For the Love of Truck - The Driver's Seat
We Test Trucks Because It's Our Passion
This issue marks a monumental milestone in the life of Truck Trend. After 17 years of tagging along with Motor Trend on their annual test, we’ve branched off and created our very own Pickup Truck of the Year program. Now, you might be asking why we would do something as crazy as creating more work for ourselves. As narcissistic as it may sound, the answer is simple: It’s because we are the truck experts and are now ready to take the final step in asserting ourselves as such.
Before you get the torches lit and pitchforks sharpened, let’s be clear: We have nothing but the utmost of respect for all of our colleagues across the hall at Motor Trend. There’s nobody that does what they do better. Their level of expertise and thoroughness of testing and reporting on cars is second to none. We are forever indebted to them; had they not birthed us in 1998, you wouldn’t be reading this today. That said, there was a reason that Truck Trend was created, which was to emulate the success that Motor Trend had in the car realm with experts from the pickup side of the auto industry.
""We test trucks not only because we have to, but also because it’s our passion.”"
It’s been exactly one year since we officially split off from Motor Trend to become our own stand-alone entity. We truly hope that you, our readers, have noticed a change for the better. We now have more resources available to us, more freedom to tackle the stories that we feel pickup enthusiasts want to read about, and a larger team of truck experts at our disposal.
When developing our Pickup Truck of the Year program, we looked at not only how Motor Trend structures their test but also how the other OTY programs that our staff has been involved in are run. We came up with a simple eligibility requirement. To be invited the pickup must be either all-new or significantly improved. That last bit is a touch ambiguous, but it simply means that a new or updated powertrain, suspension, or body would make a pickup eligible. A new trim level, sticker package, or addition of a minor feature (such as auto stop-start on an existing drivetrain) does not. Following these criteria, we identified and invited 11 models from 5 manufacturers and 9 accepted.
To build the best team of judges possible, we dug deep into our pool of truck experts from all areas of the Truck Trend Network. Combined, our crew holds over 75 years of experience working with, testing, and reviewing pickups, and more than double that as truck enthusiasts themselves. Joining us were experts with off-road, street, diesel, and custom truck backgrounds, along with current and former Motor Trend staffers (we stole the ones with truck experience).
We focused our time and energy on testing the areas that matter to true truck enthusiasts. So we took to the dragstrip to test performance in a safe and controlled environment. We then loaded each truck down with the equivalent of an average amount of cargo for each class of truck, and then did the same with a trailer. We logged several hundred miles of highway time, in each truck and in every sort of driving condition from dense traffic to wide-open highway. And finally, we headed off-road, since the majority of trucks sold are four-wheel-drive. Our testing was thorough and will only get better with time.
The bottom line is this: Truck Trend is where the pickup experts live. We test trucks not only because we have to, but also because it’s our passion.