Which brings us to the Power Wagon; it's the same basic truck as the Mega Cab, but with all of the trimmings any avid wheeler could want. Sure, it is almost as big, but the Power Wagon is an entirely different machine, going anywhere and everywhere with no drama. It just flat kicks ass on rocks and dirt, though it could be better in sand, where it does exhibit axle hop. Otherwise, just as we were on the highway, we found the tuning of the flexy suspension to be impressive on the trail. With approach and departure angles that beat everything in the test, there wasn't a spot we were hesitant to take the Power Wagon.
Comments in the logbook gave props to the manual transfer-case lever, along with all of the 4WD controls, and switchgear for the lockers and sway bar disconnect being logically placed near each other and easy to use. And unlike the Raptor, which is open in the rear when the locker is disengaged, the Power Wagon has a tight helical limited-slip, giving the driver the best of both worlds.
If we could make a few suggestions to Ram, the 33s seem small on such a large truck. Now that the Raptor (and Hummer H2 SUT) has set a precedent of factory pickups with 35s, we challenge Ram to upgrade the rolling stock. We also wish our test truck had the excellent Mopar rock rails that our 2005 Power Wagon did.
The Tundra, without an off-road package to speak of, was clearly a surprise in the dirt. It came to the party with the highest ground clearance and with very good shock tuning. The Tundra was a blast to drive in sand with its revvy V-8, and we found that on fast fire roads and washes, the suspension was able to soak up moderately-sized whoops just fine.
Unfortunately, without a mechanical traction aid and over-aggressive electronics, the Tundra quickly fell out of favor in more rocky terrain. The overly sensitive throttle also made driving difficult in technical situations.
We feel that the Tundra is clearly begging for the TRD package, and we think that Toyota should offer it on the 4.6L trucks. It would certainly have given the our tester an advantage in several additional scoring categories.
So after a week on the road, accumulating hundreds of miles of testing data and logbooks full of scores, it was time to add up the totals so that we could reveal to you, the 2010 Four Wheeler Magazine Pickup Truck of the Year.
Douglas McColloch, Editor
Gotta be the Ram Power Wagon. Much as I love the Raptor's daring aesthetics, gorgeous interior, and premium parts list, I just couldn't find a comfortable seating position it, and found its overall ride quality somewhat harsh. It's also not the quietest-running truck to ride in, either. The Power Wagon, on the other hand, soaked up highway miles effortlessly for me, with its softly tuned, compliant coil-sprung Bilstein front suspension and a relatively quiet, well-insulated cab. And once off the pavement, the Power Wagon can simply do things, and go places, that no other fullsize pickup truck can-not even the Raptor. Solid axles at both ends, front and rear lockers, and electronic swaybar disconnect will do that for you.
Ken Brubaker, Senior Editor
I have a wife and three kids and live on a farm in the Midwest. Out here, it's all about the "Four C's" (cows, corn, combines, and, uh, corn). It would seem that I would have no need for the extended cab SVT Raptor and its pre-run-ready, big wheel travel, broad-shouldered, in-your-face characteristics. Whatever. I want the Ford Raptor. It's a blast to drive both on- and off-highway, but it still knows how to work.
Sean P. Holman, Tech Editor
Man, was this one hard. I am a huge Power Wagon fan, but the Raptor picks up where our RangeRunner project left off. As much as I love the Power Wagon, it sure got big. Yes, it has everything we have always loved, but no more rock rails and no shorter Quad Cab configuration available and I am afraid it is just too big for me. I can add a front locker to the Raptor and a winch if I wanted, and with 35-inch tires from the factory, it'll do everything I want, like haul ass over dirt roads, right now. For me, I have to go Ford Raptor.
Robin Stover, Feature Editor
Despite a very capable field, I have to pick the all-new Ram Power Wagon as the vehicle I would most like to own. You simply can't ignore such a trail-ready arsenal packaged in such a comfortable and versatile pickup truck.
Jason Gonderman, Web Editor
"We had such a solid field of contenders this year that it is difficult to chose only one. If I had to pick one truck to take home this year, it would have to be the Ram Power Wagon. With all of the off-road features and the ability to still tow a sizeable load, this is the jack-of-all-trades pickup that a guy like me could use. I only wish it had a Cummins."
|Previous Pickup Truck of the Year Winners
||Mitsubishi Mighty Max
||GMC K2500 HD
||Dodge Dakota Club Cab
||Ford Ranger Supercab
||Chevrolet S-10 ZR2
||Ford F-250 Supercab Power Stroke
||Toyota Tacoma XtraCab
||Dodge Dakota Club Cab
||Toyota Tacoma XtraCab TRD
||Chevrolet Silverado Z71
||Dodge Dakota Quad Cab
||Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab TRD
||Dodge Ram Quad Cab
||GMC Sierra Quadrasteer
||Dodge Ram Power Wagon
||Dodge Ram TRX4
||Chevrolet Avalanche Z71
||Ford F-350 Super Duty FX4