Over the past few years, there has been a virtual explosion in new product launches, technologies, and support packages. As the following pages reveal, more is in the offing.

Truck manufacturers continue to raise the bar when it comes to producing trucks laden with creature comforts to attract and retain elusive drivers. Not only are trucks more comfortable, they’re also more reliable and packed with technological advances that deliver low-cost dependable service. Beyond the hardware, manufacturers are concentrating on providing improved service and parts support to provide you with worry-free operation mile after mile.

Dodge

Dodge’s full-size Ram pickup and van for the 2000 model-year haven’t changed much. The most noteworthy change is the wider availability of a 6-speed manual transmission with constant-mesh helical gears for the 6-cylinder Cummins ISC Turbo Diesel and Magnum V10 gasoline engine options in the Ram pickup.

There are three pickups and a cab chassis available with GVW ratings ranging from 6400 lb to 10,500 lb. All are offered with the 4-door extended Quad Cab option. In addition to the Cummins diesel (235 hp/460 lb-ft) and Magnum V10 (310 hp/450 lb-ft), you can order the Ram with the 3.9-liter Magnum V6 (175 hp/230 lb-ft), 5.2-liter Magnum V8 (230 hp/300 lb-ft), or 5.9-liter Magnum V8 (245 hp/335 lb-ft).

The Ram Van, which underwent a redesign in 1998, continues with the same powertrain and payload specs.

The compact Dodge Dakota joins the ranks of the 4-door pickups in 2000 with the addition of a Quad Cab option. Unlike the Ram Quad Cab, all four doors open forward on the new Dakota model.

Ford

Light-truck activity at Ford Motor Co. for 2000 focuses on passengers, with the all-new nine-passenger Excursion built on the Super Duty F-series chassis and a crew cab model for the F-150 pickup.

Although the F-150 SuperCrew is a 2001 model, the six-passenger pickup with four full-size doors will arrive in dealer showrooms this January. The standard powertrain is the 4.6-liter Triton V8 mated to Ford’s 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Other F-150/250 models have few changes for 2000.

The lightest member of Ford’s commercial truck lineup, the 8800-lb-GVW Super Duty F-250, also remains relatively unchanged for 2000. Its chassis, however, provides the underpinnings for the new utility vehicle Excursion, which has almost 50 cu ft of cargo space behind its third-row seat and a towing capacity of 10,000 lb. Power options include the 5.4-liter Triton V8, 6.8-liter Triton V10, and Power Stroke 7.3-liter V8 diesel.

You can expect few changes on the 2000 model Econoline full-size van and Ranger compact pickup.

Freightliner

Freightliner Corp.’s MT-35 walk-in van chassis remains essentially unchanged for 2000. Rated 9998 lb GVW, the chassis is powered by Cummins’ 130-hp, 4-cylinder, B 3.9-liter diesel mated to an Eaton Fuller 5-speed Direct manual transmission. Options include an Allison automatic transmission and a choice of 138-, 158.8-, and 178-in. wheelbases.

General Motors

After the 1999 introduction of the new GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickups, the 2000 model year carries over the extensive General Motors’ light truck lineup with few changes.

The one notable change for the Sierra/Silverado is the addition of a fourth door for extended cab versions. Both regular and extended cab models with short or long cargo beds are offered in ½-, ¾-, and 1-ton versions with GVW ratings ranging from 5400 lb to 8600 lb. Engine choices include three Vortec V8s with outputs ranging from 225 hp to 300 hp, and peak torques from 285 lb-ft to 355 lb-ft.

For those looking for a pickup or cab chassis with more capacity, GM continues to offer its older model as the Chevrolet C/K and GMC Sierra. GVWs run from 8600 lb to 10,000 lb, and a crew cab is available in addition to regular and extended cabs.

The full-size Chevy Express and GMC Savanna cargo vans and cutaway chassis remain essentially unchanged for 2000, as do the midsize Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari vans. The compact Chevrolet S-10/GMC Sonoma pickup is also a carryover from 1999.

