2018 Chicago Auto Show: Top Trucks & SUVs

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePopular Utility
Sales numbers don’t lie: American drivers still love trucks, and every year many of the most popular vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show are trucks and SUVs. This year’s show featured new production vehicles, concepts, and a vast array of accessories for vehicle customization. Click through for a quick look at the top trucks and SUVs of the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 debuted in January at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, and as the second-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. last year, the new Silverado continued to draw attention in Chicago. The new Silverado features bold styling, more configurations, multiple engine choices and a variety of trim levels. Even with a longer wheelbase, more passenger room and additional cargo volume, the 2019 Silverado weighs in 450 pounds lighter than the current model thanks to mixed materials and mass reduction expertise. Silverado will be available with six different engine / transmission combinations, including two new V8s — a 5.3-liter and a 6.2-liter — which offer Dynamic Fuel Management that deactivates cylinders when not needed. A new 3.0-liter diesel Duramax engine will also be available.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Silverado’s new design incorporates a big grille with sleek, narrow headlights and LED accent lights below. Elements such as the front bumper tucking behind the quarter panels and a rear spoiler on the cab with a small spoiler on the tailgate all facilitate smoother airflow. The truck’s interior is completely updated with more space as well as redesigned control buttons and knobs. Silverado will continue to offer high-tech features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. Eight trims are offered, including a new Trailboss version designed for off-roading, so it has a 2-inch suspension lift, big off-road tires and a complete off-road package.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Durango SRT
Dodge showed new options and Mopar performance parts for Durango at the Chicago Auto Show. Both Durango R/T and Durango SRT are now available with factory dual center stripes in five colors: Bright Blue, Flame Red, Gunmetal Low Gloss (metallic finish), Low Gloss Black and Sterling Silver (metallic finish). New Mopar performance exhaust systems that are bolt-on, high-performance and factory-tuned for improved flow, sound and overall performance will be available in the second quarter of 2018 for the Durango SRT, and are currently available for the Durango R/T.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceDodge Durango SRT
Mopar now offers a new performance lowering kit for the Durango SRT that lowers the vehicle 15 mm (0.6 inches) for improved handling and a more aggressive stance. Mopar worked with Dodge SRT engineers to tune the springs to work with factory dampers. Performance improvements include less squat during acceleration, less dive under braking and reduced body roll when cornering. The Durango SRT interior appearance group — which features a premium-wrapped instrument panel, a Dinamica soft-touch headliner and accent paint on speaker trim rings — adds a carbon fiber instrument panel and door bezels.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Ranger
Another popular truck at the Chicago Auto Show that debuted at the Detroit show in January is the Ford Ranger, a model that returns Ford to the U.S. midsize pickup segment. The 2019 Ranger features a high-strength steel frame, a 2.3 -liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Even though Ranger is already sold in other markets around the world, the 2019 model in Chicago has been engineered specifically for the North American market, with production scheduled to begin in late 2018 and sales beginning in early 2019. The 2019 Ranger will be offered in SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations and XL, XLT and Lariat trims with available Chrome, Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Ranger
The new Ranger’s exterior design features a high beltline, a raked grille, a dual-dome hood, the Ranger name stamped in the tailgate, and short overhangs for off-road clearance. Inside, the 2019 Ford Ranger offers seating for up to five, a center stack with an 8-inch touchscreen for the available SYNC3 system, and dual LCD screens in the instrument cluster to display vehicle, navigation and audio information. The available FX4 Off-Road Package adds protective skidplates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks, off-road suspension, a Terrain Management System and Trail Control to help navigate challenging off-road conditions.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon
In Chicago Ford debuted the new 2019 Transit Connect Wagon — the passenger version of the compact Transit Connect van — available in both 5-passenger and 7-passenger configurations with two different wheelbases. Designed to accommodate owners who need to balance the needs of both passengers and cargo, the new Transit Connect Wagon offers dual sliding side doors and an interior that can be quickly configured for cargo hauling. The design incorporates a new front fascia with a larger oval grille similar to other Ford models, and a shoulder line that rises toward the rear with a tapered window graphic. The Transit Connect Wagon is offered in three trim levels: XL, XLT and Titanium to span the spectrum from utility to luxury.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon
