Trucks & SUVs

The Ford F-150 Dominates the Ram TRX as Truck of the Year

According to the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards (NACTOY), the Ford F-150 is the truck of the year. We know that the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX has won other awards, such as the MotorTrend truck of the year, but it isn’t first place here. 

  • The Ford F-150 came in first place with 340 votes. 
  • The Ram 1500 TRX came in second place with 130 votes. 
  • The Jeep Gladiator Mojave came in third place with 30 votes.  

How does the NACTOY rank vehicles? They spend hundreds of hours conducting research, evaluating options, and going on test drives. The vehicles are judged by 50 professional automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who contribute to magazines, newspapers, websites, TV, and more. 

A 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum in Iconic Silver stands atop a grassy cliff overlooking water and pine trees
2021 Ford F-150 Platinum in Iconic Silver | The Ford Motor Company

The jury begins the evaluation process with 43 eligible vehicles before narrowing them down to 27 semifinalists and then nine finalists through two rounds of voting. The jurors then vote on the nine finalists based on segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value included for the price. 

Why did the F-150 win? 

The 2021 Ford F-150 received praise from the NACTOY jury for having many improvements despite already being the market’s best selling pickup truck. NACTOY juror John Voelcker shared that the latest Ford F-150 model refines the package. Ford kept what’s good and updated what was needed. It delivers the right mix of features, comfort, capabilities, and style. 

RELATED: The Ford F-150 Hybrid Has A Lower Fuel Economy Than Expected

Plus, the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid is the first hybrid powertrain to make a debut in a full-size pickup truck in almost a decade. Now rivals are scrambling to keep up as the F-150 EV will enter the market soon. 

The latest redesign includes an on-board power generator as part of their goal to take their best-selling vehicle into a greener future. Also, for the everyday worker, the new F-150 provides so many time and powertrain options to make daily driving more comfortable. 

What did the Ram 1500 TRX rank for? 

The NACTOY jurors praised the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX for being a literal monster. When you hit the start button, tip the throttle, and hit the gas, you immediately feel the speed that 702 hp can provide. 

2021 Ram 1500 TRX racing through sand
2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Ram

Not only is the Ram 1500 TRX a beast when it hits the sand dunes and goes off-roading, but it’s comfortable on pavement too. It provides an astonishing performance that will be difficult for rivals to match. 

Why did the Jeep Gladiator Mojave get a few votes? 

The Jeep Gladiator Mojave certainly feels like an underdog. You don’t hear much about this Gladiator trim. But unfortunately, the NACTOY didn’t comment on the Jeep Gladiator, so we went to Car and Driver for their review. 

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Jeep Gladiator | FCA

The Gladiator Mojave is designed for high-speed off-roading in desert sands. But it also has improvements for driving on the pavement. It has a quieter ride than other Gladiator models, and the ride is smoother thanks to the Maojave’s softly sprung suspension. 

Critics found the seats to be comfortable and supportive, enjoyed the extras such as skid plates, and upgraded tires. Plus, it has an extended wheelbase. They said this is the Gladiator that’s the most fun to drive.