• Best Off-Road Truck? Ford Raptor, Ram Power Wagon, or Tacoma TRD Pro? [Poll]

    ford raptor 2017 ram power wagon toyota tacoma trd pro

    What’s the most off-road worthy pickup truck in America? Roman Mica, Nathan Adlen, and Andre Smirnov make the case for and against the 2017 Ford Raptor, 2017 Ram Power Wagon, and the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

    Naturally, each one of these trucks represents its own class and its own point of view. The Tacoma TRD Pro may be the most off-road worthy midsize truck at this time. The upcoming Ford Raptor may be the most off-road worthy factory-built half-ton truck. The Power Wagon is still the most off-road worthy heavy duty truck. Each truck has its strengths and some weaknesses.

    Please tell us which truck you would choose and buy as the off-road truck?

    Here are the boys having a good-old argument.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    95 thoughts on “Best Off-Road Truck? Ford Raptor, Ram Power Wagon, or Tacoma TRD Pro? [Poll]

        1. Heh heh. I would do that if I thought of it. It is probably just die hard Chevy fans voting for it because it is there favorite truck that hasn’t even been driven yet because it is a prototype.

      1. Troverman ,That’s funny,relax bud there people opinions,my pick ain’t on the list.H2 hummer or the h3 hummer like the one that saved the heavy ford raptor in the Dubai desert..lol

    1. I guess this depends on your idea of off-road. If by off-road we mean desert running then by all means vote for the Raptor. If we mean virtually everything outside the dunes then the Power Wagon takes this. Oh, with those tires on the Tacoma it wins the Home Depot version of off-roading. Just kidding, I like it but the tires kill its chances. The ZR2 will be interesting to see but apart from a GM engineer I am not sure anyone knows what it is capable of.

      1. Considering the tacoma trd pro made it up cliffhanger 2.0 just as easily as the old f150 raptor with the more street oriented tires and without being aired down like the f150 is pretty impressive to me.

        I agree with joe, the trd pro is the only truck you guys have driven…the power wagon is pretty much the same other than cosmetic changes.

        Size wise the tacoma wins hands down. Obviously on the inside it isn’t going to be as roomy as the 2 other trucks as you are comparing midsize to fullsize.

        F150 is going to be the most expensive to maintain over time…reliability is definitely a question there.

        The power wagon is a beast of a truck and is way more than I would need. Seems price wise you are getting the most truck for your money too.

        For me it goes:
        1. Tacoma trd pro
        2. Ram powerwagon
        3. F150 raptor

        Going to be interesting when the chevy zr2 comes out.

            1. The Ridgeline is better off road because it has external speakers in the bed, two ways to open the tailgate and storage under the bed.

        1. What are you talking about ? Tacoma Pro barely made it up the cliffhanger 2.0, and that was going over rocks that were lower than clearance in dry conditions. That puts Tacoma somewhere in Cr-V and Jeep Renegade category.

    2. What an awesome question, thanks TFL. What a great way to get a true perspective by voting. I know each truck has its advantages but if I was or had to pick one truck to trust in the bush for off road its the Tacoma Pro You can still get that one wheel to lock in the front if you need it to in crawl control Not as good as the Power Wagon with a 4 wheel lock and the winch. Size and lightweight here is the ultimate advantage and is the same reason a Jeep Wrangler/Rubicon would beat all of these trucks so that is why I went with the Tacoma as the ultimate Off Road Pick up Truck as all other parameters for clearance are there or very close to the other trucks. I think the size and weight of the other trucks would ultimately destroy themselves sooner than the Tacoma and the Tacoma comes in cheaper. I can’t pick the ZR2 because I don’t know enough about it and would question the durability and reliability.

    3. What an awesome question. What a great way to get a true perspective by voting. I know each truck has its advantages but if I was or had to pick one truck to trust in the bush for off road its the Tacoma Pro You can still get that one wheel to lock in the front if you need it to in crawl control Not as good as the Power Wagon with a 4 wheel lock and the winch. Size and lightweight here is the ultimate advantage and is the same reason a Jeep Wrangler/Rubicon would beat all of these trucks so that is why I went with the Tacoma as the ultimate Off Road Pick up Truck as all other parameters for clearance are there or very close to the other trucks. I think the size and weight of the other trucks would ultimately destroy themselves sooner than the Tacoma and the Tacoma comes in cheaper. I can’t pick the ZR2 because I don’t know enough about it and would question the durability and reliability.

    4. Yup, all about application. I chose Raptor because it’s best suited to a variety of terrains including highway. It has decent towing and some payload capability plus fits 4 adults comfortably. Powerwagon is too cumbersome and heavy for some terrains and Tacoma is just too small for certain applications.

