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2005 Pickup Truck Of The Year - Power On Parade

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on January 1, 2005
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Six amazing pickup trucks comprise the field in this year's elite Pickup Truck of the Year test. That number makes this year's field one of the largest we've ever had. Seems like everywhere we went over the course of our intense, four-day comparison period, there was a parade. Go figure.

Clearly, all of these trucks are comparable in that they have cabs, cargo beds and tailgates, yet you'll soon learn, as we did, that this is where their commonality comes to a screeching halt.

To be a player in Pickup Truck of the Year a truck must be either new or significantly revised. New is clearly self-explanatory, but an example of significantly revised could be something like a new suspension system. A new interior would be an example of an item that wouldn't qualify, because the revision must affect the vehicle's performance both on- and off-highway.

We ran our half dozen over a medley of brutal terrains (see sidebar on page 35). Ultimately, we scored 'em based on their performance as compared to one another (see the other sidebar on page 33). The fun starts on the next page.

SIXTH PLACE: Ford F-250 Super Duty V-10

There are a number of changes to the F-250 for '05, but the big news is that a coil-spring, multilink front suspension is now standard on the F-250 4x4. Gone is the leaf-spring suspension that has been standard on the Super Duty since '99. Ford says that the new suspension improves lateral stability and reduces steering efforts. It also notes that the new suspension allows F-250 owners to turn the front wheels 18 percent farther in either direction, which improves maneuverability and reduces the average turning circle by more than 5 1/2 feet. The new suspension boasts revised spring rates and staggered rear-shock geometry to improve ride quality. A relocated steering pivot point reduces scrub radius by 51 percent to offer better steering feel and more resistance to pull and to bumpsteer, the front and rear brakes are 5 percent larger and standard wheels are 17-inchers.

Under the hood, Ford's aluminum three-valve cylinder head, introduced on the '04 F-150, is mated to the V-10 engine. This addition results in a boost of 45 hp and an torque increase of 30 lb-ft.

The interior of the Super Duty features a more refined and modern instrument panel, while the exterior sports a new, larger dominant grille that mimics the F-350 Tonka concept vehicle introduced two years ago.

Almost all testers agreed that the V-10 engine did a great job pulling the heavy truck, whether on the paved road or the trail. The V-10 definitely has punch that's felt in the seat of the pants, and should be the mandatory choice for those of you who want gobs of power but don't want to pony up the cash for a diesel engine.

The brakes on the Super Duty are outstanding. The newly increased rotor diameter combines with improved pedal feel to create a set of binders that set a standard for other manufacturers to follow. In fact, they're so effective they helped the mammoth Ford post the best half-payload braking distance of the group.

Finally, the steering is vastly improved over that of the previous vehicle. There's less play and a more solid, confidence-inspiring feel. Even when driving at speed up the rocky Coyote Ridge trail near Bishop, California, the steering offered good feedback while insulating the driver from the brutal terrain.

There's no debating this: The SD's off-highway ride is awful. Testers used words like "bone-jarring" and "punishing" to describe the experience. The Super Duty lost many points in this category.

The lack of underbody protection also cost the Super Duty points. While we're discussing the underbody, it's important to note that the front lower control arms protrude from the bottom of the axletubes, creating the equivalent of an anchor on some obstacles. By the end of the test, ours showed signs of significant contact with obstacles.

Other Gripes: When in drive, the column-shift lever makes reaching the four-wheel-drive knob difficult. Some testers found the air conditioning to be merely adequate; the engine responded lackadaisically to throttle inputs; First and Second gear are spaced too wide, making travel in sand either an engine-screaming or -bogging experience; and our tester's fuel gauge was accuracy-challenged, reading more than a quarter-tank off.

The Super Duty is a proven performer when it comes to towing and hauling, and the improvements made for '05 increase its effectiveness in those areas. If those are your needs, then this is your truck. The horsepower, steering and braking upgrades all combine to impress. If you're headed out to the trail, however, bring Dramamine.

"Built for a purpose, and that's towing and hauling."
"The V-10 gets right with the program."

