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PickupTrucks.com and AutoPacific Announce the Most Significant Trucks of the Decade

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PickupTucks.com and AutoPacific have taken a look at all the new trucks sold in the past 10 years and made their picks for the most significant trucks of the decade. The trucks that made the list introduced cutting edge technologies and pushed the segment into new territory.
“Despite the economic challenges of the past two years, it’s hard not to look back at the last ten years without calling it the decade of the pickup truck,” said PickupTrucks.com editor Mike Levine. “Sales of full-size pickups hit 2.56 million units in 2004 and Ford’s F-Series trucks remain the nation’s best-selling vehicles, 33 years in a row.”
Though there are many trucks that had a significant impact in the last decade, it’s clear that the 2009 Ford F-150 earned the title of “Most Significant”.
“On balance, we thought the 2009 Ford F-150 was the most significant pickup of the last decade,” said Jim Hossack, vice president of consulting for AutoPacific. “It sells in high volume, owners like it and its body, chassis and powertrain are all first rate. Features abound, and there are more models, series and options than can be counted. It’s a good looking truck and suitable for the widest possible range of tasks and uses.”
After the jump are those trucks deemed most significant, in no particular order.


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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche: Motorist Choice Award Winner

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X09CT_AV003 copy.jpg“The Chevrolet Avalanche is the Motorist Choice Award winner in the Full-Size Pickup segment. Standard features that earned the win include a powerful V8 engine, a four-door cab, and useful bed size. The Avalanche is reliable/dependable and provides a strong feeling of safety when driving.” — AutoPacific
“The Avalanche was best in fuel costs and second best in retained value.” — IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
* Ease of Ingress/Egress
* Overall Seating Capacity
* Reliable/Dependable
* Durable/Long Lasting
* Ride
* Safety Features and Feeling Safe While Driving
Cost-of-Ownership Strengths
* Strong Retained Value
* Lowest Fuel Costs


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Toyota A-BAT Concept – Toyota Makes a Prius Pickup?

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Toyota revealed their new ‘Advanced Breakthrough Aero Truck’ (or A-BAT for short) at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s not a smaller Tacoma. Think of it more like a small Toyota Ridgeline. It’s based on a unitized platform and swallows an inline 4 cylinder engine with Toyota’s Synergy Hybrid Drive.

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Concept
No, the A-BAT was not designed in the dark by Avalanche and Ridgeline ex-patriots. The A-BAT was developed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy group and Calty. Kevin Hunter, president of Calty Design Research Inc. had this to say:
“We’ve taken Toyota’s truck heritage to a different level by envisioning a vehicle capable of maneuvering the suburbs as well as dirt roads. This compact truck is as comfortable for long commutes as it is for road trips. It can accommodate outdoor toys and home improvement supplies. Plus customers benefit from the hybrid powertrain’s low emissions and fuel economy.”


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Motor Trend Truck of the Year – Chevrolet Silverado

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Since the GMT900 was just about the only big truck news for the 2007 model year (2007 model year trucks introduced during the 2006 calendar year), it’s no surprise that the Motor Trend Truck of the Year is the Chevrolet Silverado. Three of the remaining four candidates were also GMT900 stablemates – the Cadillac Escalade EXT, the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Avalanche.

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The Silverado is certainly a good looking new truck. The interior finally is upgraded to recognize that drivers of big trucks want all the luxe that Large SUV and car owners expect. Taking the challenge from the Ford F-Series (to be replaced for 2008), the Silverado’s upgraded interiors establish a new interior benchmark for large domestic trucks.
Under the skin, the Silverado isn’t really NEW, but a major upgrade to the previous GMT800 which, in itself, was an outstanding vehicle.
Thin Fleld Guaranteed GMT800 (if not the Silverado) the Win – Next Year TUNDRA
But we can’t help but wonder how the results would have stacked up if the upcoming 2007 Toyota Tundra Full-Size Pickup had been in the field? Without Tundra in the mix, this is in some ways a hollow victory. Tundra may have the Motor Trend 2008 Truck of the Year arena all to itself (I guess the Ford Super Duty would qualify) or be competing with the new F-150 if it gets out before December 31, 2007. VehicleVoice’s prediction for the Motor Trend Truck of the Year – Toyota Tundra.
The Motor Trend Press Release for the 2007 Truck of the Year Award can be read below the fold.


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Dodge Rampage Explores Possible Future Trucks

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Rampage Concept Takes On Chicago
One of the most interesting concepts at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show was the Dodge Rampage pickup truck. As an increase in trucks for personal use, versus commercial or work use, caused a boom in truck sales this century, some are looking to where the future is for these nontraditional truck buyers. Though Ford’s Explorer Sport Trac was ahead of GM’s midgate-equipped full-size Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT and Hummer H2 SUT, the Ford was effectively an Explorer with an open cargo area, while the GM system truly expanded functionality. Subaru‘s Baja fits in there somewhere, though too small and lightweight to really play well with trucks. Then the Honda Ridgeline arrived for 2006, winning both Truck of the Year and honors from both Motor_Trend and a group of North American automotive journalists, though sales have not quite met expectations. There are now six products of this type on market, competing in several different truck segments (or in SUV segments, depending on your perspective). But in the final analysis, think of Rampage as a Honda Ridgeline with a HEMI.

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Dodge took a crack a developing their own truck-plus-SUV concept for the 2006 Chicago auto show, and AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents were on hand to see it. We left before the public got a chance to see the concept, but industry buzz around the show was positive. We think the truck looked terrific, and appreciate Dodge’s ability to keep its clear personality and flavor in varied vehicle types. Alongside the Rampage in Chicago were the Dodge Nitro and Caliber SRT-4, both with aggressive and strong Dodge personalities as well.
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Chevrolet Avalanche – New Look and New Engines for Chevy's Jack-of-all-Trades

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Latest Avalanche Matures
At the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet took the wraps off the second-generation Avalanche. The Avalanche introduction was overshadowed by Toyota’s much-anticipated Tundra launch, but as Chevrolet sold about 379,500 units between its spring 2001 launch and December 2005, the truck is certainly important in its own right. The latest Avalanche goes on sale in the second quarter of 2006.
We have not had the opportunity to drive the updated Tahoe, GMC Yukon, or Cadillac Escalade, but initial accounts from our friends in the industry are that the new products are terrific to drive. Expectations are high for an equally enthusiastic response to the Avalanche.

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Avalanche gets the same updates its sibling SUVs (Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and all three Cadillac Escalade products) see for 2007 model year, which GM promises improve ride and handling, improved fuel economy from more powerful engines, and a more refined interior. The first Avalanche took on a face more like the Silverado pickup truck, but this second-generation aligns itself with the SUVs by taking on a face more similar to the Tahoe.


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