Global Pickup Shootout: Off-Road Performance

 Global Pickup Shootout: Off-Road Performance

All the competitors easily passed the off-road tests. They all came equipped with a low-range transfer case and an adequate amount of torque for climbing.

Even with the standard tires, these utes managed to perform extremely well in wet and muddy conditions, and we didn’t get close to the limit of their abilities.

The only problem we encountered in our relatively modest off-road driving dealt with the brakes on the Toyota Hilux. Presumably an older system, the antilock brakes tended to grab and ungrab when braking down steeper sections. This used to happen with most systems long ago, but not in the current crop of utes.

Engaging four-wheel drive and low range in the Hilux was a bit more difficult than in the others. You must use a manual secondary gear lever (which we know some prefer) to connect the front wheels and engage the low-range gearing. In the other models, this is all easily done with a dial on the center console. This made switching to low range or four-wheel-drive lock pretty easy. But we appreciate not having to get out and lock the front hubs anymore, as was the case with the old-school Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series pickups.

Global Pickup Shootout: Off-Road Performance

We should note the Volkswagen Amarok can be tricky to operate in slow-go and challenging terrain, given the engine calibration and clutch take-up. Essentially, the truck is easy to stall — not a good characteristic when navigating a rugged, uphill climb. In our vehicle, as equipped, it seemed like we had to carry more speed wherever we went — and the worry that goes along with that. It would have been great to have the automatic with, possibly, a lower axle or low-range gear.

Each ute managed the several water crossings we encountered without a problem, and the Ford Ranger’s higher wading depth of 31.5 inches was reassuring. That said, if we were going to do more backcountry exploring with any of these rigs, especially during the rainy season, we’d make sure to have a snorkel with us, like the one on our Colorado.

SEGMENT RANKING:

First: Colorado

Second: Ranger

Third: Hilux

Fourth: Amarok


2012 Global Pickup Shootout

Overview | The Players | On-Road Performance | Off-Road Performance | Design, Inside & Out |
Overall Value  | Results

Comments

I really wish Toyota would recognize for the Tacoma, that people who buy manual transmission trucks, prefer manual transfercases almost unilaterally.
The lack of idle torque in the VW has been reported from the get-go, but the 8speed auto should take care of that. With its huge ratio spread, low range isn't even necessary for most potential Amarok customers. As much as I like my Toyotas, and wouldn't own a VW in America, the small diesel/8spd auto/full-time 4wd might be my choice, if it were available here.

I like the snorkel. Wish they were easier to get/install on more trucks.

@ phillyguy . Those are everywhere here.

If the Toyota Hilux is better then the taco, and the Colorado beat it off road, then we know who the new off road kind will be in the states soon. LOL poor oxy will have to buy a chevy instead of a toyota incase the zombie apocalypse happens LOL!!

@johnny doe - if Oxi bought a Colorado, that would truly be a sign that the end is near. LOL

Note that the data spreadsheet linked on the "Players" page states the Colorado's wading depth is increased to 65" due to having the snorkel fitted, I recommend you try this with somebody else's truck - anyone care to bet that all electrics and cabin vents below that height are sealed?



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