FIFTH PLACE: Chevy Silverado Hybrid

This is the first semi-hybrid fullsize pickup offered to consumers. Its claim to fame is an increase in fuel economy of up to 10 percent. This increase is due to the hybrid's ability to automatically stop and restart the 5.3L gasoline engine to conserve fuel. It does this by utilizing a compact 14-kw electric induction motor, or starter/generator, that is integrated between the engine and transmission. The starter/generator provides fast, quiet starting power and allows automatic engine stops/starts. It also smooths out any driveline surges; generates electrical current to charge the batteries (located under the rear seats) and runs the auxiliary power outlets located in the bed; and provides coast-down regenerative braking as an aid to fuel economy.

Simply put, the gasoline engine shuts off when the vehicle's speed drops below 13 mph. As long as the vehicle is in Drive and the driver's foot rests on the brake, the engine remains off. As soon as the brake is released, the engine restarts and runs normally.

Almost every tester commented on the Silverado's superior visibility. Off-highway, this trait was worth its weight in gold, as trail obstacles were easily seen and identified without wriggling around in the driver seat for a better view. In many ways, this made the truck seem smaller than it really is.

The ride quality of the Silverado was the subject of many notations, and it was often referred to as "marshmallow," and "Cadillac." Clearly, this truck offered the smoothest ride of the group, even at speed on gnarly, rock-strewn trails.

The Silverado gathered a fair number of points in a couple of other areas, too. Steering was one, thanks to a system that required very little effort and returned good response. Another was seating. Testers felt that the seats offered a great cross between sport and luxury.

Everybody complained about the brakes. "Squishy" and "soft" were two of the oft-uttered words to describe their feel. During brake testing at the dragstrip, the driver noted that the pedal went to the floor during 60-0 braking. While this certainly is an unnerving phenomenon, it's interesting to note that the Silverado's braking times were middle-of-the-pack.

We were disappointed that the hybrid system deactivates when four-wheel drive is selected. No saving gas on the trail, it seems. We were surprised that occasionally the Silverado exhibited no hill-holding capacity like a normal automatic transmission-equipped vehicle. Occasionally, the truck would roll backwards until the accelerator was pressed.

Other gripes: Off-highway, the suspension routinely blew through its travel and knocked against the bumpstops; overall fit and finish was borderline; the clamshell extended-cab doors rattled on rough roads; there was absolutely no underbody protection; approach angle was poor; and the street tires are prone to trail damage.

Chevy is offering a special Power Pack Savings of over $2,000 on the Silverado Hybrid, which essentially prices the hybrid package at approximately $500. To us, this seems like a screaming deal for the latest in semi-hybrid technology. Much like the '04 GMC Sierra that won our '03 Pickup Truck of the Year competition, the Silverado Hybrid proved that it could handle a wide variety of tasks comfortably and competently. The difference between then and now is that our '03 tester had four-wheel steering, among other things, and this year's entrant was pitted against some very tough new competition.

"The Silverado drives like a Buick with a bed on the back."
"The hybrid system has no effect on the Silverado's off-highway capability, because it shuts off in four-wheel drive."

FOURTH PLACE: Dakota Quad Cab

Actually, the Dakota is new from top to bottom. It features an all-new, fully boxed frame, front coilover suspension, rear leaf-spring suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, interior and sheetmetal. Our Quad Cab came equipped with the optional 4.7L Magnum V-8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission and the heavy-duty electronic shift-on-the-fly two-speed transfer case, which is standard. It didn't have any sort of four-wheeling package, but it did have the Skid Plate Group, which includes front tow hooks, fuel tank skidplate and transfer case/front suspension skidplate. It also had the optional Anti-Spin limited-slip rear differential and P265/65R17 all-terrain tires.

It's important to note that the new Dakota was designed to deliver the lowest noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in its class, and this included integrating sound deadening techniques and cleaner aerodynamics. One of the sound-deadening techniques was to use thicker windshield glass.

The Dakota earned points for its great handling. The coilover-shock IFS and the leaf-spring rear suspension have been tuned to provide precise, carlike handling. Piloting the Dakota through the twisties is a confidence-inspiring experience that screams sports sedan more than midsize pickup.

We like the new interior. It's refreshingly simple, yet highly functional. The air-conditioning system does a great job-even in desert temperatures of more than 100 degrees, and the improvements in NVH combine to make the cabin vaultlike whether on the trail or paved road.

Other things we like: The cabin area exhibits no squeaks or rattles, even when blasting up rocky trails; the large outside rearview mirrors leave no question as to what's sneaking up behind you; the Anti-Spin limited-slip differential is unobtrusive and effective; the four-wheel-drive system is easy to operate; and the front suspension is compliant.