    5. What the? You guys are So So Funny! How are you guys voting on 2017 Trucks that aren’t at the Dealers Yet? Mork Calling Orson! Mork Calling Orson! I think you are running this vote a little early guys. Or Have you guys actually driven a 2017 production models yet? Well, Out of respect for the —“Man Need Big Gears to Go Off Road” — crew. The 2017 Toyota Tacoma Trd Pro should be the winner, because it is the only truck on the lots for sale right now and “Sitting In Your TFL Truck Garage.” Not to mention that the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TP Off Road took 350-500 lbs of Man Gears Lockers and turned it into a 1 lbs computer’s Hard Drive with all of the Physics, Calculus, and Man Gear Lockers (Equations) that 2000 lines of Crawl Control code could cover. So the 2017 Toyota Tacoma should win a Technical Award, First to Production and First at the Dealers Award for 2017. Lastly, It should also win the easy to find a parking lot space award! Even after the other 2017 trucks make it out to your local dealers.

      1. Joe C, hopefully you are being sarcastic. Crawl Control is a largely useless gimmick that helps the marketing department. Electronics don’t overcome physics.

        1. Troverman, my friend you’re skipping the actual process. In that, your statement “Electronics don’t overcome physics” is not how a computer automated and controlled “Crawl Control” system works. This is going to be complicated if you are a computer end user? But “Computerized and Controlled Mechanical Automation SYSTEMS (Plural) simplify the electrical systems and the mechanical systems. The most common example of this is an Hourglass (sand clock) that technology turned into geared time clock and finally into a digital watch. And most people don’t try to reverse this process and go back to an Hourglass. Even though, this is a version of what the Toyota Tacoma’s Traction Control System Does.

          In the case of the Toyota’s “Crawl Control” system their “Crawl Control Computer” will have a Computer Brain and Physics Programs in it to adapt to many/many changing different 4×4 condition physics. The simple truth about the Toyota Tacoma’s TRD PRO “Crawl Control System” is that their engineers created “multiple physics computer programs” that can — COUNT SAND — as part of a Traction Control Equation Sequence of Operation; for 4 different wheels: To UnDig Their 4,445 Lbs Trucks.

          So the Toyota Tacoma’s TRD OFF ROAD Traction Control Crawl Mode is not a marketing gimmick. It is a very well established computer automation engineering science with applied electronics, mechanical and physics in it. AND IT WORKS! So See the posted video again for proof.

            1. 2 Troverman and the Man Need Big Gear Lockers to go off roading crew. No disrespect intended, but the Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO Off Road looks like it has a Sophisticated Traction Control Computer Program to either – Count Sand – or – simulate a front axle locker situation. However, if the Traction Control Program calls for — Counting Sand, it can’t change to the Locker Sim Program on its own. I think the simple solution to everyone’s front locker povlof’s d problem on the Tacoma? Would be an E-Sim-Front Locker button? That way – you guys – can tell the computer to stop counting sand when you need the front locker on? Or the trick needs to be easier to find? Or the instructions need to be better? Or Toyota needs to add the 100-200 lines of front locker programing code to the Traction Control Computer.

              If you take Nathan’s Crawl Control Demo video and the TFL 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road @ the Cliffhanger 2.0 video. I think you can see the two programs that are not overlaping each other. https://youtu.be/-ixTLogLWH4

        2. Yup Toyota crawl control is complete garbage. I have Toyota with F/R lockers and one with their Traction Control garbage. Need F/R locked truck to pull the Electronic dumb a…. gizmo ridden Toyota back home because that crawl control gets confused by an inch of snow.

    6. I am not necessarily a fan, but what about the Nissan Titan or Frontier Pro-4X?? In addition to these three mentioned.

      1. The Frontier has a bit of an advantage in that it’s 4 inches shorter. But it doesn’t have near the clearance of the Pro and missing any advantage to lock up one of the front wheels

    7. Raptor is the most versatile truck. It can rock crawl or cruise across the desert at 100+ mph. Power Wagon is no doubt a beast especially with the solid front axel. The Tacoma is bush league… In my opinion the Tocoma is overrated, that’s including the non-off-road oriented trucks.

      1. Power Wagon is best in every way except for its massive size and weight. This can be a big disadvantage. It can be the difference between getting to where you want to go or not.

    8. Chevy guys keep crying ..the Z71’s are a joke. All you need to do to is remove the front air dams, spend money on a lift kit then you’re good…WHAT??? Z71 the most on-road off-road package people buy because of marketing.Buy a Jeep

      1. Nate,,z71 is pretty basic off road package.It sounds like your a jeep fan ,but on a serious note most people prefer a jeep with a gm tbi 350 instead of a gutless Chrysler engine when they get serious with offroading..Be real man stock jeeps are nothing to brag about with there powertrains..

