2012 Pickup Truck Of The Year
Ford F-150 FX4 vs. Ram Power Wagon vs. Ram 2500
http://www.fourwheeler.com/roadtests/12 ... index.html
Welcome to our 23rd installment of Four Wheeler’s Pickup Truck of the Year, where we take the newest trucks and put them through a week of hard testing to find out which truck will earn the right to call itself our Pickup Truck of the Year.
In order for a vehicle to be eligible for our competition, it has to be all-new or significantly revised from the previous year, have a two-speed transfer case, have a production run of at least 1,500 vehicles available in the U.S., and must be on sale by January 15, 2012. We score each of the vehicles based on an extensive testing criteria of five weighted categories that include Trail Performance (30%), Empirical (25%), On Pavement (20%), Interior (15%), and Exterior (10%).
This year our field included three trucks. First up was Ford’s F-150 FX4 with the impressive EcoBoost 3.5 V-6 twin turbocharged V-6 with 365hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. The Ford was invited last year, but was not available in time so it remained eligible for 2012. Also eligible this year were the ’12 Ram Power Wagon, which benefits from a new six-speed automatic transmission and the ’12 Ram 2500, which now has an enhanced 6.7L Cummins I-6 putting out 350hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Also eligible this year, but not available in time, were the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew and Toyota Tacoma.
Much like last month’s Four Wheeler of the Year test, we drove our pickups through a 1,000-mile loop that encompassed all things from city gridlock to technical trails. Our seven judges took turns at the wheel of each vehicle over the course of a week and reported their thoughts, findings, and scores in to logbooks, which were collected and added up culminating with our choice for 2012’s Pickup Truck of the Year.
Winner: Ram Power Wagon
So here we are again, Ram’s Power Wagon wins Four Wheeler’s Pickup Truck of the Year, making it the fourth win for the big truck since we first started running these competitions in 1974, and the third since the Power Wagon was reintroduced in 2005.
We guess you could say we like this truck. We get this truck and the engineers behind its development get us. The Power Wagon is the Swiss Army Knife of ¾-ton trucks, especially now with the RamBox option with bed rails and a spray-in bedliner. It has a tractable Hemi engine and the new crisp shifting six-speed improves the truck and makes it more competitive in its class. The high seating position, large greenhouse and configurable mirrors make for great outward visibility and you’ll never have to apologize for the Power Wagon’s firm, yet smooth ride.
It is an all-around performer that can haul 1,880 pounds of cargo, tow 10,250 pounds of trailer, or hang with Jeeps on the trail. As one editor noted in the logbook, “If Jeep made pickups, this would be it.” He wasn’t far off, considering that the front coil spring suspension is a scaled up version of the Wrangler’s.
The Power Wagon offers front and rear lockers (the rear is a tight helical limited slip when not locked), an electronically disconnecting sway bar, a manual transfer case lever, increased ride height, 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, forged wheels, 4.56 gears, and Bilstein monotube shocks. It even has a 12,000-pound Warn winch nestled behind the front bumper. Jeep doesn’t even give you a winch from the factory and with equipment like this there isn’t much, if anything, that needs to be done to this truck. Out of the box, it can be used and enjoyed with the knowledge it is covered by a full warranty.
Congratulations to Ram for another win with its incredible Power Wagon. On ours, we’ll trade the stickers for the chrome p-o-w-e-r w-a-g-o-n across the tailgate on the Laramie trim. It reminds us of our much-loved ’05 Power Wagon.
Way to go, Ram!