Who Makes the Best Full-Size Factory Off-Road Pickup?

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We wanted to know which automaker offers the best fullsize factory-built off-road pickup, so to celebrate the arrival of the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, we asked all the truckmakers to send us their best big-truck off-road package. The only manufacturer to decline was GM because it's putting the finishing touches on the new mid-size Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 desert runner, set to debut later this year.

We did have six competitors for our upcoming 2017 Monster Factory Off-Road Challenge, all of which offer some pretty good suspension, powertrain and tire technology.

The pickups for this contest were:

We scored each of these players in more than 25 different categories ranging from payload and gross vehicle weight rating capacities to several more that focused on off-road prowess.

Any guesses on which pickup won our Challenge? Here's a hint: We did a lot of extreme off-roading.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

 

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Comments

Im gonna go out on a limb and say the Power wagon won....I know who didnt win, Chevy or gmc and all their truck lines....a no show.

They didn't bring the ZR2, didn't want to embarrass Ford to badly with they rolling beer can they call Craptor. Though TFL truck already did with a 30 year old Chevy that walked right up gold mine hill and left the Craptor sitting stuck sideways on the trail HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sand, mud, or snow? Raptor good tires less weight and most power. steep rock climbing? Maybe power wagon but then nothing compares to a jeep. But judging the most liked off road truck by sales the raptor certainly would win by a mile.

Did PUTC stack the deck and create another "test" to show how cool the Raptor is?

It's safe to say that if mid size trucks had been included the Tacoma would win by a mile!

Raptor took this one at a jog last time you did it and the new one is light years ahead of the outgoing model while the others are largely un-changed... predicting a similar if not more lopsided result this time around.

Raptor is the winner and the Tundra will finish near the bottom since Toyota is no longer trying to compete in the 1/2 ton market--it's just a niche for them as stated by their light truck chief engineer.

That ford raptor is definitely a winner but i think next in line would be the Nissan Titan Xd pro4x. i have a lot of faith in nissan.

RAM Power Wagon won. Raptor is too wide to get to the places you call "extreme off-roading". It's not extreme otherwise.

They didn't bring the ZR2, didn't want to embarrass Ford to badly with they rolling beer can they call Craptor. Though TFL truck already did with a 30 year old Chevy that walked right up gold mine hill and left the Craptor sitting stuck sideways on the trail HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: johnny doe | Jan 20, 2017 7:49:15 AM


If you had lick of education, you'd realize Roman punched it on the Chevy, he didn't do so on the Raptor. But you're inept to realize that, thank you for proving you have no education.

Thank you come again.

P.S. There is no Chevy nor GMC on this post. GO AWAY!!!

But the 2014 Ford Raptor was best in more categories than going fast in the last PUTC Off-Road Challange. Raptor was best in the clow stair climb and hill climb, that is not fast off-road. It is a misnomer that the Raptor is only for going fast in the desert and the Ram is better in the slow. The Ram was only better on one thing - the Rock garden because of ground clearance. The 2017 Raptor should only be better but they could go out of their way to make the Raptor lose this time. We'll see.

If you're smart you are going to understand this letters" FORD RAPTOR" I don't care about fiat trucks or nissan. FORD RAPTOR REMEMBER FORD RAPTOR.

Why is it so hard to understand that GM did not show up Pap or johnny or gmsrgreat? Geez, bash the guy that made it to the top while your at the bottom......

Extreme off-roading, to me that can be 2 different things.
1. Rock Crawling, mud/slimy roads roads
2.High speed dirt/sand/pasture road running

1. Rebel/Power Wagon
2. Raptor

With you on the tacoma papajim. I think the power wagon should take the prize here.

Johnny Doe putting the Ford Raptor down when it was all DRIVER ERROR.

I tell you, that guy is something else.

Obviously GM didn't think they had a chance. What does the Colorado have to do with full size trucks anyway?

Obviously GM didn't think they had a chance. What does the Colorado have to do with full size trucks anyway?
Posted by: tom | Jan 20, 2017 2:41:57 PM

Exactly, Nitro, Tom, Frank and Lionel. GM did the same thing in 2012 and refused to provide a truck.

