For over 40 years, the Ford F-150 has held the crown as the best-selling truck in America. But a title is only as good as the competition—and where’s the glory if you don’t have worthy opponents to tower over? Lucky for consumers, competing automakers are stepping up their game, ensuring next year’s truck market will be an exciting landscape of performance, luxury, and technology. So buckle up because here are the top 2019 truck redesigns that should be on your radar. Kicking things off, the Big Three are leading the way with a combination of complete redesigns, new models, and resurrected fan-favorites.
2019 Ford Ranger
The crown champ, Ford, hopes to strengthen its hold on the market by adding the mid-size truck segment to its list of conquests. Retired in 2011 amid a dying compact pickup trend, the Ford Ranger is back and ready to edge in on the success of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. (Neither of which are seeing any major changes for 2019.)
Ford has timed this release well. The demand for mid-size pickups is back and, combined with the automaker’s clever teasing of the 2020 Bronco, enthusiasts are eager with anticipation. Redesigned for a stateside audience, the new Ranger is old school and modern all in one. A noticeable lack of aluminum keeps the vintage steel vibe, while options and new tech bring the model up to date—making it one of the most exciting 2019 truck redesigns on this list.
Gotta Have Options
With eight colors, three trims, two cab configurations, two- or four-wheel drive, and an off-road package, consumers will have plenty of choices. (You can get a clearer idea of design possibilities by checking out the seven off-road concepts Ford took to SEMA this past week.) Only one powertrain is available, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, expected to put out around 300-hp. No word yet on a diesel option, but industry forecasters expect at least another engine configuration down the line. Additionally, Ford claims that the Ranger will lead in towing capacity, hauling at least 7,700 lbs.
Eight years is practically a generation in technology, so the Ranger’s interior has seen quite an overhaul. With room for five plus respectable storage, the model gets the modern treatment with an LCD-screen instrument cluster and Ford’s Sync3 infotainment. Further connectivity options include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, 10-device WiFi support, on-board navigation, and a premium sound system.
Rumor Has It…
And since Ford has become so adept at teasing audiences lately, it’s exciting to see that the FX4 off-road Ranger borrows the Terrain Management System from the enviable Ford Raptor. Americans have sat by, greedily watching foreign markets be graced with the Ranger Raptor. And while a left-hand drive version was spotted being tested earlier this year, Ford insists it has no plans at this time for a state-side release. Whether or not US audiences receive a Baby Raptor, the return of the beloved Ranger is surely a step in the right direction.
2019 Chevy Silverado
Not to be outdone, Chevy stands ready with a brand spankin’ new Silverado. Of the top 2019 truck redesigns, this is one you definitely don’t want to miss. Firmly seated as the automaker’s best-selling truck, and arguably its most important product in the lineup, Chevy has taken special care with this makeover. Which is good news, as the model’s last generation received a less-than-warm welcome from reviewers.
With a whopping eight trim levels offering a variety of six different engines and three transmissions, options truly abound. Chevy’s sales strategy aims to provide customers with as many point-of-sale configurations as possible. A tactic reinforced by the four concept truck they sent to SEMA, dressed to the nine’s in Chevy aftermarket parts.
Gimme the Specs
The 2019 Silverado gets an all-new platform, standing 1.5 inches taller, 1.7 inches longer, and 1.2 inches wider. It also sheds 450 pounds and gains fuel economy, despite its mostly steel construction. That translates to a roomier interior with plenty of storage and nearly seven additional inches of floor width in the bed.
Engine options include a 4.3-liter V6, 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s, an all-new 5.3-liter V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management, an all-new 2.7-Liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 3.0-liter turbo diesel inline-six. Transmissions come in six-, eight-, and 10-speed configurations. Obviously, not every option can be freely mixed and matched, but Chevy truck lovers should appreciate the variety.
Consumer options continue inside, as Chevy decorates the Silverado in plenty of modern tech. The automaker’s infotainment system offers easy integration with mobile devices through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available 4G LTE hotspot, and a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen display. A 15-inch multicolor Head-up Display is available, as well as more safety alerts and driver assist bells than a person who passed a state driver’s test should ever need.
Chevy considers this to be its strongest and most advanced Silverado ever. With so many personalizations available, in addition to the automaker’s robust aftermarket accessory catalog, we’d argue it’s the most customizeable as well.
