2014 Four Wheeler of the Year: Day 2

Logging Some Miles in the Southern California Desert

Monica GondermanPhotographer, Writer

The diverse desert terrain of Johnson Valley put the vehicles to the test during Day 2 of the 2014 Four Wheeler of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year test. First on the agenda was a photo shoot session for the pickup trucks. (If you’re just joining us, we are testing five 2014 SUV’s and three 2014 pickup trucks this year. While all eight vehicles are being tested at the same time, the SUV’s are grouped together and the trucks are grouped together when it comes to judging.) Itching to hit some dirt, we found a semi-whooped, semi-sandy dirt road that allowed for high speed runs and back-to-back comparisons of all the vehicles. Wasting no part of the absolutely perfect weather provided on this beautiful Tuesday, we then caravanned to a section of sand dunes. Sand certainly brings out the best and the worst in all of these vehicles, as it’s a great test of power, handling and technologies. Like little kids in a sand box, the crew enjoyed smashing the throttles of these 2014’s until it became clear that we were quite overdue for lunch. The later part of the afternoon was spent on a challenging hill climb and concluded with a sunset photo shoot of the SUVs.