MRO’s 2020 Truck Preview
After an influx of new products hit the truck market in 2019, this model year is more of a transition year for many brands.
Once exclusive to heavy duty pick-up trucks and a selection of full-size vans, trucks brands are now adding diesel engines to their light duty trucks. While FCA added one to its Ram 1500 a few years ago, it is now introducing a new version on its 2020 truck, General Motors is also adding a diesel option to its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, while Ford added a diesel to the F-150 in 2019.
Safety and technology also takes centre stage for 2020, as many brands are adding features not usually seen on pick-up trucks and vans in the past. These include cameras to better see around the vehicle, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and options to help with towing.
For 2020, a new player is added to the mix, as the Jeep Gladiator makes its debut in the mid-size segment. Heavy Duty models also see updates for 2020, as both Ford (Super Duty) and General Motors (Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD) are all-new. Nissan has updated its Titan and Titan XD.
Here MRO looks at what is new, updated, and available in the pick-up truck and van market for 2020.
Ford has updated the Super Duty for 2020, with engine, capability, design, and technology changes. A new engine is added to the line-up, as a 7.3 litre V-8 gasoline engine with 430 horsepower and 475 foot/pounds of torque make its debut. The 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine gets an update and now offers 475hp and 1,050 ft/lbs of torque. The standard engine continues to be a 6.2L gasoline engine. A new 10 speed heavy duty automatic transmissions is also added to the Super Duty and features drive modes that include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow.
The updated diesel engine allows the Super Duty to now offer gooseneck towing of 16,783 kilograms, fifth-wheel towing of 14,742kg, and conventional towing of 10,977kg. Maximum towing numbers are increased for all Super Duty models for 2020 (F-250, F-350, and F-450).
Ford has optimized the front end of the Super Duty to help with cooling, including a new front bumper and air dam. The rear tailgate, taillights, and rear bumper are all updated. LED headlights are also updated, as are DRLS on higher trims.
Technology and safety changes also occur, as Pro Trailer Backup Assist is now offered on and allows the truck’s Trailer Reverse Guidance to be compatible with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers. Automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping alert, and blind spot monitoring are now standard on XLT trim and above. Other standard features, now include FordPass Connect with 4G LTE modem, available wireless charging, and Ford Telematics.
A new Tremor off-road package is also added to the line-up for 2020, featuring an upgraded suspension, running boards, 35-inch tires, and Trail Control (described as cruise control for off-road driving by Ford).
For 2020, the full-size Transit van gets a new 3.5L V-6 gasoline engine (replacing the 3.7L engine), it joins the 3.5L EcoBoost gas engine with 310 hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque and now with automatic start/stop function. Both engines are mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel drive system is also added as an option for 2020.
Safety is enhanced for 2020, with new standard automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane keeping system, and automatic high beams. New available safety options include adaptive cruise control, front and rear camera, and a speed limiting device.
Minor changes occur to the exterior of Transit, including available HID headlamps with LED DRLs, unique grille designs for different models, and an available power sliding door for cargo and passenger vans. Interior is updated with subtle changes and improvements, and addition of available swivel front seats. FordPass Connect model with Wi-Fi hotspot (for up to 10 devices) is now standard.
Canada’s top selling pick-up truck, Ford F-150, goes into 2020 with only minor package and colour changes. All-new in 2019, the mid-size Ranger carries over into 2020 with minor changes. Ford Transit Connect mid-size van is also available for 2020, albeit minus its diesel engine.
Carrying over into 2020, Chevrolet has announced an all-new Colorado to come for 2021 model year. It will offer updated lower fascia, front skid plates, and centre bars, new logos, embossed tailgate, and unique looks for each trim. The ZR2 model will feature a lettered Chevrolet front fascia.
After being all-new for 2019 model year, the 2020 model gets a new 3.0L turbocharged inline-six diesel engine that offers 277hp and 460 ft/lbs of torque, with maximum towing for four-wheel-drive models of 4,218kg and maximum payload of 848.2kg. A 10-speed automatic transmission is now available on 5.3L V-8 models. Silverado will also receive available 15 camera views and adaptive cruise control with camera.
GMC Sierra HD
As both the GMC Sierra HD and the Chevrolet Silverado HD are all-new for 2020, and share many changes, we will focus on the GMC model to save space. The Sierra HD features an all-new design that makes it taller, longer, larger and with a longer wheelbase. Redesigned lighting is prominent as headlights, taillights, fog lights, roof marker lights and DRLs are all available in LED. Additionally, the grille is larger and hood scoops are more functional.
In the back, cargo bed volume is improved, 12 corner tie-downs are included, a 120v power outlet is available, cargo bed steps are new and in addition to the current corner steps, and the MultiPro tailgate, which debuted on the Sierra in 2019 is available on HD models
Technology is also front and centre, as GMC’s ProGrade Trailering system is now available on HD models, as is an available 15 camera views. Additional technologies available are an automatic electric parking brake, park grade hold assist, and tow/haul mode that stays on for the next time the vehicle is turned on (up to four hours).
Power wise, Sierra HD now offers a 10-speed automatic transmission on its 6.6L turbocharged diesel engine that outputs 445hp and 910 ft/lbs of torque.
An AT4 off-road version is also added for 2020.
General Motors also offers two full-size vans, GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express. GMC Sierra models also receive the 3.0L diesel engine as all-new for 2020. GMC Canyon sees the addition of AT4 off-road variant for 2020. A max towing capacity of 13,607 kg is expected.