Many testers noted that the wide A-pillars and the steep rake of the windshield hindered forward visibility. One tester said he felt like he was looking through a gun slit. Drivers also complained of nonexistent visibility over their left shoulders.

The same suspension that helped create the fine pavement handling had a dark side that allowed for lots of axlehop during sand testing. During trail testing we also found that when the rear suspension was at maximum compression, the rear tires contacted the front of the rear-wheel openings. The suspension was also a bit too compliant off in the dirt, allowing the truck to bounce up and down at speed and bottom-out often.

Cooling issues also became evident during sand and trail testing. During sand testing, the truck quickly overheated, forcing us to park the vehicle so it could cool. It also climbed into the danger zone occasionally during trail driving.

Other gripes: Stiff brake-pedal feel; dismal 22.8-degree approach angle; poor ground clearance; and driver headroom issues due to the sloping roofline.

The new Dakota carries on the tradition that it has always been known for-it could quite well be the perfect vehicle for those wanting something larger than a compact truck, but not quite fullsize. It's well screwed together, has optional V-8 power, great payload and towing capacity and it looks cool. While the good hook points, limited-slip diff and comprehensive skidplating are a good start, if it had a serious four-wheeling package this truck could be a force to be reckoned with.

"The dash is nice and simple, yet classy."
"Feels like a bigger, heavier truck."

THIRD PLACE: Frontier King Cab NISMO

The totally new Frontier has gotten bigger. The wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer and the King Cab is 2.6 inches larger than the current Frontier. Width and height measurements are also increased with the new design. The Frontier has also been injected with some Titan DNA-namely, the all-steel double-wishbone front suspension and rear suspension with overslung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for an optimized off-highway ride. The Frontier also offers standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.

Powering the Frontier is a new 4.0L DOHC V-6 engine that produces 70 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque more than the V-6 engine found in the current Frontier. This new engine is based on the award-winning Nissan VQ engine series used in the 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano and Quest. Our tester came equipped with the optional five-speed automatic transmission, but a six-speed manual is standard. An electronically controlled shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is standard on 4x4 models.

A new NISMO (Nissan Motor Sports) four-wheeling package includes gas shocks, alloy wheels and a rear electric locking differential.

The 4.0L V-6 engine produces more than 250 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, which translates to impressive acceleration and downright speedy passing performance. Needless to say, this excellent power-to-weight ratio also meant that power was there for the asking during 'wheeling.

The manually operated electronic rear locker that comes with the NISMO package also earned the Frontier a number of points. It's a simple pushbutton, so it's easy to use, and it is seamless in operation and helps to offset the Frontier's lack of significant wheel travel.Inside the truck, we were surprised at the roomy cab. Even taller drivers commented on how they didn't feel cramped in this compact truck. Many testers also offered praise for the excellent driving position and overall visibility, which added to the Frontier's fun factor off-highway.

Other things we like: Good ground clearance; the addition of oil-pressure and voltmeter gauges; great air conditioning; confidence-inspiring brakes; and a cooling system that is up to the task.

Topping everyone's list was the rough ride thanks to stiff spring and shock rates. The Frontier lost many points because of this. It may be that the NISMO-equipped Frontier inherently has a rougher ride than a non NISMO-equipped vehicle, but nonetheless, drivers referred to it as "stiff" and "harsh."

We were shocked to find that the truck only had one tow hook. This was the smallest number of hooks of the entire six-truck fleet of testers. To us, a truck should have a full complement of tow points-especially a truck with a four-wheeling package.

Overall, the interior scored low due to its basic, uninspired appearance. One tester noted that it was very Datsun B210-esque due to its dark padding and trim. Another less-forgiving tester said it just looked "cheap."

Finally, we could have done without the front antiroll-bar link coming unattached at one end after it lost a mounting nut. We also didn't dig the low-hanging front plastic splash guards that often stuffed into the trail. One of them eventually developed a bend where there wasn't supposed to be a bend and this caused it contact with the tire occasionally.

The Frontier may have been the smallest truck in our test this year, but it quickly earned a reputation as offering a big fun factor. Testers also liked the new exterior design with its Titanesque design cues-it made the little truck look beefy. Our biggest applause was for the NISMO package. The electric rear locker included in this package is paramount in making the Frontier a capable truck off-highway.

