Chrome Tubular Assist Steps ($725), Premium Bose Audio ($500), Navigation ($495 -- includes 8-inch touchscreen with IntelliLink), Driver Alert Package ($395 -- includes forward collision alert, lane departure warning), 3.42 rear axle ratio (included)
Naturally aspirated, direct-injected V6, gasoline
DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
305 @ 6,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
269 @ 4,000
Six-speed automatic with console shifter and shifter-mounted button
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
This V6 makes good power right off the line, and power stays consistently strong all the way up to its 6,500-6,700-rpm shift point (depending on gear). It's not the smoothest V6 ever, nor the nicest-sounding. Upshifts aren't overly quick, and the 2-3 shift is surprisingly abrupt. Turning off traction control improved the 0-60 time by an immediate 0.2 second, but for no apparent reason, as it didn't get any wheelspin. Using our power-braking method (overlapping throttle and brake pedals at the line to lift revs before launch, to about 2,000 rpm) had zero effect on times. What did improve the time was by using the manual-shifting mode, via the rocker switch on the console shift lever. Doing this allowed us to raise the shift points closer to the truck's 7,000-rpm rev limiter. It does hold gears to the rev limiter in manual mode, and it blips the throttle on manual downshifts.
Overall pretty decent braking abilities. The brake pedal exhibited quite a firm feel on the first three stops, with a surprisingly short amount of pedal travel, too. By stop four it showed a bit of pedal fade, with the pedal feeling softer and traveling a bit farther to the floor. By stop five there was a decent amount, the pedal going farther still and an even more spongy feel. Still, not horrible for a pickup. Stability and resistance to side squirm were excellent. The first stop was the shortest at 124 feet, with the fifth and final stop the longest at 132 feet.
Slalom: For a beefy small truck, the handling is actually not too bad. The steering is pretty quick and turns in nicely, although there isn't much in the way of feel or feedback to the driver. Also, there's an odd sensation from the steering after you turn hard one way, and then turn back the other way, like a resistance, but more than should be there. Not a huge deal. Otherwise, stable, confident handling manners, especially since the stability control can't be fully defeated. It's always on to some extent, adding some brakes to appropriate wheels, making sure the truck never gets fully out of shape. Thanks to the plentiful suspension travel there's a fair amount of lean/body roll, but it's not excessive. Skid pad: This was pretty much simply an exercise in outright tire grip and stability control leniency, or lack thereof. This steady-state cornering exercise also showed that ESC On and ESC "off" or "dynamic," were pretty much the same thing. The system drastically cuts the throttle to the point that you can floor the gas pedal and it still stays on course. Again, not much in the way of steering feel, just considerable body roll and tires rolling over on their sidewalls.