Wheel deals

Venture to your fishing and hunting spots in comfort and style

While certain Canadian provinces might decry the low cost of gas these days, it’s likely translated into a rise in pickup truck and SUV sales. Why? Drivers who may have balked at a full-size off-road vehicle a couple of years ago are now considering them because they won’t cause gas-station-related bankruptcy. Featuring a bevy of hi-tech and practical features, this year’s crop of new rides has something for every kind of angler and hunter. For prices and more information on the pickups and SUVs featured here, please contact the respective manufacturers via the websites provided.

CHEVROLET: Silverado 1500

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Awarded Best New Pickup by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, the Chevrolet Silverado has a bold new look for 2016, with a redesigned front end, sculpted hood and signature LED lighting accents. Offered in three engine choices, the 1500 range includes a regular cab and two four-door cab styles, all offered with 4WD. Additional changes and updates for this year include the expanded use of an eight-speed automatic transmission on some models and several new and enhanced technology, safety and connectivity features.

ENGINE: 5.3L V8

HORSEPOWER: 355

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 15/10.7

TOWING CAPACITY: 4,037 kg

LEAN MORE: www.gm.ca

CHEVROLET: Colorado Diesel

Chevrolet Colorado Diesel

Named Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year for the second year running, the Colorado is now available with an all-new, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine. While it’s rated at only 181 horsepower, the engine whips up 369 pound-foot of peak torque at just 2,000 rpm, making for plenty of pulling power. And equipped with the available Z71 Off-Road Package, this mid-size pickup can handle whatever terrain you find yourself in.

ENGINE: 2.8L Turbo Diesel

HORSEPOWER: 181

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 12/8.2

TOWING CAPACITY: 3,493 kg

LEAN MORE: www.gm.ca

DODGE: Ram 1500

Dodge Ram 1500

Back-to-back winner of the 2016 Canadian Truck King Challenge, the Dodge Ram is available in 11 different trims and with three different engines, including the highly fuel-efficient 3L EcoDiesel V6. You can also choose from three cab configurations and four box lengths. With its 33-inch Toyo all-terrain tires, black exterior finishes and upgraded shocks, the all-new Rebel edition (pictured) also garnered Four Wheeler’s 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year award.

ENGINE:  3L V6 Ecodiesel

HORSEPOWER:  240

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4):  12.1/8.8

TOWING CAPACITY (Reg cab, 8-foot box): 3,642 kg

LEAN MORE:  www.ramtruck.ca

FORD: F150 Limited

Ford F150 LTD

Winner of the 2015 Vincentric Lowest Total Cost of Ownership Award, which factors in fuel costs, depreciation costs, insurance, financing, repairs, fees, taxes and more, the Ford F-150 has been Canada’s best-selling truck for the last 50 years. Constructed with military-grade, high-strength aluminum alloy and a high-strength steel frame, this full-size truck is both light and strong. The Limited edition comes standard with the innovative Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, Sync 3voice-activated infotainment system, a 360-degree camera and remote tailgate release. The optional FX4 off-road package comes with electronic-locking rear differential, off-road-tuned shock absorbers, skid plates and hill descent control.

ENGINE: 3.5L EcoBoost V6

HORSEPOWER: 365

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 13.5/9.8

TOWING CAPACITY: 4,808 kg 

LEAN MORE: www.ford.ca

FORD: Explorer

Ford Explorer

The vehicle credited with starting the whole SUV craze, the Explorer marks its 25th birthday this year. The sixth generation of the Explorer has a few new updates, including a refreshed exterior and new available 2.3L EcoBoost engine on the base and XLT trims. And for the first time on the Explorer, a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine can be paired with available tow package and intelligent four-wheel drive with the Terrain Management System feature, which determines the optimal amount of front and rear torque for the given conditions to prevent slipping.

