Motor Trend Magazine, Car of the Year

December 10, 2009 13:00 ET

Ram Heavy Duty Named 2010 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year®

EL SEGUNDO, CA--(Marketwire - December 10, 2009) - MOTOR TREND ( today announced the Ram Heavy Duty is the 2010 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year®.

The Ram Heavy Duty was unanimously voted 2010 Truck of the Year by the MOTOR TREND judges after an exhaustive evaluation process that included a full range of performance tests, on-road driving, and attribute-based tests. The Ram Heavy Duty's stylish exterior, quiet and comfortable interior, efficient powertrains, impressive capability, and great value impressed the MOTOR TREND team.

"No automotive segment has been left untouched by the economic downturn, but the truck market has been especially hard hit," said Angus MacKenzie, MOTOR TREND editor-in-chief. "With many casual personal use truck buyers having deserted the market, the industry been forced to tightly focus its products on the specific needs of truck users."

The four trucks eligible for this year's Truck of the Year award reflect this new focus. In addition to the Ram Heavy Duty, eligible trucks included the off-road race-inspired Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the Ford Transit Connect, a built-for-work small cargo van, and the value-priced Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter work truck.

The Ram range includes the 2500 and 3500 models, available with a variety of cab and bed configurations, and towing and payload capacities. The Ram 3500's towing capacity is 17,500 pounds, and as the testers at this year's Truck of the Year discovered, towing a large boat is very easy. The judges were also impressed by the Ram Heavy Duty's Cummins diesel engine, which delivers 350hp and 650lb-ft of torque while meeting 50-state exhaust emissions standards without the need for the expensive urea after-treatment required by rival diesels.

"Despite the crimp in sales, there is still demand for heavy duty pickups ready to do the hard work. Many truck buyers still need the extreme capabilities of a heavy duty pickup truck," said MacKenzie. "For them, hauling 20,000 pounds of cargo is part of everyday life. Much of what is so impressive about the Ram Heavy Duty is not only how easily it does all the tasks it's built for, but also how easy it is on the driver. The Ram is quieter, more comfortable and people-friendly than before without sacrificing its considerable capability."

The Judging

To judge contenders for the award, MOTOR TREND's editorial staff conducts an exhaustive evaluation process. Evaluations start at facilities in El Toro, California, where the crew runs every truck through MOTOR TREND's test regimen, both unloaded and carrying its full rated payload. All judges also drive each truck through a short road course set up on those grounds, all variants driven empty and full.

Editors then test the trucks on a real-world loop composed of surface streets, twisty roads, and freeway -- including the Grapevine, which climbs nearly 3000 feet in a few miles. Finally each contender was put through specific attribute tests -- extreme towing, fast off-roading, basic load carrying -- relevant to its intended function. Throughout the process the judges discuss, debate, and evaluate how each contender performs against the six criteria. At the end of the week-long process each judge votes in a secret ballot to determine the winner.

Newly Expanded Testing and Evaluation Process

Until recently, the editorial staff of MOTOR TREND has evaluated eligible vehicles based on three key criteria: Superiority, Significance, and Value. This year, the editors updated and expanded the judging criteria to six new categories:

--  Design Advancement -- well-executed exterior and interior styling;
    innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
--  Engineering Excellence -- total vehicle concept and execution; clever
    solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective
    tech that benefits the consumer.
--  Intended Function -- how well the vehicle does the job its planners,
    designers, and engineers intended it to do.
--  Efficiency -- low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to
    the vehicle's competitive set.
--  Safety -- a vehicle's ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as
    well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm
    during a crash.
--  Value -- competitive price and equipment levels, measured against
    those of vehicles in the same market segment.

Truck of the Year is not a comparison test and is only open to all-new or significantly upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year. MOTOR TREND looks for the pick of each year's crop of new cars, and does not revisit vehicles that have been on sale for the past few years.

The complete report on the MOTOR TREND 2010 Truck of the Year testing and selection is available online now at, and will be published in the February issue of MOTOR TREND, available on newsstands January 5, 2010.

About MOTOR TREND and Source Interlink Companies, Inc.

MOTOR TREND, part of Source Interlink Media, LLC., was founded in 1949 and has a circulation of 1.1 million and a total readership of 7.1 million. Internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive publishing, MOTOR TREND comprises MOTOR TREND Magazine; the award-winning Web site; MOTOR TREND Radio; Truck Trend; MOTOR TREND International Auto Shows; MOTOR TREND en Espanol; and the renowned MOTOR TREND Car, Sport/Utility and Truck of the Year award programs. Source Interlink Media LLC. is a subsidiary of Source Interlink Companies, Inc., a recognized provider of targeted media and marketing services, a leading U.S. distributor of home entertainment products and services and one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences.

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