John Cappa, Editor
I like pickups that can do everything well. The EcoBoost V-6 in the Ford F-150 provided remarkable power and unbelievable fuel economy, however its off-road performance was uninspiring. The Ram 2500 Cummins truck no doubt had the highest tow capacity and it took to the trails impressively for a 3⁄4-ton, but it drives very heavy off-road. My pickup-of-choice is the Ram Power Wagon. It can tow, crawl, haul ass over rough terrain, and comfortably get me to work everyday. The only real drawback in my mind is the poor fuel economy.
Ken Brubaker, Senior Editor
Wow, this was a tough one because each of these trucks make me drool and I’d love to own any one of ’em. If forced to choose just one, I gotta give the nod to the Ford F-150 FX4. I dig the power and fuel economy flung out by the turbocharged EcoBoost; the seating position and visibility from the cab is great; and the ride and handling is refined. The truck is fun and economical to drive, it can hold its own off-highway, and it has respectable payload and towing numbers. And I think it looks cool, too.
Sean P. Holman, Tech Editor
This is clearly a rhetorical question considering I can’t afford any one of these trucks, so I will pretend I have the money to gas them up too. I really loved the Ford’s technology, and the EcoBoost was impressive, but I am a sucker for a real V-8. The Mega Cab is frankly more truck than I will ever need, but I was impressed by its refinement. That vehicle has come a long way since the first generation. However, if I had my choice of the three and a Chevron Black Card, it would be the Ram Power Wagon all the way. It is a great truck that does everything well, including trail work.
Jason Gonderman, Web Editor
If I had to live with one of these pickup trucks it would have to be the Ram Power Wagon. All the trucks are nice but the Power Wagon has everything I need. It can tow, haul, wheel, and is comfortable on the street. It’s a big Rubicon and I like that.
Greg Smith, Art Director
I really liked the Ford with the EcoBoost V-6, but it’s difficult to beat what you get with the Power Wagon. It has a great off-road package but can still tow a sizeable toy hauler, plus it rides very comfortably on the highway even though it’s technically considered a 3⁄4-ton truck. The only downside is the mileage. Can we put the EcoBoost in the Power Wagon?
Steve von Seggern, Publisher
Raptor. Oh wait, we can’t pick the Raptor? Damn. I love the Raptor. I’d have to go with the Ford F-150 FX4 then because of the ground-breaking engine technology. You have to hand it to Ford for sticking their necks out to try something this different with the bestselling vehicle in their entire portfolio. There’s no doubt that it works—this thing’s a rocket. Watching the F-150 outrun the Hemi and the big Cummins across the dry lake and on El Toro’s runway was breathtaking. However, I’m not convinced the fuel economy benefits are as big as one would expect from the small displacement and all that technology.
David Hamilton, Account Executive Vermin
I picked the Ram Power Wagon for the Pickup Truck of the Year. It’s the mullet of the group; all business in the front (awesome 5.7 Hemi, locking f/r diffs, electronic sway bar disconnect) and party in the bed (ultimate Toy Hauler and the RamBoxes are genius!).
“It is an all-around performer that can haul 1,880 pounds of cargo, tow 10,250 pounds of trailer, or hang with Jeeps on the trail.”
Winner: Ram Power Wagon
So here we are again, Ram’s Power Wagon wins Four Wheeler’s Pickup Truck of the Year, making it the fourth win for the big truck since we first started running these competitions in 1974, and the third since the Power Wagon was reintroduced in 2005.
We guess you could say we like this truck. We get this truck and the engineers behind its development get us. The Power Wagon is the Swiss Army Knife of ¾-ton trucks, especially now with the RamBox option with bed rails and a spray-in bedliner. It has a tractable Hemi engine and the new crisp shifting six-speed improves the truck and makes it more competitive in its class. The high seating position, large greenhouse and configurable mirrors make for great outward visibility and you’ll never have to apologize for the Power Wagon’s firm, yet smooth ride.
It is an all-around performer that can haul 1,880 pounds of cargo, tow 10,250 pounds of trailer, or hang with Jeeps on the trail. As one editor noted in the logbook, “If Jeep made pickups, this would be it.” He wasn’t far off, considering that the front coil spring suspension is a scaled up version of the Wrangler’s.
The Power Wagon offers front and rear lockers (the rear is a tight helical limited slip when not locked), an electronically disconnecting sway bar, a manual transfer case lever, increased ride height, 33-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, forged wheels, 4.56 gears, and Bilstein monotube shocks. It even has a 12,000-pound Warn winch nestled behind the front bumper. Jeep doesn’t even give you a winch from the factory and with equipment like this there isn’t much, if anything, that needs to be done to this truck. Out of the box, it can be used and enjoyed with the knowledge it is covered by a full warranty.
Congratulations to Ram for another win with its incredible Power Wagon. On ours, we’ll trade the stickers for the chrome p-o-w-e-r w-a-g-o-n across the tailgate on the Laramie trim. It reminds us of our much-loved ’05 Power Wagon.
Fully equipped, well-rounded, good balance of size and capability
Fuel usage, graphics
2012 Pickup Truck of the Year
From the Logbook:
“If Jeep built a pickup, this would be it.”
“Love the simple three-knob HVAC layout.”
“Vinyl flooring is a great idea.”
“Sand might be the only place I wouldn’t have fun in a Power Wagon.”
“It has everything but rock rails.”