The wait is over; we finally know the winners of TFLtruck’s 2017 Gold Hitch Awards for best towing and off-road trucks. The Gold Hitch Awards are based on high-altitude towing and performance testing in Utah and Colorado. It is considered to be the “world’s toughest towing contest,” and includes midsize, half-ton, heavy-duty and off-road truck categories.
Winner Takes “Most”
The Fast Lane Truck just announced that the 2017 Ford F-150 and F-150 Raptor “drove” away with three of five awards from the contest. Apart from the F-150 winning 2017 Overall Truck of the Year, both it and the Raptor secured additional awards in the towing and off-road performance categories. Is anyone really surprised though?
“The 2017 Ford F-150 is the best towing half-ton truck this year,” says Andre Smirnov, editor of TFLtruck.com. “The overall versatility, towing performance, and choice of available powertrains and technology features of the entire 2017 F-150 lineup elevated the F-150 above all others.”
Smironov says that the F-150 competed against the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Nissan Titan in the Ike Gauntlet challenge and while towing a trailer on a massive 100-mile highway loop. Performance acceleration tests, extreme towing tests and measuring their trailer-towing capabilities proved that Ford was the fastest mainstream pickup that was ever tested.
The signature Ford F-150 truck highlighted its towing capabilities and technologies during these tests. Its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and all-new 10-speed automatic transmission aided the truck in beating the competition in challenges like the high-altitude towing test across the Ike Gauntlet. The tow/haul mode and trailer braking aided the F-150 in the tough descent on this particular terrain.
The Ford F-150 Raptor took first prize in the off-road challenge and was named the Top Off-Road Truck of the Year. Ford’s high-performance off-road variant practically stole the show with its durable chassis, high-output engine and ability to handle various terrains with ease. Smirnov called the Raptor a “complete package” that is capable of tackling nearly every type of terrain out there – and do so in ease as well.
The all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor outperformed its four opponents to win the Gold Hitch award for best off-road truck. The Raptor’s purpose-built performance chassis was no match for the others, especially with BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires and FOX shocks featuring 3-inch diameter canisters and nine-stage bypass damping for improved control.
This newly-received award is only the latest in a long list of accolades for the Ford F-150 Raptor. Its other honors include earning recognition from FOUR WHEELER, Cars.com, AutoGuide.com Truck of the Year and the Autotrader Must Test Drive award. The F-150 also received the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award for the third year in a row and the Autobytel Buyer’s Choice award.
These recognition highlight Ford’s yearlong celebration of its F-Series as being America’s best-selling truck for four decades. Ford’s truck lineup has also been the best-selling vehicle in America for 35 consecutive years with its impeccable performance and trusted durability.
Click on the video below to see the 2017 Gold Hitch Awards presentation for Best Towing and Off-Road Truck below
Do you think the Raptor and new F-150 deserved to win? Comment your thoughts below!