Billy Goat Smoker Won the Trophy
The award, however, reflects the changing way Americans view trucks. While pickups were common family vehicles before the recent recession, truck makers are increasingly focusing their efforts on industrial and commercial markets. The AP reports, “Motor Trend said it has refocused the prize this year to reward trucks with greater utility, as leisure truck buyers have largely deserted the market. The magazine said the new focus is reflected in the choice of finalists.”
The 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty beat out the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, a high-performance off-road truck built in limited quantities, as well as two vehicles aimed primarily at commercial buyers — the Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter work truck and the Ford Transit Connect cargo van.
Motor Trend explains, “Despite the effects of the Great Recession on personal-use truck sales, there is still demand for pickups ready to do hard work. The heavy-duty truck market has gotten smaller, but the guys who buy those pickups are fiercely loyal to the segment-they need the extreme capability these hard-working haulers provide.”
With that in mind, they praise the Ram for its 17,500-pound towing capacity, a passenger cabin they called “the best in its class,” and how easy the big Ram is to drive even when towing. “What is so impressive about the heavy-duty Ram is not only how easily it does all the tasks it’s built for, but also how easy it is on the driver,” MT writes.
Still, Autoblog notes, the Ram may have won the award, in part, because the field — limited to trucks significantly redesigned for the 2010 model year — was so small. “It arrives to market a full year ahead of substantially new versions of Ford and General Motors’ heavy-duty trucks,” they note. “As such, it will be the reigning HD truck in nearly every category that matters to heavy-duty pickup buyers, at least for a model year or two.”