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  • 2016 Pickup Truck Of The Year – Judges Pick

2016 Pickup Truck Of The Year – Judges Pick

The official judging was impartial, now we express our personal opinions.

Feb 4, 2016
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
We are all human, and as such, we bring a certain level of bias into everything we do, no mater how impartial we may all attempt to be. What separates the professionals from everyone else is the ability to see beyond personal preference and take a wholly objective view of the subject in question. Throughout the week of testing our expert judges are asked put aside personal preferences and desires and instead focus solely on the vehicles placed in front of them, judging them in as unbiased a manner as possible. However, once judging was complete, but before the scores were tallied, we asked our judges which pickup they would choose to take home and why. Read on to see which they would choose if money were no object.
Photo 2/16   |   07 Sean Holman Headshot
Sean Holman
Content Director – Truck Trend Network
Photo 3/16   |   15 2016 Nissan Titan XD Rolling
Much like Goldilocks of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I found the Nissan Titan XD not too big, not too small, but just right. The Titan XD features a good ride, rock-solid towing stability, a high-quality interior, and a Cummins turbodiesel V-8 shoehorned under the hood. It might not be the best-looking truck in the market, or the quickest, or the most capable, but for me, it nicely fills in the middle ground at a value price that is more than palatable in today's market. I think Nissan will find a lot of “in the middle” buyers who will agree with me.
Photo 4/16   |   03 Jason Gonderman Headshot
Jason Gonderman
Editor – Truck Trend
Photo 5/16   |   91 2016 Nissan Titan XD Rear Three Quarter
For me the truck that would most fit with my lifestyle is the Nissan Titan XD. I love the power delivery from the Cummins 5.0L V-8 and the heavy-duty shifting of the Aisin transmission. Ride quality is respectable and the interior comfort in phenomenal. This truck alone could replace both my daily driver and weekend tow rig. I do wish that fuel economy was better when running around empty, but I have a feeling that our tester wasn’t broken in enough to really show what it’s capable of in that regard. But on the flip side, this truck won’t drop into the low single digits when a trailer is hooked to it like most gasser 1/2-tons. I feel that Nissan has a winner in the XD and hope that the buying public gives it a fair shot.
Photo 6/16   |   04 Edward Sanchez Headshot
Ed Sanchez
Senior News Editor – Truck Trend Network
Photo 7/16   |   28 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Dune Blasting
There are really only two trucks in this year’s comparison that would get my money: It would be between the Colorado and the Canyon. Their combination of capability and economy, along with their garage-friendly size, makes them unique propositions in the truck market. For its slightly better value proposition, my choice is the Colorado.
Photo 8/16   |   06 Brett Evans Headshot
Brett Evans
Staff Editor – Truck Trend Network
Photo 9/16   |   14 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel Rolling
I’m surprised to say it, but the truck I most wanted to take home at the end of the test was the Ram Rebel. Its loud styling turned me off some, but I can’t say the same of its loud exhaust. With that Hemi V-8 rumble echoing across the sand dunes, matting the accelerator was addictive. I’d order mine without the Ram Box cargo system so I could fit my motorcycle in the bed, though, and I’d get it in a less conspicuous color. Big, loud, and brash, this was definitely the boldest truck in the test, and I have to respect that.
Photo 10/16   |   01 Andy Mock Headshot
Andy Mock
Senior Art Director – Truck Trend
Photo 11/16   |   84 2016 GMC Canyon Front Three Quarter
Having picked the GMC Canyon as my take home truck last year, I felt that this year perhaps I should choose something different. Well after a week of putting the GMC Canyon with a Duramax diesel under the hood to the test I just couldn't break off my love affair so quick. I love the 369 lb-ft of torque, the nearly 30mpg fuel economy, Apple CarPlay, and that it’s all in a nicely wrapped GMC package. Sold.
Photo 12/16   |   08 Trevor Reed Headhsot
Trevor Reed
Staff Editor – Diesel Power
Photo 13/16   |   38 2016 GMC Sierra Denali On Trail
If truck shopping were like fantasy football, I’d choose all the best parts from the 2016 contestants to build one dream team of a pickup. This imaginary vehicle would have the handling and mpg of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon; the coil-sprung rear axle and height-adjustment from the Ram Rebel; the 5.0L V-8 Cummins diesel engine and electronic differential locker from the Nissan Titan XD; the ground clearance and Crawl Control available with the Toyota Tacoma; and the modern exterior styling of the Chevy Silverado High Country. Since that’s not possible, the single player from this competition I’d draft for my driveway would be the ’16 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali. During our testing, its tremendous power delivery, excellent seats, classy interior, terrific ride, good fuel economy, and off-road capability quickly became the standard by which I judged all of the other trucks. I imagine that driving it cross-country would be a treat instead of a chore.
Photo 14/16   |   05 Anthony Soos Headshot
Anthony Soos
Staff Editor – Truckin
Photo 15/16   |   31 2016 Chevrolet Silverado On Trail
For me the Chevrolet Silverado High Country fits my needs perfectly. It has all the creature comforts of a finely appointed four-door luxury sedan but with the added functionality of a truck bed and high road visibility. It also has a capable 5.3L V-8 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic that moves along nicely and gets excellent fuel economy out on the road.
Photo 16/16   |   25 Pickup Truck Of The Year Trucks And Judges