If SUVs and crossovers aren’t winning awards, it looks like this year’s truck prizes are becoming a series of two-way dances between the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and the Ram 2500 Power Wagon. The scenario is not surprising, because auto manufacturers don’t build niche trucks to milk as cash cows. They build them as halo vehicles and expect them to win the public’s affection along with the awards.

With the 2010 Pickup Truck of the Year award up for grabs, Four Wheeler magazine put four trucks through a set of on- and off-road tests: the aforementioned SVT Raptor and Power Wagon, the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty with a Cummins diesel, and the refreshed Toyota Tundra with the 4.6-liter V-8. Per usual qualifications, eligible vehicles must either be new or have substantially revised mechanical features from the previous model year. When the dust settled from Four Wheeler’s tests, the Power Wagon was revealed to be the winner.

“The new Power Wagon is quite nearly the best of all worlds,” said Douglas McColloch, Four Wheeler editor. “Its tall stance and body-on-frame architecture don’t get in the way of delivering a pleasant and relatively quiet highway ride. Its work-truck ethic is belied by its eight-lug axles and 10,000-pound tow rating. And once off the pavement, deep in the dirt, the Power Wagon can simply go places, and do things, that no other full-size truck on the planet can. Locking differentials, a disconnecting front swaybar, and a 12,000-pound winch delivered straight from the factory will do that for you. All in all, the Power Wagon is a very worthy winner of our Pickup Truck of the Year competition.”

Source: Chrysler Group