Canadian Contractor 2020 truck preview, Part I
After an influx of new products hit the truck market in 2019, this model year is more of a transition period for many brands
February 27, 2020 by Mario Cywinski
Canadian Contractor looks at what is new, updated, and available in the pick-up truck and van market for 2020. In Part I of this three-part series, we focus on Ford.
Once exclusive to heavy duty pick-up trucks and a selection of full-size vans, trucks brands are now adding diesel engines to its light duty trucks. While FCA added one to the Ram 1500 a few years ago, it is now introducing a new version on its 2020 truck; similarly, General Motors is 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 improve sightlines 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.
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 transmission is included in 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), while joining 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 the inclusion 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.