ENGINE: 3.5L EcoBoost

HORSEPOWER: 365

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 14.9/10.7

TOWING CAPACITY: 2,267 kg

LEAN MORE: www.ford.ca

JEEP: Grand Cherokee Overland

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

Combining exceptional off-road performance with a comfortable and stylish interior, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with three different engine types and multiple four-wheel-drive systems. On some models, such as the Overland, an adjustable air suspension system allows you to change the ride height from 6.6 inches for easy entry into low-clearance garages, to 11.3 inches for maximum ground clearance when tackling rough terrain. As for towing, Jeep says, “Whether it’s hauling a boat or an RV, the Grand Cherokee has the capacity to execute your adventurous ambitions like no other.” Trailer Sway Control comes standard on all models for secure handling and added safety. 

ENGINE:  3L EcoDiesel V6

HORSEPOWER: 240

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 11.2/8.4

TOWING CAPACITY: 3,265 kg

LEAN MORE:  www.jeep.ca

LAND ROVER: LR4

Land Rover LR4

According to the influential automotive website Edmunds.com, “the LR4 can tackle terrain that will leave most other SUVs stranded, boasting even more capability than other, posher Land Rover models.” Notable features that outdoorsfolk will appreciate include the adjustable air suspension, which can be raised to handle rough terrain or lowered for easier loading, and the Trailer Stability Assist feature that detects sway and automatically corrects by adjusting the brakes and throttle.

ENGINE: 3L V6

HORSEPOWER: 340

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4): 16.2/12.1

TOWING CAPACITY: 3,500 kilograms

LEAN MORE: www.landrover.ca

NISSAN: TITAN XD

Nissan Titan XD

Equipped with an all-new Cummins V8 Turbo Diesel engine, the Titan XD brings “heavy-duty attitude to the full-size truck.” Compared to earlier editions, it has a longer wheelbase and higher ride height for heavy payloads and serious towing. There’s also a gooseneck hitch ball engineered right into the fully-boxed steel frame, which is extensively reinforced and strengthened for added stiffness. The vehicle’s maximum payload is an impressive 909 kilograms. Later this year, it will also be available with a V6 and V8 gas engine. Nissan claims the Titan XD “offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks—yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability of half-ton pickups.”

ENGINE: 5L Turbo Diesel

HORSEPOWER: 310 

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: N/A at press time.

TOWING CAPACITY: 5,460 kg

LEAN MORE: www.nissan.ca

TOYOTA: Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma received a number of updates for 2016. Along with a new grille, new front end and projector-style headlights, it now features a new 3.5L V6 engine, replacing the old 4L V6. It’s available in either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The optional TRD off-road package (pictured) should be of particular interest to anglers and hunters heading into the backcountry. The four-wheel crawl-control feature will allow you to get out of sticky situations, such as soft sand, and over the gnarliest obtacles. It’s no wonder Petersen’s 4Wheel and Off-Road magazine picked it as 2016’s 4x4 of the year.

ENGINE:  3.5L V6

HORSEPOWER: 278

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM (4x4):12.4/11.9

TOWING CAPACITY: 2,950 kg

LEAN MORE:  www.toyota.ca

VOLVO: XC90

Volvo XC 90

Winner of the North American Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show and Motor Trend magazine’s SUV of the year, Volvo’s XC90 was also named Best New SUV over $60,000 by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. No doubt, then, the average XC90 will see more city streets than logging roads. But that doesn’t detract from its potential functionality, which it has in spades. It’s capable of carrying seven passengers or a pile of gear—all five rear seats fold forward to create a perfectly flat floor. As well, the suspension can be dropped with a push of a button to make loading easier. And while the XC90 only has a four-cylinder engine, it’s turbocharged and supercharged to produce 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

ENGINE:  2L In-line 4-Cylinder

HORSEPOWER: 316

CITY/HIGHWAY LITRES/100 KM: 12.8/10.9

TOWING CAPACITY: 2,272 kg

LEAN MORE:  www.volvo.com