        1. Gutless Chrysler engine?? You must be thinking of GM, (government motors). A typical response from a die hard Chevy fan. Sorry, but GM doesn’t have any good off road vehicles, maybe ones like the Z71 decal slapped on the truck with nothing else added to it other than a little lift package. RAM has the Rebel, Power Wagon, and the soon to be TRX. Plus the Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokee. Jeep offers plenty of powerful and reliable engines, including a diesel as well. GM still can’t even come close to the competition, and GM doesn’t offer a single engine out there anyone would want in their Jeep, cuz GM is junk.

          1. Andrew,do you need a Kleenex,truth hurts dont it..Rebel is nice so is power wagon ,jeep comes with gutless Chrysler engine fact.Deal with it ,Gm has very reliable vehicles ever heard of corvette ,Camaro,Cadillac,Denali ,Silverado nothing junk about that.relax dont cry..last time I heard Chrysler was bailed out as well,alot of companies have gotten help from the federal gov ,taxpayer money hello ..research it ,its not hard..lol

    9. I agree with Nathen that the Power Wagon is the best. Some trucks you forgot include the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, the RAM Rebel, the Nissan Titan Pro4x, and the Nissan Frontier Pro4x.

      1. Only one that should be here out of those is the Rebel. The others have been tested and not very off-road capable compared to these 3. Same reason FX4, Z71, Pro4X, and Tundra are not on here,….

          1. No, that is an out dated 10 year dinosaur. Bulky, heavy, no crawl control like Tacoma, gets stuck easy because of it. Maybe when they update it? Till then, no, not same league at all,….

    10. I vote for the ZR2 by missing the board!The Power wagon is the ONLY OFF-ROAD WORTHY TRUCK HERE.nathan is the only one know about off-roadinf.Raptor ni winch????Try to tow a stock truck with a tacoma with is gizmo brake blabla to sent power to another wheels, no confort at all in a toyota very noisy on the road.The tacoma is $10,000.00 to munch $$$put some off-road tire and the engine his “screaming” and drink gas as much as a V8 who do not work at all POWER WAGON all the way.Here in Canada a RAPTOR WITH THE TAX can get over $100,000.00 no winch. So buy a special bumper and set a winch $4,000.00 more. Nathan take the tacoma and try to tow the TFL Raptor in neutral on your test mountain and you will know what I am taking about.When off-road you get stuck this is a fak.

    11. The problem is that 95% of the people that buy these will never even attempt going off road! Most of the purchases of these trucks are for statement or to say “hey, look at me”! It’s that same as most on here going on and on about the fords air dam issue…this only serves a problem for less than 1% of trucks sold which no one cares about satisfying less than 1%!

      1. That’s because before the Raptor no stock 1/2 ton was capable of going off road. Therefore the social stigma is in your mind and in others; is that off roading is a non topic for stock 1/2 tons and the Raptor is an overpriced toy. By social stigma you will always believe what you’ve been told and kill in some cases to defend your non factual beliefs. Lol. But If your reality was true then why buy a Corvette, Mustang or Challenger when in reality most owners never use the power. By the way. Where do your statistics come from. 95% to 1%. I’m trying to do the math. Help me out. Lmfao

        1. Plus they built an 800HP challenger for less than 1% of the vehicle market share so I’m sure they can correct a bumper design on an off road optional truck.

          By the way TFL I love the bickering. Nathan your Power Wagon is winning at the 1000 vote count. Find it odd that it jumped by 400 votes in the course of two hours though. Maybe you called the Ram factory. Lol. I was at work watching the Pro with a comfortable 45% lead at 150 something votes and came home to see the PW went from like 100 to 586 votes and the Pro and Raptor barely budged. Did a band of PW fans all of a sudden open up an email factory just to vote. Wow. And Nathan keep listening to Black Sabbath. Your going to need lots of long hair to extend that winch cable on that Power Wagon to the Tacoma bumper when it sinks in the mud.

          1. This poll is obviously completely invalidated now. Yesterday, the votes were all fairly close with the Raptor having a slight lead. Now the PowerWagon has received more votes than is logical, and even the Taco has gained more than it should. TFL, better security on polls is a must.


    13. I would say all around/best balance is the Raptor. Medium size and most powerful. Kinda like my 50″rzr where it is capable both trail and desert riding.

      Power wagon has best equiment from factory, but its size and weight drag it down.

      Trd pro is the smallest and most manuverable, best for trail riding, but TRD is missing the e and should have Terd on its side instead. I was sold on a 16 taco, but then test drove it and couldn’t believe how gutless it felt, ended up getting a great deal on 3.5 ecoboost instead.

    14. if you want the most off road usable truck I vote for the Taco. On roads where it will fit, the P/W has to be king, but it won’t fit on all the road/trails we have driven on. If all you want is the best ability to go anywhere over open land, the mid-series Humvees with the on-board tire pressure system would trounce all of these and leave you a wrangler for change.

    15. All good trucks in their own right. If by off-road you mean the desert, the Raptor would stand out. If crawling on a tight trail, the Taco may be the way to go. If the larger size doesn’t matter, the Ram would be king with its locking front and clearance. The eco-boost should perform very well at higher elevations. Look forward to seeing a real world comparison!

