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Entries in Pick Up (4)

Wednesday
Jun152016

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma Doublecab TRD Sport

3.5L V6 278 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Barcelona Red Metallic with Dark Grey Cloth

The photo gallery/slide show of the Tacoma...click

To continue our urban truck experience we surely had to spend a few days with a refreshed Tacoma.

The first thing that grasps our attention, this truck has an endearing ruggedness about it which is simply cool. It instantly communicates that its a pick up. You open the door and the pick up message is reinforced and endures with the interior.

The street presence is subdued its a mid size pick up in an environment that is ruled by full size gargantuan pick ups. While the styling absolutely conveys an image of solidity.

It has a truck interior, its stylish, well executed, with good materials, but a truck interior. In this version the cloth seats are refreshing, its not trying to be anything else than a well idone truck interior in a truck. Again its cool...

All the features that you expect are there, from a comprehensive back up camera that actually shows the rear step bumper, to navigation, satellite radio, automatic climate control, partial power seats, a reasonable sound system, locking tailgate...to name a few.

Rear seat is spacious for a mid size pick up with good leg and head room, as well as the folding seat.

Let's not forget the GoPro mount on the windshield.

Its a Toyota pick up, its conservative, its in some ways a throw back to when pick ups were pick ups, its rugged, with a distinct identity. Yes...a 2 speed transfer case is standard.

You can configure your own Tacoma...here.

Wondering how it drives?

It feels absolutely, totally rock solid. You immediately get a feeling that nothing will discourage this pick.

Reasonable power, slower than faster algorithms to shift the transmission, precise steering, and strong brakes. It feels and drives like a purposeful pick up, its endearing especially if you are looking for the pick up feel that is often missing in some trucks.

Its great on surface streets, easy to navigate mall parking lots, while seeing the rear bumper on the back up camera is more intuitive that orange and red lines alerting you of the distance.Its a little sluggish on initial acceleration, but throttle up the V6 comes alive with an improved algorithm for the transmission.

Its a superb highway cruiser with acceptable passing power, and no wind noise even with an open bed.

If you are seeking a mid size pick up with a genuine pick up feel, a standard 2 speed transfer case, and rugged good looks. Make it a point to experience the Tacoma.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Conservative with pick up cool
  • Solid feel that is reassuring
  • Wonderful pick up feel and driving
  • Obvious you sit high
  • Plastic liner in bed not sprayed on.

The quick review...

 

 

Thursday
Apr142016

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab SWB Z71

3.6L V6 302 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Hot with Jet Black / Grey cloth insert interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Colorado...click.

It's a cool "urban truck"....

Although at the launch of the Colorado we had reservations about a compact/mid size pick up from Chevrolet. Full size pick ups make a compelling "macho" statement. While their size is often overwhelming in an urban environment, even with all the cameras.

They are big...

The Colorado removes the emphasis from big. Its similar to pick ups from a generation ago. Agreed considered small by current full size pick ups. It fills a void in the "urban" pick up segment.

In an urban setting its right sized, pleasant to use, while making a reserved statement, with discreet street presence.

The styling is let's call it pick up attractive, and the red of our tester made a strong statement.

The interior is refreshing from the perspective its a pick up that is not trying to emulate a luxury car. The fit and finish is very good, the cloth inserts on the seats are distinctive. We appreciated the interior styling, choice of materials, and the "pick up" message the interior sends. Yes...you can get a full leather interior if you absolutely need to emulate a luxury car.

As you would expect all the features are present from a good Bose sound system, navigation, satellite radio, obvious power windows, locks, back up camera which is surprisingly very accurate, opening rear glass, lockable tailgate which is cool. Lets not forget the 4G WiFi.

Rear seat leg room is very good, and obvious better than most mid sized sedan.

You can configure your own Colorado...here.

How does it drive?

Compared to a full size pick up its a "sports car", with better manoeuvrability which inspires you to be  a bit more spirited. Good on center feel of the steering, strong brakes which you always expect in an unloaded truck, and agile acceleration especially at full throttle, the V6 has an authoritative growl, with a well calibrated transmission.

This tester had the Z71 option with a 2 speed transfer case which from our perspective is essential in any 4 wheel drive pick up, as well as a rear auto locking differential to increase the versatility. The off road suspension ads a level of stiffness which is a personal choice. It also includes an old fashioned skid plate under the transfer case.

Probably for the sake of fuel economy bragging rights part throttle operation is sluggish, you can sense that its due to software coding and algorithms.

Yes...a pick up is always useful, there is always a bunch of stuff that you can suddenly do and/or carry.

If you are considering a pick up, and the full size version is simply too big. Or if you are considering a "utility" vehicle, and are concerned that it will put you in the "me too" category. The Colorado works well as a pick up, and a cool utility vehicle with a frame, 2 speed transfer case, 4 doors, and a bed to haul all sorts of stuff.

Strada Talking Points

  • Right sized for an urban truck.
  • Appropriate pick up interior.
  • All the features you expect including a 2 speed transfer case.
  • Pleasant styling.
  • Good level of power from the V6.