2019 GMC Sierra 1500
Also receiving a new chassis and updated engine options is the 2019 redesigned GMC Sierra. Similar to its less fancy sibling, last generation’s reception was lackluster. For the new model, the automaker stepped up, crafting a truly premium truck. Which is good news, as these 2019 truck redesigns prove the market is growing ever more competitive.
Five trim levels are available but the hype seems centered on the upmarket Denali and SLT, as well as the all-new AT4 off-road version. The Sierra comes with a variety of six engines, the most notable being a 3.0-liter turbo diesel and a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 available on the aforementioned special trims.
Bigger and lighter like its Silverado brethren, the new Sierra sheds as much as 360 pounds depending on the trim. The already-massive chrome grille manages to get even larger, as do the more pronounced C-shaped headlights and hood design.
But what really differentiates the Sierra from the Silverado is its carbon-fiber bed and six-position Multi-Pro tailgate, both firsts for the segment. The model also offers a roomier interior with clever in-seat storage capabilities and a bevy of safety and infotainment tech. An impressive multicolor Head-up Display and rearview mirror camera round out the interesting new driver assist features, as well as an upgraded towing package with more visual guidance and an integrated phone app.
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With more comfort and convenience wrapped in an all-new design, the 2019 GMC Sierra stands ready to deliver.
2019 RAM 1500
“Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee,” seems to be the inspiration behind many of these 2019 truck redesigns. Each model drops some serious weight while managing to gain space, power, and capability. And the new 2019 RAM 1500 joins the trend.
With an all-new high-strength steel frame, increased tow rating and payload capacity, and a stiffer ride thanks to the automaker’s recent switch to a coil-spring rear suspension, the RAM 1500 beefs up for 2019. It also gains a little class, with a roomier cabin (the most spacious the model has ever seen) and upgraded infotainment. Throw in a powered tailgate, new driver safety assists, and a “mild-hybrid” system for better fuel efficiency and you’ve got yourself a winner. And what’s that? The RAM has shed 225 pounds of weight?! Ford may be sweating just a bit.
You Say “Engine Assistance” and I Say “Hybrid Upgrade”
About that “mild-hybrid” upgrade: While the 2019 RAM may present familiar powertrain options, all-new is the automaker’s eTorque system. Essentially, vehicles equipped with eTorque will replace the alternator with a 10-hp belt-drive electric motor paired to lithium-ion battery. There’s been some confusion over whether this “adds” torque to the engine. And like most modern technology, it’s not quite that simple.
Autoblog clarifies things: “The engines’ power ratings remain the same with or without the eTorque system, and the system doesn’t affect the truck’s payload and tow ratings. eTorque is used to smooth the engine’s start/stop function and spin the engine for a very brief time at very low engine speeds to improve efficiency and smooth operation … The electric motor is just taking some work off the gas engine’s plate when it’s just restarting or just coming off idle – a supplement at low speeds, not an enhancement overall.”
While “hybrid” might be stretch, the technology is still applaudable. Improving fuel efficiency with no noticeable affect on ride quality earns the automaker some points. It also demonstrates the R&D that goes into making these trucks effective daily drivers.
2019 Jeep Wrangler Pickup
It’s always nice to see the classics get a makeover. But of all the 2019 truck redesigns, this is the one we’ve really been waiting for. After whispers and rumors, late-night forum searches and teasing spy shots, it’s finally here. The comeback of all comebacks. Twenty-five long years later, the Jeep Wrangler pickup returns.
According to AutoNews, Jeep dealers received word that the new Wrangler pickup will arrive in showrooms by April 2019. General expectation is that FCA will revive the Scrambler moniker, but with so much brand value in the Wrangler name, that could change. Regardless, we shouldn’t have to wait long, as the Jeep pickup is set to debut at the LA Auto Show this month.
What We DO Know
While Jeep keeps details quiet, there are a few safe speculations we can make. The new truck will definitely share the JL’s platform, powertrain, and rugged good looks. So you can expect either a 3.6-liter V6 or a 2.0-liter turbo four, with six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions available for the former, and the latter getting the automatic only.
As the Wrangler platform already stand as the pinnacle of capability, customization, and good ol’ American fun, we truly cannot contain our excitement for the explosion of aftermarket products that is sure to occur. With more room for gear out back and the assumption of a removable top, this is going to be one helluva exciting vehicle—both on and off road. In a sea of status quo crossovers, the Wrangler pickup is sure to stand out.
How about you? Which of the 2019 truck redesigns (and resurrections!) are you most excited for? Tell us in the comments!