Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2015 Truck Trend Pickup Truck Of The Year

Nine heavyweights battle for glory

Truck Trend Editors
Feb 19, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors, Robert Guio
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must leave the comfort and stability of what they have always known. It’s a scary and often-challenging time, being forced to spread their wings and either fly off into the sky or tumble hard to the ground. Birthed by Motor Trend in 1998, it’s now our time to step out of the nest and do things on our own.
Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award is known throughout the industry as being one of the highest honors a new truck can receive. However—no offense to them—the folks at Motor Trend are car people; it’s what they know and love. So we got together and decided that it was time for the pickup experts at Truck Trend to forge ahead solo, run our own test, and pick a winner that we feel is most deserving. And that is what you are seeing today, Truck Trend’s inaugural Pickup Truck of the Year.
Photo 2/83   |   2015 Pickups On The Trail
For our 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year competition, we invited all models that were either all new or significantly updated. Nine pickups from five manufacturers accepted the invitation. Chevrolet entered their all-new midsize offering, the Colorado, and the Silverado 1500, which came equipped with the company’s new eight-speed transmission. GMC brought their new Canyon (the midsize cousin of Colorado) and Sierra 2500, which received an extensive body refresh. Ford offered up the completely redesigned F-150, along with an F-350 Super Duty with the improved second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine. Toyota created the specialized TRD Pro off-road package and sent us an equipped Tacoma and Tundra. Rounding out the field was the Ram 2500 Power Wagon, with so many updates from the previous generation we don’t have the space here to mention them.
Testing began just outside of Los Angeles at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. We ran each pickup through a battery of instrumented testing, which started with checking their weight (full fuel, no driver) before testing 0-60 mph acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, quarter-mile elapsed time, 0-60 mph with payload (500 pounds for the midsize trucks, 1,000 for the ½-tons, and 1,500 for the HDs), 60-0 mph braking with payload, and 0-60 mph acceleration with a trailer (loaded to 75 percent of each truck’s maximum towing capacity). Our team of judges hit the road early the second day, running each driver and truck through a 20-mile loop with their designated payload and then again with a trailer (loaded to the same 75 percent as the day before).
After a long slog through LA traffic, we ventured into the Mojave Desert for a day filled with nearly 100 miles of dirt trails. Through rough roads, muddy basins, rocky climbs, and sandy washes, we were able to evaluate the trucks’ tires, gearing, traction aids, electronic traction controls, ground clearance, suspension tuning, four-wheel-drive systems, thermal management, and overall vehicle dynamics. While it’s true that most truck owners won’t use their pickup as strictly an off-road toy, the fact still remains that the majority sold are four-wheel-drive, and we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t test these systems in conditions like what many buyers experience.
Photo 3/83   |   Desert Trail
Finally, each truck was driven over a several-hundred-mile highway route in an effort to gauge real-world fuel economy. In between tests, our panel of expert judges spent time with each pickup studying interior ergonomics, rear seat comfort, technology ease-of-use, build quality, and the features and benefits of each truck.
Each pickup brought with it a unique skill set, and they were all impressive to our judges in one area or another. However, in the end, only one could take the top honors. The winner showed exceptional performance in each of the tested criteria and never left our panel of judges disappointed. Which pickup scored the highest? Read on to find out.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Well Suited For The Dirty Life
Photo 4/83   |   The Tacoma TRD Pro looks cool and is a blast to drive off-road. For better and for worse, it’s a very old-school truck—inefficient and rough around the edges, but rugged and very fun.
Thanks to extensive off-road enhancements for the ’15 model year, the Stormtrooper-chic Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is tons of fun when the road gets dusty.
For those who live in a ruthless environment like Tatooine, there would be nothing more well suited for blasting you across the harsh desert landscape. The TRD Pro’s Bilstein shocks (equipped with remote reservoirs, 60mm pistons, and 18mm shafts) and TRD springs provide 2 inches of lift and an additional inch of wheel travel. TRD wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires give the Tacoma the power to grab the dirt hard and not let go. The Tacoma devoured our desert off-road loop and asked for more. Its only real rivals in that
However, once you hit the pavement, the Tacoma’s age starts to show. Without a major redesign in ten years, the Tacoma suffers from outdated interior plastics, tons of jiggles and squeaks over broken pavement, and a dated infotainment system (especially compared to the GMC Intellilink system in the Canyon).
Photo 5/83   |   2015 Toyota Tacoma Drivers Area
The TRD exhaust sounds decent, but it booms loudly on the highway, matching the tires’ on-road thrum and making the Taco a less pleasant place to spend long stretches of time. It also has fewer features and amenities than its competition, but the payoff is simple, old-fashioned ergonomics. We also love the throwback “TOYOTA” script replacing the rounded-T logo on the front grille.
Coming in at $38,300, the Tacoma is outclassed by the cheaper, more polished Chevrolet Colorado Z71. The TRD Pro is a lot of fun (and it’s the only truck in this test available with a manual transmission and six-cylinder engine), but it’s clearly a singlepurpose vehicle. If your trucking is confined to tight trails and the open desert, it’s the perfect choice. However, if eating up miles of whoops isn’t your thing, then you might look elsewhere. - Brett T. Evans
Photo 6/83   |   2015 Toyota Tacoma
We Like:
  • A ride with a seasoned driver proves this little Taco is the real deal off-road.
  • Bilstein nailed the shock tuning;the truck soaks up the roughest terrain with ease.
We Don't Like:
  • The brakes are very touchy on the road while ABS is too aggressive off of it.
  • Interior styling is very dated.
2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Specs
Base Price: $37,415
Price As Tested: $38,300
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 16/21/18
Engine: 4.0L DOHC 24-valve V-6
Power @ 5200 rpm 236 hp, Torque @ 4000 rpm 266 lb-ft
Trans: 5 Speed Auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 7.93 seconds
Quarter Mile: 16.09 seconds @ 85.9 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 134.57ft*
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 8.69 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 133.92ft*
Accel 0-60 (Towing): N/A**
Weight: 4,339 lbs
TestedFuel Econ (Average/Best): 16.50/19.60
*500 pounds of payload **Not equipped with a tow package

