The whole menagerie
We hear a lot about diversity these daysdiversity in schools, in the workplace, in society in general. We dont hear much about diversity in our choices of road tools. And yet it exists.
This years crop of Pickup Truck of the Year contestants is proof of that. Heres the list: A GMC Sierra 2500 HD 8.1 Vortec; a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Duramax Turbodiesel; a Chevy S-10 Crew Cab; a Toyota Tacoma Double Cab; and a Nissan Frontier Supercharged Crew Cab. Notably absent from the competition were Fords F150 SuperCrew, Ranger, and Sport Tracthis because Ford elected to not participate.
Of the trucks that did participate, two of them are fullsize vehicles, three of them are compacts. Three of them have full four-door cabs and more-or-less fullsize rear seats, two of them have extended cabs and compact/occasional rear seats. Three of them have V-6 engines and two of them have V-8s. Four of them are gas-powered and one of them is diesel-fueled. Four of them are automatics and one of them is a 5-speed. Two offer fullsize pickup beds, and three of them offer compact beds. Two of them are from Asia-based companies, three are domestic. One is supercharged, one is turbocharged, three are naturally aspirated. Four offer serious off-highway pretensions and one of them is more biased toward on-road work.
The only elements of sameness are these: All trucks are either new or significantly revised, and all offer two-speed transfer casesthis latter a requirement for us that marks these vehicles as serious off-highway tools.
All this diversity had to point toward one unified goaloverall competence. These things have to work. That means they not only have to function well, but they have to be capable of doing the jobs of work you put them to. Our three-day test cycle started as a complete blank sheet of paper. Anything was possible. When it was over, wed learned some things. Turn these pages and well share those things with you.