2017 Pickup Truck of the Year – Day Five #PTOTY17
Muddy, Dirty Fun
The end of Truck Trend’s annual Pickup Truck of the Year testing is greeted by the judges and staff with a combination of relief and sadness. We’re all grateful to be able to get home, shower, sleep in, and relax after a grueling week of long days, sore muscles, and let our digestive systems recover from a steady diet of junk food and soft drinks. But it’s an experience everyone remembers fondly, and eagerly anticipates for the next year. The fifth and final day of the test was driving some off road trails between Big Bear and Pioneer Town in the high desert of Southern California.
The night before and early morning brought unrelenting driving rain and cold temperatures, making us wonder what the trails would look like. Thankfully, the precipitation was just enough to keep dust down, but not so much to create a muddy mess. However, the thoroughly encrusted fenders, door panels and side steps on the trucks would make you think otherwise. As a fitting conclusion to the trip, we were greeted by a fierce dust storm after lunch in Pioneer Town.
As with the rest of the week, many of the trucks surprised with their off road prowess, perhaps none more so than our trusty Nissan NV3500 Truck Trend Network support van, which traversed the entire trail in two-wheel-drive and an open rear differential, making alarming noises for the driver the entire time with supplies and equipment clanging around in the cargo area. There was discussion about doing a four-wheel-drive conversion on the van, and support was unanimous among the staff to do the transformation for future trips. Check out our day five highlight video below, and stay tuned to TruckTrend.com for an in-depth look at each of the trucks in this year’s test, and the announcement of the winner in the weeks ahead!