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.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Ford F-Series Super Duty is a potent pickup.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For many, a pickup truck is as much a daily drivable vehicle as it is a tool for getting the job done. How much horsepower and torque a powertrain puts out is a big part of that. Most want enough to get the job done while keeping an eye toward fuel economy.

What's the difference between horsepower and torque? In simple terms, torque is the pull of the powertrain that gets you off the line from a full stop. Horsepower is what gets you going the speed you want and keeps you there.

Diesel engines tend to have more torque than gasoline-powered engines but have less horsepower. There's no perfect torque to horsepower ratio. It's all about which combination works best for you.

The engines on this list have the highest amount of horsepower and are available in 2021 model year pickup trucks in the U.S. See the 2020 horsepower champs by clicking here and the 2020 torque winners by clicking here.

No. 5 (tie) - 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: 6.2-liter V8

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Seven different engines are available in the 2021 Silverado 1500 range, any of which provides strong payload and towing capabilities. The range-topping gas engine is the real showstopper, however, as the 6.2-liter V8 makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are good enough to help the truck deliver a 13,300-pound towing capacity and a 2,060-pound payload rating.

No. 5 (tie) - 2021 GMC Sierra 1500: 6.2-liter V8

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Carbon Pro

Photo courtesy of GMC

Like its Chevy brother, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has an available 6.2-liter V8 that achieves 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It has a 2,000-pound payload rating and a 11,800-pound trailering capacity.

No. 4 - 2021 Ford F-150: PowerBoost hybrid powertrain

2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

430 horsepower

Ford's brand-new hybrid F-150 hits the market in 2021 and will bring some legitimate power numbers to back up its high-tech fuel system. The PowerBoost hybrid powertrain uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with electric motors to produce a strong 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque.

No. 3 (tie) - 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD: 6.6-liter Duramax diesel

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

445 horsepower

Diesel engines are usually best known for their torque delivery, but Chevrolet is offering a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel in the 2021Silverado 2500 HD that defies the tradition. It makes 445 horsepower and a whopping 910 pound-feet of torque, which allows the Chevy truck to tow up to 18,500 in certain configurations.

No. 3 (tie) - 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD: 6.6-liter Duramax diesel

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD\u200b

Photo courtesy of GMC

445 horsepower

The engine in the GMC Sierra 2500 HD is the same as in the Silverado 2500 HD. It produces the same 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque from the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel that's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It can tow up to 18,150 pounds.

No. 2 - 2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty: 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8

2021 Ford F-Series Super Duty

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

475 horsepower

The 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 that powers the top-of-the-line trucks in Ford's F-Series Super Duty lineup produces 475 horsepower, but that's not even the most special thing about it. The Blue Oval has built a diesel engine to dominate the towing and payload wars, and as a result it produces 475 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque.

No. 1 - 2021 Ram 1500 TRX: 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

702 horsepower

There's no competition here. The Ram 1500 TRX is far and away the most powerful truck on the market today – or any other day, for that matter. The 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 that powers the 2021 TRX produces 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and makes the Ram the most powerful and fastest mass-produced truck in the world. All of that power helps the truck deliver an 8,100-pound towing capacity and a zero to 60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds.

Trending News

 
 

The new Safety Insights software takes away time delays and legwork issues surrounding traffic issue solution responsiveness.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Henry Ford opened his first Canadian operation in 1904 just over the boarder from Detroit in the City of Windsor, Ontario. Today, the town is the country's first Canadian customer for Ford's Safety Insights platform. The platform, a new software tool the company is rolling out connects government workers with vehicle insights that give them an in-depth look at their city's streets without having to step outside the door of their office.

Safety Insights utilizes artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms to deliver crash reduction predictions that can be explored using simulations and deep data dives without having to deploy any human resources to comb through police reports, send public works employees to sit at an intersection all day to investigate, or wait for calls from concerned citizens to come pouring in.

Ford Safety Insights software The Safety Insights software allows users to run simulations based on real traffic data.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Safety Insights software

The data comes from Ford vehicles, simulations, and predictions that city planners and public works officials make by running simulations. The data taken from vehicles includes indicators of crash trends like harsh braking, traction control issues, and near misses. These numbers help give context to traditional crash data.

Safety Insights also integrates multi-modal traffic volume data from StreetLight Data.

Traditionally, cities use transportation data to identify traffic issues, but combing through it can be a costly and time-consuming process, according to Ford. With the combination of crash data and available simulation predictions, the Safety Insights system takes analysis and planning to the next level, allowing them to test new options for traffic flow and make more informed decisions.

Users can comb through the data, layer by layer, filtering by type of collision, including those involving pedestrians and cyclists, rear-end crashes, or rush hour collisions. The results are available in seconds rather than the days or weeks it would traditionally take.

The simulations run by the software include the impact of a crosswalk or bike line on traffic flow, or what adjusting signal timing would look like.

Ford isn't just offering Safety Insights to Canadian customers. U.S. municipalities are allowed to purchase it as well.

Trending News