2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch

Capable Luxury Liner In Need Of Refinement
Photo 10/83   |   The F-350 King Ranch would make a great long-haul tow rig. Epic capability, fantastic seats, and thoroughly respectable fuel economy made this the favorite truck for some of our staff.
Without a doubt, the ’15 Ford F-350 Super Duty was the most capable truck in our test when it came to towing and hauling. With a new turbocharger, improved fuel injection, and strengthened engine internals, the new-for-’15 Gen II 6.7L Power Stroke diesel V-8 produces an astonishing 440 hp and an unreal 860 lb-ft of torque.
Its payload and towing ratings were tops in this test. Even with its extra weight for being a 1-ton (tipping the scales at 8,066 pounds), the Power Stroke had no trouble keeping up with traffic. The diesel provided superb throttle response, with near-instant power when passing and merging.
However, things looked a bit less rosy once the trailer was unhitched. The F-350’s solid front axle and heavy-duty suspension give it some hauling chops, but chops aren’t necessarily what you want when describing ride quality. The truck road amazingly well for a 1-ton on most highway surfaces. However, the right combination of expansion joints provided quite the back adjustment. Thankfully, the sumptuous leather seats help lessen the heavy-duty ride.
Photo 11/83   |   2015 Ford F 350 Drivers Area
The interior has a dated feel, with a hard dash and door plastics with sharp joints; the three-tone color combo was too busy; and the fake wood trim looked more like veneered cardboard. However, the F-350’s low dash and high seating position meant that this was a surprisingly easy truck to drive around town. Even the Canyon and Colorado seemed harder to place, thanks to their pinched windows and down-low seats. In the F-350, visibility was a complete non-issue.
Overall, the F-350 won several fans thanks to its great power and relatively easy driving manner. However, it’s in desperate need of interior refinement, something we suspect is coming next year. If Ford keeps the prodigious Power Stroke in the next Super Duty, it will be a serious contender, not only for the top spot in its class but in the pickup market as a whole. - Brett T. Evans
We Like:
  • Throttle response is excellent, and has best-in-test power and torque.
  • Interior trimmed with luxurious, beautiful leather, and the exterior styling is quite handsome.
We Don't Like:
  • A noisy truck in need of some refinement.
  • 1-ton suspension the harshest ride in the test.
2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch Specs
Base Price: $54,895
Price As Tested: $68,460
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): N/A
Engine: 6.7L Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel
Power @ 2800 rpm 440 hp, Torque @ 1600 rpm 860 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.28 seconds
Quarter Mile: 16.16 seconds @ 88.9 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 146.38 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 8.96 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 146.90 ft *
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 17.20 seconds**
Weight: 8,066 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 12.61/17.08
*1,500 pounds of payload **10,560-pound trailer weight

