If you're searching for a new truck, you might be surprised to learn about some of the big changes coming to the world of pickup trucks in 2014. We've listed a few of the biggest news items in the truck world that might be important to shoppers interested in getting a new pickup sometime this year.

Aluminum Construction: Ford F-150

Undoubtedly this year's biggest truck-related news item is the aluminum body of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150. Due out later this year, the aluminum-bodied F-150 will offer a dramatic 700-lb weight loss from last year's truck. That means the pickup will accelerate faster and handle better than its predecessor while returning far better fuel economy. It's a win-win for shoppers, and it's a swift and serious response to the F-150's biggest rival, the Chevrolet Silverado, which was all-new for the 2014 model year.

Beyond its aluminum construction, the latest F-150 also boasts a few other important updates. There's new styling to give the truck a sharper, more aerodynamic look. There's a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, likely added to the pickup's powertrain roster after the popularity of its EcoBoost 3.5-liter. And there are new luxury options like a panoramic sunroof, LED lights and a 360-degree camera system.

Diesel-Powered Light Duty: RAM 1500

If you're a longtime truck owner, you might remember a time when light-duty pickups offered diesel engines. That's gone away in recent years, as modern diesels have been reserved for heavy-duty or super-duty trucks, largely because of their low-end torque and pulling power.

That ends in 2014, as the light-duty RAM 1500 has added a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 to its engine lineup. Dubbed the EcoDiesel, the new powerplant offers a whopping 420 lb-ft of torque, an impressive 700-mile range and a towing capacity of around 9,200 pounds. The engine also gives the RAM 1500 class-leading fuel economy figures of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. As for pricing, expect to pay around $2,900 more than a RAM 1500 equipped with the popular HEMI V8.

Midsize Trucks Return: Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

We've heard a lot about the death of the midsize truck in recent years, given the cancellation of once-popular models like the Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series. But General Motors thinks there's still some life left in the world of the midsize truck, and it's proving that with two new models.

The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are expected to go on sale this fall, with completely new styling compared to Colorado and Canyon models that left the market after the 2012 model year. They also boast new engines: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 193 horsepower, a 3.6-liter V6 with 302 hp and an upcoming diesel. Pricing for the trucks has not yet been announced.

Heavier Duty: Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra

With a new light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra released last year, it's no surprise that this year brings out all-new heavy-duty versions of the pickup trucks. Featuring new styling and the same muscular engines as last year, the pickups present a serious challenge to heavy-duty trucks from RAM and Ford. But shoppers who don't need to buy right away should wait a little longer, as the next-generation Ford Super Duty is only a few months away from being revealed, and it'll be nice to compare the two trucks before making a purchase.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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