With the official announcement of the 2013 TUOTY less than seven days from today, the 2013 Ram 1500 continues to make its case for that honor.
For 2013, the name of the award given out at the show has also been changed to “truck/utility” of the year, marking the increasing importance of crossover and sport utility vehicles to the overall truck segment.
But in any case, let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet, because regardless of what the judges say next week, the half ton pickup from Chrysler’s Ram division has another award to put in its bed – one, we might add, that’s been handed out for 24 years.
Four Wheeler Magazine
In order to qualify for the annual festivities at Four Wheeler Magazine, pickups have to be all-new or significantly revised from the previous model year, have a two-speed transfer case, a production run of at least 1,500 and be on sale by January 15th of the award year.
It appears that this year’s field was rather small – with only two trucks in the hunt for the award – a Ram 1500 Crew Cab Outdoorsman and a Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Access Cab.
Both Ford and GM declined to participate despite the fact that both had eligible trucks – for what are obvious reasons. GM is readying all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models for 2014, while Ford is busy preparing for a new F-150, and the current models from both would probably have been at a disadvantage to the new Ram.
“Our readers use their trucks, sometimes in much harsher duty cycles than most would expect,” said John Cappa, Editor – Four Wheeler Magazine. “Within our testing, we integrate a number of challenges to push capability and durability. At trails-end, the 2013 Ram 1500 was our choice and winner of Four Wheeler Magazine’s Pickup Truck of the Year.”
The weeklong event that covered 1,000 miles involved measuring as well as on and off-road testing at sites ranging from the old El Toro Marine Base in Orange County, California to the mountains and deserts of Southern California. It should also be noted that the Ram had a base price that was $10,000 more than the Toyota ($36,740 versus $26,705) and an as-tested price that was also $9,500 more ($45,070 versus $35,450).
Despite the small field, the folks at Ram were obviously elated with the results.
“Pickup Truck of the Year from Four Wheeler Magazine recognizes the engineering efforts put forth to mold the new 2013 Ram 1500 and we’re honored to carry the title,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. “A large percentage of our customers are outdoor enthusiasts, making this award very well-received in a fiercely competitive truck market.”
Speaking of “fiercely competitive,” the competition for next week’s award will be much more intense, so stay tuned for the results as we’ll have the winner for you just as soon as it’s announced.