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Fullsize Fun
Photo 15/83   |   2015 Toyota Tundra
When the updated Tundra debuted for the ’14 model year, many were disappointed by the seemingly minimal mechanical changes over its predecessor, which debuted as an ’07 model. Cosmetic updates inside and out were the biggest changes. But Toyota has partially redeemed itself with the introduction of the ’15 Tundra TRD Pro. One look at its blacked-out block letter grille makes it clear what model it has in its crosshairs. The irony is not lost on us that it is coming to market just as the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor takes a temporary hiatus.
So what exactly does the TRD Pro package give you? Aside from the unique grille and logo-stamped bedsides, it adds Bilstein remote-reservoir shocks (with 60mm pistons and 18mm shafts), TRD-tuned springs (which provide 2 inches of lift), a front skidplate constructed of 1/2-inch aluminum, black 18-inch TRD wheels, a TRD dual-outlet exhaust, an instrument panel insert, and red stitching in the interior.
The vociferous exhaust elicited mixed reviews from the judges, some of them loving its assertive burble and others tiring of the resonance while cruising on the highway. Despite getting an update just last year, the Tundra’s interior still came across as dated to many, with an over-abundance of hard plastics and lack of soft-touch materials.
Photo 16/83   |   2015 Toyota Tundra Drivers Area
Nevertheless, any quibbles about the interior or exhaust faded once it was put through its paces off-road. The ample power of the 381hp 5.7L i-Force V-8, combined with the skillfully tuned suspension, made it supremely capable at both high and lowspeed off-roading.
However, the singular purpose of the TRD Pro does come with a few trade-offs, the most obvious being a compromise in towing ability and comfort. With our 7,560-pound trailer attached, the rear end sagged considerably more than its ½-ton peers under load. It’s nice to see Toyota expanding its Tundra models beyond the standard offerings, but if heading to the great outdoors isn’t your thing, this may not be the Tundra you are looking for. - Edward A. Sanchez
Photo 17/83   |   2015 Toyota Tundra
We Like:
  • Awesome off-road capability and confidence.
  • Sporty note from the TRD dual exhaust. Ample rear seat room.
We Don't Like:
  • Exhaust resonance can get tiring over long distances.
  • Dated interior full of hard plastic.
  • Mediocre towing performance compared to other ½-tons.
2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Specs
Base Price: $43,900
Price As Tested: $45,000
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 13/18/15
Engine: 5.7L iForce DOHC 32V V-8
Power @ 5600 rpm 381 hp, Torque @ 3600 rpm 401 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 6.91 seconds
Quarter Mile: 15.14 seconds @ 92.4 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 128.53 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 7.81 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 136.65 ft*
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 14.58 seconds**
Weight: 5,823 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 12.93/16.03
*1,000 pounds of payload **7,560-pound trailer weight

2014 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Works Hard, Plays Harder
Photo 21/83   |   The Ram 2500 Power Wagon is unlike anything else on the market today. The combination of a flexy suspension, sticky Goodyear tires, front and rear locking differentials, and an electronic disconnecting sway bar make this beast of burden nearly unstoppable off-road.
The Ram 2500 Power Wagon is known across the truck world as a hardcore off-road rig. Unlike its Raptor competitor, which is built for going fast across wide-open desert, the Power Wagon is more at home crawling through a boulder-strewn mountain trail. For ’14 the Ram 2500 received a major update, with an all-new frame, suspension, and 6.4L Hemi engine. Naturally, the Power Wagon followed suit, receiving the same new frame along with its own unique suspension. Being the special vehicle it is, the Power Wagon was an extremely late-availability ’14 model. So to address the elephant in the room (and stave off some hate mail), the ’14 model was eligible for this test because it didn’t hit dealers until early 2014, too late to be tested last year (had we ran a test). As such, the ’15 models weren’t available yet either, though we’ve been told the only difference is the addition of hill decent control.
On the highway, the Power Wagon drives like a ½-ton truck. The seating position is up high, proper for a truck this size. Ride quality is outstanding, thanks in part to the new linkcoil suspension in the rear and finely tuned Bilstein shock absorbers. The truck’s all-new 6.4L Hemi V-8 engine provides plenty of power, while cylinder deactivation attempts to promote fuel efficiency. Due to the unique suspension, the Power Wagon has towing and payload ratings lower than that of its peers. However, when loaded down, it hauls them without the slightest sign of breaking a sweat.
Photo 22/83   |   2015 Ram Power Wagon Drivers Area
Off-road is where this truck is meant to be. The combination of a flexible suspension, front and rear electronic locking differentials, an electronic disconnecting sway bar, tuned Bilstein shocks, and 33-inch Goodyear tires make this heavy-duty truck wheel more like a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Shifting into four-wheel drive is done with a floor-mounted manual shift lever, while the lockers and sway bar are activated with a dial and buttons located on the dash. So if you’re looking for fullsize truck capability in a package that conquers almost any terrain, look no further. - Jason Gonderman
Photo 23/83   |   2015 Ram Power Wagon
We Like:
  • Flexible suspension and great tires make this beast dominate off-road. Vinyl floors areawesome.
  • Proper seating position for a truck.
We Don't Like:
  • Step-in height a bit much for some.
  • Even with cylinder deactivation, the 6.4L Hemi is very thirsty.
  • The bedside graphics are a touch loud.
2014 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Specs
Base Price: $49,145
Price As Tested: $56,455
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): N/A
Engine: 6.4L Hemi V-8
Power @ 5600 rpm 410 hp, Torque @ 4000 rpm 429 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.71 seconds
Quarter Mile: 16.43 seconds @ 87.8 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 132.34 ft
Acell 0-60 (Payload): 9.79 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 139.97 ft *
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 19.46 seconds**
Weight: 7,301 pounds
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 11.52/14.79
*1,000 pounds of payload **7,560-pound trailer weight

