Luxury Pickup Trucks are a Growing Trend Although the failure of the Lincoln Mark LT pickup stands out in the mind of some consumers, traditional full-size pickup truck manufacturers have had much better luck in terms of selling high feature, luxury editions of their standard offerings. Ford's Lariat has been joined by the GMC Denali and upcoming Dodge Laramie Longhorn trim levels in the race to put together the most comfortable, decadent trucks on the market. Even Toyota has gotten in on the act with the availability of the Platinum Package on the Tundra Limited. Let's take a look at each of the competitors in the luxury pickup truck game. Photos courtesy of respective manufacturers
Ford has been building Lariat editions of its F-150 full-size pickup trucks for several years, and over that time the features list provided with the vehicle has continued to grow. Currently, the F-150 Lariat pickup trucks offer full leather upholstery, high end interior trim pieces, heated seats with power adjustments for the driver and passenger, a power sliding rear window and power adjustable pedals, dual automatic climate control, and the SYNC vehicle communications and entertainment interface. The Lariat Plus package makes available an upgraded stereo system a rear view camera, power folding and body-colored side mirrors and a remote start feature. The Lariat family has also grown to include specialty luxury editions of the 2011 Ford F-150 - including the King Ranch, the Harley-Davidson, the Platinum and the Lariat Limited - each of which build on the Lariat's equipment list through the addition of unique interior and exterior color schemes and trim items. They also add items such as heated and cooled seats, Chaparral leather, 20-inch and 22-inch wheels and a navigation system.
The GMC Sierra Denali pickup trucks are visually quite distinctive from their standard Sierra cousins. A different grille and bumper treatment, as well as an abundance of body-colored trim set the Sierra Denali apart from lower trim levels of the pickup, as do its 20-inch chrome wheels. Inside, the Sierra Denali pickup trucks can be had with upgrades such as a Bose stereo system with subwoofer, turn-by-turn navigation through the OnStar system, heated and cooled leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a DVD entertainment system and a rear view camera. Mechanically, the 2011 GMC Sierra Denali also differs from other Sierra pickup trucks as it offers a unique drivetrain featuring a 6.2-liter V-8 engine connected to an all-wheel drive system that cannot be found on any other full-size pickup from the company. The setup makes use of a six-speed automatic transmission and generates 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque.
The 2011 Dodge Laramie Longhorn is a newcomer to the world of luxury pickup trucks. In addition to its unique color schemes, including a special green and gold model, the Laramie Longhorn also offers full leather and an actual wood-grain interior that carries a cowboy-themed look throughout the entire interior. Laser-etched seat bolsters, unique stitching, metal magnetic clasps that seal the vehicle's side pockets and contrasting piping on the seats add a Texas feel to the pickup's passenger compartment. The Longhorn steer logo is also displayed prominently both inside and outside the vehicle. The Laramie Longhorn pickup trucks match the equipment list of a full-load Ram Laramie, with the addition of items such as a heating and cooling feature for the front two buckets, heated seats for those riding in the back (the Longhorn is Crew and Mega Cab only), power adjustable pedals, a navigation system and a back-up camera.
The 2011 Toyota Tundra Limited is the top-of-the-line edition of the Japanese brand's full-size pickup. Adding the Platinum Package, however, takes the Tundra Limited into the realm of luxury pickup trucks thanks to the long list of high end equipment that is added to the vehicle's feature count. On the outside, the Platinum Package installs 20-inch wheels and a chrome lower front bumper, along with special badging and the choice of four special colors. The passenger compartment of the Tundra Limited Platinum Package is given a voice-activated, touchscreen navigation system, a power moonroof and a glass breakage sensor to enhance the vehicle's anti-theft system. Heated and ventilated seating that features perforated leather upholstery and embroidered headrests are also part of the Platinum Package, as is wood-look trim.