Awards

Truck Trend names 2020 Ford Super Duty as its 2019 Pickup Truck of the Year

The 2020 Ford Super Duty has captured this year's Truck Trend Pickup Truck of the Year title.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Eleven vehicles were tested and the Ford Super Duty reigned supreme during this year's Truck Trend Pickup Truck of the Year testing process. AutomotiveMap contributor Chad Kirchner was part of the committee that selected the winner.

The selection process is a grueling multi-day event that tests each of the contenders in a number of areas. The process included 1,000 miles of performance testing, hauling, towing, fuel economy calculation, and off-roading.

On Day 1, testing began at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Each truck was subjected to 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration, and 60-0 mph braking while unladen tests. Testers then loaded each truck with its maximum payload and retested from 0-60 mph, for quarter-mile elapsed time, and 60-0 mpg braking. Then, the trucks were put to the test accelerating from 0-60 mph and through a quarter-mile while towing a trailer specifically weighted for each class.

To analyze how the trucks handled on the road under similar strain, the trucks were again loaded with the trailer and driven on a 12-mile loop down Cajon Pass in Southern California. Cajon Pass features a six-percent grade. Testers switched vehicles throughout the day allowing them to analyze each truck's abilities back to back.

After looping Cajon Pass, the vehicles went north, heading 300 miles up the highway along the California coast to test their real-world fuel efficiency. The vehicles drove the posted speed limit in a lead-follow formation while rotating drivers and positions to give a fair shake to testers and the vehicles.

Finally, the trucks headed to Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area where the field competed in off-highway testing in miles of diverse terrain that included graded roads, rocky climbs, tight trails, and sandy washes. This testing allowed the crew to evaluate tires, gearing, traction aids, electronic traction controls, ground clearance, suspension tuning, four-wheel drive systems, thermal management, and overall vehicle dynamics.

The interiors of the vehicles were also scrutinized during the long testing period.

The 11 contenders for this year's crown included:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Custom
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ
  • Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited
  • Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor
  • Ford Ranger Lariat FX4
  • GMC Sierra 1500 AT4
  • GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4
  • Jeep Gladiator Sport S
  • Ram 1500 Rebel
  • Ram 3500 Laramie

According to a release, Truck Trend's experts chose the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty because of its, " luxurious nature, powerful performance, and formidable capability of the Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited." The evaluation team also pointed to some specific equipment that helped the truck win the award,

Our appreciation for the truck starts in the engine room, where a third-generation 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8 that produces a segment-leading 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft is found. Mated to this engine is an all-new, heavy-duty TorqShift 10-speed automatic.

The Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited has far and away one of the most luxurious interiors on the road, pickup or not. The Limited features adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and lane-departure prevention, blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage, and automated emergency braking, all of which eased stress on long drives. What's more, the truck also boasts a B&O Play Premium Sound System from Bang & Olufsen, which when combined with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto meant we could rock out to the world's library of music, delivered with crystal-clear fidelity. It's possible that Ford builds the best audio system of any modern pickup.

Like last year's winner, the 2019 Ram 1500, there's a Super Duty for everyone. We loved the lusty exhaust note and off-road performance of the F-250 Tremor and its 7.3L gas V-8. Fleet customers who stick with the base 6.2L V-8 nonetheless benefit from the Super Duty's excellent and hard-working basic bones. Customers who opt for a well-equipped XLT FX4 will get a fun and reasonably priced daily driver. And long-haulers who regularly tow in excess of 30,000 pounds will appreciate the F-450 and its groundswell of responsive power.

But in this test, it was the 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Limited that took the prize, winning us over with its combination of hard-working diesel torque, excellent city and highway driving dynamics, competent off-road chops, and class-competitive or class-leading interior quality.


Truck Trend was not able to immediately elaborate further on the drive of the vehicle because Ford has embargoed drive impressions until January. At that time, AutomotiveMap will post a full review of the truck.

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Ford dealerships will be adding Bronco showrooms to their portfolio in the coming year.

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

Reporting by Automotive News reveals that Ford is enabling its dealership network to opt-in to build Bronco-specific showrooms. The stores are designed to be near or connected to existing Ford dealer locations, but will feature the Bronco horse logo rather than the traditional Ford Blue Oval.

Ford currently has two Bronco models: Bronco and Bronco Sport. All this for two models? Not quite. Ford is reportedly working on a Bronco-based pickup truck. Could it be Ranger Raptor-like? We'll have to wait and see.

Renderings of Bronco storefronts feature those models and vintage versions of the beloved off-roader alongside 3,800 square feet of building space that includes an outdoor fire pit and room to display three vehicles. There's also a wall that showcases Bronco merchandise including some of the over 200 accessories Ford is promising will be available for Bronco models.

Ford Bronco standalone showroom renderings

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

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The overall aesthetic is very much in line with what you'll see at your local REI. There's back-painted ceiling lining, exposed concrete, a gray stone entryway, and wood accents throughout the modern structure as well as plenty of windows that show it all off.

Dealers are able to modify the design that Ford has come up with. One dealer, in Arizona, told Automotive News that he is planning to build out a 12,000-square-foot space but hasn't included a fire pit in the plans because of the location's desert climate.

If dealerships don't opt for a separate showroom, dealerships can choose from other Ford-backed options to display the Bronco that are more traditional in nature. Andrew Frick, the head of Ford sales in the U.S. said that there are three options: a standalone showroom, an expansion of existing showrooms or displays that can be added to a showroom. All the options are available and recommended, but not required, kind of like the Sasquatch Package on the Bronco itself.

"It's an announcement to the world we're back; the Bronco is back," Tim Hovik, owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz., and chairman of Ford's national dealer council, told Automotive News. "It's such an iconic product that in an absolute way, we feel a Ford dealer is really adding almost an additional franchise."

Last month, Ford revealed that of its 190,000 reservations for either the two- or four-door Bronco, two-thirds of those have turned into firm orders. Deliveries of the redesigned Bronco are slated to begin in June. Early models are already making their way out onto the streets under the car of Ford employees.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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