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GMC Sierra wins the 2019 Canadian Truck King title

It’s a matter of fit for purpose and this challenge tests trucks through real-world situations.


March 14, 2019
By Mario Cywinski
The GMC Sierra, pictured here, is the winner of the 2019 Canadian Truck King Challenge. Photo courtesy of Mario Cywinski.

The Canadian Truck King Challenge (CTKC) crowned the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali as its champion. CTKC is unique in that it tests the trucks using real-world situations. There were two days of testing for five Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) judges, who scored each 4×4 truck using 20 subjective test categories.

“The field of 2019 half-ton pickups was competitive, with trucks from GM and RAM, while the F-150 received major upgrades, including offering a 3.0L diesel engine, that we ran back-to-back with gas engines from RAM, GM, Toyota and Nissan. Towing is where the diesel feels best, but the raw horse power of GM’s 6.2L V8 is hard to ignore,” said judge Stephen Elmer, from The Fast Lane Truck. “The performance exhaust on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro barks when you accelerate, while Nissan’s 5.6L V8 has a strong exhaust note with loads of power. In the end, the GMC Sierra came out on top.”

This year, manufacturers that took part were: General Motors with its GMC Sierra 1500 Denali and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ; Ford with the F-150 Diesel Lariat; FCA with the RAM 1500 Limited; Nissan with the Titan PRO-4X; and Toyota with the Tundra TRD Pro.

The Sierra and Silverado were equipped with a 6.2L V-8 engine with Dynamic Fuel Management and mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. F-150 was equipped with a 3.0L Power Stroke V-6 diesel engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ram 1500 featured a 5.7L HEMI V-8 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Tundra offered a 5.7L V-8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Nissan Titan was equipped with a 5.6L V-8 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

“Unlike typical road tests and reviews, CTKC evaluates each entry as a working truck – not simply driving it around empty, but with a hefty payload and significant towing load,” said judge Clare Dear, with Autofile.ca. “The format helped reveal characteristics that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, such as the towing capabilities of Ford’s new 3.0L diesel engine and the RAM’s unique load-levelling air suspension. The findings of the Challenge are a must-see resource.”

Third-party company, FleetCarma, used data recorders on each of the vehicles to measure real-word fuel economy under each part of the challenge (empty, payload and towing). The winner of the Fuel Economy Challenge was the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with a 6.2L V-8 engine.

The days of one truck being better than others are over. The differences in engine, features and packages between trucks are getting smaller and smaller. Today, it’s a matter of fit for purpose, what are you going to use the truck for, and what is important to you. Judge Éric Descarries, with Auto 123, noted, “This time, the winner has to be the consumer.”