Here at Truck Yeah!, we want to be taken seriously. Kinda. Ok, just a little. But we do endeavor to bring you accurate, unbiased evaluations of trucks, SUVs, vans, and maybe other stuff in a format that will give you everything you want to know, and do it better than the other guys.
As you might have noticed, the Jalopnik rating system for cars is based on a scale of 0 to 100, compiled from a 1-10 rating in each of ten categories. We'll use a similar ten-category system, but we're dispensing with the stupid numbers.
Partially because I hate counting, but the main reason is context. In order for a numbered rating system to work, you need a big pool of vehicles. If I rated the brakes on the Silverado HD as "5/10," what are you supposed to do with that information? What's a 10? What's a 1?
Any number would just be too arbitrary to have any real value. And there just aren't enough trucks we'll be able to review to support a numeration setup like Jalopnik's that I could call legitimate.
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Truck Yeah! reviews will strictly be about what we notice in each key category of a truck's performance, and answering any questions you leave in comments.
We'll be looking at each truck through the lens of what it was designed for, and this is especially important regarding the off-road evaluations.
First of all, we won't be able to find the limit of every truck we get our hands on. I can't afford to wreck everything that gets lent to me, and there's only so much legally off-roadable land I can access.
But I can promise I'll be taking every truck with any semblance of off-road intentions on tough terrain that I deem least "one notch gnarlier" than anything first-owners are likely to get involved in.
I'm not taking a Touareg off a jump just to confirm all the airbags will deploy and the vehicle will be ruined. I will, however, take it right up to the limit of fording depth that the manual says is possible.
This system of off-road evaluation will give you a much better picture of what trucks are capable of in the situations you're realistically going to be using them; Class IV road running, mud slingin', snow hooning, steep hill climbing and maybe the occasional water crossing.
I drive into the woods with factory tires, basic recovery equipment, and maybe another person or two— just like you probably wouldn't have a winch or rescue rig on hand in your everyday off-road shenanigans.
If we have a righteous enough adventure, off-road reports like this will be written up separately as supplements to official Truck Yeah! vehicle reviews.
We landed on "Off-Road & Maneuverability" as this category heading to account for things with no off-road pretenses whatsoever, like a ProMaster or F-150 Tremor. Vans and street trucks will be rated here on how easy they are to manage minus the "off-road" idea.
Driving Notes Highlights
This is where I'll share a few bullet-points on things about the truck that really made a big impression on me.
Then, I'll walk through ten self-explanatory categories and describe what I liked and didn't like in each:
Exterior / Interior / Audio, Infotainment, Gadgets / Engine(s) / Gearbox & Transfer Case / Braking / Ride & Handling / Hauling, Towing, Cargo Management / Off-Road & Maneuverability (as explained above) / Value
After the categorical write-up, I'll drop a subjective Verdict that will be one of three ratings based on how I feel about the truck overall:
Truck Yeah! is our stamp of approval— trucks that excite, trucks we'd do terrible things to buy, and stuff we really think brings value to its segment.
Truck Nah! is for when shit's weak— trucks that couldn't wheel through the foam on a latte. Or do whatever it is they're meant to do.
Not every truck is going to be worthy of a "Truck Yeah!" badge, or awful enough to warrant a "Truck Nah!" making them all the more coveted, or feared. But every truck will get a thorough categorical evaluation that we hope will be informative and inspire some healthy debate.
At the very end of reviews, I'll bullet-point any Specifications I think you might find interesting.
The point is to evaluate trucks as completely as possible in the context they're meant to be used, and disseminate everything we learn as clearly and concisely as we can. We hope you'll ask questions, stoke the fires of brand rivalries, and let us know what you think about the trucks we test, especially if you've driven them yourself, in the comments.
Now get your hunting-camo lab coats ready, we're about to begin our pseudo-scientific battery of truck tests!
Images: Andrew Collins, Brian Williams