American trucks continue to steal the spotlight

New models from Chevrolet, Ford impress, but Ram turns heads

By Nick Jones - Digital producer, Richard Nunn - Meteorologist

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

DETROIT, Mich. - Saying pickup trucks dominate the American market might be an understatement.

For 2019, the 'Big Three' (Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler) each introduced a new pickup truck to the American market. The model names, however, are all familiar.

Chevrolet introduced its redesigned Silverado, which promises to be lighter and more capable than the outgoing model. The new truck now uses lighter material for its doors, tailgate and hood, while still using steel in its bed, roof and fenders.

Ford continues to dominate sales with its F-series line of pickups, and the new model remains virtually the same. But the 2019 year marks the return of the mid-size Ranger to Ford's lineup.

The Ranger went extinct in the American market in 2011, but continued to sell overseas. The 2019 model is largely improved, and shares DNA with the bigger Ford trucks.

But the real show stopper unveiled during the Detroit Auto Show arguably came from Fiat Chrysler; the redesigned Ram 1500.

The designers at Ram had numerous design goals for the 2019 model, down to the logos used on the front and back of the truck. A coil spring suspension carries over from the previous model, which gives the Ram a smooth ride.

Cool features have carried over from the previous model, such as the RamBox which allows you to store tools, or even load a cooler's worth of drinks within the side of the bed.

On the inside, the 2019 Ram is roomier than the last, and the cab length increases by four inches.

An improved version of the U-connect infotainment system is also available; a massive 12-inch touchscreen display embedded in the dashboard that now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Just plug in a smartphone and the rest is automatic.

Under the hood is a choice of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or an improved version of the familiar 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, which has been used to power the truck since 2003. It uses Fiat Chrysler's new hybrid system called eTorque which maximizes fuel economy and torque.

In terms of safety, drivers have the option of forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, along with blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. 

Combine all that with impressive refinement, and it's clear the new Ram is all about having more.

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