They're not very glamorous, seem prone to dirt and travel 0-60 mph in about 4.5 . minutes.
Yet pickup trucks continue to defy the odds with their rugged popularity. And six of them made the cut to be named "Best Pickup Truck of the Year" for 2014.
Chicago-based Cars.com, an online resource for buying and selling new and used autos, released the list of nominees for its "all new" award.
They are the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Ram 2500/3500 HD and Toyota Tundra. PickupTrucks.com, billed as an online authority on passenger trucks, joined Cars.com in making the choices.
All of the models can be purchased at Charleston area new car dealerships. None of the finalists are compact pickups, and only one - the Ram 2500/3500 - rises above the half-ton category in size.
The company's decision to introduce the pickup truck honor stems from a surge in customers.
"Pickup truck sales have skyrocketed in 2013, making up nearly 14 percent of total sales for the year," said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of Cars.com.
"Shoppers are increasingly gravitating towards these tough haulers," Olsen said, "and manufacturers are responding accordingly with impressive, high-quality and good looking models.
"That's why we're introducing this new award for a category that is well deserving of honor," he said.
Editors of Cars.com and PickupTrucks.com gave reasons why they nominated each of the trucks. Here they are, in reverse alphabetical order:
2014 Toyota Tundra
"Current Tundra owners raved so much about the truck's powertrain that the 2014 makeover focused almost entirely on interior, exterior and design changes. The biggest updates came in the form of a new exterior, new headlights and taillights, and significantly improved interior and cabin features."
2014 Ram 2500/3500 HD
"Following the 2013 redesign of the 1500, it is the 2500/3500 HD's turn for 2014. This redesign comes with an upgraded frame, front suspension and Cummins option, but the biggest news is (an) included heavy-duty, load-leveling airbag spring option for serious towers."
2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
"New for 2014, Ram will be the first to offer a diesel option for half-ton buyers. The existing 1500 is a truck that has impressed many since its 2013 redesign, but the added diesel option for 2014 will result in impressive engine power paired with great fuel economy."
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
"The GMC version of the Silverado offers its own distinctive look with unique body panels, hoods, front grilles, headlights and taillights."
2014 Ford F-150
"Ford consistently holds its lead in truck sales by delivering solid products, good-looking trim packages and functional options. The 2014 offers buyers just that, with a version of the truck for just about every driver's need."
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
"From bumper to bumper, inside and out, the 2014 Silverado is stronger, smarter, more efficient and more capable than the outgoing model it replaced."
Cars.com said the winner will be announced Jan. 14, 2014 at the company's Best of 2014 event in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show.
For more information, visit www.Cars.com/awards.
Reach JimParker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org