"Tactile feel is excellent, even better than Titan and Armada."
"No comparison between the new Frontier and the old Frontier. But while Nissan took one huge step forward with the new Frontier, everyone else was taking two steps forward."

RUNNER UP: Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD

The Tacoma has also grown for '05. The new Double Cab is 5.2 inches longer, 2.6 inches taller and has a wheelbase 5.9 inches longer than the previous-generation Double Cab. While it's a larger package, Toyota claims that it's more maneuverable, more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the compact truck it replaces.

Some of the Tacoma's highlights include a rear suspension consisting of semi-elliptical multileaf springs, coil-sprung independent double wishbone IFS, 12.56-inch ventilated disc brakes, 10-inch rear drum brakes and a new 4.0L V-6 engine that's bolted to a 4.0L-specific all-new A750E five-speed automatic transmission. Further, an all-new VF2BM electronically controlled two-speed transfer case splits the power to the front and rear axles.

One of the new Tacoma's most significant exterior changes is found in the composite inner bed, which features a new sheet-molded compound deck and walls that are 10 percent lighter than steel, yet tougher and more durable.

The familiar TRD four-wheeling package is also available, and it features an electric locking rear differential, progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a 28mm front antiroll bar and 265/70R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires on 16-inch alloy wheels.

Almost every tester rated the Tacoma's 4.0L V-6 engine as the best of the group. It seemed to be perfectly matched to the 4,100-pound truck. During sand testing, one of our most power-taxing tests, testers noted that the 245hp engine provided more than enough oomph to pull the truck through even the deepest sand. "Hands down, the sand champ," noted one tester. Further, during high-altitude testing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we never felt as though the truck's performance had diminished to unacceptable levels.

Out on the trail, the suspension was one of the most dialed-in of the group. On the one hand, it offered a great ride on rocky trails at speed. On the other hand, the handling never got mushy or bouncy, as one would expect from a smooth-riding truck. As one tester noted, "Toyota really did its homework on the TRD suspension."

Another thing we noticed was the phenomenal build quality of the Tacoma. Our test vehicle was a prototype, so build quality might not have been up to the level of a production vehicle, yet as we bounded up a rocky trail at speed, testers noted it was "solid," "rigid" and "well-built."

A few drivers complained that the driving position was too low. While this didn't cause visibility issues, some testers felt that the seat was too close to the floor for comfort. Overall, testers did like the new seats; especially the side bolsters, which helped hold the driver firmly during off-highway maneuvers.

What did hamper visibility was the protruding hood. It's long and tall and has a wide rise in the middle. While it looks cool from the outside, these factors combined to impair forward visibility.

For some reason the electronic transfer case would sometimes refuse to come out of 4-low. An infernal beep notified us of its stubbornness-we sure would like to see a four-wheel-drive lever option.

Other gripes: It takes travel on the throttle to make things happen; road vibrations are transferred through the steering wheel; and the headliner-mounted compass/temperature gauges were hard to read in the daylight.

The new Tacoma seems to have all of the ruggedness and the let's-get-to-it work ethic of the previous generation Tacoma. So it's a little bigger. Get over it. With more ponies under the hood, the cool, non-denting composite inner bed, larger interior and worth-every-penny TRD Off-Road package, the Tacoma is definitely a player. There's no doubt it will have no problem carrying on the venerable Tacoma tradition. Because of this, it's our runner-up.

"It has the fun factor of the previous-generation Tacoma, but in a larger package."
"Delight to drive off-highway."

During testing, the Four Wheeler staff rotates through the vehicles on a regular basis. During this time, drivers are evaluating every aspect of the vehicle and these observations are verbally logged onto mini-cassette recorders. At the conclusion of testing, the actual written scoring takes place. Trail performance is paramount, so this category accounts for 30 percent of the final score. It includes the vehicles' performance on washboard roads, rocks and sand as well as overall maneuverability and tire type and performance. Mechanical (engine, transmission, transfer case and so on) accounts for 25 percent, interior 15 percent, exterior (including skidplates, tow hooks and fit-and-finish) 10 percent and highway ride and handling 20 percent. After each judge completes his scoring, the numbers are entered into an Excel spreadsheet that has been programmed to calculate and weigh the final scores.

