The big 4x4s utilize an electronically controlled New Venture Gear NV273 two-speed transfer case with an instrument-panel-mounted rotary selector switch for 4Lo, 4Hi, and 2Hi drive settings.

Four-wheel-drive Kodiaks also feature manually activated front locking hubs for additional traction capability and a heavy-duty off-road skidplate to protect the transfer case.

The most amazing aspects of driving the Kodiak pickup are the remarkable driver's view and how sharply the truck turns. The 4x4's wider front track permits a 53-degree wheel cut, resulting in a turning diameter as tight as 47 feet.

In addition, Kodiak's sloped-hood design and a windshield that's some 40 percent larger lets you see the ground a mere 13.8 feet in front of the truck (as measured from the front bumper), which is even better than the forward visibility measurements of many compact pickup trucks.

Braking also is excellent. Stopping in short order happens without any tendency for harshness. The trucks feature a new HydroMax hydraulic four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system with standard four-channel ABS and electronic brake distribution, with traction control as an option.