Which pickup truck manufacturer offers the most capable and best bang-for-the-buck off-road package for their pickups? Big thanks to Aaron Miller for bringing up this question!
Given the extra cost and what you get for it, which off-road package do you like most?
Every pickup manufacturer in the United States offers at least one off-road oriented trim package. In general, the recipe is the same, but the amount of the off-road “spice” varies from brand to brand and from truck to truck.
The recipe is to tune the suspension (springs and shocks) to suit a variety of off-road surfaces. Generally, this makes the suspension is a little softer and more compliant, which also helps on pavement. In many cases, ground clearance is increased. Next, throw in some special software. This includes a hill descent control or a terrain management systems that adjusts how the 4×4 or 4-wheel-drive auto system appropriates power. Next, add some under-body cladding to protect some or most vital components. Finally, mount some off-road biased tires.
Different manufacturers apply various amounts of the aforementioned ingredients to their trucks. Let’s leave the Chevy Colorado ZR2, Ford Raptor, and the Power Wagon out of this comparison, as they are specialized off-road trucks.
What packages are we talking about?
How about the Chevrolet Z71 and Trail Boss packages? Ford has the FX4. GMC has the All Terrain and All Terrain X. Nissan has the PRO-4X. Ram offers the 1500 Rebel and the 4×4 Off-Road packages. Finally, Toyota is there with the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trucks.
While I am a huge supporter of all of-road packages, I think the Ford FX4 package offers value that is difficult to beat. The FX4 package on the 2017 Ford Super Duty is a $295 options and offers Rancho shocks on all four corners, hill descent control, and skid plates. While it is a mild off-road package, it offers a great on-road ride and the knowledge that (if needed) the truck will tackle many off-road situations with confidence.
What do you guys think? Who offers the best bang for the off-road buck?