SUV And Pickup Truck Of The Year 2017 Begins December 5Posted in Vehicle Reviews on December 2, 2016
The 2017 Four Wheeler SUV of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year competition starts this Monday, December 5 and you can follow along at fourwheeler.com and on the Four Wheeler social media sites!
This annual “Of The Year” competition, open to new or substantially revised 4x4s, has a decades-long history dating back to 1974. We test the vehicles in almost every off-road environment as well as on-road and track. For 2017, SUV competitors scheduled to attend include the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and Nissan Armada. Pickup trucks scheduled to attend include the Ford F-150 Raptor, Ford Super Duty, Nissan Titan XD (gas) PRO-4X, Nissan Titan PRO-4X, Ram 2500 Off-Road Package, Ram Power Wagon, and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
We test each vehicles ramp travel index, acceleration, braking, quarter-mile time and speed, on-road handling, off-road handling, and much more. Our scoring procedure utilizes five weighted categories. Here’s the breakdown: 30 percent Trail Performance (how a vehicle performs in specific wheeling environments and off-road-centric features like 4WD system operation, tires, traction aids, and so on), 25 percent Empirical (RTI, acceleration, braking, price, and so on), 20 percent On Pavement (handling, ride quality, steering feel, and so on) 15 percent Interior (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, and so on), and 10 percent Exterior (appearance, stance, body protection, and so on).
The weeklong Of The Year testing begins when we travel to a track, where we use a RaceLogic Performance Box to gather acceleration and braking data. We then convoy to the desert via winding paved roads and along the way gather data on how the vehicles handle the twisty environment. For the next three days we test the vehicles in a wide range of terrain. We spend time in every type of driving situation you can imagine. From stop-and-go city driving to wide open highway. Since we’re off-road-centric, we spend the majority of time in the dirt, water, mud, sand, and rocks. Each day of driving begins shortly after sunup and ends well after sundown. We travel to both high and low elevations, we drive in the dark, and we even try to test in snow at high elevation. On the final day, we make the trek back to the Los Angeles area, which completes the test. In the end, we log almost 1,000 miles in each vehicle.
Along the way we’re posting daily updates to fourwheeler.com as well as the Four Wheeler social media sites, so it’s easy to follow along and see what we’re doing and how the test is going so check us out and root for your favorite 4x4!
Here are some photos from Of The Year 2016!