Hard-Core 4x4

Winner: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Runner-Up: Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

This might be the most hotly contended category of Best in Class. Three vehicles get the most votes here: the Power Wagon, the Wrangler Rubicon, and the Raptor. All three combine excellent off-roading with decent on-road ability -- it isn't easy to choose. This year, our staff chose the Raptor. It combines excellent high- (and low-) speed off-roading with surprising versatility.


Hard-core 4x4
Vehicle Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCab Jeep Wrangler/ Unlimited Rubicon Land Rover LR4 (w/H-D pkg) Mercedes- Benz G550
Base price $45,610 $31,990/$35,690 $51,945 $115,125
Wheelbase 133.3 in 95.4/116.0 in 113.6 in 112.2 in
Engine 6.2L SOHC V-8 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.0L SC V-6 5.5L SOHC V-8
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed man 8-speed auto 7-speed auto
Power, SAE 411 hp 285 hp 340 hp 382 hp
Torque, SAE 434 lb-ft 260 lb-ft 330 lb-ft 391 lb-ft
Axle ratio 4.10:1 4.10:1 3.54:1 4.38:1
Low range 2.64:1 4.00:1 2.93:1 2.16:1
Tires 315/70R17 255/75R17 255/55R19 265/60R18
Fuel cap 26.0 gal 18.6 gal 22.8 gal 25.4 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 11/16 mpg 17/21 mpg 14/19 mpg 12/15 mpg
Seating cap 6 5-Apr 5 (7) 5
Curb weight 6016 lb 4132/4315 lb 5655 lb 5578 lb
Max GVWR 7050 lb 5700 lb 7143 lb 7078 lb
Cargo cap 67.0 cu ft 56.3/70.6 cu ft 90.3 cu ft 75.1 cu ft
Max towing cap 6000 lb 3500 lb 7716 lb 7716 lb
Vehicle Nissan Xterra PRO-4X Ram Power Wagon Tradesman Toyota 4Runner Trail Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Teams
Base price $30,900 $43,650 $36,585 $34,500 (est)
Wheelbase 106.3 in 148.9 in 109.8 in 105.9 in
Engine 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.7L OHV V-8 4.0L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6
Transmission 6-speed man 6-speed auto 5-speed auto 6-speed man
Power, SAE 261 hp 383 hp 270 hp 260 hp
Torque, SAE 281 lb-ft 400 lb-ft 278 lb-ft 271 lb-ft
Axle ratio 3.69:1 4.56:1 3.73:1 3.91:1
Low range 2.63:1 2.64:1 2.57:1 2.57:1
Tires 265/75R16 285/70R17 265/70R17 265/70R17
Fuel cap 21.1 gal 31.0 gal 23.0 gal 19.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 16/20 mpg N/A 17/22 mpg 15/19 mpg
Seating cap 5 6 5 5
Curb weight 4408 lb 6707 lb 4750 lb 4290 lb
Max GVWR 5399 lb 8510 lb 6300 lb 5570 lb
Cargo cap 65.7 cu ft 60.4 cu ft 89.7 cu ft 66.8 cu ft
Max towing cap 5000 lb 11,060 lb 4700 lb 4700 lb


Crew Cab Pickup, 2WD

Winner: Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra Crew Cab
Runner-Up: Ram 1500 Crew Cab

As you can see, the range of capability is shocking here. Trucks in this category have towing capacities that vary from 6300 pounds to 12,000. This category focuses on the heart of the market: the rear-drive crew cab. To narrow the field a bit, we restricted this award to ½-tons and smaller. This is the segment of the market most light-duty truck buyers are going to consider. For us, capability is king in this segment. The Silverado and Sierra have the best towing capacity (beating the once-champ Ford), second-best payload, and best fuel economy for a gas-powered engine. It also uses modern tech such as cylinder shutoff and variable valve timing, plus the smart CornerStep rear bumper. Coming in at a close second place is the Ram 1500, which offers excellent V-6 and V-8 engines, a terrific diesel engine option, and innovations including start/stop technology, air suspension, and active grille shutters. Things are going to get even more interesting in this category when the aluminum F-150 goes on sale in 2015.


Crew Cab Pickup, 2WD
Vehicle Chevy Silverado/ GMC Sierra Ford F-150 SuperCrew Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Nissan Titan Crew Cab
Base price $34,795/$34,545 $34,960 $23,270 $32,915
Wheelbase 143.5 in 144.5 in 125.9 in 139.8 in
Engine 4.3L OHV V-8 3.7L DOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 5.6L DOHC V-8
Opt engines 5.3L V-8 $1095, 6.2L V-8 $9415 5.0L V-8 $1000, 3.5L TT V-6 $3585, 6.2L V-8 $6710 None None
Power, SAE 285 hp (355, 420) 302 hp (360, 365, 411) 261 hp 317 hp
Torque, SAE 305 lb-ft (383, 460) 278 lb-ft (380, 420, 434) 281 lb-ft 385 lb-ft
Airbags Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Front, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 235/70R17 265/70R16 265/70R18
Fuel cap 26.0 gal 26.0 gal 21.1 gal 28.0 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/24 mpg (16/23, 15/21) 17/23 mpg (15/21, 16/22, 13/18) 16/22 mpg 13/18 mpg
Seating cap 6 6 5 6
Curb weight 4942 lb 5128 lb 4219 lb 5049 lb
Max GVWR 7200 lb 7400 lb 5730 lb 7100 lb
Payload 2007 lb 1930 lb 1481 lb 2051 lb
Max towing cap 12,000 lb 11,300 lb 6300 lb 9400 lb
Vehicle Ram 1500 Crew Cab Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Toyota Tundra CrewMax  
Base price $32,755 $24,420 $33,530  
Wheelbase 140.5 in 127.4 in 145.7 in  
Engine 3.6L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4 4.6L DOHC V-8  
Opt engines 5.7L V-8 $1150, 3.0L TD V-6 $4000 4.0L V-6 $4060 5.7L V-8 $1070  
Power, SAE 305 hp (395, 240) 159 hp (236) 310 hp (381)  
Torque, SAE 269 lb-ft (410, 420) 180 lb-ft (266) 327 lb-ft (401)  
Airbags Front, side, cur Front, side, cur Fr, side, cur, knee  
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/drum, ABS Disc/disc, ABS  
Tires 265/70R17 215/70R15 255/70R18  
Fuel cap 26.0 gal (32.0) 21.1 gal 26.4 gal  
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 18/25 mpg (14-15/20-22, N/A) 19-21/24-25 mpg (16-17/21) 15/19 mpg (13/18)  
Seating cap 6 5 6  
Curb weight 4964 lb 3985 lb 5185 lb  
Max GVWR 6950 lb 5400 lb 7000 lb  
Payload 1870 lb 1415 lb 1595 lb  
Max towing cap 10,350 lb 6500 lb 10,100 lb