Testing Season Is Underway for Auto Magazines

Of The Year 1 II

Some of the bigger automotive magazines that do a yearly new-truck comparison test competition are in the midst of their tests or have just finished. We thought we'd put a few of them together here to let you know what they're looking at. We expect announcements to be made pretty soon as to winners. Stay tuned.

Motor Trend Magazine: 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year

The staff of Motor Trend (and Truck Trend) went to the Continental Tires' Uvalde Proving Grounds about two hours outside San Antonio, Texas, this year to test a large contingent of pickup trucks and vans. The test includes all-new or significantly revised pickups and vans. Here's the list of tested vehicles:

  • Chevrolet Silverado LTZ
  • Ford Transit Connect
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Nissan NV200
  • Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
  • Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
  • Ram ProMaster
  • Toyota Tundra 1794

Four Wheeler Magazine: 2014 Pickup Truck of the Year

FW does a 4x4 pickup truck test each year, as well as a separate SUV comparison test. Competitors for this year inlcude:

  • Chevrolet Silverado Z71
  • Ram 2500 HD
  • Toyota Tundra TRD

Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road: 2014 4x4 of the Year

This magazine selects only one winner from a 4x4 test that includes both SUVs and pickup trucks. This year it decided not to include the Tundra because there were not enough mechanical changes.Competitors are:

  • Chevy Silverado Z71
  • Ram 2500 HD
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel

Truckin' Magazine: 2015 Truck of the Year?

The crew at Truckin' Magazine doesn't do a big test every year but will likely conduct a broader comparison next year and include all new pickups from the last two years. 

Automobile Magazine: Automobile of the Year (which can be a pickup)

As the name implies, the magazine's content is not heavily biased to pickup trucks but the magazine does allow them to be nominated for Automobile of the Year, which is announced in the January 2014 issue. We're guessing judges will like the EcoTec3 engines in the new Silverado and Sierra 1500, but it would truly be an upset if a truck wins this premiere award. Come summer 2014, Automobile will select a pickup winner in its All-Stars issue.

Of the Year 2 II



i don't get how a range rover is considered a truck.

No Ford pickup this year? I suppose if they would have done a refresh with a new grille that would have made them eligible. There's always next year for the new grille.

@Scout I don't know how the suspension is built on the Rover, nor do I know if it's got a ladder frame or not. But "truck" doesn't mean "pickup". Trucks are vehicles that are built to work and haul things. You've got sub-categories like pickups, sport-utility, special service (ambulances, fire trucks, etc.), commercial (flat-beds, boxes, etc.) and they are all lumped into the "truck" category.

Then you've got vans. Minivans, cargo vans, passenger vans, etc.

Then you've got cars. Sports cars, sedans, econoboxes, convertibles, special service (police), etc.

I agree with WXman, SUV by today’s standards are crossovers. I consider the off road vehicles to be trucks (4Runner, FJ Cruiser, and the Jeep Wrangler) to just name a few. I don't believe that these vehicles should be lumped in with the crossovers.

I know the 4Runner and FJ Cruisers are truck based platforms, so I would consider them “trucks”.

A truck is body on frame or anything capable of towing more then 6,000lbs, so I would through vehicles like the Durango and Grand Cherokee in there.

@WXman i understand that but i mean my old expedition was considered a SUV, i just don't understand the regulations to become a so called truck i mean there are crossovers that are a "truck" on the title.

In this part of the World anything over 10,000lb GVWR needs a basic TRUCK LICENCE, but it does not necessarily make it a Truck. Whole lot of definitions of "Truck"

My prediction for the winners:

1. Motor Trend Magazine: 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2. Four Wheeler Magazine: 2014 Pickup Truck of the Year
Ram 2500 HD

2. Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road: 2014 4x4 of the Year
This one's a much tougher prediction, I would instantly eliminate the Chevy. The other 3 are all worthy of a win, but I will put my imaginary money on the Ram 2500 HD.

Congrats to Ram, some more awards coming your way!

Good predictions. It's always kind of a gamble as to how the testers will decide to score the trucks. Sometimes I think it depends on what day of the week it is. However, as far as Petersen's, in the past they seem to have been heavily Jeep biased. So there is a really good chance that they will give the win to Jeep, if for nothing else off road ability is a big part of their testing. With that said, they once gave the 4x4 of the year award to a lux SUV because of the latest gadgetry and on road prowess, witch is supposed to not be a big factor in their testing. I guess no matter what publication you choose, it still comes down to what side of the bed the test drivers got up on that particular morning.

On a side note, I see there is another poster going by the name Scout. But I've been using it for far too long in far too many places, including here, to give it up. Well, this could get confusing.