2015 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4WD All Terrain

Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove
Photo 27/83   |   The Sierra 2500 HD impressed many of the judges with its combination of refinement and capability.
The General Motors HD trucks have long been some of the most civilized and refined in the segment. Our ’15 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Terrain certainly made an impression on many of the judges with its combination of capability, refinement, and handsome styling. The ’15 models finally complete the refresh process that originally started in ’11, when the GM HD trucks got an all-new frame and updated LML Duramax diesel engine. For ’15, the trucks got updated bodies that borrowed most of their styling cues from the ’14 ½-ton trucks, with proportionally larger grilles and hoods.
The judges were nearly unanimous in their praise for the Sierra’s good looks, as well as its refined, feature-packed interior. Once the undisputed refinement champ among diesel engines, the Duramax is slightly louder than the latest version of the Ford Power Stroke from the outside, but once seated in the Sierra’s plush, premium cabin, the interior noise level is about on par with, if not slightly quieter than, the Ford.
Photo 28/83   |   2015 Gmc Sierra 2500 Drivers Area
Loaded with a 1,500-pound payload, we could barely detect any degradation in the Sierra’s acceleration and braking, and hitching it to a 9,560-pound trailer showed its competence and confidence in doing the job it was designed for. As much as most of the judges liked the Duramax diesel and Allison transmission, the latest revision of the Ford 6.7L Power Stroke had a noticeable edge in power and torque over the LML. An updated Duramax is due within the next year or two, and you can bet it will come close to or surpass the Ford’s formidable output.
Complaints were few but mostly revolved around some low-hanging components, namely the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank and the low front air dam—a common issue on most GM trucks. Off-road performance got a mixed review from the judges, with some praising it for surpassing expectations and others saying it was too bouncy and nervous. Overall, the Sierra 2500 HD remains a solid choice for those looking for HD capability without the bravado of some of its competitors.- Edward A. Sanchez
Photo 29/83   |   2015 Gmc Sierra 2500
We Like:
  • Modern styling with premium comfort and convenience features.
  • Excellent ride quality for an HD truck.
We Don't Like:
  • The low-hanging DEF tank and front air dam concerned drivers and hampered off-road performance.
  • It’s noticeably less powerful than its Power Stroke competition.
2015 GMC Sierra 2500 All Terrain Specs
Base Price: $49,310
Price As Tested: $64,140
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): N/A
Engine: 6.6L LML Duramax V-8 Turbodiesel
Power @ 3000 rpm 397 hp, Torque @ 1600 rpm 765 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.03 seconds
Quarter Mile: 15.98 seconds @ 86.9 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 141.46 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 8.85 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 148.5 seconds*
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 15.90 ft **
Weight: 7,776 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best):14.24/21.67
*1,500 pounds of payload **9,560-pound trailer weight

