9 new vehicles to get you into Canada’s great outdoors—and back again
Judging from the latest stats for vehicle sales in Canada, one thing is eminently clear—we are big-time pickup fans in this country. Indeed, the top three selling vehicles here last year were all trucks. And while many trucks now sport the kind of features usually associated with luxury cars, and often share similar price tags, they’re still the go-to vehicle for hauling boats and trailers to our favourite fishing holes and hunting spots. And SUVs come in a close second for our choice of outdoor-ready vehicles. Here are nine of our favourite rides geared toward Canadian anglers and hunters. For prices and more information on the pickups and SUVs featured here, please contact the manufacturers.
TOYOTA: TRD OFF-ROAD
Comfortable, powerful and fuel efficient, the Tacoma is a capable truck both on the highway, and on the trail. Its sculpted front bumper, smooth rear deck, integrated tailgate spoiler and underbody air dam combine to reduce drag for improved handling and efficiency. Meanwhile, the heavy-duty suspension lets you put your off-road abilities to the test. With knobby tires, special shocks and traction aids such as a locking rear differential, crawl control and an advanced multimode off-road traction control system, the TRD Off-Road model is of particular appeal to backcountry anglers and hunters.
ENGINE: 3.5L V6
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 13.2/10.7
TOWING CAPACITY: 2,950 kg
LEARN MORE: www.toyota.ca
GMC: ACADIA ALL TERRAIN
With a sporty, comfortable interior, the 2017 GMC Acadia All Terrain mid-size SUV combines versatility, refinement and safety technologies with enhanced off-road capability. It’s available with a drive mode selector, which lets you adapt to terrain and weather on the fly. Boaters and trailer users will appreciate the innovative Tow Vision Trailering system. It makes hooking up easier by employing an advanced rear-vision camera with guides to help you line up your hitch with the trailer. It also lets you see the trailer while driving. And with seating for seven people, you can bring a decent-sized crew and their gear with you on your fishing and hunting adventures.
ENGINE: 3.6L V6
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 15.8/10.6
TOWING CAPACITY: 1,814 kg
LEARN MORE: www.gmccanada.ca
JEEP: GRAND CHEROKEE TRAILHAWK
Billed by Jeep as its most capable factory-produced Grand Cherokee ever, the new Trailhawk edition features an upgraded air suspension system, standard 18-inch wheels, underbody armour and skid plates so you can get way in the back of beyond. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Grand Cherokee without some serious creature comforts too, including the largest touch screen display in it class, optional Wi-Fi and a bevy of other safety and connectivity features. With Jeep's long history in the 4x4 market, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV ever.
ENGINE: 3.6L V6
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 12.7/9.6
TOWING CAPACITY: 2,812 kg
LEARN MORE: www.jeep.ca
Winner of the Automobile Journalists of Canada’s Best Small Utility award this year, the Forester has been redesigned inside and out for 2017. Available in nine trims, this compact SUV has a reputation for all-road/all-weather capability, reliability, advanced safety features and exceptional value. It’d be a good fit for a kayak angler or backpack hunter who doesn’t need to tow a boat or trailer, and wants to save money at the pumps. Available on models with continuously variable transmission, the cool X-MODE feature takes control of the engine, transmission, AWD system, brakes and other critical components to help you safely navigate through gnarly driving conditions.
ENGINE: 2.5L V4
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 9.2/7.4
TOWING CAPACITY: 453 kg
LEARN MORE: www.subaru.ca
CHEVROLET: Silverado 1500
Last year’s “Highest Ranked Large Light Duty Pickup in Initial Quality” in the U.S. by marketing giants J.D. Power, the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 full-size pickup is available in three cab styles: the two-door regular cab, the four-door extended cab and the crew cab. The box comes in 5'8", 6'6" and eight-foot versions, depending on the model, but all cab and cargo bed configurations can be ordered with two- or four-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the Z71 package, which is available on two models, features 18-inch wheels and off-road hardware such as special shock absorbers, a heavy-duty air cleaner, hill descent control, underbody shields, recovery hooks and some unique exterior and interior style changes.
ENGINE: 5.3L V8
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 15/10.7
TOWING CAPACITY: 5,670 kg (with max trailering package)
LEARN MORE: www.chevrolet.ca
DODGE: Ram 1500
Winner of the Canadian Truck King Challenge for the last three years, the Dodge Ram was also the second-best selling truck in the country in 2016. It’s available in 11 trims and with three different engines, including the highly fuel-efficient 3L EcoDiesel V6. The Ram 1500 is also reportedly the longest lasting pick-up in Canada. According to GM, of all Ram trucks sold in the last 28 years, 81 per cent are still on the road today, compared to Chevy’s 68 per cent and GMC’s and Ford’s 70 per cent.
ENGINE: 3L V6 Ecodiesel
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 12.1/8.8
TOWING CAPACITY (Reg cab, 8-foot box): 3,642 kg
LEARN MORE: www.ramtruck.ca
FORD: F-250 XL Super Duty
Do have a really big boat or need to haul extra-heavy loads? Winner of Motor Trend Magazine’s truck of the year, Ford’s heavy-duty F-250 XL is up to the challenge. The Super Duty line has been redesigned for the first time in 18 years, and all models now have an aluminum body, which shaves off about 350 pounds off the truck’s weight. Available in a variety of trims and configurations, the F-250 can also be tricked out with some hi-tech camera, trailering and safety features. F-Series trucks have been the top-selling truck line in Canada for years, and 2016 was no different. According to recent reports, 42 per cent of all full-size pickup sales in Canada last year were F-Series trucks.
ENGINE: 6.2L V8
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: N/A
TOWING CAPACITY (4 x 4): 5,851 kg
LEARN MORE: www.ford.ca
Redesigned for 2017, Honda’s Ridgeline took home the North American Truck of the Year award at the North American International Auto Show in January. Ridgeline has a number of stand-out features including an in-bed storage trunk and dual-action tailgate—which is both left- and bottom-hinged. The truck’s bed is also wider and longer than earlier models, and has eight heavy-duty tie-down cleats for securing your load. Available in five trims, all coming with Intelligent Traction Management System (Snow/Sand/Mud). Its unibody construction means that it can’t tow as much as other mid-size trucks in its class, but it will easily handle the average fishing boat, and is well-suited to haul ATVs and side-by-sides.
ENGINE: 3.5L V6
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 12.8/9.5
TOWING CAPACITY: 2,268 kg
LEARN MORE: www.honda.ca
NISSAN: TITAN XD
New this year, the regular Titan and XD version are available with a single cab. Unlike a lot of current trucks, both are geared more toward the jobsite than the boulevard. So, if you’re looking to get a back-to-basics work truck that you can also use to head afield on the weekends, the Titan might be for you. It’s also noteworthy that the regular cab versions of the Titan trucks have the highest payload and towing specs in the Titan line-up. Both the Titan and Titan XD are available with either rear- or four-wheel drive, and in either basic S or slightly-fancier SV trim. Equipped with choice of advanced Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel (XD) or Nissan's new 5.6-litre Endurance V8 gasoline engines (XD and TITAN).
ENGINE: 5.6L V8
CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 11.1/15.2
TOWING CAPACITY: 5,257 kg
LEARN MORE: www.nissan.ca