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

I was trying to find payload ratings and it appears that the 2017 Raptor will be rated at 1,200 lbs. That is only 300 lbs less than the Power Wagon. The Rebel doesn't have much of a cargo rating especially with a higher trim level. The offroad package in the Tundra IIRC correctly shouldn't affect payload. The Titans wouldn't see a payload drop with the offload package.

GM Prophets you would think they would if they could build a worthy entrant to the off road community


Posted by: FXDX1450 | Jan 22, 2017 9:40:33 PM

Do you actually believe what you write. Haven't you heard of the past and about the soon to be release ZR2.

"Best" is a pretty subjective term. "Contest winner" or "Champion" would have been better terminology here. Obviously the Raptor is the highest performance machine here. The Power Wagon is probably the 2nd most high performance and also probably the most capable as it still retains the ability to do truck work much more so than the Raptor. The Rebel is an excellent package but like the Raptor suffers from loss of payload. Pro4X and TRD are both great packages on regular trucks.

Obviously the Raptor is the highest performance offroader but if you want superior to the normal package off road ability and still need to do some work stepping down to the Fiat Power Wagon is probably your best choice. If you almost never go off road as most of us almost never do then any of these will do for you.

Its all in what you need out of a truck. If we look at what you get for the money, Raptor is hard to beat. If you option an XLT or Lariat truck up to have all the same non-off-road stuff, the price difference is small. The Power Wagon will cost you 8 grand- while the axles and winch are nice, it gets hit with the much lower GVW. That leaves only 1500 load capacity- granted, it'll probably carry that like it isn't there, but if legality matters, its a problem.
The Tundra has the 2nd best suspension, after the Raptor, but nothing significant beyond that- for less, any Tundra can have a set of coilovers swapped on.

@Clint

Agree!

In fact, for a dedicated off roader most of us would be perfectly well served by a 10 year old half ton modded-up to suit the wilder side of trucking. Sturdier suspension, lower ring/pinion, hi/lo axle, proper transmission and clutch.

that leaves wheels/tires, winch, tool box and a few other necessities. Way better than dropping $55k on a new one.

@Clint

Agree!

In fact, for a dedicated off roader most of us would be perfectly well served by a 10 year old half ton modded-up to suit the wilder side of trucking. Sturdier suspension, lower ring/pinion, hi/lo axle, proper transmission and clutch.

that leaves wheels/tires, winch, tool box and a few other necessities. Way better than dropping $55k on a new one.

@Clint

Agree!

In fact, for a dedicated off roader most of us would be perfectly well served by a 10 year old half ton modded-up to suit the wilder side of trucking. Sturdier suspension, lower ring/pinion, hi/lo axle, proper transmission and clutch.

that leaves wheels/tires, winch, tool box and a few other necessities. Way better than dropping $55k on a new one.

LOL at all the people who always claim TFL Truck as some vaunted unbiased reputable 3rd party testing organization.

Here is their formula (just watch the videos from over the years and you will see what I am talking about):

- Pick a favorite
- Find a way to drive the trucks that makes this "favorite" perform well vs. the competition
- Declare that after much research and consideration of fan input that this new testing metric is the best way to truly test the performance of all trucks.
- Post videos
- Get clicks from all the angry fanboys
- Make $$$$$$$
- Lather, rinse, repeat (and change testing criteria to keep your favorite at the top and the fanboys clicking).

I would put even less stock in their offroad tests.

Seriously, if you dont believe me, go back and watch all their tests, the Ike Gauntlet has had probably 5 different formats over the years, with each one being "the absolute best possible way to accurately measure the performance of these trucks").

Haven't you heard of the past and about the soon to be release ZR2.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT

Hahaha, friend had one, said" biggest piece of junk he ever bought" another not so great product from General Malaise

Haven't you heard of the past and about the soon to be release ZR2.

Posted by: GMSRGREAT

Hahaha, friend had one, said" biggest piece of junk he ever bought" another not so great product from General Malaise
Posted by: FXDX1450 | Jan 23, 2017 1:42:14 PM

They weren't that bad. Definitely had some of the signature accountant-based cost cutting GM was known for. You can't discount the new ZR2 until it's out and legit reviews are made. There are a lot of features and design choices that show GM's truck division is serious about make the ZR2 ultimate midsize off-road truck. The Taco TRD Pro is enough of a disappointment that it might be an easy win.



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