Nissan

Nissan Truck’s 2000 Frontier becomes the first compact pickup to offer a 4-door crew cab. In addition to four full-size doors, the Frontier Crew Cab’s standard equipment includes a 3.3-liter V6 engine and 5-speed manual transmission. An optional 4-speed automatic boosts towing capacity from 3500 lb to 5000 lb. Standard and King Cab versions of the Frontier have only minor changes for the 2000 model year.

Toyota

Developed for the North American market and built in Indiana, the 2000 Tundra is Toyota’s new full-size pickup. With a 128-in. wheelbase and GVW ratings of up to 6050 lb, the Tundra handles 1-ton payloads and offers towing capacities up to 7200 lb. The new truck’s standard engine is a 190-hp, 3.4-liter V6, and an optional 32-valve double-overhead cam V8 produces 245 hp and peak torque of 315 lb-ft. Both engines come with a 4-speed automatic transmission. You can specify a 5-speed manual with the V6.

The regular cab version of the Tundra has an 8-ft bed, while the 4-door, 6-passenger Access Cab model comes with a 6.5-ft bed.

Bering

Bering Truck Corp.’s LD Series of trucks is designed to provide driver comfort and vehicle maneuverability in congested urban and suburban areas. They feature a luxury SUV-like ergonomic interior and include as standard some items not typically available on Class 3-5 vehicles. These include an extended cab that increases storage capacity and an ergonomic suspension seat that reduces noise and vibration.

The LD Series of trucks features Detroit Diesel 6-cylinder engines, Allison AT-542 automatic transmissions, and many other U.S. components, including Hayes Lemmerz steel wheels, Racor frame-mounted fuel filters, Kysor cooling fans, and Eaton auto clutches. The minimum GVWR for LD Series vehicles is 12,000 lb, with a maximum rating of 15,180 lb. Four wheelbase options are available: 108 in., 132 in., 147 in., and 176 in.

Ford

Expect few big changes in Ford Motor Co.’s 2000 model lineup of commercial Super Duty F-Series trucks. In the midrange, the Super Duty F-350 is rated from 9,900 lb to 12,500 lb GVW; F-450 carries a 15,000-lb-GVW rating, and F-550 is available with either a 17,500- or 19,000-lb-GVW rating.

The standard engine for the midrange commercial Super Duty platform is the 5.4-liter Triton V8, which is rated at 235 hp and has a peak torque of 335 lb-ft. Options include the 6.8-liter Triton V10 and 7.3-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel. A 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with integrated PTO is available, and power disc brakes/ABS are standard.

Freightliner

Based on Freightliner’s heavier Business Class models, the Class 5 FL50 sees the same powertrain changes as the medium-duty models for 2000. These include availability of the 4- and 6-cylinder versions of the Mercedes-Benz MBE900 diesel. Two automatic transmission options are also new: the Aisin A581 and Allison 1000. You can add the 6-speed version of Eaton’s automated mechanical AutoShift transmission to the option list.

As in the past, you can specify the FL50 with Cummins’ ISB 5.9-liter diesel, with ratings from 175 hp to 250 hp, or Caterpillar’s 3126, 7.2-liter engine with ratings from 175 hp to 300 hp.

General Motors

The new 2000 GMC and Chevrolet WT5500 cabover combines a Class 5 chassis from the General Motors midrange W-Series with a heavier cab from its medium-duty T-Series. Offered with 18,000 lb and 19,500 lb GVW ratings, the hybrid tilt cab is powered by a 200-hp version of the new 7.8-liter Duramax diesel, which was jointly developed by GM and Isuzu. The standard transmission is a 6-speed Isuzu box, and an Allison automatic is offered as an option. There are five wheelbase choices ranging from 148 in. to 218 in.

The W3500 (11,050 lb GVW), W4500 (14,050 lb GVW), and W5500 (16,500 lb GVW) receive only minor upgrades for 2000, including standard ABS and a new 176-in. wheelbase. Power options include a 4-cylinder, 4.75-liter, diesel rated at either 142 hp or 175 hp, and the 250-hp, Vortec 5700, gasoline engine.