FLASHBACK: Ultimate 4x4 Shootout
"Our goal was simple: find out who makes the best four-wheel drive truck in the U.S. We asked each of the truck makers to send us its best off-road package available on a pickup truck — one pickup per manufacturer. What we heard back might surprise some. In fact, GM (meaning Chevy and GMC), decided not to send either a midsize or full-size competitor, mainly because it has brand-new trucks on the way."
http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2012/09/ultimate-4x4-shootout.html

Fastfoward to 2017 and GM still won't provide a truck. smh.

Well GM atleasts admits theiron trucks don't do offroad very well. Yet they still sell lots of their trucks. Anyway, why the hell is anybody going to pay $45k to do "extreme offroading"?

@Canoepaddler

I was deer hunting on some old logging property about 20 years ago and the single lane dirt road ran through a thicket that had water filled holes in the lanes that could swallow a small car.

Two trucks made it through there with ease: A 4wd Reg Cab Tacoma, and a 2500 Ram Cummins. The guy driving the Tacoma had to buzz the little 4 cylinder pretty good to make it through the hole. The Cummins just idled right on through, to everybody's amazement.

Never saw anything like it!

Chevy or gmc and all their truck lines....a no show.
Posted by: Nitro | Jan 20, 2017 7:22:25 AM

GM is focused on building work trucks, not overpriced highway toys.

Buying a factory "off-road" pickup is a complete waste of money. You're FAR better off buying a slightly used standard pickup, and installing aftermarket off-road parts. Those who have purchased these factory OR trucks end up replacing many of the factory parts anyways. The Raptor is the perfect example of this. The factory suspension is decent but will be completely shot by 20-30k miles of real off-road action. The control arm bushings wear out fast, the ball joints wear out fast, the Fox Shocks that come with the truck are *okay* but there are certainly better offroad shocks out there. The rear suspension setup is okay but definitely has its weak points. The Torsen front diff is alright at low speed, but at high speed... it's not a great setup.

The factory suspension is decent but will be completely shot by 20-30k miles of real off-road action.

Posted by: Grizz | Jan 20, 2017 4:38:40 PM

Thank you for the Laugh.

What's a golf ball do better then a Ford Craptor? The golf ball can be drove offroad 200 yards more then once. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's a golf ball do better then a Ford Craptor? The golf ball can be drove offroad 200 yards more then once. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I liked that story papajim! It's amazing the ones nobody would think would make it where the only ones. Maybe GM should have shown up. Can'the wait to see the 25 imaginative categories on this round of testing.

How about we focus on ONLY U.S. built full-size trucks, that should eliminate most of them out there!

GM is by far the largest importer into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada followed by FCA...

How about we focus on ONLY U.S. built full-size trucks, that should eliminate most of them out there!

GM is by far the largest importer into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada followed by FCA...
Posted by: oxi | Jan 20, 2017 11:12:23 PM

GM is also produces more vehicles in the United States than Toyota produces in the US, Mexico, and Canada COMBINED.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CA/20170118/OEM01/170119761/AR/0/1.jpg

How about we focus on ONLY U.S. built full-size trucks, that should eliminate most of them out there!
GM is by far the largest importer into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada followed by FCA...

Posted by: oxi | Jan 20, 2017 11:12:23 PM

For once I agree with oxi which will place Ford ahead of everyone; the most American built truck in America (almost 75% based on last survey).

When people talk about American made they should first get the truth, FACTS! first. GM and Ford bring in more parts from China than any other Company. So American made means you buy a DODGE or Toyota first then you have American made. GM and Ford over the last 6 year's have really failed in many ways, there trucks have so many problems that are never reported on, check for your self and you will find that they have to many problems to list. The Biggest problem is there is no engineering, when it comes time to fix a problem its quickly clear that the engineering was missing up front when it comes to repairs. Very soon the used car market will change and change big, with no engineering and so much technology in each truck there will be no way to afford to fix them. Big changes comming. Anyways check for yourself before spending money on a truck that you cannot afford to fix.

I'd rather not argue based on what company I like better(Ford), I'd just like to know the results. Better yet test them myself.