Two new engines for the Transit Connect Wagon include a standard 2.0-liter gasoline engine and an all-new 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine, both combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 1.5-liter EcoBlue is expected to achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 30 mpg highway. Inside, Transit Connect Wagon receives a new dashboard design with an available 6.5-inch touchscreen and improved first- and second-row seating. A 4G LTE modem is standard and wireless phone changing is available. Seven new driver-assist technologies include standard Automatic Emergency Braking, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, available Blind-Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert and an available Lane Keeping System.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceJeep Wrangler
The opportunity to redesign an iconic vehicle rarely happens, and this year’s rework of the Jeep Wrangler has attracted lots of attention. The new Wrangler debuted last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show and the highly-anticipated model is now going on sale. Tracing its roots back to the original World War II U.S. military vehicle, the 2018 Wrangler stays true to its heritage in design and off-road capability while evolving with new fuel-efficient powertrains, improved on-road dynamics and advanced safety and technology. The 2018 Wrangler retains its 7-slot grille and round headlights, although the grille is taller and wider, and the outer edges now trace around the shape of the headlights, reminiscent of the Jeep CJ.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceJeep Wrangler
Overall the new Wrangler body is more aerodynamic, and the windshield can still be folded flat to the hood. Two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top and a new Sky One-Touch power top, are offered. Both 2-door and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels. The 2018 Wrangler continues to have advanced off-road capability with two 4-wheel-drive systems and — for the first time — a 2-speed transfer case with full-time 4-wheel drive. Three engines will be available starting with the 285-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, a new 270-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel with 442 lb-ft of torque that will arrive in 2019.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMopar Ram
To showcase more than 200 Mopar accessories offered for the new 2019 Ram 1500, Ram and Mopar customized the Ram 1500 at the Chicago Auto Show with a selection of available equipment. Starting with a Flame Red 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn Sport 4×4, the Mopar Ram adds a 2-inch Mopar lift kit along with 35-inch off-road tires, 18-inch Mopar beadlock-capable wheels, red wheel trim rings, black Mopar wheel flares and Mopar off-road cast aluminum running boards with a skid-resistant surface.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMopar Ram
The Mopar Ram in Chicago also featured a new Mopar Ram Rack that will be available soon. The Ram Rack mounts to the available production bed utility rails and is designed to carry large gear that would not fit in the bed, such as the two full-size kayaks secured to the Ram Rack at the Chicago Auto Show. The Chicago show truck also features the new Mopar “Ram Airflow” cold-air intake system (which will be available later this year), a Mopar performance cat-back exhaust, Mopar 5-inch dual exhaust tips, black Mopar hood graphic stripes, blacked-out Ram emblems and badging, front tow hooks and a Mopar logo hitch plug. Inside, the Ram 1500 adds black Katzkin leather seats with embroidered Rebel Red Ram’s head logos on the seatbacks, Mopar all-weather floor mats and Mopar brushed-aluminum door sills.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Armada Snow Patrol
Once again Nissan celebrated winter at the Chicago Auto Show with the 370Zki concept car, a 370Z with snow tracks and skis, and the ultimate snow tow vehicle — the Armada Snow Patrol. The Armada is Nissan’s largest SUV, offering big power as well as a spacious, comfortable interior.; Nissan modified the Armada to improve off-road capability. The automaker transformed Armada into the Snow Patrol with a 3-inch suspension lift kit from Pro Comp. Additional ground clearance is provided by 35-inch Pro Comp MT2 maximum traction extreme off-road tires mounted on 20-inch Satin Black wheels.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Armada Snow Patrol
Up front, the Snow Patrol gets a larger front bumper with a grille protector bar and a winch mount supporting a 12,000-pound-capacity winch. A roof rack and light bar with double-row LEDs with flood and spot capabilities adorn the roof, complemented by an LED light bar mounted to the grille. Running boards and rock sliders complete the look and protect the side rails in extreme off-road conditions. Inside, the front seats are covered in premium Katzkin leather in Pearl with Cement-colored perforated inserts, Cobalt accents and the Armada Snow Patrol logo. The exterior features an Armada Snow Patrol graphic body wrap.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Titan Lift Kit
Nissan now offers a new ICON Vehicle Dynamics suspension lift kit for both Titan and Titan XD. Available through Nissan dealers, the suspension mods do not require any cutting or drilling and installs in less than four hours. The factory-authorized ICON lift kit provides a more aggressive appearance and increased ground clearance with a suspension lift of up to three inches; the modifications do not void the factory warranty. The ICON kit includes adjustable-height coil-over shock absorbers tuned specifically for TITAN and TITAN XD, custom rod-end bearings and patent-pending Delta Joints.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan Titan Lift Kit
