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Must See Trucks at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Michelle Naranjo
by Michelle Naranjo
January 12, 2015
7 min. Reading Time
2014 LA Auto Show gmc sierra 2015

2014 LA Auto Show gmc sierra 2015

Trucks seem to be more popular than ever in this country, and while plunging fuel prices have played their part, so have the automakers: They’re now showcasing some of the most technologically advanced trucks ever, offering innovations under the hood, in the cabin and even in the material used to build them. In fact, some have even begun to adopt the kind of proactive safety systems first introduced on today’s next-gen cars.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Nissan Titan XD

Showcasing a 5.0-liter turbodiesel V8 from Cummins that delivers some 555 lb.-ft. of torque, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD spearheads the next generation of Nissan full-size pickups—although the XD actually breaks new ground with proportions between those of typical full-sizer and an HD pickup. Of course, the 2016 Nissan Titan roster will feature more traditional, gas-engined models as well, albeit with non-traditional truck touches like today’s most popular driver assistance and connectivity technologies, along with an expressive “anatomical” design. Other highlights will include an innovative “Utili-trak” cargo management system and premium LED illumination.

  • Nissan’s thinking about full-size pickups, with the automaker going all-in on the XD model that will be able to haul up to 12,000 lbs. and boast a payload of 2,000.
  • The 2016 Nissan Titan will go into production in Canton, Miss., at a future date.
  • TBD.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

The 2016 Ford F-150 Raptor roars onto the scene sitting on a ruggedized version of the same all-new platform that underpins the standard 2015 Ford F-150. The Raptor sheds both its SVT branding as well as its eight-cylinder engine, swapping in a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that has been tuned to produce more than the outgoing mill – so for those of you keeping score at home that means more than 411 horses and 434 lb-t of torque. An ever bigger surprise is the new 10-speed automatic transmission that comes standard with (and is exclusive to) the Raptor, which pairs with four-wheel drive and a next-generation Terrain Management system to handle the rough stuff. Fox Racing shocks, a wider track and body, and a 500 pound weight loss compared to the 2015 SVT Raptor complete the new model’s package.

  • The Ford F-150 Raptor is all-new.
  • Fall of 2015.
  • Pricing has yet to be discussed for the Raptor.

Unveiled in Detroit: 2016 Toyota Tacoma

The small truck space is suddenly a crowded one, and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma gets a quickie redesign to help it keep its edge as the most popular mid-size pickup model. Although last year’s 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine carries over, a new 3.5-liter V-6 is in the cards and promises better efficiency. Toyota hasn’t told us how much power the fresh six-cylinder engine is producing – last year we got 236 ponies from a larger 4.0-liter mill – but we were told that the four-cylinder model gains a six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment, while the V-6 offers a six-speed auto or a six-speed manual on the options sheet. The Tacoma’s frame is now stiffer, its suspension has been tuned for greater comfort, and interior and exterior styling have been revised.

  •  It’s an almost-new effort from Toyota to bring the Tacoma up to snuff in the face of suddenly-stiff competition. 
  •  A release date has yet to be pinned down by Toyota.
  •  Pricing for the Tacoma hasn’t been published at this time.
 Photo by Megan Green

Photo by Megan Green

Unveiled in Detroit: 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

Attitude is everything with the 2015 RAM 1500 Rebel, which stands out from the other options in Ram's full-size pickup family by way of its extroverted styling. This includes an enormous 'RAM' grille, a flared hood, blacked-out trim, LED fog lights, new bumpers, and an interior that plasters 'Rebel' on the seat bolsters. Under the hood you've got the choice between Ram's standard 305 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 or an optional 395 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, and the Rebel benefits from 33-inch tires, skid plates, tow hooks, an air suspension system that offers a one-inch ride height increase, and Bilstein shocks - all of which are intended to help when driving off-road.

  • The Ram 1500 Rebel loads on a bunch of all-terrain gear along with aggressive styling to create a special edition truck that should appeal to weekend warriors.
  • Expect the Rebel to arrive this Spring.
  • There's no price available at this time for the 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado has helped reinvent the mid-size pickup segment, boasting smaller dimensions--and higher fuel-efficiency marks--than is full-size Silverado sibling, yet still providing its fair share of robust capabilities. For example, when equipped with its 305-hp V6, the Colorado can tow up to 7,000 lbs., even with an EPA rating of 26 mph highway; the standard four-cylinder powerplant produces a peppy 200 hp and 27 mpg highway. The Colorado provides plenty of versatility, too, with GM’s CornerStep rear bumper and EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, and there’s also plenty of technology and stuff on board, from OnStar 4G LTE connectivity (with a mobile wi-fi hotspot) to driver-assistance measures like forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a standard rearview camera.