The conventional GMC and Chevy 3500HD cab chassis (15,000 lb GVW) also remains essentially unchanged for 2000 and is offered with either the Vortec 7400 gas engine (290 hp) or 6.5-liter diesel (195 hp).

Hino

The FA and FB midrange trucks of Hino Diesel Trucks (U.S.A.) have better stopping power since ABS is now standard equipment for the new model year. Inside the cabs, power windows are standard on driver and passenger sides, both doors carry convenient map pockets on the inside, and standard lighted side mirrors generate sufficient heat to act as defoggers. Hino also expanded the windshield washer tank to a full gallon, relocating the tank next to the driver’s seat for easier fill-ups.

The Class 4 FA1517 features a 15,000 lb GVWR, while the Class 5 FB1817 comes in at 17,600 lb GVWR. Both trucks are available in three wheelbase choices and are powered by a Hino engine that delivers 168 hp at 2500 rpm. A 5-speed direct-drive transmission is standard.

Isuzu

For the new model year, American Isuzu Motors adds an ABS brake system to its Class 3-5 vehicles. Class 3 and 4 NPR, NPR-HD (gas and diesel), and Class 5 NQR trucks also have an easier-to-read odometer check switch, Packard body mounting connector for easier body installation, fascia plates on front panels to enhance vehicle appearance, and improved front disc brakes for increased brake performance. Class 5 FRR trucks also have daytime running lights, a new F-Series cab for improved driver comfort, and larger diameter brakes.

The MXA5C fully synchronized, 5-speed manual transmission available on NPR models now features stronger gears for increased durability, transmission life, and PTO capability. The new NPR gas-powered trucks are equipped with an upgraded domestically sourced 5.7-liter engine that produces up to 30% more hp and 10% more torque than previous models.

For 2000, the Class 5 NQR has an increased GVWR of 17,950 lb and a body payload capacity of up to 10,592 lb. Power for the NPR, NPR-HD, and NQR is provided by a 4.8-liter Isuzu diesel engine.

With an 18,000 lb to 19,500 lb GVWR, the 2000 FRR features a new 7.8-liter, 6-cylinder, Isuzu 6HK1-TC, diesel engine that delivers 200 hp at 2400 rpm. The standard transmission is an Isuzu MLD6Q manual 6-speed with overdrive.

Mitsubishi Fuso

Beginning with the 2000 model year, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America features ABS in each of its 10 truck models in Class 3-6. Daytime running lights are also included as standard, along with power windows and central door locks.

In Class 3, the GVWR for the FE has risen from 11,600 lb to 12,000 lb. The FG 4-wheel drive remains at 12,000 lb GVWR, and the FE-HD stays at 13,500 lb GVWR. All three are powered by a Mitsubishi 4D34-3AT3A engine, which sports an increase in power to 145 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm for 2000. You can find the same power plant and rating in the Class 4 FE-SP, which has a 14,500 lb GVWR. The Class 5 FH, rated 17,995 lb GVW, is powered by the 6D34-OAT2, 6 cylinder, turbocharged diesel, producing 175 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.

UD Trucks

No major changes are reported for UD Trucks’ five CEO midrange models: the Class 3 UD1200, Class 4 UD1400, Class 5 UD1800CS (City Spec), UD1800HD, and UD2000. The trucks accommodate a variety of body types up to 24 ft in length. The UD1200 and UD1400, with GVWRs of 12,000 lb and 14,250 lb, are offered in 108.9-, 131.9- and 149.4-in. wheelbases. Powered by the Nissan, diesel, FD46TA, 4.6-liter, turbodiesel engine rated 145 hp, they also feature a 5-speed manual Nissan Diesel ME550C as standard.

UD1800CS and UD1800HD trucks, available in five wheelbases ranging from 137.4 in. to 191.7 in., have a higher GVWR of 17,995 lb. The UD1800CS is matched with the FD46TA diesel engine, but rated at 175 hp.

The UD2000 is rated 19,500 lb GVW. Along with the UD1800HD, it features a 6-cylinder FE6TA diesel engine rated 225 hp and is equipped with a Nissan, diesel, MLS61B, 6-speed, overdrive, manual transmission. Allison automatic transmissions are available as well.