Ford Raptor Takes Home 2019 Gold Hitch Off-Road Award

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Despite facing a large group of all-new competition, Ford’s Raptor is still the best off-road truck on the market.

In what might be the biggest “duh” moment of 2019 (though it’s still early), The Fast Lane Truck has awarded the Ford Raptor with its Gold Hitch award for Best Off-Road Truck. We know, it was a shock to us, too. But rest assured, TFLT doesn’t just pick a winner based on what they think it can do on paper. The Raptor, along with its fellow contenders, was subjected to a series of grueling tests to determine which would come out on top.

TFLT first rounded up most every “off-road” package equipped pickup on the market today. That group included the Silverado Trail Boss, Sierra AT4, Ram Rebel, Tundra TRD Pro, and Titan PRO-4X. It’s certainly becoming a crowded field, and one that only figures to grow moving forward. TFLT then subjected each truck to its “Cliffhanger 2.0 Rocky Mountain trail” for testing.

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

This particular trail is quite steep at 20 degrees. It also offers up plenty of loose rocks, a split, and an obstacle they call Razor’s Bend. It’s a tough but inherently doable course. “This mountain trail is not impossible,” explained Roman Mica, TFLT host and producer. “The challenge is for participating automakers to build a vehicle that can be effective and easy to navigate up a difficult off-road obstacle.”

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

In the end, the Raptor proved the superior choice to what is a mostly brand-new field, otherwise. “The 2019 Ford Raptor takes it to the next level with the addition of the latest Trail Control crawl control system and active FOX shocks suspension,” said TFLT’s Andre Smirnov. “The system is smooth and quiet in its operation. The Active Live Valve FOX shocks respond to changing terrain in real time. And the shock stiffness can be adjusted via the drive mode selector.”

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

Despite facing a field of all-new or significantly updated trucks, the Raptor once again held its ground at the top of the proverbial mountain. Not that we’re the least bit surprised by that!

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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