    16. I’m surprised how little people understand about 4-wheeling. The Raptor has the biggest advantage of all of these, and its indisputable: factory 35″ tires, and BFG KO2 at that. It is a super size and the best tread pattern for off-roading then all of these.

      The Raptor has the best minimum ground clearance. RAM throws up a big number on their website…but it is hardly minimum. I think it is 14″. The PowerWagon only has 33″ tires on it. So it becomes the number under the front and rear differential, which hangs well below the axle centerline. I’d bet realistically it is more like 10″. Ground clearance is the single greatest advantage to off-road driving.

      Nobody talks much about it, but the Raptor also easily has the most advanced 4WD hardware. The PowerWagon and Tacoma are simple: part time 4×4, two-speed Hi/Lo transfer case. The PW has front and rear lockers, and front sway disconnect. The Taco has a rear locker.

      The Raptor has part time 4×4 with hi/low transfer case, as well as clutched AWD…meaning you can drive it on the street as an AWD vehicle. It has a selectable rear locker, but it also has a Torsen front differential. The Torsen is better than a locker…it can essentially lock fully, it can ‘predict’ when it needs to lock, so there is no spinning (Torsen = Torque-Sensing), it is 100% mechanical with nothing to fail, and even in transitional terrain off-road does not affect steering like a front locker could. Compared to the Power Wagon, the Raptor rides so much more comfortably, has more power and better low-down torque, gets better fuel economy, and has useful off-road features like front and side cameras which can aid in tire placement and when cresting a sharp ridge. I will agree the Taco Pro is a better trail size and lighter weight, but it has smaller, less aggressive tires…nothing to control slippage of the front wheels other than electronic traction control, and less heavy duty hardware. The ZR2 remains to be seen.

      1. I have to agree Troverman except the PW has the sway disconnect though. Everything else you said about the Raptor is an advantage over the PW. I also agree that there is something wrong with the voting. It sat for hours and hours running neck and neck with the voting and then within less than two hours the Ram got over 400 votes all at once.

        However, the bigger advantage to off road with clearance almost equal is size and weight. The only big fault for the Pro in this vote is its tires. But jeeses, the Raptor is 5800-Lbs the PW is 6800-Lbs. That’s like saying lets throw 2400-lbs into the Tacoma and go 4×4-ing. Its just going to sink. When was the last time you went off road with a skid off paving stones. LOL Even the Raptor with the bigger tires has an extra 500-Lbs on each front tire and we did this before and its snowshoe effect is still heavier than the Tacoma. The Raptor is so heavy that a standard FX4 4 door with the 375 HP eco boost motor and 10 speed has a better power to weight ratio than the Raptor. Size and weight is not your friend when off road. It is why the Rubicon would beat all these trucks regardless of power, winches or disconnects and I bet the Tacoma can out pace the Raptor in the open sand dunes. Raptor will get the jump but destroy itself at speed and the Tacoma will walk past it with its lighter weight. And the PW would likely just sink in the sand and bury itself.

        1. You make a good point about the AWD mode on the Raptor and Torsen diff. Nobody else mentioned it and I had forgotten about the AWD mode myself.

        2. Wow, Thomas, thanks for (mostly) agreeing with me.

          Weight can be an advantage or a disadvantage. Trail driving, weight will not be an issue. Instead, articulation, ground clearance, traction aids such as a locker, and physical size / approach / departure / breakover will be the biggest issues. With those giant, aggressive tires I have little doubt a heavy Raptor with plenty of horsepower can easily blast its way through most mud pits. But on tight trails, it would probably see a lot of trail damage. The Power Wagon is even bigger and has smaller tires. I think it would fare poorly. I’d love to have the opportunity to try these trucks myself…but not going to happen. You can get the Raptor as a SuperCab, which loses some weight and also makes trail dimensions a little better, improves breakover angle…but you cannot get around the Width.

          1. I agree with the AWD. The Raptors AWD sounds like it will be better than the shit AWD systems out there. Like you said the steering will be improved where the 4 wheel lock will just bind the vehicle and cause problems in a turn and the AWD is a huge advantage on the road at any speed where the PW would blow up. The PW is basically a bush hog that cant fit everywhere. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy one for 2017 as I need more pulling and payload but for this vote the PW to me should not be better than a Raptor, you listed some more advantages there that I didn’t even think about and it is 600-Lbs lighter with a bigger tire for snowshoe affect. But it is wider, but in some cases that keeps you out of the ruts.

        3. Perhaps then the solution is to buy a Raptor and fit it with a bull bar so you have somewhere to mount a winch on the new one? Although that is adding to extra cost to what is not exactly a cheap truck but then the TRD is over $45 000 which is a lot for a mid size truck.