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

Chevy's new Midsize Reinvents The Genre
Photo 33/83   |   The new midsize Chevy is leaps and bounds more refined than the previous-generation Colorado, not to mention its dated competition. We love the truck’s trim dimensions and decent capability.
The ’15 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 is a fantastic truck. Unlike its five-cylinder predecessor (and much of its current competition), the new Colorado is refined and smooth when it needs to be, but it also has a strong dose of truckability and ruggedness in its DNA.
While the GMC Canyon and Sierra look like twins, the Colorado has a very unique identity compared to the Silverado. Some of our judges liked the truck’s sporty, wraparound headlights, but some thought it looked a little too much like a crossover. Inside, the Colorado benefits from decent interior plastics and spacious seating front and rear.
With a trailer or payload, the Colorado handles the job without much fuss. The 3.6L V-6 is shared among many GM products (including passenger cars like the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac XTS), so it doesn’t produce as much low-end torque as a dedicated truck engine, but it makes great power if you rev it up, with excellent fuel economy coming along for the ride. The Colorado’s engine also felt a little torquier than its GMC cousin, and we surmise that this is due to the Colorado’s slightly lower curb weight
Photo 34/83   |   2015 Chevy Colorado Drivers Area
As with its Silverado brother, the Colorado suffered off-road to some degree. While it didn’t have ground-clearance-destroying side steps, its front air dam was too low and GM’s automatic locking differential acted a bit sluggishly. The stiffly sprung suspension also didn’t flex as well as the Tacoma off-road special.
However, that suspension paid dividends in on-road composure. The Colorado rode very nicely in urban and highway environments, and although the seats got a little tiresome after a couple hours, the quiet interior and smooth ride made sure you stayed relaxed and comfortable.
Frankly, we have no major complaints about the Colorado. It’s a fantastic little truck that will no doubt put the competition on notice. With its good fuel economy, useful capability, and city-friendly size, the Colorado has made the midsize-pickup market relevant again. - Brett T. Evans
Photo 35/83   |   2015 Chevy Colorado
We Like:
  • Quiet interiorand composed ride.
  • Towing capacity not far off from its fullsize brethren.
  • Great fuel economy for a pickup.
We Don't Like:
  • Frustrating MyLink infotainment.
  • Low air dam and stiff ride off-road.
  • Needs more torque, and that’s about it.
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Specs
Base Price: $34,115
Price As Tested: $36,710
Epa Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 17/24/20
Engine: 3.6L DOHC V-6
Power @ 6800 rpm 305 hp, Torque @ 4000 rpm 269 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.02 seconds
Quarter Mile: 15.92 seconds @ 89.1 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 127.64 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 8.52 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 131.03 ft *
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 15.57 seconds**
Weight: 4,522 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 17.84/25.19
*500 pounds of payload **4,560-pound trailer weight

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country

The Ultimate Cowboy Cadillac
Photo 39/83   |   The Silverado 1500 High Country was arguably the most comfortable truck in the test, with great seats and a smooth, quiet ride. However, its high price, limited offroad capability, and finicky eight-speed transmission slowed its rise to greatness.
It took approximately five minutes for our staff to deem the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country the luxury car of the group. Its fancy pearlescent white paint was the initial impetus, but as we drove the High Country more and more, it became apparent that luxury describes a lot more about this truck than its color.
The High Country is the top-of-the-line Silverado, meaning this truck came equipped with a 6.2L V-8, a new-for-’15 eight-speed automatic transmission, and every bell and whistle available from the factory. Its interior was undeniably well appointed, featuring navigation, lane departure warning, a rear-view camera, and some pretty fantastic leather seats. The exterior sported a chrome grille and unique wheels that most of our judges loved, although it must be said that some of us felt there was a bit too much of the shiny stuff. A silky smooth ride meant that it was the one everyone wanted for long freeway slogs or trips between dinner and the hotel.
Photo 40/83   |   2015 Chevy Silverado High Country Drivers Area
All was not perfect, however. The interior’s color scheme is disjointed, featuring lighter brown seats, dark-brown accents, and black panels. Chrome, metallic trim, and wood make an appearance as well. Someone tried a little too hard to make this interior look luxurious. A more subtle approach would have better suited our judges’ tastes. Off-road, the Silverado was completely out of its element. The truck’s (thankfully removable) low-hanging air dam and side steps caught every rut, rock, and incline on our route. Additionally, the eight-speed transmission bogged shifting into Second on hard acceleration and upshifted aggravatingly early. However, the 6.2L V-8 sounded amazing, and the Silverado got surprisingly good fuel economy.
As equipped, the High Country would make for a perfect ranch truck, one that the boss drives to shows and events, occasionally with a trailer or some gear in tow. However, as equipped, it’s too expensive (and too low to the ground) to be relegated to the life of a work truck. - Brett T. Evans
We Like:
  • Best riding truck in the test.
  • Has a great sounding engine and exhaust tone.
  • Seats are big and comfortable.
We Don't Like:
  • Transmission tuning needs some refinement.
  • Too low of a stance.
  • Perhaps too much chrome.
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country Specs
Base Price: $50,850
Price As Tested: $59,035
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 15/21/17
Engine: 6.2L ECOTEC3 V-8
Power @ 5600 rpm 420 hp, Torque @ 4100 rpm 460 lb-ft
Trans: 8 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 6.79 seconds
Quarter Mile: 14.82 seconds @ 96.8 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 130.18 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 7.81 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 136.65 ft *
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 14.58 seconds**
Weight: 5,672 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 14.35/21.55
*1,000 pounds of payload **8,560-pound trailer weight

