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Pickup Truck of the Year 2015 -- Day Four

On-Highway Comfort Reigns Supreme in Our Fuel Economy Loop

Jan 5, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors, Robert Guio
Our final regimented day of Pickup Truck of the Year 2015 testing saw us take our fleet of nine through their paces as daily commuters. Our circuitous route took us the long way home from Hesperia, California, with a few quick pit stops to compare notes and change trucks. We all got plenty of time in each of the trucks, helping our seat-of-the-pants calibrators provide highly scientific (not really) insights. At the end of the route, we refueled and called it a night.
While exact fuel economy numbers will be revealed in the May/June ’15 issue of Truck Trend, we can say that the results were mostly unsurprising. The all-aluminum F-150 achieved excellent fuel economy for a 1/2-ton pickup, and the midsize Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma offered useful fuel-economy gains over their larger competitors.
Photo 2/3   |   2015 GMC Canyon SLT In Motion
However, Chevrolet’s Active Fuel Management system helped its Silverado 1500 achieve surprisingly impressive numbers, given that it was motivated by a 420hp 6.2L V-8. Although some of us noticed a clunk when the engine switched between V-8 and V-4 modes, it was mostly unobtrusive.
The loop also gave us a better idea of what these trucks would be like to live with on a daily basis. The firm suspension tuning that made the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado a bit bouncy off-road paid off in a well-controlled, quiet freeway ride. The Ford F-150’s hot-rod EcoBoost engine stood out in terms of immediate power delivery and throttle response. Rejoining the pavement after one last off-road romp, Tundra and Tacoma each suffered from some annoying tire thrum thanks to their aggressive rolling stock. On the other hand the GMC Sierra Duramax and Ford F-350 Power Stroke offered long-distance, lazy comfort.
Photo 3/3   |   2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Offroad
At the end of the day, each editor took home a pickup for the weekend to glean even more day-to-day driving impressions, and on Monday, we gathered our notes, tallied our votes, and picked a winner.
Check back soon and we’ll let you in on the secret.
- OF