Lux­ury pick­ups are go­ing more up­scale

USA TODAY International Edition - - MONEY - Eric D. Lawrence

If the pop­u­lar ’80s and ’90s TV show “Life­styles of the Rich and Fa­mous” was re­cast for 2018, pick­ups no doubt would min­gle in the uber-fancy garages with ex­otic sports cars.

Imag­ine a holo­gram of the late Robin Leach mar­veling at the lux­ury ap­point­ments in a Ram 1500 or Ford F-150 Lim­ited or per­haps a GMC Sierra De­nali. The fact that we can even sug­gest this hints at the sea change in the truck world.

Much was made last year of Ford’s $100,000 F-450 Su­per Duty Lim­ited pickup, but even with light-duty pick­ups, the kinds of touches once the do­main of lux­ury sedans have found their way into ve­hi­cles that work for a liv­ing – even if plenty of pick­ups never haul more than gro­ceries to and from their sub­ur­ban haunts.

All those ex­tras don’t come cheap. A GMC Sierra De­nali Ul­ti­mate, for ex­am­ple, tops out at about $67,000 with des­ti­na­tion charges.

❚ Care for a mas­sage? Ford offers some­thing called Ac­tive Mo­tion, which is ba­si­cally mas­sag­ing seats. It’s stan­dard on the F-150 Plat­inum and Lim­ited trim lev­els and avail­able on King Ranch.

❚ A brand­ing iron? What if your idea of lux­ury is more about the lit­tle touches and less about work­ing out the kinks af­ter a long day? Au­then­tic­ity might be what you’re af­ter. Take the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn edi­tion. Look for the cat­tle brand.

“Lit­er­ally, it’s a hot brand­ing iron,” said Ryan Nagode, chief de­signer for Ram, de­scrib­ing how a man­ual press is used to brand the Longhorn name into the wood-trimmed glove box door. The ac­cou­ter­ments don’t stop there. “Through­out the cabin, a new em­bossed al­li­ga­tor-skin pat­tern leather cov­ers sur­faces in­clud­ing the cen­ter con­sole, in­stru­ment panel, seats and door panel in­serts,” the com­pany pro­claims. And that cen­ter con­sole, Nagode called it a hall­mark fea­ture, with 40 liters of stor­age and five USB ports.


Ford’s Ac­tive Mo­tion is stan­dard on the F-150 Plat­inum and Lim­ited trim lev­els.

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