Final Scores
1. Power Wagon 84.5 points
2. {{{Tacoma}}} 79.0 points
3. {{{Frontier}}} 63.9 points
4. {{{Dakota}}} 58.2 points
5. {{{Silverado}}} 47.7 points
6. Super Duty 42.7 points

What is the measure of a good pickup truck? We feel that said truck absolutely must exhibit exceptional four-wheeling abilities. Check the title: Our name is Four Wheeler, not Pavement Pounder. This is why we do the lion's share of Pickup Truck of the Year testing on the trail. Of course, this means procuring the mandatory Forest Service and BLM permits to access and photograph on public land. This year we began testing by invading Los Angeles County Raceway in Palmdale, California for acceleration and brake testing. We completed these two tests with the cargo beds both empty and at half-payload. From the dragstrip we headed east, past Lucerne Valley to Soggy Dry Lake to run our infamous tire-eating, rocker-panel-crunching loop. On day two, we drove north on Highway 395 to the Olancha Dunes ORV area for a morning of sand testing and then we continued up 395 to the labyrinth of trails in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine. Day three found us on the trail all day, exploring the Inyo National Forest with White Mountain District Off Highway Vehicle Officer Stan Overholt as our guide. We 'wheeled through the Buttermilks, Coyote Flat and Coyote Ridge before dropping down near the Lidner Prospect mine, where we had a great view of the Sierras' famous South Lake nestled below the snow-capped mountains. Day four found us blasting back to Los Angeles to run the numbers and sort through the hundreds of photos.

A vehicle's Ramp Travel Index (RTI) score is a good indicator of that vehicle's ability to flex off-highway. Good flex, as we all know, is one of the key ingredients of good four-wheeling performance. This is why Four Wheeler pioneered this concept of measurement.

Following are the RTI scores of the six trucks in this year's test on a 20-degree ramp. Note that the Power Wagon's score reflects the front antiroll bar disconnected, with the connected score listed with an asterik. An RTI score relies on three measurements. First, the vehicles overall wheelbase, second the distance traveled up the ramp and third, the angle of the ramp.

  Distance (in.) Score
Chevy Silverado 64 444
{{{Dodge Dakota}}} 56 427
{{{Dodge}}} Power Wagon 81 578
  *56 *400
{{{Ford}}} Super Duty 53.5 431
{{{Nissan Frontier}}} 51 404
{{{Toyota Tacoma}}} {{{57}}} 445

Spend several days off-highway with a few trucks and you're going to form opinions. We certainly did. To gather those opinions, we asked staffers to tell us which truck they would spend their own hard-earned money on. After all, points are one thing, but ultimately, it comes down to personal preference based on individual needs. Here's what the staff had to say:

Ned Bacon-"If Power Wagon offered a Cummins, then no question where my money would go. But a wimpy Hemi? Sorry, my bucks go to Toyota. Solid product, practical size for all around use."

Ken Brubaker-"Power Wagon. Incredibly capable. Raises the bar. Lots of goodies that are fully warrantied. Hemi not quite enough, but adequate."

Edward Sanchez-"The Nissan combines good looks, power and capability in a fun-to-drive package that would be easy to live with as a daily driver."

Greg Smith-"For the most bang for the buck, the Tacoma is the obvious choice for me with its roomy cab, powerful engine and great trail abilities."

Robin Stover-"The Power Wagon is essentially my dream truck, minus a Cummins powerplant. But I'm sure the wise folks at DCX are working on that."

Jon Thompson-"Best value? Most usable for the kind of driving I do, and for what I expect from a vehicle? The Tacoma, for sure."

