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2008 ICOTY Winners' Buyer's Guide

2008 Pickup Truck of the Year - GMC Sierra Denai
by Martha Hindes


International Car of the Year
Honda Accord Sedan

International Truck of the Year
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Sex Appeal/Sports Car
Audi R8

Most Dependable/Sedan
Honda Accord

Most Spirited/Entry-Level
Volvo C30

Most Compatible/Minivan
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Versatile/Crossover
Buick Enclave

Most Respected/Luxury Car
Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG

Most Athletic/Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra Denali

Most Resourceful/SUV
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

In the specialized world of heavyweight pickups, a truck may go from job site to family duty to transportation duty for a special event. The days of the one purpose pickup is long gone. For 2008, every truck must handle a number of duties from hauling cargo to towing trailers to serving as the family vehicle. Even the heavy-duty versions are no longer off limits for a variety of uses. Though their exteriors are solid and rugged with huge payload capacities, inside these trucks have grown comfortable, accommodating and even luxurious.

The ICOTY jury compared some solid contenders in the Most Athletic Pickup category and chose the top-of-the-line GMC Sierra Denali as the 2008 ICOTY Pickup category winner.

2008 GMC Sierra DenaliPower is a given in this well-appointed crew cab model, with GM's 6.2-liter Vortec V-8 matched to a six-speed "HydraMatic" automatic transmission with a "tap up/tap down" manual function. With 403-horsepower ready to perform, the Sierra Denali is designed for hard work. Standard tow hooks, skid plates, GM's StabiliTrak, four-wheel disc brakes and Z85 suspension attest to this.

However, inside the truck is all luxury, with a heated steering wheel, leather throughout, 12-way power adjustable seats plus wood and bright metal trim. They form a nice backdrop for such electronic goodies as Bose sound system, XM Satellite radio, rear seat audio, rain sensing wipers, remote start and Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist. For those who want more, there's an available power sunroof, rear seat DVD, navigation system and power rear window. Rollover head curtain airbags are standard in the Denali, and an EZ Lift Tailgate takes the strain out of loading the vehicle. We think "off to work we go" never felt so good.

Honorable Mentions

2008 Ford Super Duty F-250Ford Super Duty F-250
With a long-standing status as the best selling U.S. vehicle, Ford would be loathe to add just another pickup for its heavy-duty line. Going gigantic is more than simply adding a bigger engine. Ford surpassed such limitations long ago with its Super Duty F-250 pickup truck. Its latest edition, in a variety of versions, has the kind of superior interiors, amenities, high technology and workhorse capability that earned it an ICOTY 2008 honorable mention. Among the truck's credits is a towing capacity of more than 24,000 pounds and hauling figures near 6,000-plus pounds. The Denali offers a 6.4-liter clean diesel V-8 version, a rear backup video system, power folding tow mirrors and a special towing brake system. Nifty touches include a tailgate step and foldable bed extender. We found these features well worth the honors.

2008 Toyota TundraToyota Tundra
One of the first things you notice about the half-ton Tundra pickup, our next honoree, is that it's big. Huge. Another great feature is the ease of raising and lowering its tailgate without any strain, with the lift assist system. Those are the features that make Toyota a staying power in the American pickup market. An available 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 with six-speed automatic tops power choices. Double and crew cabs, offroad TRDs, plus a max tow capacity of 10,300 pounds tempt the buyer. Double-decker tow mirrors allow a split view outside, and inside are tons of amenities including a telescoping steering column, deep center console bin and high -ech toys. Knowing Toyota, there's plenty more to search out inside this truck.