Truck domination is here with us. Initially tailored for the conservative countryside, pickup trucks have metamorphosed to an urban necessity. Be it buzzing through traffic, towing RVs, or enhancing masculinity, trucks offer unrivaled advantages.
With demand comes many options, and unsurprisingly the myriad of trucks on the market is on a level unseen. Such high stakes have seen automakers up their game by developing top-tier off-roaders. Ride along as I explore what the 2021 versions have to offer.
For years, Ford has been duking foes through its F series. At the base level of this series is the F-150, a juggernaut that has been owning roads for generations.
The 2021 version builds on the breakthroughs of its predecessors while keeping adversaries at arm’s length. From a personal perspective, it doesn’t deviate much from the 2020 model. The exterior is stately, aerodynamic, and embraces modernity. Comprehensive upgrades characterizes the interior. The angular gauge binnacle and the stack is ditched for a round-like variant.
The pickup comes with an unorthodox hybrid powertrain that generates 7,200 watts of power. Ford attests this power can support 23 generators. The F-150 comes with six engines. At the low end, a 3.3-liter, 290-hp V6, while at the top, a turbocharged 430 hp V6 hybrid.
Ram has been on a quest to dethrone Ford and Chevy, and with the 2021 1500 model, they have a capable truck that holds its ground. It comes big, brash, and ready for the off-road. Unlike previous models, it deviates slightly from ruggedness by offering luxury-grade features.
The cabin is quiet, spacious, and is equipped with an intuitive infotainment system. Safety is guaranteed through the Advanced Safety package with the addition of pedestrian detection. The fully digital rearview mirror comes in handy when backing up to an RV.
Its potent engine lineup still utilizes the V6 and V8. New is the TRX that is introduced to the trim levels. The TRX features a 6.2 l supercharged V8 that generates 702 hp. This gives the Ram excellent hauling and towing capabilities in its class.
For the 2021 model, the ridgeline refines its look to that of a truck. Previous models resembled minivans on truck beds and left a lot to be desired. The 2021 ridgeline puts on a braver, truckish face. The front features large grilles that give this truck a bolder look.
All trims come with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that’s hooked to a 9-speed automatic transmission and chucks out 280 hp. The standard crew cabin feels roomier and comfortable, while the infotainment system has completely been revamped.
I commend Honda for introducing a physical volume knob, upgrading graphics, and improving screen icons. The only low-down is its towing capabilities, which is set at a disappointing 5,000 pounds.
With a payload of 1,600 pounds and a towing capability of 7,650 pounds, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator stands as a real workhorse. It incorporates the functionality of a mid-level pickup with the off-road aptness of the iconic Wrangler.
The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 285 hp plus 260 lb-ft of torque. An optional 8-speed automatic transmission is now added to the traditional six-speed manual transmission.
Fuel consumption varies depending on the four trim levels, Sport, Overland, Mojave, and Rubicon. All trims come with a fold-down windshield, 4-wheel drive, and removable tops and doors. Also included is a 5-foot bed.
The Chevy Silverado 1500 line up is known for its incredible powertrain choices and stout towing abilities. The 2021 model retains these impressive capabilities and adds some subtle upgrades. It comes in eight trims, three cab sizes, and seven powertrains.
The blocky truck incorporates a 4.3-liter V-6 base engine, a 5.3-liter V-8 engine, and at the apex, a 6.2-liter V-8 capable of hauling 11,900 pounds. It can clock 22 mpg in cities and 32 mpg on highways.
New features include Six-function Multi-Flex tailgate, upgraded payloads and towing ratings, LTZ: 20-inch polished alloy wheels, new trailering assist, forward collision warning, to name a few. Despite these upgrades, the interior feels cheap, the seats stiff, and it lacks road manners. It certainly faces premier competition from better trucks.