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.
“The 2009 Motorist Choice Award for the Compact Pickup segment is the Nissan Frontier. A sturdy truck and worthy winner, Frontier combines the traditional product virtues of quality, reliability and durability with attractive financial considerations so important in today’s challenging economy.” – AutoPacific
“A strong retained value and low maintenance costs were the keys to the Nissan Frontier win.” – IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
• Durable/Long Lasting
• Vehicle and Brand Reputation
• Strong Retained Value
• Low Maintenance Costs
Suzuki Goes to Nissan for a Truck
Looking at Suzuki‘s new Equator, introduced at the Chicago auto show, you can see a Nissan Frontier shape. This isn’t an accident or a copycat design, as Nissan will build the Equator for Suzuki. Suzuki has a stronger image among buyers of ATVs, marine engines, and motorcycles than they do with people looking for cars and trucks. A compact pickup seems natural for a brand selling toys that need to be towed, especially as their toys have terrific reputations for quality and value. Suzuki won’t sell enough Equators to justify creating and building a pickup of their own, but partnering gets them a strong product at a price they can afford.
Officially, we haven’t yet seen the production Equator (on sale until fall 2008), as Suzuki presented three concepts in Chicago. Each highlighted another branch of Suzuki’s recreational business, carrying Suzuki ATVs and motorcycles and hauling a boat with Suzuki engines. Supporting the relationship between Suzuki cars and trucks, Suzuki’s Gene Brown drove on stage on their V-Strom motorcycle. And in the Windy City in a February snowstorm, images of warm-weather outdoor activities were all the more compelling. Suzuki linked the two sides of the company and demonstrated why a truck can be a sensible addition.
The concepts should inspire customizers and Suzuki’s planning teams, looking for possible special editions and factory-backed accessories. Suzuki showed the Equator being used to maximizing free time, giving it a fun image from the get-go. Equator has a solid foundation, if a weak name, and a team behind it with a clear sense of what buyer to target and a good road map for getting there.