The results are in! The 2020 Canadian Truck King Challenge

From the December 2019 print edition

Early this year we sent invitations to every manufacturer asking them to provide us with the relevant trucks; including the off-road versions, a market that we knew would be of interest to Canadian buyers. So, whether it’s the FX4, the TRD Pro, Rubicon, PRO-4X or ZR2 Bison, mid-size owns the off-road market.

The builders all know that we’ve been pitting new pickups head to head for 14 years now, and some of them responded enthusiastically to this year’s mid-size challenge. However, some turned down our invitation. Each had their reasons. What were they? Doesn’t matter really— their absence speaks for them.

Included here are the builders who did decide it was important to compete and what they brought to the challenge.

The challenge is all about real-world testing. In other words, we use these trucks the way you, the consumer, would. As we do each year, we enlisted the aid of five experienced judges to drive the trucks back-to-back on our test loop. This year, with the mid-size truck capacities in mind we drove the Head River loop empty and then we did it all over again with 500lbs of payload in the beds. Finally, each truck towed a flatbed trailer loaded with 2,000lbs of concrete, giving each trailer a gross weight of 4,000lbs.

This ritual of back-to-back driving over the same 20-km test loop is what makes the Truck King Challenge unique. This routine gives each judge a chance to “feel” the differences in each truck as they drive over the same course, again and again. Over two very long days we manage to collectively drive more than 2,000km around this course.

There is always an off-road element to the challenge. But this year, because of the unique off-road trucks we had a chance to test, we spent significantly more time in the snow, mud and water.

Speaking of snow, we were dumped on with the largest single-day snowfall (for November 11) in 70 years, at least that’s what Environment Canada said. As I’ve said before it’s the Truck King Curse—we always get rained on during testing, but snow was unique. Though, it did make for some great off-roading video. That footage will be coming to our YouTube channel soon.

Also, of interest to consumers each year is our fuel study. Supported by Natural Resources Canada, we use electronic data collectors to measure fuel consumption during all aspects of our testing. What we offer is unique. Sure, we’ll tell you how the trucks performed while running empty—but we also do that analysis while the trucks are loaded with payload and while towing. Watch for the release of the 2020 Canadian Truck King Challenge Fuel Study in the coming weeks.

A word about our scoring. The final numbers are averaged from among all the scores submitted by the five judges. They are then converted to a percentage so we can offer a final score out of a possible 100.
Thanks to all who cared enough about their customers to participate. We are grateful for your support in our quest to bring meaningful real-world test results to Canadian truck buyers.

1. Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
Winner! 78.5
2. Jeep Gladiator Rubicon 72.5
3. Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 71.3
4. Jeep Gladiator Overland 70.4
5. Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 70.0

Toyota, with the oldest continuously built mid-size, the Tacoma, gave us two trucks. One for the street, the other off-road capable.

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Exterior
colour: Voodoo Blue
Interior colour: Leather, black/grey
Engine: Direct injection 3.5L DOHC V6 w/VVT-i
Mechanical Features: Part-time selectable 4WD w/two-speed electronically controlled transfer case, automatic limited-slip differential, locking rear differential
Transmission: six-speed manual
Suspension: Rear leaf spring suspension, sport tuned bilstein shock absorbers
Brakes: Front ventilated disc brakes, rear drum brakes
Wheels: 17-inch alloy wheels
Tires: P265/65R17
Total MSRP : $46,696.40



2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Exterior colour: Army Green
Interior colour: TRD Pro Leather, black
Engine: Direct injection 3.5L DOHC V6 w/VVT-I
Mechanical Features: Locking rear differential, Part-time selectable 4WD w/two-speed electronically controlled transfer case, automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD), crawl control + multi-terrain select
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Suspension: Fox shock absorbers
Brakes: Front ventilated disc brakes, rear drum
Wheels: 16-inch alloy wheels
Tires: 265/70R16
Total MSRP: $58,096.40
2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland
Exterior colour: Billet Silver Metallic
Interior colour: Black
Engine: 3.6L Pentastar VVT V6 w/stop-start
Mechanical Features: Heavy–duty engine cooling; fuel tank skid plate transfer case skid plate 2.72:1 Command–Trac part–time 4×4 system; Torx tool kit; 3.73 rear axle ratios–speed control; transmission skid plate; tip start, Trac–Lok anti–spin differential rear axle
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic transmission
Suspension: Five-link coil suspension design, Dana M210 front axle Dana M220 rear axle
Brakes: Four-wheel ABS discs
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum
Tires: 33-inch off-road tires
Total MSRP: $63,265.00 * (includes optional cost of; leather package; trailer tow package, cold weather group; LED lighting group; Uconnect 4C NAV & sound package; Safety Tec Group; Trail rail cargo system; Tonneau cover)
2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
Exterior colour: Satin Steel Metallic
Interior colour:Jet Black
Engine: 3.6L V6, DOHC WT
Mechanical Features: Full-locking front & rear differentials,
4WD w/Electric two-speeed transfer case with shield
Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Suspension: Multimatic DSSV dampers, 50MM suspension lift
Brakes: Four-wheel antilock disc brakes
Wheels: 17-inch AEV aluminum wheels
Tires: 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires
Total MSRP: $60,295.00
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
Exterior colour: Firecracker Red
Interior colour:Black/Dark Saddle
Engine: 3.6L Pentastar VVT V6 w/stop-start
Mechanical Features: 4:1 Rock–Trac heavy–duty part–time 4×4 system 4.10 rear axle ratio; fuel tank skid plate transfer case skid plate heavy gauge rock protection sill rails Torx tool kit Power tailgate lock heavy–duty engine cooling; class IV hitch receiver; trailer hitch zoom; 240–amp alternator
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Suspension: Front FOX performance shocks; rear FOX performance shocks; Tru–Lok front and rear axles Dana 44 M210 wide front axle; Dana 44 M220 wide rear axle; electronic sway–bar disconnect system
Brakes: Four-wheel ABS discs
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum
Total MSRP: $68,050.00* (includes optional cost of, leather package; trailer tow package; cold weather group, LED lighting group, Uconnect 4C NAV & sound package; Safety Tec Group; trail rail cargo system; Tonneau cover; Black Jeep Freedom Top)