          1. You can’t make solutions for the manufacturer in this vote. The manufacturer gives you the truck and you give them a loaf of money. That’s it. Which truck is better. At least that is the impression I got from TFL. No mods and you can’t touch it unless your holding the steering wheel. Otherwise I would modify a 3.5 single cab FX4 with the best power to weight ratio of any truck for 2017 or supercharge the 6.2 and raise it off the ground. I could go on and on.

            1. Having the turbochargers intercooler located in the space where a winch would need to mount is a sin on Ford’s part. Even an aftermarket bumper will probably block proper airflow to the intercooler and create issues. In reality, what was Ford doing locating the cooler that low? Driving through mud will eventually and undoubtedly plug the fins. Sure, you could clean it out every time, but who is going to do that? Ford should have relocated the intercooler to a position above the engine and fed by functional hood louvres, a la Humvee style. That would have probably created additional heat challenges and more redesign…so in the end, Ford took the lazy approach of not re-engineering the F-150 and leaving the cooler in the default spot. In reality, even F-150’s are used off-road from time to time, and may suffer from the mud problem. The aftermarket will probably eventually have a solution…but come on, Ford. How about a compact water-cooled CAC as used on the Powerstroke 6.7L? Problem solved.

            2. Troverman, what Ford should do about the winch problem is just put a class 4 hitch receiver inside the front bumper and cover it with a plastic cap which won’t affect the drag coefficient. Actually all off road trucks should have that option. Then all you need is an optional winch from the manufacturer This winch can be portable with a designated spot below the rear seat with the tire jack. This way it stays clean and free of corrosion and you can attach it to the front of the vehicle or to the rear hitch receiver for more versatility. But that would be too good to be true.

            3. The other problem with the winch on the vehicle is that it’s sometimes buried in mud or under water where your stuck and you can’t access it. With the portable winch option you can give it to another passing truck and just hook onto a tow hook as an option.

            4. The extra class 4 receiver in the front would be great for parking trailers as well say on farm lots or for those who just can’t back a trailer up. Pushing the trailer with the front of the truck is a lot easier if you just want to get it parked in a tight spot. That’s one of the great advantages the 4 wheel steer Sierra had. But I digress

              But before I hear someone say you should know how to back a trailer up I always tell people to try to write their name with there left or opposite hand first. It takes a lot of practice to get it right for the majority. Actually try this instead. While sitting lift your right foot of the floor a few inches and rotate it in a clockwise direction, while your doing this take your right index finger and draw the number 6 in the air. Your foot will rotate in the opposite direction and there is nothing you can do about it. Training the mind to back a trailer when we already have brain flaws is not easy for some so it’s good for the manufacturer to provide the option. They also have receivers for snow plow attachments so it would be good to see one installed as an OEM part with a designated area to hold a winch near the tire jack.

      2. I don’t usually spout on this forum but you are incorrect about torsen diff. I had a torsen diff in my vette and it isn’t a true locker. Its actually a LSD similar to a Detroit truetrac. It will never compete with a true locker.Have you watched the videos of a raptor trying to rock crawl? Lol

        1. Nobody has tested the new Raptor off road but FORD. However with the super intel wizardry you can be rest assured the truck will do what any other decent all wheel drive does and apply braking to the tires that slip and viola all tires spin. These thing will work amazing guaranteed. They have many computerized settings for many situations.

    17. Power Wagon hands down. As Nathan says. Solid Front axle. locking diffs, winch, manual t-case, big tires, ground clearance. Check list of true “offroad” vehicle

      1. I understand solid front axle but that is not always an advantage as it gets in the way for clearance in some situations. I don’t understand why a locking diff is an advantage over the Raptors locking differential. How is binding the vehicle an advantage when that can actually steer you off course in slippery mud and bind the truck on rock crawling damaging the gears.

        Winch- big agreement

        Manual t case? So what. I’m serious. I’m not that good at this. I just know what I know.

        Big tires. That’s just wrong. The Raptor has bigger tires and they have bead lock

        Ground clearance approach angles in reality the Raptor will beat the Power Wagon. And if the Power Wagon bottoms out then good bye bumper. At least the Raptor and Tacoma have protection up front. But the Tacoma front bumper design got worse. Sticks out too much over the 2015 design.

        1. I can surmise that it wouldn’t be as utilitarian and wouldn’t sell as well as the HD Powerwagon. The Powerwagon will actually do work while a 1500 based wagon would essentially be a raptor-like truck with limited use. They would also need to find a way to put the 6.4l in a 1/2 ton or the 5.7 with 4.56 gears so it would likely get 11mpg as opposed to the 13.5 I’m seeing in town. I just don’t think it would sell like the HD does and that’s not saying much because they don’t sell many of those either.

