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  • Truck Trend’s 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year: Day 1 – Track Testing #PTOTY18

Truck Trend’s 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year: Day 1 – Track Testing #PTOTY18

Burning Rubber

Oct 17, 2017
It’s that time of year again! We have assembled the latest contenders for the title of our 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year. This year, we have six pickups in the field, including one midsize, three 1/2-tons, and two HDs. In terms of powertrains, we have nearly every variation represented with the exception of a manual transmission. We have six-, eight-, and ten-speed transmission; a V-6, an I-6, and four V-8s; two diesel and four gasoline. It’s quite the eclectic field.

The Field

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

All new for 2018, Chevy’s Colorado ZR2 is an off-road monster. Under the hood of our tester is the 3.6L V-6 gasoline engine, which produces 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front and rear locking differentials, stainless steel rock rails, fancy DSSV dampers, and Goodyear DuraTrac tires are just a few bits that set this pickup apart from the pack-standard Colorados dominating the highways.
Photo 2/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 061 Chevrolet Colorado Zr2

2018 Ram 1500 Harvest Edition

Not much has changed in Ram’s stable in nearly a decade, but that hasn’t slowed the innovation. Special editions and incremental improvements have been flowing steadily, and the 2018 Harvest Edition is but one such example. With a slightly taller suspension, off-road tires, skidplates, and an all-around work-truck feel, this Ram is ready for a hard day in the field. Powered by the legendary 5.7L Hemi V-8 engine, our tester lays down 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Photo 12/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 050 Ram 1500

2018 Ford F-150

All new in 2015, Ford just released a mid-cycle refresh for their best-selling vehicle, the F-150. For 2018, the F-150 receives an updated front end and tailgate applique. Also, and most notable, is the implementation of the company’s 10-speed automatic transmission behind all but the base powertrain. Our Platinum-grade tester is equipped with Ford’s 5.0L V-8 engine, which produces 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 16/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 078 Ford F 150

2018 Toyota Tundra

Toyota’s Tundra is another like the Ram 1500—not much has changed outwardly, but under the skin lays a world of innovation. For 2018 Toyota completely replaced the electrical architecture that powers the Tundra, paving the way for future innovation. A huge undertaking in its own right, this allowed Toyota to add Safety Sense with features such as lane departure warning, collision mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. From the outside the grille has been updated, and inside the Tundra has a new driver information center. Powering the Tundra is a 5.7L V-8 making 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 22/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 071 Toyota Tundra

2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali

New in 2017, the Sierra 2500HD Denali was a latecomer and missed the cutoff for our 2017 test. The big story with this truck is the new L5P Duramax diesel engine. Sharing practically only displacement with the outgoing engine, the L5P produces an industry best 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. The bones of the truck are carryover, with the functional hood scoop as the only outward sign that anything is different.
Photo 29/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 054 Gmc Sierra 2500hd Photo Crew

2018 Ram 3500

Ram just recently went and took back the torque crown with its high-output version of the 6.7L Cummins I-6, now producing an astonishing 930 lb-ft of torque. Our tester came outfitted in the company’s newest trim level as well, Limited Tungsten. This most luxurious trim, fitted to a MegaCab, hits the wallet to the tune of more than $80,000.
Photo 36/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 045 Ram 3500

Track Testing

Day One is now in the books, and our test is off and running! We spent the first day running tests at Autoclub Dragway in Fontana, California. These tests consisted of quarter-mile elapsed time and speed, 0-to-60 acceleration, and 60-to-0 deceleration. Testing was done empty, loaded to 100 percent of maximum payload, and with a loaded trailer. It was a very hot day, with temperatures north of 100 degrees. While no records were set, all trucks performed admirably and with very few surprises. Want to know the results? Well, you’ll have to wait until our Pickup Truck of the Year cover hits the web in a few weeks. Until then hold on to your seat because our intense week of testing is just beginning!
Photo 41/78   |   2018 Pickup Truck Of The Year 033 Burnouts

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