by Adam Pockross
You ever wonder what goes into these Truck of the Year awards? I always figured it was more payola than payload, then I watched the video below from the good folks at Motor Trend. And you know what? They test the holy bulgogi out of these trucks! Obviously they know what they’re talking about, because they just awarded the prestigious 2012 Truck of the Year Award to the truck with best-in-class fuel efficiency and capability: the Ford F150.
The Motor Trend team has been in business for over 60 years, and has been handing out the Car of the Year Award since their inception. Apparently, you learn a thing or two after that amount of time, as they have over a million subscribers to their monthly magazine. Heck, these are the people that invented the Car of the Year award. Before 1949, cars just aimlessly roamed the roads without having anything to shoot for. Motor Trend changed all that. So this award is a big deal.
Four model-year 2012 trucks qualified for this year’s award, which is only given to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles. This year’s field, according to Motor Trend, "is punctuated more by pointed improvements than dramatic change."
Trucks are judged on the merits of the purposes for which they’re built, not necessarily pitted against each other head to head. The qualifiers for this year’s award were the Ford F-150, the Nissan NV, the Ram Laramie Longhorn and the Toyota Tacoma. Over the course of a grueling week, the trucks are then judged according to their design, engineering, performance, efficiency, safety and value.
“F-150s are built to work and felt better the more they were challenged. Ford offers an enormous variety of configurations and designs, making the truck tailorable to just about any need. It’s the combination of advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and the performance of intended function that has earned the Ford F-150 the title of Motor Trend’s 2012 Truck of the Year,” explained Motor Trend.
Motor Trend’s editors tested both the V6 Ecoboost and the 5.0L V8, but it was the Ecoboost that blew them away. According to Motor Trend’s video below, the Ecoboost is "a true industry game changer." Because who would’ve thunk it, that a gasoline sipping, direct-injection, twin turbo V6 engine would ever find its way into a half-ton pickup truck? And furthermore, who would’ve believed that it would out perform all the bigger engines?
In fact, some of the editors went so far as to wonder why Ford even offers the V8 option. Not that it’s a bad engine, but the EcoBoost outperformed it hands down.
The F-150 has been Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year on three previous occasions: 1997, 2004 and 2009. This fourth award makes the F150 the only truck to have won the award more than three times, a testament not just to this year’s F150, but to the the entire history of the world’s best selling truck.
Watch the video below to get a true sense of all the rigorous testing. Then let us know in the Forums: should Ford continue to produce their V8 if the EcoBoost V6 is such a game changer?
Or head over to our photo albums and check out the entire gallery of beautiful, glossy 2012 F150 photos!