While these full-size trucks play around trying to look like off-roaders, the Toyota Tacoma's will be hanging out waiting to pull them out as OFFICIAL rescue vehicles for the testing!

For once I agree with oxi which will place Ford ahead of everyone; the most American built truck in America (almost 75% based on last survey).
Posted by: Lionel | Jan 20, 2017 11:59:57 PM

Wrong once again! GM takes the top stop at 83% US made with the midsizers. Ford second place once again! OUCH!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

http://www.american.edu/kogod/autoindex/2015.cfm

funny no Tacoma Trd Pro....... then they can praise fords electronics for off road capabilities.... same stuff they tried to copy from Toyota's systems.... they they'll say the tundra lacks this capability so the Raptor wins LOL.... then they'll praise the Rebel because of air ride and the shocks on it are no better than a trd off road package Tundra but they'll give it high marks.... These guys really don't understand the "REAL" capabilities of these trucks.... or do they? we'll see. an argument can be made the Raptor being completely redesigned should have the edge. the outgoing raptor had 3 tenths of an inch more wheel travel (with long arm suspension!) than the Trd Pro with stock control arms. The Trd Pro should undoubtably take 2nd unless you wanna talk durability, reliability, etc. then its hands down #1.... then the powerwagon should be next and the rebel bringing up the rear with the pro 4x that's just a typical off road package....

@hemi lol There was no midsize invited because it is a full size completion as stated in the article. There is no story here anyways, just a waist of time piece till a story is written. In case anyone hasn't noticed..... they mainly use this site to promote Ford propaganda. Look at all the ford hype stories recently , over and over and over again. They'll even repeat bits in other manufacturers stories to hype up ford, and when I say they, I should say Mark W. who seems to be pawing for a job

POWER WAGON!! The only 4x4 of the group. 70 years young. The orignal 4x4. The one the boys wrote home about. Combat proven. No equal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtgUgpvzS-E&t=7s

Longest Lasting Trucks on the Road.

Not only does the Power Wagon have amazing off road capability but it also tows great too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGUooVCHpyc


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT5qIpjID5Y

Power Wagon,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFT1lPbNWyI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxlM6AZ60lo

Raptor was a big disappointment. lol

Power Wagon,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFT1lPbNWyI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxlM6AZ60lo

Raptor was a big disappointment. lol

The Power Wagon is the only truck with locking front and rear differentials. It also has a disconnecting front end. For real off roading I do not see how other trucks without these off road credentials could win.

@ Marty,

Having locking diffs and sway bar disconnects does not negate the massive weight of the truck to where it's ground clearance is not adequate.

You can have a Cat diesel in a truck, locking diffs all you want but if it has slicks on or 2 inches of ground clearance, it ain't going anywhere... get it now?

Like in my old mudding days, a 302 powered full size Bronco with wide and tall 38" tires got stuck after getting its axles hung up on the ruts and had to be pulled out...

I was next with my old 22r 4-cylinder powered Toyota with just 35" tires and had no problems getting through, now why was that?

I had much lighter truck, shorter wheelbase, better ground clearance under the front and the frame (IFS, I cranked the torsion bars, had 17" under the front skid plates), frame sat 23" above the ground and rear axle was 14" above the ground to match the less weight.

Result, I did not sink as much and barely dragged the rear diff in the ruts and my stock 4.10's with open diff and 5-speed manual got it done!

I love it.

I LOVE IT ! to watch drivers of extreme off road trucks with aggressive off road tires and modified suspension GOING SLOW OVER SPEED BUMPS IN THE LOCAL SHOPPING CENTER!

HA-HA-HA YOU GUYS CRACK ME UP AND I LAUGH SOOOOOO HARD WHEN I SEE THAT

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA !

The only manufacturer to decline was GM because it's putting the finishing touches on the new mid-size Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 desert runner, set to debut later this year.

@PUTC

Good try!

Actually GM declined to send a truck because this story was built from the ground up to be yet another Ford send up.

Or to put it your writer's words, to "celebrate" the arrival of the new Raptor.

In the history of PUTC is there a Ford pickup that was NOT celebrated on this site? Why would GM want to participate in celebrating a Ford pickup?

