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  • And the Right Choice Is… - Garage Editorial Issue 11. 2014

And the Right Choice Is… - Garage Editorial Issue 11. 2014

Nov 19, 2014
Photographers: Monica Gonderman
One thing is for certain: You really can’t make a bad choice when it comes to the competitive and somewhat dramatic trio of ¾- and 1-ton Class 3 Chevrolet/GMC, Ford, and Ram trucks currently on the market. They are extremely smart (technologically advanced, not like Knight Rider’s KITT type of smart), comfortable, and bold looking on the road. Like all good work trucks, they really need a job and shine brightly when that job for which they were arguably created -- towing -- is put to the test. While the trucks may not care if they’re relegated to an existence of tow-less, congested city life, you sure will. The pent-up frustration caused by an awareness of their untapped potential -- the innate sense that “this truck needs a job, and it’s not called rush hour” -- will have you begging for that healthy, steep grade where, even with a heavy trailer in tow, you find yourself passing cars in a merciful yet swift display of raw power. You’re rarely the one in the way, but you don’t take it for granted. After all, isn’t this one of the reasons you bought “so much” truck?
So which truck should you bring home? First and foremost, make sure you’re pursuing the right segment. The ½-ton pickup truck market has very capable trucks (now including a diesel) with respectable towing numbers and fuel economy. (By the way, have you seen any Ram EcoDiesels on the road? I actually saw one “in the wild” for only the second time last night.) The van/compact van segment is packed full of new, exciting options. The primary question is this: Do you need and want the towing/payload the HDs have to offer? Don’t under-buy, in terms of towing and performance. If you’re going to be towing near the maximum capacity more often than not, or even could be in the future, you may need “more” truck. Why struggle when there are other options? But, at the same time, you don’t need to grossly over-buy (can, but don’t need to) and sacrifice fuel economy and ride quality for assets you’ll never utilize.
Although each of the Big Three’s trucks have their strengths and weaknesses, it’s in the eye of the beholder to weigh the options -- and also to remember that personal preference does not constitute a weakness or shortcoming (or a strength, for that matter) on behalf of the manufacturer. You can actually learn to adjust to, and even like, whatever truck you’re driving. The cool thing is that the trucks are uniquely and distinctly different. Where would the fun be if they were all clones?
In addition to keeping your personal preferences in check, can you abandon your brand loyalty and biases (to the best of your ability) for the sake of making a good purchase? Trust me, I know it feels like a request to abandon your religion, or to strip away everything that makes you, well, you. I’ve owned a Chevrolet since I was 16, so I know what it’s like. However, it’s smart and prudent to scope out the competition to at least validate your brand loyalty. How am I able to claim you can’t make a bad choice when it comes to the trio of heavy-duty pickups available today? By having been behind the wheel (towing actually) of all three. And the truck I’d take home right now isn’t from the brand I’m loyal to -- not for the 2015 model year, at least. But I do have my hopes up for 2016…
Photo 2/3   |   Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD Front Three Quarter
Photo 3/3   |   Monica Gonderman
What do you think? Can you make a bad choice when it comes to these new trucks?

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