Did anyone find out what criteria was used and how the various vehicles were tested for the Canadian Pickup Truck awards?. I know the RAM Ecodiesel won it.

If they tested a Ford then there is no way the other ones would have won anything. Kinda hard to win any awards if you put the best truck in the mix.

Range Rover, has aluminum body with ladder frame, and four wheel independent suspension, still not really a truck though.

A truck is body on frame or anything capable of towing more then 6,000lbs, so I would through vehicles like the Durango and Grand Cherokee in there.
Posted by: Frank | Oct 25, 2013 2:19:55 PM

I guess that eliminates most Ford products, eh Frankie??!!! Especially if they are powered by powerchoke diesels or ecobust engines.

@Shawn. How'd that ford f450 fare in the last test?

Interesting there are only 2 Ecodiesels available for magazine testing. Delivery dates are a big black hole.

@Frank: "A truck is body on frame or anything capable of towing more then 6,000lbs, so I would through [sic] vehicles like the Durango and Grand Cherokee in there."

Sorry, the new Durango is unibody, and the Grand Cherokee has always been.
That doesn't mean they're not still trucks in my book. The Durango especially--that easily beats the pants off any unibody Explorer or Traverse/Acadia/Enclave simply because it's RWD.

@Robert Ryan - I posted on the "Canadian Truck King Challenge" blog asking when they would post the results and test parameters and they deleted my post from their blog. The "Truck King" challenge rights are owned by a journalist who SELLS his stories to syndicated newspapers etc. One Canadian Construction Magazine said that they would be posting the whole story in January.

@RobertRyan - I went to the "TruckKing" challenge site and they still don't have any judging criteria posted. They did have a very stupid score sheep posted but there was a very interesting fuel economy table posted. The 3.0 VM Motori truck got 9.1 l/100km = 25.85 mpg (USA) empty, loaded 10.5 l/100km = 22.40 mpg (USA) , and 16.1 l/100 km = 14.61 mpg (USA)

My bad, the last mpg was during towing.

@Lou Thanks for that sounds a bit slap dash. Would be good to see a more. objective test with substantial data..

@Ken: there are alot more then two ecodiesels being used, there is a video or two (or three?) of them when they let all sort of journalists drive them in California. As for Mark Williams saying it was. 3000 pound boat, I believe he is off a bit. It looks like a Supreme model, and it's about 4,000 pounds, PLUS the weight of the dual axle trailer-so plus 1000-1200 or so. Plus they towed in the hills.

In the last shootout, they pulled what, 8,500 pound trailers? Too bad those trailers had no real aero drag compared to a camping trailer or boat. So of course since it was in the flatlands, the GMs could tow and at speed shut down four cylinders. The Ram in that test coulda done that, but Mr. Williams doesn't know when to turn off tow haul, it isn't always needed.

All you gotta do is look at the final gear ratios in that shootout, and it explains why the GMs got the mileage. If it had been hilly, and they had some aero drag on the trailers, the GMs woulda been hunting gears and sucking gas.

@Robert Ryan - the mpg data is very interesting. Ford's 5.0 gets similar loaded and towing mpg to the 3.7 V6 and the EB3.5 gets better mpg than the 3.6 V6 and 5.0.
The 6.2 Chevy isn't much worse than the 5.3 as far as mpg goes. That will help sell that engine if there isn't a huge mpg penalty.
The Ram 3.6 V6 is pretty good on gas but the VM 3.0 beats it. The Ram 5.7 is one of the worst engines for mpg. The Ram 5.7 gets better towing mpg than the 3.6 V6.
The only one worse is the Tundra 5.7. Even the Chevy 6.2 gets better mpg.
If I read the data correctly - this is the listing for mpg:
#1 - Ecodiesel 3.0
#2 - 3.6 Pentastar
#3 - Ecoboost 3.5
#4 - 3.7 V6 Ford
#5 - 5.3 Ecotec
#6 - 6.2 Ecotec
#7 - 5.7 Hemi
#8 - 5.7 IForce

The Ecoboost and Ecodiesel mpg are as follows:

EB3.5 - 12.2 litres/100km = 23.1 (Imp) or 19.3 (US)
VM3.0 - 9.1 litres/100km = 31 (Imp) or 25.9 (US)

EB3.5 - 12.9 litres/100km = 21.9 (Imp) or 18.2 (US)
VM3.0 - 10.5 litres/100km = 26.9 (Imp) or 22.4 (US)

EB3.5 - 19.7 litres/100km = 14.3 (Imp) or 12 (US)
VM3.0 - 16.1 litres/100km = 17.6 (Imp) or 14.6 (US)

@TRX-Tom - you should have a look at the link I provided for Robert. The Ecodiesel gets good mpg across the board in the "Truck King" test.

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