Nissan, Ram and Toyota need all the free advertising they can get, and they know damn well that they are years away from ever competing seriously with Ford anyway.

That's why GM stayed home.

The only two choices for 1st and 2nd are the Raptor and Power Wagon. It all depends on the testing criteria as to which one wins. I'd say the Tundra Pro is in 3rd.

I have yet to see a 2017 Raptor.

The Power Wagon looks awesome in granite crystal metallic. Black makes the graphics disappear. The new graphics scheme will be a big hit for Ram. It is vastly superior to the vomit graphics of the previous PW.

One of the awesome features i love on my 15 AEV Prospector Power Wagon is the hill decent. I was off road recently in the snow. I was unable to turn around on the trail so i drove backward using hill decent and the rear camera and followed my tracks. Hill decent drives itself all i have to do is steer it. Absolutely amazing. I love it.

oxi,

You're not the only one who had ever wheeled a Yota.
So, don't embellish the truth. With 35s, you had 10, maybe 11" of ground clearance at the diff. If you were aired down it was less. 35s are 34.5" true diameter and they loose about 1-1.5" when aired down. Since all the lost height is on the ground side, it is impossible that you only lost 3.25 " when the ring gear is 7.5" in diameter and the housing is a couple more.

As far as wheeling...never broken as many parts as I did wheeling an indestructible Toyota. My Scout II survived far more abuse.

GM doesn't send trucks to off-road tests because GM doesn't see a market. They were soundly embarrassed by H2 steering failures and underpowered I5 H3s.
GM just doesn't see a need to develop a full sized off-road truck and really they have decent sales to support it.
One should take note that all these niche and small sales markets don't seem to be hurting FCA, which sells plenty of rear wheel drive cars, SFA HD trucks, niche off-road vehicles in several classes, and V8 powered midsized SUVs that (according to GM) the market doesn't want.
If you're a GM loyalist in kind of stinks.
Like using an '86 K10 to whip a Raptor. GM used to make great trucks, but now they are great PAVEMENT trucks.

[FCA sells] V8 powered midsized SUVs that (according to GM) the market doesn't want.

@James

I realize that Chrysler/RAM/Dodge offers the HEMI option upgrade in their Durango and Grand Cherokee, I just never seem them. For every HEMI Durango or Jeep I see there must be hundreds of 'em with 3.6 motors.

So maybe GM guessed it correctly, in terms of them understanding the demand.

Personally, I would not want the 3.6 in a 5000 lb SUV, but that's just me. My wife used to have a GMC Arcadia trimmed like that and it was ok, just not my cup of tea.

If you're a GM loyalist in kind of stinks.
Like using an '86 K10 to whip a Raptor. GM used to make great trucks, but now they are great PAVEMENT trucks.


Posted by: James | Jan 22, 2017 6:39:41 PMark

Spot on James! GM these days builds mall crawlers and special tape editions. Power Wagon, Raptor and Tacoma TRD Pro are great machines for different off road needs. For all the talk about "profits" we hear about from the GM Prophets you would think they would if they could build a worthy entrant to the off road community
Now we will hear from the usual excuse makers the wha, wha,wha of this site being a pro this or pro that for the reason of GM staying home on this shootout. Crazy laughable. Those who can enter, those that can't stay home.

It should go Power Wagon, Raptor, Pro-4X, TRD Pro and the Rebel but PUTC is all over the Raptors nuts so it will win no doubt. Then probably the Pro because it can go quicker rough roads and is the next closest to the Raptor. Then it will go Power Wagon ahead of the Rebel because it has lockers and the Titan's.

Reason the Power Wagon should win is it is the most capable, most traction devices (lockers), flex and winch along with the best tires and gearing. It will do the most hard core than any of the others. The Pro 4x outside of the raptor is the only other one with a rear locker which is big in extreme off road situations, a limited slip won't cut it in many off camber climbing situations.

Interesting to see but the Raptor will win...

Power Wagon wasn't the most capable in the last off-road test. In fact I believe it came in 3rd. Power Wagon is in good some stuff but equall terrible in others. That's not how you win best 4x4.



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