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2003 Pickup Truck of the Year

4 Car View
Craig Perronne
| Brand Manager, Dirt Sports & Off Road
Posted July 1, 2003
Photographers: Ken Brubaker

A chassis breakthrough helps us pick a winner

America loves pickup trucks, and for good reason. Rugged, capable and extremely versatile, today's pickups are able to tackle a wide variety of tasks with ease. While pickups have always been the workhorses of America, they haven't always been easy to live with. But that was then, and this is now. Today's breed of pickups combines the creature-comforts of a car with the capability of the rugged pickups of the past.

It's tough for us to not get excited about putting the latest crop of super pickups to the test. We bounce them across the desert, creep in low range across nasty trails, blow through sand dunes and rack up plenty of miles on pavement in an effort to see which pickup can best handle the multitude of tasks we throw at the group. After four days of testing, plenty of note taking, and scoring the trucks in a wide variety of categories, we add up the points and a winner is named.

So how does a pickup become eligible to enter Four Wheeler's Pickup Truck of the Year competition? To enter, a truck has to have enough of a change to affect its performance. This means that something as simple as a new front clip won't make a truck eligible, but a change such as a new engine or transmission will. Once we figure out who is eligible to compete, the invitations go out, and we wait for the invited trucks to show up ready for battle. Showing up for this year's shootout were the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500 with the 5.7L Hemi Magnum V-8, the Ford Super Duty F-250 with the 6.0L V-8 Power Stroke diesel, the Ford Ranger FX4 Level II, and the GMC Sierra 1500 with Quadrasteer. Here is how everything sorted out after the dust settled.

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