The quick review

 

 

Wednesday
Jul082015

2015 Ram

2015 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Big Horn

3.0 L V6 Eco Diesel 240 HP with 8 Speed Automatic Transmission

Deep Cherry Red Pearl with Beige/Brown Cloth interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Ram...click.

Although all pick ups have a bold grille, for some reason the Ram grille stands out more or makes a more emphatic statement. Because of the grille, the Ram has been capturing our attention for quite some time.

As you know diesel pick ups are usually the heavy duty work versions, with reasonable fuel economy when working, and poor when not working.

Agreed...there is a serious cool factor surrounding diesel pick ups. 

Where we anxious to spend a few days with this Eco Diesel Ram? Yes we were...

The Big Horn version has an appealing two tone cloth interior, with the theme carried over to the dash and door panels. This is one time where its refreshing not to encounter a leather trimmed interior. Cloth seats in a pick up...it works very well especially in a 2 tone combination.

The interior is spacious, the attention to details is very good, the front console is wide to quickly serve as a work area. The features compete with any luxury vehicle, while most folks with luxury vehicles probably do not realise that pick ups often have more convenience options than their cars. This Ram is bursting with a myriad of features, starting with navigation, impressive sound system, satellite radio, heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, power rear window, sunroof to name a few.

The controls on the 8.4 inch touch screen are intuitive.

Agreed pick ups are big, although with a rear camera, parking assist, blind spot monitors, the Ram immediately diminishes in size especially when negotiating tight spots.

You can configure your own Ram...here.

How does it drive?

The first thing that grasps the attention is the quietness of the diesel engine. Its very quiet, with a substantial rush of torque at low revolutions. This tester had the air suspension which makes it very smooth especially on the highway. In addition the suspension lowers the truck at highway speeds.

Lots of torque, smooth shifting 8 speed automatic, air suspension, reinforced by impressive fuel economy this truck quickly becomes endearing.

It handles likes a pick up, with a reasonable steering feel and good brakes, its all part of the driving a pick up experience. Obvious the transfer case has a low range, you would not expect anything less. As well this tester had the required skid plates for serious off road activity...just in case.

While experiencing this Ram, and reading that Mercedes-Benz is perhaps considering a pick up. The thought that M-B would probably have a pick up with a diesel, and a myriad of features, similar to this truck occured to us on a few occasions.

Agreed the pick up segment is hyper competitive, the diesel engine option in this Ram is over $4,000. but the cool factor is priceless. If you are seeking a light duty pick up with a diesel, we urge you to experience the Ram Eco Diesel.

Strada Talking Points

  • Quiet and economical diesel engine
  • Air suspension
  • All the features you expect
  • Great highway cruiser
  • Easy to maneuver in tight spots

 

 The quick review

 

 

Monday
Sep082014

2014 Silverado 1500

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab 4x4

5.3L V8 355 HP with 6 Speed Automatic transmission

White Diamond with Jet Black leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Silverado...Click.

We were anxious to spend a few days with the new Silverado, especially that the last time was a few years ago with Clifford.

The competition in the pick up segment is at epic levels in Canada. Yes... discovering this new Silverado generated excitement.

By now you have concluded like us, that grilles on pick ups are massive. This Silverado does not disappoint with a huge grille, complemented by softer lines, its an appealing truck.

The street presence is unmistakable how can you miss that its a pick up, and from the grille a Chevrolet. This tester finished in Diamond White had the luxury look too.

The quiet interior is immense ready to accomodate a work crew or a family, putting any car to shame, and with a myriad of features, including heated and ventilated seats, complemented by an immense sunroof, directly competing with any luxury car. 

Obvious the console facilitates working in the truck, the outlets enable charging, and using various smart devices. 

The instrument layout caught our attention with the small gauges on top, its refreshing to see actual gauges with needle indicators.

Chevrolet refined the interior of this new Silverado with a larger center of the dash screen, a huge panorama roof, a power rear sliding window, a great sound system. In addition to paying attention to details, enhanced by contrast stitching. Agreed most folks also come to expect luxury car features in a top of the line crew cab, obvious this Silverado does not disappoint.

This pick up has the uncanny ability to constantly communicate that its ready to work, its prepared to perform a task. Even the ride improves and smoothes out with a few hundred pounds of stuff in the bed.

Lets not the forget that this pick up has a frame, a 2 speed transfer case with a low range for the 4x4, its a configuration to work, compared to most urban SUV's.

How does it drive?

When a pick up drives like a pick up, feels like a pick up, constantly communicates that its ready to work, its an endearing feature. We get the feeling that the folks at Chevrolet ensured that its a pick up. It certainly has enough power, the 6 speed automatic has a pick up algorithm to smoothly carry or pull a load, the steering is on center, the brakes are strong. 

Its a great cruiser, effortlessly maintaining highway speeds, and feels a little cumbersome navigating parking lots, its remains a crew cab which is huge compared to most cars.

What struck us is the myriad of improvements from the previous version, the gauges in the dash, the steps in the rear bumper, the soft open of the tailgate, the quieter cabin to name a few. The improvements all add up to make a compelling, and capable pick up. 

 

The quick review