2013 Pickup Truck Changes: Upgrades Coming In Next Year's American Full Size Trucks

Every year the big three truck makers roll out their new year's model some time after summer, each with their own new bells and whistles. Sometimes the new model is just a slightly changed version of the prior year's truck, and sometimes the truck maker brings out a whole new design, looking to capture truck of the year awards and every truck buyer's attention.

For the most part, truck makers - Chevy, Ford, and Dodge - only truly change their truck model every 4 or 5 years or so. They simply make minor tweaks and adjustments and add new colors or a new interior option and then slap a new year on it. This year the overall models are not changing, but several big changes are happening with powertrains and such along with some preparations being made for big changes in the next couple of years due to changes in "Cafe" standards.

The following sections will break down the changes for each of the big 3 American full size truck models, along with some coming changes in 2014 and so forth. And finally, I will add a comparison of the reported changes. I will come out with a whole 2013 Full Size Truck Comparison when the models are released with finalized Hp ratings and so forth. Please feel free to share any other changes you have heard of in the comments section at the bottom.

Changes To The 2013 Full Size Chevy Truck

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Although the Chevy Silverado is a great truck and has a large share of the market, the 2013 Silverado does not bring much to the table as far as new improvements. This year's Silverado has only added some incidental changes to minor stylings (location and size of logos, addition of some chrome, etc). Instead of spending time changing the 2013 model, GM has, instead, decided to spend more effort working on the 2014 line and allow the strengths of the old model carry it for one more year.

Chevy's current strengths (many options, dependability, comfortable ride) are great but with the upgrades you will see in the other two trucks combined with their upgrades the past couple of years, Chevy is beginning to fall behind. Although this may not mean a mass exodus of brand loyal customers from Chevy to Ford or Ram, GM will have to worry that more of their loyal customers will simply wait until next year.

Where Chevy has the other two makers trying to catch up is in preparation for the next set of Cafe standards. Chevy is reportedly preparing to drop 500 lbs from the truck in its coming 2014 model which will be coming with small block V8's and standard 6 speed transmissions.

What's New On The 2013 Ford Trucks

The new full size model for the Ford lineup, the 2013 F150, will also be staying with its same basic layout, but will include more visible updating, especially to the front of the exterior. Although the basic look is the same, Ford has reworked the grille, the headlights, and the hood, to give the F150 a slightly flashier feel. Ford's F150 is currently working off of a 2009 platform, so they are 2 years younger than the Silverado, and in less need of a new platform.

Ford will also be including a return of the F150 Limited from 2011. The high-end model has all of the upgrades and includes the hard to find V6 Ecoboost engine with its 365 Hp and 22 MPG. It is not known, as of yet, if Ford will make the V6 more common on their lots, as over the past two years they have been very difficult to find and always brought at or close to full price.

With preparation to ready their fleet for the new fuel standards, Ford is reportedly dropping as much as 700 lbs from their trucks, but will not be doing so until probably 2015, a year after GM.

The New 2013 Ram Full Size Trucks

The Ram full size trucks have, by far, the most upgrades for the 2013 selling year. Ram, no longer "Dodge Ram", has a new, higher front grille, a new, bumper design, and now it has standard halogen headlights and LED rear lights. Small changes, yes, but so are the newly available rain-sensing windshield wipers and power folding side mirrors. All of these have been available in one way or another in the other two trucks, but Dodge has definitely stepped up its game.

Under the hood, Chrysler has given the Ram a definite upper hand. Ram has added horsepower to its V6 area to compete with Ford's Ecoboost. The Pentastar V6 has 305 Hp which is still 60 less than the Ford, but is almost as much as Chevy's 5.3 Liter V8. It is also matched up with Ram's "TorqueFlite8" eight speed transmission. The Hemi has 5 more Hp to add to its might, and will also receive an upgrade to the eight speed transmission some time mid-year. The downside, for some, is that the trucks with the eight speed will lose the column shifter and use a European-sports car like dial to the right of the steering wheel on the dash. Which brings me to the interior...

The Ram designers have reworked their interior with new materials to bring the model up to date for 2013. The Ram has also added a touch screen panel in the center dash along with a multifunction, 7 inch screen to replace the gauge cluster. These additions, along with a new locking feature that includes the tailgate and side boxes, similar to Chevy's Avalanche, have made the Ram truck much more modern and user friendly at the same time.


An Early Comparison Of The 2013 Full Size Truck Models

What Area Do You Think Truck Makers Should Work On?

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  • Driveability
  • Horsepower / Torque
  • Fuel Efficiency
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An early comparison of these trucks would definitely have to conclude that the Ram truck line has caught up. With Ford and Chevy only making some superficial changes in this years model, Ram's upgrades have plenty to grab the attention of new truck buyers. The question for the future would have to be who can lighten the trucks enough yet maintain the truck feel. Also, will the additions in power overrun the amount of grip left after so much weight is shed. The course Ram is taking, with the eight speed transmissions, may give some fuel economy, but the time will come that they will have to use more aluminum like the other makes and shed some weight.

My preliminary list for the 2013 Truck Comparison would be 1. Ram, 2. Ford, 3. Chevy. That is a tough thing for a Chevy man to say, but with their current platform getting dated, Chevy needs a bit of a boost!

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truckdriversafety 3 years ago from Osaka, Japan

Yes, this is a great and very important article on pickup trucks. Thanks for sharing.

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