Ram 1500 Black Edition
Recently unveiled at the State Fair of Texas, Ram primps its beefy Hoss with this debonair noir edition that flaunts a black grille, door handles and exhaust plus gleaming LED headlamps. Check the 22-inch wheels and sport hood, too. Interiors dress with black leather. Keeping it frugal are a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel, achieving 20/27-MPG city/highway, and 3.6-liter V6 hybrid going 20/25-MPG. An air suspension provides a smooth ride.
Base price: $53,690.
These miserly pickups elicit cheap dates
CASEY WILLIAMS | Auto Reviewer
Trucks drink fuel. That’s what you may think, but it isn’t necessarily so. There are full-size and mid-size haulers that lay down fuel economy numbers to embarrass many sleek crossovers. And a new wave of electric pickups will soon throw off fossils altogether. See if one of these miserly trucks could be your next cheap date.
This full-size pickup burns fuel like a compact car. Under throttle, its six-cylinder turbo-diesel delivers a robust 277 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, which feels like a herd of linebackers pushing it forward. That feels nice, but so do fuel economy ratings of 23/33-MPG city/highway — the best of any full-size truck. It has a nose only a blind mother could love, and the interior decoration is a generation behind, but it sure goes easy at the dinner table.
Base price: $28,300
It’s no sports car, but it looks suave. Choose it with the SuperCrew four-door body to drop friends at the club. It’s especially fetching with dark aluminum wheels and black grille. Get it with a sunroof, B&O audio, adaptive cruise, lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance, too. It’s all very nice, but keeping it moving is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 270 horsepower and relatively frugal 21/26-MPG city/highway.
Base price: $24,300
Ford F-150 Diesel
Diesel is apparently the new fuchsia. Ford’s ubiquitous F-150 gets a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel that puts out 250 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque. Fuel economy is rated 22/30-MPG city/highway, or about the same as a compact crossover. Ford employs aircraft aluminum body panels to reduce weight and improve economy. Go all-in with a dual-pane sunroof, B&O audio, 4G Wi-Fi, power running boards and all the latest crash avoidance systems.
Base price: $40,000
Get it stripped down or studded out, but stay with smaller engines. Choose a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that achieves 20/26-MPG city/highway or 2.8-liter diesel with 20/30-MPG. Canyon is stylish with its chrome grille, bulging fenders and elegant interior equipped with optional heated/cooled front seats, wireless charging, Wi-Fi and heated steering wheel. Available safety gear includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.
Base price: $24,000
This Pilot-based “crossover pickup” employs a 280 horsepower V6 that ekes out 19/26-MPG city/highway. Its terrain management system can be configured for snow, mud or sand. The Ridgeline rides and drives like a big wagon while spoiling tailgaters with an innovative bed boasting stereo speakers, household outlet and sealed under-floor storage for iced-down beverages. Collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise stand by.
Base price: $29,990.
A really cheap date, it will likely be painted white with two-wheel-drive and a manual transmission, but the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates 152 horsepower and 19/23-MPG city/highway. This generation is old enough to be called “Daddy”, but butch styling aged well — especially in Midnight Edition with gloss black trim. Interiors can be easily cleaned after late night debauchery, but the infotainment system is so 2000s.
Base price: $19,000
For the most efficient Tacoma, choose the 159 horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder that squeaks out 20/23-MPG city/highway. That’s only slightly better than the 278 horsepower V6’s 18/22-MPG. Get the V6. Beyond legendary durability, this beefy lad impresses with available Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Safety is enhanced by a pedestrian detection with auto brake, lane departure warning, and radar cruise.
Base price: $26,050
Rivian R1T EV
The Tesla of pickups arrives in 2020 with 750 horsepower, 400 miles of range and 0-60 mph in 3 seconds. Batteries are housed in a skateboard chassis beneath the body. It further innovates with a full-width storage cavern between the cab/bed, frunk in the front, and rack system for mounting gear above. Three 110v household outlets populate the bed. Fresh interiors display a horizontal tablet-style touchscreen, flatscreen instruments, and wood detailing.
Base price: $69,000.
Jeep Renegade Hybrid/Diesel
Jeep’s new pickup takes Wrangler DNA and slugs a four-door truck body on top. The standard 3.6-liter V6 achieves 285 horsepower and 16/23-MPG city/highway. Fuel economy will improve as Jeep adds 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engines and light hybrid system with a turbocharged four-cylinder. A plug-in Renegade is expected circa 2021. That’s impressive for a truck that can crawl over boulders and shed its doors and roof to display its sexitude.
Base price: $33,545