Vehicle/model Chevy {{{Silverado}}} Hybrid 1500 Extended Cab {{{Dodge Dakota}}} Quad Cab Laramie {{{Dodge}}} Power Wagon Quad Cab {{{Ford F-250}}} Super Duty Super Cab {{{Nissan Frontier}}} King Cab NISMO {{{Toyota Tacoma}}} Double Cab TRD
Base price $30,195 $28,679 $31,{{{940}}} $33,935 N/A N/A
Price as tested $37,743 $33,284 $42,635 $39,380 N/A N/A
Options as tested {{{LS}}} Décor, hybrid system, Safe & Sound Package, Light Duty Power Package, upgrade to front leather seating surfaces, Autotrac active transfer case, OSRV mirror with driver-side auto dimming, power fold and heat, turn signal, dual zone automatic air conditioning, redundant radio controls, heavy-duty suspension, camper/5th wheel trailer wiring provisions Leather-trimmed 40/20/40 bench seat/center armrest storage, customer preferred package 26J, skidplate group, trailer tow group, four-wheel antilock brakes, supplemental side airbags, five-speed automatic transmission, 3.92 axle ratio,anti-spin differential, 4.7L {{{Magnum}}} V-8 engine,sliding rear window, Sirius satellite digital radio,Uconnect hands-mirror, 17x8 aluminum chromeclad wheels, P26565R17 BSW on-/off-road tires, under-rail box bedliner Premium cloth 40/20/40 bench seat, customer preferred package 26P, premium convenience group,premium security group, five-speed automatic transmission 6.8L V-10 engine, TorqShift five-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch OWL A/T tires, Lariat luxury package, Electronic shift-on-the-fly, power sliding rear window, manual telescoping trailer tow mirrors, premium 6-CD changer, adjustable gas/brake pedals, trailer hitch receiver, two-tone paint Nismo Off-Road package, side airbags Tie-down cleats, door-sill protector, floor mats, TRD Off-Road package, convenience package, SR5 package, towing package, sliding rear window with privacy glass, JBL Audio 6-disc in-dash CD changer audio system with seven speakers and steering-wheel controls, driver and passenger seat-mounted side airbags and front- and second-row side-curtain airbags SRS with rollover sensor
Displacement (ci/liter) 325/5.3 287/4.7 345/5.7 415/6.8 241/4.0 241/4.0
Bore x stroke (in.) 3.78 x 3.{{{62}}} 3.66 x 3.40 3.92 x 3.58 3.55 x 4.16 3.76 x 3.62 3.70 x 3.74
Compression ratio 9.5:1 9.0:1 9.6:1 9.2:1 9.7:1 10.0:1
Intake SEFI SMPFI SMPFI SMPI NVIS ({{{Nissan}}} Variable Induction System) EFI
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp) 295 @ 5,{{{200}}} 230 @ 4,{{{600}}} 345 @ 5,400 362 @ 4,750 265 245 @ 5,200
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft) 335 @ 4,000 295 @ 3,600 375 @ 4,200 457 @ 3,250 284 282 @ 3,800
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type (octane) 87 87 89 87 93 91
Transmission 4L60-E four-speed automatic 545RFE five-speed automatic 5-45RFE five-speed automatic TorqShift five-speed automatic Five-speed automatic A750E five-speed automatic
First 3.06 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.842 3.52
Second 1.63 1.67-upshift; 1.50-kick-down 1.67-upshift; 1.50-kick-down 2.22 2.353 2.04
Third 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.55 1.529 1.40
Fourth 0.70 0.75 0.75 1.00 1.000 1.00
Fifth N/A 0.67 0.67 0.71 0.839 0.72
Axle ratio 3.73 3.92 4.56 4.10 N/A 3.73:1
Transfer case NV246 NV233HD Manual shift NV271 NV273 Dana 44 VF2BM two-speed
Low-range ratio 2.72:1 2.72 2.72:1 2.72:1 2.596:1 2.{{{57}}}:1
Crawl ratio 31.0:1 32.0:1 37.2:1 33.5:1 N/A 33.74:1
Frame Steel ladder Steel ladder Steel ladder Steel ladder Steel ladder Steel ladder
Body Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel Steel