      1. Well there is obviously an old stigma out there that manual transfer cases and 4 wheel lock is the opium for 4 wheelers but the modern AWD systems work to give you the same traction with a myriad of advantages and Subaru an Audi have proved the systems to be bullet proof. So again what is the advantage to 4 wheel lock and a manual transfer case. All I hear is crickets when you actually have to think about it. Its just an old stigma for Nathan to say I have true four wheel lock and then silence. Doesn’t matter as there is no advantage that I can see. Help me out here when you stop laughing, or is that just deflection because you cant answer it.

        1. Obviously Thomas you are very well versed on many topics except 4wd Awd.

          I recently read another one of your replays about how great Subarus Awd system is in comparison to the Toyota Tacomas Manuel system.

          You have no clue if you think the Subaru system will out perform an old school Manuel system with a locked center diff, locked front axle and locked rear axle in an extreme Offroad environment.

          Yes, the Awd system work great for light duty traction needs or snow or high speed rally type cornering where you don’t want or need the full lock or bind. It will never transfer all torque to just the one wheel that might have the only traction at the time as in hard core slow speed crawling.

          Only two vehicles come stock this way in the U.S. Power Wagon and Jeep Wrangler.

          Toyota Trd & Raptor are your next closest. TRD uses an scanned traction-traction control that helps overcome a little bit for the open front diff, but new Raptor will be better as it will have a front Torsen diff. Still not completely locking but better than TRD when you combine it with Fords traction control that works on the front axle as well in 4WD and it also has a rear locker.

          The Raptor will be the closest to the Power Wagon & Wrangler in any tuff, loose, rocky hill climb!

          Yes, I do think it’s too wide to be a versatile Offroad machine. However it is the only vehicle that will survive a beating in a high speed Offroad environment. TRD would be next because of its build quality, simplicity, size, and light weight.

          That’s why we need a midsize new Bronco that’s really just a scaled down Raptor!!!

          1. Sorry, auto spell on new iPhone is a pain.

            I was trying to say a complex traction control system for the TRD not scanned wtf?

          2. Well I was on kick because I really don’t know and my banter has always been a question. If I state AWD is better that’s because it is better for on road conditions. What I am asking is whether or not the 4 wheel lock is an advantage. How do you prove what percentage of power is actually needed on that one tire that is not locked in the front. The front tires even when locked are not using 100% of the power as the traction on one tire just does not exist. You only need a small percentage to break the tire loose on loose terrain. So again the argument that you need a 4 wheel lock doesn’t matter when in reality the Raptor is going to break loose all 4 tires and the PW will break loose all 4 tires. The traction doesn’t exist; in that you need a full lock. Can this even be proven or is it just opinions. I’m not being belligerent. I just want to put the arguement out there and get some kind of fact as to why you would ever need that one extra tire to be locked when the Raptors will lock as well under torque vectoring.

            1. The torsen differential is ‘torque sensing’ meaning it will transfer torque to the wheel needing it. There is a bias ratio of 9:1 (if I recall on the raptors unit) however zero times zero is zero if there is a wheel off the ground. You can apply brake pressure to fool the diff (the traction control likely does this automatically on the raptor) but it is not a real locker and does not ‘lock’.

            2. Come race King of the Hammers with me again next year and you will soon realize what complete lockup is all about! No lockers no go!

        2. Drifter64 there are AWD systems out there that I am willing to bet on that will match 4 wheel lock. There are way to many shitty AWD systems out there IMO that have created this façade that you need a 4 wheel lock to go where no man has gone before. The advanced AWD systems have the 4 wheel Lock beat already as it has more advantages than disadvantages and again I challenge any situation where a 4 wheel lock will beat the best AWD system in any circumstance. This is like grandpa saying his hub locks are the best 4×4 period with no basis to stand on. All I keep getting is some BS from a curd chewing cow poke type attitude that 4 wheel lock is the opium for 4×4. Just prove it, if you cant then move on. Maybe TFL will shed some light when they pit the Raptor against the PW…lets see. I have searched far and wide to find proof and my searches always come up empty. Just a bunch of cowpokes in shit kickers that claim 4 wheel lock is better. Why? Seriously, does anyone have proof. I have seen vehicles on those roller ramps where the one front tire is the only wheel with traction and the good AWD systems pull the vehicle up the incline instantly. Most 4×4 have rear lockers so its just that one wheel in AWD mode in the Raptor that needs to lock under torque vectoring. I think it is an equal to 4 wheel lock. But if it suffers a little it gains heavy in other areas where the 4 wheel lock can’t keep up. So to boast about 4 wheel lock is really archaic IMO as its advantageous to have the AWD for more situations that you will encounter when off road. The 4 wheel lock is hard to steer and binds the vehicle in a turn and cant adjust on the fly to changing ground conditions, it is like owning hub locks compared to a 4×4 shifter 30 years ago. Just old technology that some will hold onto like grandpa with his hub locks. Take a video next time of how 4 wheel lock was an advantage over the best AWD truck and put it on you tube and give me a shout.