  • The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is in the first year of an all-new generation.
  • It’s at dealerships now.
  • From $20,120.
 Photo by Megan Green

Photo by Megan Green

2015 Ford F-150

One year after its much-heralded world premiere at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 comes back to Detroit just at its starting to reach customers. As reminder, both those folks and show-goers alike will be able to see F-150 highlights like a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, a 360-degree camera system with split-view display, LED lighting, the BoxLink cargo management system, stowable loading ramps, SYNC with MyFord Touch technology, and what Ford touts as best-in-class towing and payload ratings.

  • Everything, although the biggest change was no doubt Ford’s decision to rely on a military-grade aluminum for so much of the truck’s body, a moved that helped slice the curb weight of some models by upwards of 700 lbs.
  • Now.
  • The MSRP of the 2015 Ford F-150 starts at $25,420.

2015 GMC Canyon

The 2015 GMC Canyon slots into the GM roster as the Professional Grade complement to the Colorado, which means it provides the same kind of benefits but in a more sophisticated package. And, as a further distinction, the brand just announced a new 2015 GMC Canyon Nightfall edition with a blackout-style design upgrade that also includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, remote start, a factory-applied spray-in bedliner, a polished exhaust tip and all of the goodies from the well-equipped Canyon SLE model, including a GMC IntelliLink setup with 4G connectivity and a mobile wi-fi hotspot.The Nightfall edition will be sold with both four- and six-cylinder powerplants, in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

  • The entire truck.
  • Canyon sales are ongoing, with the Nightfall edition due in the second quarter of 2015.
  • $20,995 is the starting price of the 2015 GMC Canyon.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado--named North American Truck of the Year at last year’s Detroit auto show--returns to the frigid Motor City with some sizzling momentum, delivering 57,837 units in December and raising volume by 35.8 percent; that’s a faster growth rate than for either its Ford or Ram rivals.

  • The Bowtie brand builds on the Silverado’s 2014 success with style, performance and technology upgrades for 2015. Among the enhancements: for new exterior colors, highlighted by two shades with limited availability--Sunrise Metallic and Pewter Metallic; a new eight-speed automatic transmission for the truck’s available 6.2-liter V8; and upgrade Chevrolet MyLink technology, now with text-messaging alerts, Siri Eyes Free integration, 4G LTE connectivity and mobile wi-fi capability.
  • Now.
  • Customers can get into a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado with an MSRP of $25,575.

2015 Ram 1500

Autobytel congratulates the 2015 Ram 1500 as our Truck of the Year. And yes, that does make it two in a row for the Ram, as Autobytel editors once again lauded the brand’s innovative EcoDiesel model for its ability to post the highest fuel-economy ratings of any full-size pickup while still serving up 420 lb.-ft. of torque and a max tow rating of 9,200 lbs.

  • Technically speaking, changes here are limited to a new instrument-panel welcome screen for upper-level SLT and Laramie grades, as well as a new exterior color: Black Forest Green. However, 2015 represents the first full model year for the Ram EcoDiesel model, with the 2014 models launching in March of last year and the brand announcing the 2015 versions just six months later.
  • The 2015 Ram roster is ready right now.
  • The 2015 Ram 1500 stickers from $25,410.

2015 GMC Sierra

The 2015 GMC Sierra is easy to distinguish from its Bowtie-branded partner in most ways, but they do share similar amounts of marketplace momentum, including December sales growth that exceeded 30 percent and a +10 percent jump in annual volume.

  • In keeping with its upscale, Professional Grade positioning, the 2015 GMC Sierra adds premium trailering mirrors for the new model year, complete with LED rear-guidance lamps, and the range-topping Denali editions welcome Magnetic Ride Control suspension technology. The rest of lineup also keeps in step with the Silverado by adding OnStar’s 4G and wireless hotspot features, along with two more exterior colors (Emerald Green Metallic and Stone Blue Metallic), enhanced IntelliLink capabilities, and, in models outfitted with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • At the present time.
  • The starting price for the Sierra is $26,605.


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