All-new for 2020, the Jeep Gladiator is the newest member of the mid-size pick-up truck market. It brings Jeep’s off-road pedigree, so when it is driven off the main road, something that many contractors, job site workers, and others, experience on a daily basis, it doesn’t miss a beat. It has a wheelbase of 3,487 millimetres, a five-foot cargo box (1,531 millimetres with the tailgate closed), and towing capacity of 1,814kg to 3,469kg (depending on how its equipped).
Power for the Gladiator comes from the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 with 285 hp and 260 ft/lbs of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission. A 3.0L diesel engine will also be available and offer 260 hp and 442 ft/lbs of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The vehicle is available with trailer sway control, the cargo box offers standard cargo lights, dampened tailgate, tie-down loops, and optional spray-in bedliner and roll-up tonneau cover.
Three sizes of FCA’s uConnect system are available, a standard five-inch screen, a seven-inch, and an 8.4”. The instrument cluster comes with a standard 3.5” screen, or an optional seven-inch.
Gladiator is available in Sport, Overland, and Rubicon models.
All-new for 2019, the Sprinter sees minor changes to packages and available equipment for the 2020 model year. All crew vans now come standard with wood floor with six d-rings; rear window defroster, storage compartment with net in rear doors, and windows in rear doors; satellite radio now available on all models; and all cargo models now offer a full window package.
Sprinter comes outfitted with a V-6 diesel engine that provides 325 ft/lbs of torque and 188 hp mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, a four-cylinder gas engine provides 258 ft/lbs of torque and 188hp and is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Four body types are available (cargo, crew, passenger and cab chassis), two roof heights (standard and high), three wheelbases (144”, 170” and 170” EXT), three rear wheel types (single, super single, or dual), and standard rear-wheel drive and available 4×4.
Mercedes-Benz Canada also offers a smaller mid-size van, Metris. The Metris is available in both cargo and passenger variants. In addition to new colour, wheel and equipment options, the Metris receives a new instrument cluster design as standard for 2020.
For 2020, Nissan has updated the exterior styling of the Titan, which it dubs the Powerful Warrior design. The new design now offers a unique grille for each of its three trim levels, PRO-4X and Platinum grades now offer standard new headlights, LED DRLs, and available LED fog lights. The bed now has all-LED lighting with four light sources, also the rear of the Titan now has LED lighting. The exterior changes also include an updated front bumper, fog lights, badging and wheel designs.
On the interior, Titan now offers an available nine-inch touchscreen (an eight-inch screen is standard) as part of its integrated command center, which also includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi router (subscription required). A seven-inch driver information display is also included. With a new NissanConnect on the 2020 Titan, it now has over-the-air software updates.
For 2020, Nissan has also updated its 5.6L V-8 engine, which now offers 400 hp and 413 ft/lbs of torque, and is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology is now standard on all Titan models. It offers: automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beams rear emergency braking.
The larger Titan XD model shares the updates of the smaller Titan. It will now be offered in a crew cab body with a 6.5’ bed and four-wheel-drive as the only configuration available in SV, PRO-4X, and Platinum Reserve trims.
Nissan offers two cargo van options. NV full-size cargo van now has navigation package standard on SV models. While the mid-size NV200 van has a new seven-inch colour touchscreen display unit on S and SV trims with NissanConnect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with satellite radio and Bluetooth, iPod Interface, and USB inputs. A mid-size pick-up, the Frontier is also still available.
Introduced as an all-new model in 2019, for 2020 a diesel engine is added to the lineup. The 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 engine offers 260 hp and 480 ft/lbs of torque, and has a towing capacity of 5,697 kilograms (12,560lbs). It joins the 3.6L eTorque Pentastar V-6 with 305hp and 269 ft/lbs of torque; and the 5.7L HEMI V-8 (with or without eTorque) outputting 395hp and 410 ft/lbs of torque.
Added for 2020 is a Night Edition model that offers monochromatic design with black wheels (22” on Laramie, 20” on Big Horn), black badging, and a variety of colour options. The Rebel model offers a Black Appearance package with black wheels, black skid plate, and a black interior (red is optional). It now has a safety package with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
2500 Heavy Duty
For 2020, the HD models also get a new Night Edition, with similar options. Ram also adds lane keeping and adaptive steering as available equipment on all trims. Additionally, trailer tire pressure monitoring and blind spot monitoring (including coverage for trailer) are added, as is an auxiliary camera system that can have two cameras added. Crew cab with eight-foot bed now comes standard with an 187L fuel tank. Colour and wheel changes also occur.
Ram also offers two van models, ProMaster and ProMaster City, both carryover into 2020 with minimal changes.
The mid-size Tacoma see incremental changes for 2020, with all models now offering Toyota Connected Services Audio with seven- or eight-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Some models get multi terrain view monitor and birds eye view monitor; TRD Pro models get new colours and features; while other trim levels get equipment updates.
Tacoma is available with a 3.5L V-6 engine with 278hp and 265 ft/lbs of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with a six-speed manual transmission available on several TRD models. Access cab and double cab are available in 4×4 configuration.
Toyota Safety Sense P is standard on all Tacoma models. It offers adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and automatic emergency braking (with pedestrian detection).
All 4×2 and four-cylinder models are discontinued for 2020.
The Tundra full-size pick-up is a carryover for 2020, with Connected Services Audio offered just like with the Tacoma. It also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P. Added for 2020 is a Premium trim for TRD Sport and Off-road models. It offers premium audio with a remote and has embedded navigation with destination assist, leather seat cladding and leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and a spray-in bed liner. Also, for 2020 is standard Smart Key with push button start on TRD Sport/Off Road trims and above.
Mario CywinskiMario Cywinski is the Editor of Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine, a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, and a judge for Canadian Truck King Challenge. He has over 10 years of editorial experience and over 15 years of automobile industry experience, as well as small business industry experience.
All posts by Mario Cywinski