          1. Ok so here’s how it works: any Awd using no center diff lock, no rear mechanical diff lock, and no mechanical front diff lock use nothing more than the reverse action of the ABS braking system. Sophisticated systems like TRD, 2017 Raptor, Range Rover and several others like this with a crawl or mode control use complex computer strategies that manipulate the sensitivity of the applied braking pressure.

            They will never transfer 100% torque from the slipping wheel to the one with all the traction. It is brake biased and can only transfer as much force as the braking system on that wheel can generate.

            Remember braking 101 disk brakes are not very effective at holding a stopped wheel when compared to a drum brake? This why they can only hold so much force before that wheel starts to slip again and they quickly overheat.

            Add in the fact that most Awd systems don’t allow you to lock the center diff and you’ve then got even more force against the braking system to try and hold the slipping wheel or wheels.

            Now true old school, mechanical system with a true mechanical lockers are a completely different story: with the center diff locked at least one rear wheel can’t move without at least one front wheel turning at the exact same speed.
            Then add a rear locker and now you’ve got 2 rear wheels and at least 1 front wheel that will be turning at the exact same speed.
            Then add a front locker and now you’ve got true all 4 wheels turning at the exact same speed!

            Here’s an analogy: let’s say you’ve gone skiing in your old Awd Subaru from the 90’s and you’ve parked on the right side of a steep hill and the right 2 wheels are now on ice left 2 wheels are on pavement – will it drive right out?
            Nope, no traction control whatsoever back then so all torque is going to the wheels with the least amount of traction as in 2 right ones on ice.

            Now a new Subaru or any Awd with traction control will apply brakes to the slipping wheels and drive right out most likely. However, if the 2 left wheels had some type of rock or ledge in front of them then the force to move forward overcomes the force of the brakes to hold the 2 slipping right wheels. So all get is clicking noise, throttle cut and no go!

            With the mechanical system 4wd it will perform just like the old Subaru – rt wheels turn left ones stare at you. Now with just a mechanical rear locker like the TRD, Raptor, F150, Nissan Pro4x or etc, you hit the button and drive right out in 2wd because rt rear can’t move without left rear which has the traction.

            Now let’s say you parked at on a steep hill and both rear and rt front are on solid ice? Are you getting out??

            With true 4wd with a mechanical center diff lock, rear diff lock and front diff locked you will drive right out because the front left that has the good traction because it’s not on ice. The tires on ice cannot move without the front left moving at the exact same time!

            Add low range, large tires, etc to the traction control systems and the multiplied torque to the wheel is in some cases tripled and the braking system trying to stop the slipping spinning wheel is easily overcome and wheels continues to slip = no go!

            1. Drifter64, so how come I have never seen a no go situation. Why has someone not created this situation and compared it to a 4 wheel lock. I have searched far and wide and the 4 wheel lock is always pitted against the shitty AWD vehicles and not the good ones that will give that one wheel traction. Never heard of brakes overheating either but your explanation is pretty decent but still not proof. Like I said this is opinion based without substantiated literature to back it up. And what you said about the racing Subaru cars not needing 4 wheel lock was not stated correctly. The 4 wheel lock is not wanted and would not work properly as the gears would blow up and the binding would push you into the ditch on cornering, so its better suited to say the race Subaru’s are better off without 4 wheel lock because the AWD is an advantage for them and I am sure if they had brakes overheating it would be a problem but it obviously is not. These are rally cars that are driven with the pedal to the floor for days with the AWD is constant active mode and they suffer no brake overheating. I would like to see a Raptor up against a Rock or the Tacoma and see this situation where there is no go? It would be on you tube by now and I cannot find it, its just all go.

          2. Thomas I can or you can creat and prove this in your own driveway. All you need is 2 floor jacks and a short 2×4.

            Start by jacking up one rear tire in the air 2wd. No traction control no locker no go.

            Awd will move forward as it senses the slip and center diff transfers torque to the front. 4wd mechanical will move as soon as you shift to 4wd.

            Now jack up both right tires and watch what happens – just like the ice scenario wheels in air spin wheels on left stare at you. Awd’s with traction control systems will move – some way better than others. Add a 2×4 in front of the wheels on the ground and you will not move with traction control.

            Now with just one mechanical locker vehicle will move forward. If you jack up both rears and one front again nothing moves forward except the vehicle with a lockable rear and front diff!

            Note: Torsen diff will fail this wheel in the air test unless you can stomp on the brake hard enough to over come the force needed to move, but just the small little 2×4 will stop it. Just like it defeated the traction control systems!

            Yes you are correct about high speed rally driving and many other scenarios where locked doffs are not as good.

            They must be unlock able as they creat all kinds of binding, stress, and steering issues. This is why not many – only 2 u.s. Vehicles come with them. Even these vehicles have computer controls that switch them off as a certain speed is reached. The Toyotas only let their locker operate in low range.

            They also must big super strong which means big and heavy.