Front Independent torsion bar, gas pressurized shocks, 32mm antiroll bar Upper and lower “A” arms, coil springs over gas-pressure shock absorbers, link-type antiroll bar Quadra Link leading arms, track bar, coil springs, electric disconnecting antiroll bar, gas-charged Bilstein monotube shock absorbers/ AAM 9.25-inch, TracRite electric locker Coil, radius arms, shock absorbers, antiroll bar/Dana 60, 9.75-inch ring gear Double-wishbone, coilover-shock absorbers, antiroll bar Coil-spring independent double wishbone with gas-filled shock absorbers, antiroll bar
Rear Semi-elliptic, variable rate, two-stage multileaf springs, gas pressurized shocks/live axle with 8.6-inch ring gear, Eaton (G80) locking differential Multileaf two-stage longitudinal springs, staggered gas-pressure shock absorbers, link-type antiroll bar/Detroit Axle with 8.25-inch ring gear, anti-spin differential Longitudinal leaf springs, gas-charged Bilstein monotube shock absorbers/AAM 10.5-inch, TracRite electric locker Leaf springs, antiroll bar, staggered shock absorbers/Visteon, 10.50 ring gear Rigid leaf rear suspension/live axle Dana, electric locking differential Leaf spring rigid/{{{Toyota}}} manufactured solid axle and electric locker
Type Engine independent electro-hydraulic power recirculating ball Power rack-and-pinion Recirculating ball Power recirculating ball Power rack-and-pinion Power rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock) 3.0 3.18 2.75 N/A 3.55 3.64
Ratio 15.7:1 17.4:1 13.4:1 20.38:1 20.4:1 17.3:1
Front 12.01-inch vented disc 12.3-inch vented disc, dual-piston sliding calipers 13.9-inch vented disc, twin-piston sliding caliper 13.66-inch ventilated disc 11.7-inch vented rotor 12.56-inch ventilated disc
Rear 12.8-inch vented disc 11.6-inch drums 13.9-inch vented disc, sliding caliper 13.39-inch ventilated disc 11.3-inch non-vented rotor 10-inch drum
ABS Four wheel Four-wheel Four wheel Four wheel Four wheel Four wheel
Wheels (in.) 16x7 cast aluminum 17x8 aluminum 17x8 forged aluminum 18x8 16x7 16x7
Tires P245/75R16 Goodyear {{{Wrangler}}} ST P265/65R17 Goodyear Wrangler RT/S LT285/70R17 BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A LT275/70R18E Pirelli Scorpion P265/75R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A P245/75R16 Rugged Trail T/A
EPA city/highway 10 percent increase over base extended cab in composite city/highway and 13 percent increase in city-only driving 15/20 N/A N/A N/A 17/20
Actual combined, city/highway/trail 13.7 13.6 11.9 9.4 18.9 18.2
Weight (lb.) 5,008 4,758 6,081 6,299 4,200 (estimated) 4,{{{100}}}
Wheelbase (in.) 143.5 131.3 140.5 141.8 125.9 127.8
Overall length (in.) 227.7 218.8 227.7 231.2 205.5 208.1
Overall width (in.) 78.5 71.7 79.8 79.9 72.8 74.6
Height (in.) 73.9 68.6 {{{80}}}.6 79.5 69.7 70.1
Track (in.) 65/66 62.8/62.9 69.5/68.5 68.3/67.2 61.8/61.7 63.0/63.4
Minimum ground clearance (in.) 8.7 7.9 8.3 8.5 9.3 9.4
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft.) 43.7 44.0 48.9 47.5 43.4 40.6
Bed dimensions LxWxH (in.) 78.7x61.9x19.5 60.3x59.6x17.6 76.3x70.2x20.2 82.4x50.9x20 72.4x61.4x17.9 60.3x56.7x18
Approach/departure angles (deg.) 25.4/27.5 22.8/22.5 35/26.5 25.7/12.8 31.5/22.6 33/23.4
GVWR (lb.) 6,400 6,010 8,510 9,400 5,600 (estimated) 5,450
Payload (lb.) 1,392 1,250 2,430 2,{{{900}}} 1,600 1,415
Maximum towing capacity (lb.) 7,500 6,600 11,000 12,500 6,500 6,500
Seating 5 6 6 5 5 5
{{{Eight}}}-mile empty payload (sec. @ mph) 11.68 @ 61.42 11.71 @ 60.67 11.51 @ 61.44 11.16 @ 63.97 11.20 @ 65.05 10.69 @ 66.05
Eight-mile half payload (sec. @ mph) 12.41 @ 58.49 12.15 @ 58.63 11.86 @ 59.37 11.82 @ 60.40 11.47 @ 63.21 11.09 @ 64.04
Quarter-mile empty payload (sec. @ mph) 17.98 @ 77.39 18.18 @ 75.0 17.95 @ 74.85 17.37 @ 78.86 17.28 @ 80.69 16.64 @ 82.69
Quarter-mile half payload (sec. @ mph) 18.97 @ 75.48 19.33 @ 72.58 18.47 @ 73.02 18.34 @ 74.97 17.72 @ 78.28 17.24 @ 79.92
Braking 60-0 mph empty/half payload (ft.) 166.3/169.4 182.7/185.5 193.4/189.6 193.4/135.6 180.1/178.8 139.5/149.2

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