2015 GMC Canyon SLT

Sierra Junior
Photo 44/83   |   We absolutely love the Canyon’s mini-Sierra styling, which gives it the feel of a large truck in a much smaller package. Inside, the real aluminum trim and soft-touch materials provide a truly premium experience.
The all-new GMC Canyon entered the Pickup Truck of the Year competition with some strong credentials. The ’15 Canyon is a clean-sheet entry into the midsize segment, which has been dominated over the last decade by the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.
Judges liked the Canyon’s mini-Sierra styling, giving it a bold, purposeful look. The interior also received positive reviews for premium materials and a design that is significantly better than the competition’s dated, hard-plastic interior. The IntelliLink touchscreen interface was relatively intuitive and offered quick access to entertainment and navigation options.
Photo 45/83   |   2015 Gmc Canyon Drivers Area
The 305hp 3.6L V-6 was plenty powerful, but its roots as a car engine showed in its peaky, high-revving power delivery. It was also saddled to a transmission that was constantly seeking the highest gear for maximum fuel economy. However, the unfortunate side effect was Jekyll-and-Hyde throttle response, going from 1,400 rpm to a screaming 5,000 rpm when passing or ascending uphill grades. More sophisticated grade-logic programming with better part-throttle response would rectify the only major powertrain shortcoming in an otherwise excellent package.
Towing the 4,560-pound trailer, the Canyon remained composed and steady on the road, although under load, the modest 269 lb-ft torque output of the 3.6L engine is accentuated. We can’t help but think the 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 from the Silverado or Sierra might be better-suited to the Canyon.
Even over very rough terrain, there were hardly any squeaks, groans, or rattles in the interior. However, the Canyon’s dangerously low front air dam compromised its off-road performance, frequently plowing when going over whoops.
Many of the judges experienced a bit of sticker shock when realizing our well equipped tester topped the $40,000 mark. We may not be used to the idea of a $40k midsize truck, but if any truck is worthy of it, it’s the Canyon. - Edward A. Sanchez
Photo 46/83   |   2015 Gmc Canyon
We Like:
  • Elegant styling inside and out.
  • Nimble, easy-to-drive on- and off-road performance.
  • Excellent fuel economy when cruising the openroad.
We Don't Like:
  • Wonky transmission programming.
  • Low air dam that compromises off-road performance.
2015 GMC Canyon SLT Specs
Base Price: $36,950
Price As Tested: $40,465
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 17/24/20
Engine: 3.6L DOHC V-6
Power @6800 rpm 305 hp, Torque @4000 rpm 269 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.57 seconds
Quarter Mile: 16.06 seconds @ 88.6 mph
Braking60-0 MPH: 124.54 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 8.91 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 123.96 ft*
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 15.51 seconds**
Weight: 4,591 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 18.18/26.00

