The most fun day on Truck Trend’s Pickup Truck of the Year competition has to be our off-road day. This is where we get to test capability in the dirt. The Chevrolet Trailboss, RAM Rebel, and GMC Sierra AT4 were all designed specifically with off-road capability in mind. The two Ford F-150s, GMC Sierra 1500, and RAM Laramie Longhorn are designed as street trucks. All have four-wheel-drive modes. All can be driven in the dirt.
We hit the Holcomb Valley trails in the mountains of Big Bear, California, to test the four-wheel-drive modes in the trucks. The off-road models have lockers and other bells and whistles that make driving on rough terrain smooth. We were able to see which trucks performed best in the dirt. A small portion of our test deals with how these trucks handle off-road.
Recent rains in the mountain areas have created some mud puddles along the route. When we see a mud puddle, the natural reaction is to step on the gas and blast through the mud at speed. Basically, you can say we got the trucks really dirty on off-road day. Playing in the mud makes for great photography as well.
We are nearing our last day on the Pickup Truck of the Year test. We will soon turn in our judging books and return the trucks to the OEMs. We have one more day in Big Bear to finish testing and analyze the interiors. We might also hunt around town for a good carwash to rinse the mud off our trucks, which all sport the same “dirt brown” color.