Canadian Truck King Challenge
Canadian Truck King Challenge
Canadian Truck King Challenge
Canadian Truck King Challenge
Canadian Truck King Challenge. Click image to enlarge

Article by Mark Stevenson, photos courtesy Canadian Truck King Challenge

It wasn’t long ago Canadian Truck King Challenge segregated cylinder counts into their own categories, comparing apples to apples. But, with massive changes in pickups over the last few years – the addition of turbocharged gas and diesel engines in half-ton pickups, for starters – using cylinder count as the defining differentiator is no longer relevant.

Going into 2014, the eighth year of the Canadian Truck King Challenge, price became the separator for non–heavy duty pickups with two categories – under $45K and over $45K – and heavy duty (HD) trucks were tested separately (and at a different location, more on that in the HD section).

Unlike AJAC’s TestFest, Canadian Truck King Challenge doesn’t limit vehicle entries based on “newness”. In other words, a truck does not need to be an all new model or significantly revised in order to participate. This, in effect, creates quite a large field of entrants; 13 half-ton and three-quarter ton trucks and three HD trucks were considered for this year’s Truck King awards.

This year’s judges were Howard Elmer, Jil Mcintosh, Mario Cywinski, Eric Descarries, and Clare Dear. They use a numeric scoring system to determine the winner.

“It’s interesting to see the scores are pretty close (across the competitors) and there are no ‘bad trucks’ out there. Some things on some trucks are somewhat better. And occasionally, like Ram, they’ve taken some forward leaps in technology,” Howard Elmer explained in a phone interview.

And those forward leaps paid in spades. This year, not a single V8 won a category for the first time since Canadian Truck King was established.


In order to test these haulers properly, a dedicated testing area was developed by Elmer on a 70-acre parcel of land in Kawartha Lakes, two hours north of Toronto. Public road testing is performed on a 20-km test loop with a mixture of paved and gravel roads and open highway.

Payload testing is performed with 1,000-lb pallets of patio stones and towing prowess was tested using twin-axle dump trailers and car carriers weighing approximately 6,000 lb (in the case of the Tacoma, a trailer load of 3,500 lb was used).

Off-road testing on the private property consisted of a half-mile trail with muddy hills, rocky fields, a water-flooded trench, and an off-camber section.

MyCarma provided fuel economy numbers through their OBD reader application, much like AJAC’s EcoRun.

Over $45,000

2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Ecotec3 6.2L V8 (4×4 Crew Denali w/6-speed automatic) – $65,585
2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 6.2L V8 (4×4 High Country w 6/speed automatic) – $60,745
2013 Ford F150 5.0L V8 (4×4 FX4 SuperCrew w/6-speed automatic) – $55,109
2013 Ford F150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 (4×4 Lariat SuperCrew w/6-speed automatic) – $58,249
2014 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 Platinum (4×4 CrewMax w/6-speed automatic) – $53,834
2014 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 1794 Edition (4×4 CrewMax w/6-speed automatic) – $54,134
2014 Ram 1500 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel (4×4 Laramie Crew Cab w/8-speed automatic) – $64,185
2014 Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi V8 (4×4 Laramie Crew Cab w/8-speed automatic) – $58,065

To say pickup trucks are not a luxury good couldn’t be further from the truth and it easily explains the differentiation of these rigs at the $45K threshold. What you get at the lower and upper ends of the pickup price spectrum are stark contrasts in pickup truck necessity versus do-everything family luxomobile.

Canadian Truck King ChallengeCanadian Truck King Challenge
Canadian Truck King Challenge. Click image to enlarge

While the over $45,000 category is swilling with gas-drinking V8 engines, it’s hard to ignore the addition of Ram’s new Italian-built V6 EcoDiesel. Delivering V8 torque and V6 fuel economy, the diesel (which is the segment’s only oil burner until Nissan introduces their 5.0L Cummins V8) adds a whole new dimension of choice.

With the combination of oil-burner torque, fuel efficiency, air suspension, eight-speed automatic transmission, and superior cabin comforts, it’s no surprise the Ram 1500 3.0L EcoDiesel stole the show.

“Simply put, (the EcoDiesel) worked really well. Couple it to the eight-speed transmission, air suspension, styling, and performance during the towing competition, it certainly touches on many things truck buyers would find important. It didn’t just do one thing well. It did a lot of things well,” said Elmer.


Canadian Truck King Challenge 2014 – Over $45,000 Results
Truck Price Test Score Adjusted Score
2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Ecotec3 6.2L V8 As tested: $65,585 80.05 79.26
2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 6.2L V8 As tested: $60,745 80.47 80.23
2013 Ford F150 5.0L V8 As tested: $55,109 77.19 77.63
2013 F150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 As tested: $58,249 77.5 77.56
2014 Tundra 5.7L V8 Platinum As tested: $53,834.45 75.05 75.64
2014 Tundra 5.7L V8 1794 As tested: $54,134.45 75.95 76.5
2014 Ram 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel As tested: $64,185 84.53 83.87
2014 Ram 5.7L Hemi V8 As tested: $58,065 83.23 83.31
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