2015 Ford F-150

Winner Takes All
Photo 50/83   |   The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 utilizes an innovative all-aluminum body, a first in the segment, in an effort to shed pounds while increasing both fuel economy and capability. Our tester weighed in 465 pounds lighter than the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and a surprising 616 pounds lighter than the Toyota Tundra.
When the makers of the best-selling pickup for the last 43 years (not to mention best-selling vehicle for 32 years) announce such a radical change, you better believe people take notice. The ’15 F-150 is new in almost every way. Two new engine options are available: a naturally aspirated 3.5L V-6 and twin-turbo 2.7L EcoBoost V-6. The truck’s frame is new and utilizes more high-strength steel than ever before. And most radical of all, the cab and bed are made entirely of aluminum (with exception of the firewall). The F-150’s new frame and body construction yield up to a 700-pound weight reduction, which in this world is simply tremendous.
"The F-150 Excels In Every Way A Truck Should."
Our tester came delivered in a mid-level XLT FX4 trim, with the tried-and-true 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 under the hood. Boasting an impressive 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the EcoBoost had no trouble propelling our truck. In fact, the F-150 took the top spot in each of our instrumented track tests (0-60, 60-0, quarter mile, 0-60 with payload, 60-0 with payload, and 0-60 with a trailer). And if you wanted to get a bit frisky, she’d burn the rear tires until told to stop.
The F-150’s weight reduction for ’15 wasn’t simply a fuel economy play. With engineers taking that weight out of the truck, consumers are able to place it back in. Both payload and towing capacity have been increased. When properly equipped, the ’15 F-150 can haul 3,300 pounds of payload or tow 12,200 pounds, both of which are best in class. Because of this it was no surprise that when it came time to test these abilities, our judges were thoroughly impressed. The F-150 was able to get the load up to speed quickly and effortlessly, while the built-in trailer-brake controller made slowing down just as effortless.
Photo 51/83   |   2015 Ford F 150 Wheeling
Taking to the open road, the ’15 F-150 is simply amazing. Ride quality has been improved and interior comfort is the best it has ever been. Rear seat passengers are treated to more legroom than they know what to do with. However, this is offset by the lack of an armrest in back, which made some of our judges a touch grumpy. Ford has stuck to their guns with offering a console-mounted shifter, which divided our panel of experts. Some like it, while others would prefer more storage space and a traditional column shifter. What we could all agree on though was the annoyance at the lack of a selected gear indicator on the console, as has been included on previous generations.
Photo 52/83   |   We liked the new F-150’s sleek styling. We especially loved the LED accent lamps in the rear light assembly, which looked contemporary and modern.
Technology is one area that sets the new F-150 apart from previous generations. The BLIS blind spot monitoring system works flawlessly and includes cross traffic detection when in reverse. Backup sensors have become standard, but what was noticeably missing from our tester was forward facing park sensors. Many of our judges would have liked to see this option. LED lighting is also big on the new truck, both inside and out. Interior lighting has made the move to all-LED, providing a clean, crisp light. In the rear are bed-mounted LEDs, which illuminate the cargo box. Our one complaint with these is their location: being mounted mid-height in the bed means they were easily obscured by cargo. LED puddle and auxiliary lights are mounted in the side mirrors, intended to replace the need to use headlights when setting up after dark on the job or camp site.
The ’15 F-150 has no problem tackling the terrain once the pavement ends. Our XLT was equipped with the FX4 package, which includes a selectable electric locking rear differential, skid plates, and fancy stickers. Overall, our judging staff was pleased with the truck’s capabilities off-road. Low ground clearance and street-oriented tires hampered performance slightly but not enough to garner any complaints. Whether you’re hauling dirt bikes, driving back roads to your favorite hunting spot, or battling a winter storm, this truck won’t let you down.
Fuel economy was one of the last areas that we tested. Throughout the course of the test we logged every gallon used, and we dedicated an entire day to highway driving. We feel this gives us a true and accurate reflection of real-world fuel economy. With an average of 15.46 mpg and a best tank of 21.88 mpg, no one was disappointed; however, once the results for the other ½-tons came in and were the same or better, our opinion was deflated. the same or better, our opinion was deflated.
Photo 56/83   |   Our judges loved the rear seat legroom but why no center armrest?
At the end of the week of testing, it was clear which truck had come out on top. Our panel of expert judges was in agreement, and the scoring data backed it up. Ford has hit a home run with their new pickup. The ’15 F-150 excels in every way a truck should. It effortlessly tows a trailer and drives just as well with a payload as without. Highway ride is phenomenal, and off-road, it’s pretty dang decent. The 3.5L EcoBoost truly does perform like a V-8, with power delivery that is smooth and consistent. And the amount of technology in this pickup, from the high-strength steel frame and aluminum body construction to the electronics and safety features, is simply astounding.
It is with great excitement that we declare the ’15 Ford F-150 our 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year.
Photo 57/83   |   2015 Ford F 150
We Like:
  • The rear seat has legroom for days.
  • Power from the 3.5L EcoBoost
  • V-6 is simply amazing.
  • Love that little bit of turbo sound you can hear with the windows down.
  • Tows like there’s not even a trailer attached.
  • Ford’s initiative to advance progress through new technology.
We Don't Like:
  • Where’s the rear seat armrest?
  • We wish the FX4 package had a bit more substance, like the any-speed rear locker from Raptor.
  • No gear indication on the shifter.
  • Fuel economy was a touch underwhelming.
2015 Ford F-150 XLT FX4
Base Price: $39,425
Price As Tested: $50,440
EPA Fuel Econ (City/Hwy/Comb): 17/23/19
Engine: 3.5L EcoBoost V-6
Power @ 5000 rpm 365 hp, Torque @ 2500 rpm 420 lb-ft
Trans: 6 speed auto
Accel 0-60 MPH: 6.40 seconds
Quarter Mile: 14.67 seconds @ 96.8 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 117.94 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 6.9 seconds*
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 119.68 ft *
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 13.84 seconds**
Weight: 5,207 lbs
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 15.46/21.88
*1,000 pounds of payload **7,560-pound trailer

