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2019 Pickup Truck of the Year: Judges Choice #PTOTY19

Judge’s Choice

Truck Trend Staff
Dec 10, 2018
Photographers: Robert Guio, Amir Saidi

Our Individual Choices for #PTOTY19

When we judge Pickup Truck of the Year, we try our best to be impartial and to avoid mob mentality. We evaluate each truck based on its own merits, not our personal penchants and preconceptions, and we feel like we do a decent job of giving each pickup a fair shot. That’s what sets Truck Trend’s award apart from others: we don’t blindly ballot for our favorite, we use numbers and data to decide which is worthy of the title.
Still, in order to allow our individual preferred pickups a chance to shine, we give each judge the opportunity to choose which one he would take home, if money were no object. Without further ado, here are our personal picks and why we would choose them.
Photo 2/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Gonderman

Jason Gonderman, Editor, Truck Trend: Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

This year’s group of contenders was so good it’s difficult to choose just one. I loved the simple and rugged nature of the Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss, and I have a total crush on the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4’s blend of luxury and off-road prowess. The Ford powertrains were phenomenal. The F-150 Limited’s high-output EcoBoost blew everyone out of the water, while the Lariat FX4’s Power Stroke diesel engine crushed it in the fuel-economy department. Ultimately, though, it would have to be the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn that I’d choose. The luxurious interior, impressive tech, and terrific ride make it the perfect package for what I would look for in a truck were I in the market.
Photo 3/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Holman

Sean P. Holman, Content Director, Truck Trend Network: Ram 1500 Rebel

I was really impressed by the quiet power of the Ford F-150 Lariat FX4 with the 3.0L Power Stroke diesel V-6 and the technology and impressive features of the GMC Sierra Denali—especially that sexy MultiPro tailgate—but for me, the truck that had the right mix of features, luxury, quality, ride, power, and capability was the Ram 1500 Rebel. With an impressive interior that felt comfortable right away to the outstanding ride characteristics on- and off-road and impressive build quality, the Ram 1500 Rebel is the truck I’d most like to park in my driveway.
Photo 4/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Evans

Brett T. Evans, Staff Editor, Truck Trend Network: Ram 1500 Rebel

My choice for this year’s take-home truck is something that combines the interior quality of a German luxury car, American muscle under the hood, and aggressive, king-of-the-road styling. The Ram 1500 Rebel’s energetic powertrain, impressive on-road comfort, motorcycle-friendly bed size, and hilarious off-road antics make it my unequivocal pick.
Photo 5/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Soos

Anthony Soos, Social Media Editor, Truck Trend Network: Ford F-150 Limited

The Ford F-150 Limited appealed to me due to its advanced driver-assistance technology: 360-degree camera, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and its almost-too-aggressive lane departure prevention system. Inside the cabin, the comfortable seating made long drives a breeze and the SYNC system and Apple CarPlay made the driving experience great. The high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 engine was powerful and responsive without being overbearing, which also contributed to a great driving experience.
Photo 6/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Korfhage

Jered Korfhage, Staff Editor, Four Wheeler: GMC Sierra AT4

The GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 gives me just enough tastefully arranged buttons and off-road worthiness to make weaseling a fullsize truck into an L.A. parking garage quasi-enjoyable. The truck’s suspension lift and knobby tires are sufficient to keep me happily unstuck on the trails, and the optional performance exhaust is ready to give an auditory middle finger to slower traffic when I mat the pedal and enter the passing lane. Lastly, did I mention the red tow hooks?
Photo 7/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Lehenbauer

John Lehenbauer, Tech Editor, Diesel Power: Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

The truck I would take home would be the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. I liked the Longhorn’s spacious and well-thought-out interior; it was very comfortable. A big plus was the reclining rear seat, as it makes the ride a lot more comfortable for rear-seat passengers. The truck handled and rode excellently and didn't wear me out on long road trips. The infotainment system’s 12-inch touchscreen was easy to use and had great sound. There’s also no shortage of power from the 5.7L Hemi V-8 under the hood, making it fun to mash the skinny pedal.
Photo 8/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Smith

Greg Smith, Art Director, Truck Trend: Ram 1500 Rebel

My family and I enjoy camping in the Southern California deserts and racing motocross, so naturally a truck with an off-road package is a no-brainer since we drive in the dirt quite often. The Ram 1500 Rebel would be my take-home truck of this group, with the Chevy Silverado LT Trail Boss a close second. We tow a travel trailer most weekends, so having a truck that can tow with ease is really important, and the Rebel came through with flying colors during that portion of the test. What is amazing is that this truck also drives beautifully on the highway and would be a great commuter vehicle, so it is easily a double (triple?) duty truck. The super-comfortable seats and slick styling of the interior just puts this truck over the top.
Photo 9/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Snyder

Mark Snyder, Art Director, Diesel Power: GMC Sierra AT4

Last year I chose the GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali as the truck I’d take home. Despite the risk of appearing biased, this year I would choose the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4. I simply seem to gravitate toward the GMC pickups. Power, driveability, and styling; this truck has it all. And I just enjoy driving it. It makes me happy, and really, isn’t that the point?
Photo 10/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Oschner

Shaun Ochsner, Newsroom Staff Editor, Four Wheeler Network: Ram 1500 Rebel

The truck I’d take home would be the Ram 1500 Rebel. Off-road, the truck is more than capable of handling any terrain. I loved that the off-road–centric Rebel also provided a comfortable ride on the highway. It had all the options that I would want in the interior, along with plenty of storage space to boot.
Photo 11/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Guio
Photo 12/93   |   2019 Pickup Truck Of The Year Judging Staff Saidi

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