Category: Truck News

Who competed in this year’s Challenge? See all the scores!

The 12th annual Canadian Truck King Challenge took place in the cold and rain of early October. Frankly, that’s the norm for our event. And while it makes for nasty driving I always remind our judges that we are simply testing in the same conditions that Canadian truck owners encounter every day.  Dealing with our climate is just one reason that we pride ourselves on doing “real-world testing”.  The other truth is that our judges are life-long truck owners who come from all parts of the country where their regional experiences add to the depth of their opinions on the new iron we have a chance to test.
This year five AJAC judges drove the new 1500-series pickup trucks around our Head River loop empty and then all over again with 1,000 lb of payload loaded in the beds. Finally, each truck towed a flatbed trailer, complete with concrete weights giving each a total tare weight of 7,000 lb.
This ritual of back-to-back driving over the same 20-km test loop is what makes the Truck King Challenge unique. This routine gives each judge a chance to “feel” the differences in each truck as they drive over the same course – again and again.  Over two very long days we managed to drive over 2,000 km on this course.
The trucks we had a chance to test this year were substantially new – with the exception of the Toyota and Nissan.  However the 2019 Chevy Silverado and the 2019 GMC Sierra both brought generational updates to our event, as did the 2019 Ram 1500.  The Ford F-150 was unique in that it was the only diesel powered truck to compete – and the fact that this was the first time we had a chance to test this newest member of the Power Stroke family – the 3.0L V6 turbo-diesel.   
Below are the trucks that attended our IronWood test facility in the Kawartha Lakes this year.
2019 Toyota Tundra
Body: CrewMax
Trim: SR5 TRD PRO 4×4
Engine: 5.7L i-Force V8 gas
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
 
2018 Ford F:150
Body: Supercrew
Trim: Lariat FX4 4×4
Engine: 3.0L Power Stroke V6 diesel
Transmission: electronic 10-speed automatic
 
2019 RAM 1500
Body: Crew Cab
Trim: Limited 4×4
Engine: 5.7L Hemi V8 w/FuelSaver MDS
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
 
2019 GMC Sierra 1500
Body: Crewcab
Trim: Denali Ultimate PKG 4×4
Engine: 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 gas w/Dynamic Fuel Management
Transmission: electronic 10-speed automatic
 
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Body: Crewcab
Trim: LTZ 4×4
Engine: 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 gas w/Dynamic Fuel Management
Transmission: electronic 10-speed automatic
 
2018 Nissan Titan 1500
Body: Crew
Trim: PRO-4X 4×4
Engine: 5.6L V8 gas
Transmission: seven-speed automatic
So, what are the judges looking for while driving these loops over and over again?   As you’ll see below it’s an extensive list that takes all the build, tech, handling and comfort aspects of each truck into consideration.
Each judge awards a score using a “ten-scale” for each category. These are then averaged over the completed score sheets – one from each judge on each truck.  It’s these averaged scores that are then converted to a percentage so we can assign an “out of one hundred score”.  See the example below.   Also note that these scores are subjective. Each judge is familiar with the trucks they are driving in addition to having gone through the technical data and background that each manufacturer provides as part of its entry package. Still, what results is opinion. That’s why each of our judges is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). They make a living writing about trucks, most of them for decades. In fact this year our five judges, combined, can boost of over 110 years of experience in the field of automotive evaluation – and trucks in particular.
Here is the form our judges complete for each entry.
FOR EXAMPLE ONLY:  Score from 0 to 10

Subjective:

Styling/ Appearance
Exterior                              7.5

Interior                               5

Quality                                7

Occupant Environment
Driver Position/Ergo       6

Visibility                              7

Room/Comfort/Access    5

Con/Entment Features    4.5

Noise/Vibration/Harshness
                                              5.5

Performance
Throttle Response            7.5

Engine                                8

Transmission                    6

Vehicle Dynamics
Ride                                     7.5

Steering                              7.5

Handling                            4

Braking Feel                      5

Personal Subjective Value                                                               6

Main test Values:

Payload –                           5

Towing –                            5.5

Empty                                6

Off-Road                           8.5

 
Here are the final adjusted scores as compiled by the Judges out of 100.
 

2019 GMC Sierra 1500                   Score – 80.0
2019 RAM 1500                                 Score – 78.8
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500   Score – 77.3
2018 Ford F:150                                Score – 73.3
2018 Nissan Titan 1500                  Score – 71.3
2019 Toyota Tundra                        Score – 71.0

Land Rover May be 70, But it’s Still Kicking Dirt!

In its quietest moments, Land Rover will admit taking its design inspiration from the Jeeps found on World War II battlefields (and all over Britain). However, 70 years on they’ve forged this 4×4 brand into an icon known the world over.  This is a truck, even if by another name, and one that deserves a moment of praise and a quick look back and forward, as these models are anything but old.
Since 1948 Land Rover has built over 7 million trucks. Starting with a single model after the war aimed at British farmers (early promo ads suggested that the LR could also be used for plowing). Today the line has expanded to a stable of capable SUVs – including luxury models like the Range Rover now sold in over 100 countries.
Watch the video below from Land Rover, celebrating its 70th birthday.

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