As the big automotive companies start to release their new 2019 vehicles, the truck wars are heating up. Once again, the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, the Nissan Titan, the Toyota Tundra, and the Ram 1500 are flexing their muscles and making their bids for dominance in the full-size truck segment. At least two of these vehicles — the 1500 and the Silverado — are seeing ambitious re-designs this year (partially as a response to Ford’s changes to the F-150 over the past few years), and with Ford’s expanded engine options, industry watchers are already predicting an interesting year for North American truck design.

These days, competition in truck design falls along two related axes: lightness of body and towing-and-torque. Drivers want trucks that can deliver serious hauling power, but they also value fuel efficiency and want to minimize how much they have to pay at the pump. This has meant that truck design is about making vehicles as light and muscular as possible, which is why aluminum was used instead of steel in many parts of the cabin when Ford redesigned the F-150 in 2015.

Another change Ford has introduced to improve performance without increasing fuel consumption is in the range of engines available. If you stop by your local Ford car dealership you are likely to find only a fraction of the full range of F-150 trucks on display — in 2019, there will be thirty-six different versions of this iconic truck for sale, designed to meet just about every need and budget imaginable.

Looking for a basic package that can take care of most tasks competently but without all the bells and whistles? Get an XL 4x2 SD regular cab. It comes with a 6.2-litre V-8 regular gas engine that can deliver 385 horsepower and 430 lbs.-ft or torque. Want a luxurious truck that offers top-of-the-line features and enough power to take on just about anything? Get the Limited 4x4 SD Crew Cab, with a 450-horsepower 6.7-litre V-8 diesel engine capable of giving you a stunning 935 lbs.-ft of torque. Shoppers can also choose to swap out the standard engine for an EcoBoost, which provides even better fuel economy while still offering competitive power.

The F-150 has been the most popular truck in North America for decades, and there is nothing to suggest that it won’t take the crown again in 2019. But this is largely because Ford has been very intentional about making the F-150 an infinitely versatile truck. With so many different trim options available, the F-150 can be many things to many different people. This, in many ways, is the cornerstone of its success: an F-150 is an extremely customizable vehicle, which means that the question is less whether or not a truck fan should buy an F-150, but which F-150 they should buy. For this reason, Ford is likely going to stay competitive in 2019 regardless of the exciting new redesigns forthcoming from rivals like Chevy and Chrysler.

Published by Shubhi Gupta