The Nissan Titan is already the most accessorized vehicle in the Nissan lineup. “We worked with ICON, a proven name in suspension lift-kit engineering, to develop the first kits to be offered through our Nissan dealer network,” said Billy Hayes, division vice president, LCV and Trucks, Nissan North America, Inc. “With the suspension lift kit’s increased wheel travel and damping ability, ride quality should be enhanced both off-road and on,” added Hayes. “TITAN and TITAN XD are the most accessorized models in the entire Nissan lineup and the ICON kits are a great addition,” Hayes noted.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ram 1500
One of the hits of the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 garnered a lot of attention in Chicago as well. The number three best-selling vehicle in America for 2017 behind its rival Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, the all-new Ram 1500 mounts a new challenge. The 2019 Ram offers more capability, better fuel economy and an impressively innovative interior. The new design is more aggressive with a forward-leaning grille (offered in six styles) and a raised aluminum hood with engine badges on the sides. Fog lights get pushed to the outer corners and three different headlights are offered: halogen, full LED and full LED with an Adaptive Front Lighting System. Up front is an air dam that automatically lowers at 35 mph to improve airflow, active grille shutters and an optional air suspension that lowers the truck at highway speeds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience2019 Ram 1500
The new Ram will be available in either Quad Cab or Crew Cab configuration with interior options from vinyl to premium leather. The Ram will be initially available with either a 305-horsepower 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 engine or a 395-horsepower 5.87-liter HEMI V8 powertrain, and both will be equipped with the eTorque mild hybrid system, which adds up to 90 lb-ft of torque for the V6 and 130 lb-ft for the HEMI. This system combines a belt-driven motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery for seamless start / stop function, a short-duration torque boost to the driveline and brake energy regeneration. Both engines are teamed with an electronic TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Toyota debuted three new 2019 TRD Pro 4×4 models in Chicago, starting with the 4Runner TRD Pro, featuring Fox shocks and off-road equipment developed by Toyota Racing Development. The TRD Pro lineup first debuted in 2014, bring styling, equipment and capability from Toyota’s off-road and racing history. The 2019 TRD Pro models will be available in the fall of 2018 in three color choices: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic or Voodoo Blue. The Toyota 4Runner is a legendary off-road vehicle and continues to be one of the most capable off-road production vehicle available. The TRD Pro adds 2.5-inch Fox shocks front and rear combined with a larger front sway bar and TRD-tuned front springs that provide an additional one inch of front lift.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota 4Runner TRD Pro
The addition of 17-inch matte black TRD Pro wheels with a different offset increase the front and rear track by nearly one inch and Nitto Terra Grappler P265/70R17 all-terrain tires for improved off-road performance. Additional equipment includes LED fog lights, black grille, projector-beam headlights with smoke trim, front skid plate with red TRD lettering and a roof rack. Inside the 4Runner TRD Pro adds a new-for-2019 standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite as well as SofTex seats with red stitching, red TRD logos on the front headrests, TRD shift knob and TRD Pro floor mats.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Based on the Tacoma already-capable TRD Off-Road trim, the Tacoma TRD Pro adds 2.5-inch inch Fox shocks front and rear, combined with a larger front sway bar and TRD-tuned front springs that provide an additional one inch of lift. Tacoma TRD Pro is equipped with 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels that increase the track by one inch, wrapped with P265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires. Additional equipment includes a new front skidplate with red TRD lettering and a cat-back TRD exhaust with a new Black Chrome tip. Exterior features include a black grille, projector-beam headlights with black sport bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, taillights with black sport bezels, and TRD Pro badges.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Tacoma TRD Pro
The most obvious new feature on the Tacoma TRD Pro is an available TRD Desert Air Intake, designed for better performance by providing cleaner intake air in dusty, dirty off-road conditions. Inside, Tacoma TRD Pro receives standard Entune, a Premium JBL Audio system with a subwoofer amplifier and Integrated Navigation and App Suite, along with leather-trimmed seats with TRD Pro emblems and TRD Pro floor mats.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Tundra TRD Pro
Toyota’s full-size Tundra pickup also receives the TRD Pro treatment, starting with 2.5-inch Fox shocks front and rear combined with TRD-tuned springs that provide an additional two inches of front lift. Wheel travel is increased by more than 1.5 inches at the front and more than two inches at the rear. Tundra TRD Pro is fitted with new 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, and 5-spoke satin black wheels wrapped in Michelin P275/65R18 all-terrain tires.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceToyota Tundra TRD Pro
Tundra TRD Pro features a new grille, a new hood scoop, LED headlights with unique black treatment, LED accent lights, Rigid Industries LED fog lights and TRD Pro stamping on the rear quarter panels. The front skidplate includes red TRD lettering and the TRD Pro dual exhaust includes new Black Chrome exhaust tips. Inside, the Tundra Pro receives leather seats with TRD Pro logos; red stitching for the seats, dash and armrests; a TRD shift knob; and TRD Pro floor mats.


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