            1. I can see that the 4 wheel lock may give more instantaneous torque to that third wheel. But a Subaru does not lock its brakes to make that one tire grab. Look at any Subaru demonstration on a roller ramp against other AWD systems and that is inclined and any one wheel anywhere on a Subaru that has traction will climb the ramp while the other three wheels are freely spinning. This one wheel with traction has the power to carry the vehicle over a 2×4, spin in mud or climb an incline as shown on many many you tube videos and it can still turn without binding the vehicle, work at any speed and adjust to changing terrain. Now the Raptor may be better or worse than a Subaru but 4 wheel lock is archaic compared to a Subaru.

            2. Test it my friend with real world scenarios, it will play out just like I explained it. I have!

              I know exactly how the Subaru system works on the rollers and real world. It’s just that they have a better, less slip, traction control. Add a small little obstacle, 2×4 whatever in front of Subaru’s staged roller demo that creates just a tiny bit more resistance than there traction control can deal with and she’s not moving either!

              Good Traction controls are great, but you can never overcome simple physics of the power wanting to go the path of least resistance with just brakes. Only a locked diff can do this because it’s mechanically locked to the other wheel.

              Don’t overthink this just go try it!

    18. A) On Road comfort is not relevant here.
      B) Towing/Hauling is not heme of the video.
      C) Off Road (OR) performance? It depends – –
      …1) If OR is desert dunes or beaches: Raptor.
      …2) If OR is rock crawling/mud: Power Wagon.
      …3) If OR is tight clearances: TRD Pro.

      Actually, for me, the choice would be whichever one has a MANUAL TRANSMISSION! (I’m, looking at your delinquency, Ram…)


    19. Forgot to mention to Roman, Andre, and Nathan – –
      Yes, your bantering discussion in the video was fun to watch and valuable, but nothing beats data or comparative performance in the SAME difficult test situation (or multiple ones). So, PLEASE get at least these three trucks into your direct off-road performance-comparison testing. If possible, I would also like you to include the Frontier Pro-4X; and If you feel the Silverado with Z71 off-road package is close enough to merit being included, then by all means, toss that in too.
      But I feel the really key thing is to have an Off-Road Gold Standard against which all the pickups would need to measure up. And that Gold Standard might be the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. Just a suggestion.

      For this comparison, please forget about or minimize these FOUR things, to keep things “off-road pure”:
      1) On-road performance;
      2) Towing / hauling performance;
      3) Interior design and creature comfort;
      4) Price.

      Thank you!


    20. Some people here have come up with some good ideas to solve the shortcomings of the vehicles mentioned in this post. I hope the manufacturers are reading these comments although I doubt it. I especially like the idea of a mount in the bumper for a portable winch. I know portable winches are nothing new but a bumper mount fitted as standard to all off road spec trucks would be useful.

    21. Just take all of these trucks to crown king tfl so we can crown a king. I have an idea of which one it would be :-). I’m sure the raptor is faster on dirt, the tacoma can traverse tight trails but until there’s a jeep based truck it won’t be close.

      1. This review did a better job of highlighting the Power Wagons weaknesses than its strengths. Break over is terrible. Turned me towards the Raptor.

      1. Ya, that’s a great video, definitely backs my decision on this pick for the Tacoma in that it traditionally will be more reliable. The quality of Ram has always plagued them and I would not want a turbo V6 in the Raptor at those temperatures. Definitely still backing the Tacoma on this pick. I would like to see these traction control tricks. TFL what is missing here, what are these tricks you can do with traction control. Get Andy Bell to drop in, be a cool video.

    22. For me It’s the Raptor with best power to weight at 450hp – 510 stump pulling ft.lbs of Torque that come on hard immediately, most travel, very sophisticated off road computer hardware, never rusting high strength aluminum body keeping far. More. Weight down low making it extremely stable. Good size decent. Off road tires and equally important to most buyers it still gets decent mileage 15-18mpg. Extremely capable overall.

    23. 1. Ram Power Wagon
      2. Toyota Tacoma
      3. Chevy Colorado
      4. Ford Raptor

      Although the Raptor is a awesome vehicle, this vehicle has very little information let out to the public about it, and what information is out there just tells us that it is an over exaggerated street truck that has different tires and a little lift kit. This vehicle is no longer the truck it was a few years ago (V8!!) with its larger engine and special features like the stock wench that came on the truck from the factory, now because of the inter cooler you can’t have a wench because of restricted air flow.
      This is where the Ram Power Wagon just comes in and demolishes. The Ram has a front locking differential, integrated wench, a V8 and it’s price meets middle of the line at $46000 between the Raptor at $48500 and the Tacoma at just under $41000. And on top of that, the Rams tires are perfect off and on road and on the road the Rams fuel economy is really not much more than the Raptors.
      So that’s y I think the Ram Power Wagon is the best off road capable truck.

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