4WD Shift Knobs of Four Wheeler of the Year 2018 #FWOTY18

    What does it take to get these things in low range?

    Ken BrubakerPhotographerVerne SimonsWriter

    Knobs, you turn them and with any luck, they do stuff. This year, as in every Four Wheeler of the Year since 1974, there has come a time in the test when we, the judges, have engaged four-wheel-drive in the brand-new test vehicles for the first time. In years past that usually meant grabbing a lever and moving it around to lock in the front axle and or engage a low range ratio. As you may know, in the past 20 years the 4WD shift lever has gone the way of the dodo bird and sadly we are left with knobs or dials that electronically select 4WD and the gear ranges. Alright, we get it, knobs are easy to deal with (sometimes), but really, are levers all that hard to deal with? Call us old-fashioned, but we like mechanical linkage 4WD shifters because generally they are stupid simple and do what we want when we want them to do it. New vehicle manufacturers tell us that their customers (apparently customers other than us) want vehicles that are easy to shift into four-wheel-drive, and that means a knob. So to all you knob lovers, rejoice as we show you the six   4WD selector knobs of Four Wheeler of the Year.

    By the way, this test is actually two tests. One where we test all new or significantly changed 4x4 SUVs and one test where we test all new or significantly changed 4x4 pickup trucks. These tests are known respectively as Four Wheeler’s SUV of the Year and Four Wheeler’s Pickup Truck of the Year test. The entire fleet of test vehicles for 2018 includes three trucks, and three SUVs. The trucks are the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition, and the Ram 3500 with 6.7L Cummins turbodiesel.