost $56,640. Click here for the Ram Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
The Tacoma in our test is a PreRunner (meaning 4x2) with four full-size doors (Toyota calls this its double cab) and a long bed. It has 3.73:1 axle gears and an all-aluminum 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 with the lowest horsepower rating of the segment -236 hp and 266 pounds-feet of torque. Base pricing for our Blue Ribbon Metallic Tacoma is $25,160, with our particular unit including the premium Entune audio and navigation system that gave us all sorts of connectivity and a 6.1-inch touch-screen ($1,265). Our Tacoma also had the SR5 Extra Value Package ($1,935) that includes, among other things, keyless entry, cruise control, fender flares, bucket seats, leather steering wheel and backup camera. Lastly, our PreRunner had the V-8 Tow Package ($650) that includes a heavy-duty alternator, oil cooler and battery, as well as a Class IV receiver hitch and wiring. Including destination ($860) and select package discounts ($355), the total came to $29,515. Click here for the Toyota Monroney and click the truck's chart (above) to see a larger version.
The Full Report: