Few dramatic changes as Detroit reorganizes, recovers
With all of the bailouts, bankruptcies and reorganizations taking place in Detroit this year, it’s understandable that most light-duty trucks won’t see major changes for 2010. Still, there are a few touchups worth noting, such as new engine capabilities and updated technology and safety features. Here are some highlights of what to expect:
Chevrolet: The Avalanche’s 1LT package now includes dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle start and heavy-duty rear locking differential. A single-speed transfer case now is standard on four-wheel drive, while the two-speed transfer case is optional. USB connectivity in the center console enables stored audio files to play through the audio system and battery charging for some handheld devices.
The Colorado gets a 5.3L V-8 with variable valve timing, and head curtain side airbags now are standard on all models.
The HHR panel van gets a rear vision camera.
The Express van, which features remote vehicle start, now has E85 capability and variable valve timing on 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.0L engines on both passenger and cargo models. The 2500 and 3500 models now have the Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission and revised rear axles, delivering improved low-rpm torque, improved highway fuel economy, improved drivability and autograde braking.
For the Silverado 1500, a 3.08 axle ratio and fuel saver mode now is standard with the 5.3L V-8 for improved fuel economy. E85 FlexFuel capability is available on 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.2L engines. Variable valve timing on 4.8L and 5.3L engines improves fuel economy, while a six-speed automatic transmission now is available on Regular and Extended Cab models with the 5.3L V-8. Side curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags now are standard on all 1500 models – hybrid included – as well as the StabiliTrak electronic control system. USB connectivity is available on most radios, and a rearview camera is available on more models; the 2500HD and 3500HD also get USB connectivity. The hybrid model’s 6.0L V-8 now is compatible with E85.
Dodge: The Multiple Displacement System for the Ram’s Hemi engine allows it to switch between V-4 and V-8 modes to provide decent highway fuel economy estimated to be about 18 mpg; city fuel economy logs in at 13 mpg. Hemi-powered Rams come with a five-speed automatic, but drivers can opt for part-time or on-demand four-wheel-drive, as well as four different axle ratios. The on-demand four-wheel-drive system can be shifted into high-range on the fly, or left in automatic mode.
The Rambox includes bedside storage boxes and is a factory option for the stock 5’7″ bed found on Quad Cab/Crew Cab Rams. Meanwhile, Ram 1500 pickups now utilize coil springs instead of leafs, a switch that improves ride and handling while retaining decent payload (up to 1,850 pounds) and towing capability (up to 9,100 pounds). A two-mode hybrid version is available.Ford: The E-Series full-size van is available with the company’s Sync voice-activated communications and entertainment system, as well as its Work Solutions technology package. Also available is a navigation system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display integrated into the instrument panel, and a flexible door system that permits doors to be held open at 105 degrees and opened to 178 degrees with a push.
The F-150, which also offers Work Solutions technology, features a three-bar grille and a spacious, flexible and refined interior. The F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models also feature Work Solutions and Sync, as well as a tougher bed spray-in bedliner to protect the truck bed from damage.
The Ranger offers AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and a Class III trailer hitch.
New to the U.S. market is the Transit Connect commercial vehicle, designed for small business owners to navigate city streets. The vehicle has a fuel-efficient 2.0L engine, 135 cubic feet of cargo space and a 1,600-pound payload capacity.
GMC: For the Canyon, head curtain side airbags now are standard on all models, and the ZQ8 Sport Suspension package now is available on the two-wheel-drive Extended Cab and Crew Cab SLE-1 (3SA) and SLT (4SA) equipment groups.
The Savana van now features remote vehicle start, as well as E85 capability and variable valve timing on 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.0L engines (passenger and cargo models). The 2500 and 3500 models now feature a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission and revised rear axles.
For the Sierra 1500 and Denali, a 3.08 axle ratio and fuel saver mode now is standard with the 5.3L V-8, while FlexFuel capability now is available on 4.8L, 5.3L and 6.2L engines; the 4.8L and 5.3L also now have variable valve timing. A six-speed automatic transmission is available on Regular and Extended Cab models with the 5.3L V-8, and side curtain airbags and seat-mounted side airbags now are standard. Also available are USB connectivity and the StabiliTrak electronic control system; meanwhile, a rearview camera is available on more models. The Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD also have USB connectivity, as well as OnStar 8.2 equipped with long-range remote start and traffic probe. The Sierra Hybrid’s 6.0L V-8 now is compatible with E85.
Mazda: The B-Series truck features a 2.3L V-4 or a more potent 4.0L V-6 with two-wheel and four-wheel drivetrains. Tows of up to 5,600 pounds are possible thanks to a standard Class III frame-mounted trailer receiver hitch.
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