The Judge's Picks

Every manufacturer is building trucks to increasingly higher standards, making it quite hard to pick a favorite. With our testing complete and after each driver seat was given a thorough workout, each judge was posed the question of which truck they wouldn’t mind having in their own driveway. Since competition in the truck market is at an all-time high for performance, comfort, towing, and technology, picking a truck to take home is becoming more and more difficult. Ultimately, if you went to the dealership today and purchased any one of these trucks, you wouldn’t be disappointed. Read on to see which truck each of our team of experts would choose to take make their own.
Photo 65/83   |   2015 Pickups On The Trail
Sean P. Holman
Content Director Truck Trend Network
In a test filled with winners, choosing one to fill up a space in my own driveway is a difficult proposition. I have been a huge proponent of revitalizing the midsize segment, which the GM cousins do an admirable job of. However, if I needed one truck to do it all for my personal needs, the Ram Power Wagon is hard to pass up.
Photo 66/83   |   Sean P Holman
Corey Simone
Production Editor Truck Trend Network
The truck that I would take home today would be the Ford F-350 Super Duty. The power, comfort, and drivability of this truck make this an easy decision. The visibility, light steering feel, and power that the diesel engine puts down can easily make you forget you’re driving a 1-ton truck, until you have to park it.
Photo 67/83   |   Corey Simone
Monica Gonderman
Editor – 8-Lug /Work Truck Review
Being a GM person, it kills me to say it, but I would take home the Ford F-150. I like the new look, the ample cabin space, and the off-the-line “pep.” It just feels comfortable and quiet to drive, both on and off road. The F-150 isn’t the segment’s bestseller by accident, and I have confidence in the arguably bold direction Ford has taken with its ½-ton pickup.
Photo 68/83   |   Monica Gonderman
Jason Gonderman
Editor – Truck Trend
I’m having a very hard time choosing which truck I would let live in my driveway. Being a big fan of hitting the dirt and venturing off-road, I’d lean towards the Power Wagon or TRD Pro Tacoma if I were looking for a part daily driver, part weekend toy. Overall, however, I’d have to pick the Ford F-150 to make my own. It has enough power to tow the toys I already have and plenty of room for friends inside, and it gets pretty solid fuel economy to boot.
Photo 69/83   |   Jason Gonderman
Andy Mock
Senior Art Director – Truck Trend
What can I say? I love midsize pickups and the GMC Canyon fits the bill perfectly. The styling, interior refinement, and capability all add up to a great truck. While struggling over which contender to take home, the decision all came down to fitting my lifestyle. That back seat in the F-150 though…
Photo 70/83   |   Andy Mock
Ed Sanchez
Content Specialist Truck Trend Network
My take-home choice would be the GMC Canyon. Living in a suburban townhouse with a small garage, a fullsize truck simply doesn’t fit in my life. Besides that, the primary use would be for a daily commuter, with occasional towing and hauling. That said, I’m holding out for the diesel model coming for ’16.
Photo 71/83   |   Ed Sanchez
Trevor Reed
Staff Editor – Diesel Power
I not only wanted to take home the GMC 2500HD All Terrain for the weekend, I considered ripping out the OnStar—Tony Soprano-style—and running away with the truck. I could change my name, start a new life hauling gravel, and not have to worry about making payments on a $60,000- plus truck. Eventually, I’d probably slip up and take it in for service and the VIN would send a red flag to someone at GM headquarters. Helicopters would be dispatched to drop lawyers to wrestle the keys from me, but I wouldn’t give up without a fight.
Photo 72/83   |   Trevor Reed
Brett T. Evans
Staff Editor - Truck Trend Network
Based purely on emotion and not on logic, I’d like to take home the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. As the only truck in this test available with four-wheel drive and a manual transmission, it’s basic but lots of fun. Plus, it was the most versatile off-roader in our group, with maneuverable proportions and a well-sorted suspension.
Photo 73/83   |   Brett T Evans
David Hamilton
Intergrated Account Executive – Truck Trend Network
I would gladly park the Ford F-150 in my driveway. With a kick-ass 3.5L EcoBoost engine, all-new aluminum body, and a comfortable and tech-friendly interior, it’s hard tobeat. The turbo V-6 tows like a big V-8 too!
Photo 74/83   |   David Hamilton

The Specs

Photo 75/83   |   Pickup Truck Of The Year Specs

How We Score it

Our Pickup Truck of the Year scoring procedure utilizes six weighted categories. The breakdown is as follows: 20 percent Highway Performance (vehicle handling, ride quality, steering feel, NVH, etc.), 20 percent Towing and Hauling (how the vehicle reacts with a trailer weighted to 75 percent of its rating and a specified payload), 20 percent Off-Road Performance (evaluating each vehicle’s performance and off-road-centric features such as traction aids, tires, and fourwheel- drive system operation in a specific off-highway environment), 20 percent Interior and Exterior styling (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, appearance, stance, material choice), 15 percent Empirical Data (loaded and unloaded acceleration, braking, and quarter-mile; weight, pricing, and fuel economy), and 5 percent Daily Living (passing power, parking prowess, ease of use of technology). Each judge votes on the individual categories (excluding Empirical) and total scoring is averaged and normalized.
Photo 76/83   |   Final Test Results
Photo 83/83   |   Ptoty Fun Facts

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW Ford F-150
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS