I attended the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. This is a fantastic event with more than 60 vehicles available to drive in an efficient timeline. Over a day and a half, I hopped into and out of 14 different offroad vehicles. There were two difficulty levels of the offroad course. All of the Jeep vehicles, the Colorado Trailboss and the Bronco Raptor were able to complete the more difficult blue course. The rest of the vehicles were limited to the green course due to their size (Raptor R, Silverado ZR2, & Ram 2500 Rebel) or their ability levels. Both courses included some offroad obstacles, but the blue course included a rock garden, a tight wooded section with rocks to navigate, and some smaller whoops.

New Trucks & SUVs Driven:

Here is the quick download from each vehicle.

Off-Road Trucks

2023 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro i-Force Max

Base Price: $68,520.00

As Tested: $73,175.00

Options include Special Color ($425), TRD Pro Tow Package ($290), Stainless Steel Door Edge Guards ($150), Ball Mount ($87), TRD Cast Aluminium running boards ($1,219), TRD Performance Air Filter ($130), Bed Step ($399), & TRD Pro Black Bed Lettering ($160).

Quick Positives:

  • Very competent power delivery.

  • Smooth on-road ride

  • Spacious cabin, comfortable place

  • “Normal” gear selector

  • LED lights in the bed

Quick Negatives:

  • Wide for tighter sections on the trails

  • Learning the hybrid power train will take a little time

  • Only a rear locker

  • No factory winch standard on the TRD Pro

  • Exhaust exit is not “tucked” up and out of the way

2023 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Rebel

Base Price:$68,840

As Tested: $91,730

Options groups selected: Safety Group, Towing Tech Group, and 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Quick Positives:

  • Cummins Diesel Power

  • Torque is enough that at idle it pulled the huge truck across the rock garden

  • Column shifter

  • Spacious cabin

  • Large multifunction display

  • Includes Engine Exhaust Brake

Quick Negatives:

  • Absolutely massive

  • Tricky in the tighter forested sections of the course

  • Very much a truck suspension

  • Engine Exhaust Brake could be louder

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab

Base Price: $38,720.00

As Tested: $46,380.00

Options include Premium Paint ($395), Pro Convenience Package ($2,190), Pro Premium Package ($2,790), & Technology Package ($990).

Quick Positives:

  • Easy shift to 4HI and 4LO.

  • Rear Locking Differential

  • Factory skid plates and nothing hangs below the frame rails

  • Comfortable interior

Quick Negatives:

  • Exhaust tip is not “tucked” out of the way.

  • Only 2 cupholders near the driver

  • Heavier steering feel

  • Lower resolution of the front and rear camera compared to competitor vehicles

2023 Chevrolet Colorado TrailBoss

Base Price: $37,000.00

As Tested: $42,115.00

Options include Technology Package ($950), Advanced Trailering Package ($620), TrailBoss Convenience Package II ($545), Safety Package ($505), Spray-on Bed Liner ($475), TrailBoss Convenience Package ($375), & 220 Amps Generator ($150).

2023 Chevrolet Colorado TrailBoss

Quick Positives:

  • Reasonable size without being too big or too small

  • Torquey Turbo 4-Cylinder engine (mid-range tune)

  • Pulled through obstacles without a lot of throttle input

  • Sliders with the TrailBoss package.

  • Tailgate storage compartment

  • Traditional gear selector

Quick Negatives:

  • Bland Interior

  • Rear seat legroom is limited

  • Scrapped more than other vehicles on the more difficult off-road course

  • Only the Compass Trailhawk scrapped more

  • Exhaust is not “tucked” out of the way

  • Sliders do not act as a sidestep

2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 AEV Bison

Base Price: $69.800.00

As Tested: $82,900.00

Options Include ZR2 Bison Edition ($7,895), Technology Package ($1,970), Power Sunroof ($995), & Multiflex Tailgate ($445).

2023 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 AEV Bison

Quick Positives:

  • 6.2L V8

  • Hard recovery points integrated into the front and rear bumper

  • Exhaust is “tucked” out of the way

  • Sliders included (but do not act as a sidestep)

  • Front & Rear locking differentials

  • Downhill Cruise Control

  • Spacious cabin

  • Ample cupholders surrounding the driver

  • Adequate rear legroom

Quick Negatives:

  • Hood Bulges limited sight lines created the sensation of a much larger truck

  • Traditional hood-mounted radio antenna (kept hitting vegetation)

  • The truck felt heavy

  • Some binding from the front with four-wheel-drive activated

  • Unconventional gear selector utilizes movement and buttons to select the correct mode

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

Base Price: $75,775.00

As Tested: $111,935.00

Options Include Equipment Group 802A ($31,575), Moonroof & Tailgate ($2,195), & Spray-In Bedliner ($595).

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

Quick Positives:

  • Power! – 5.2L Supercharged V8

  • Responsive power

  • Suspension soaks up everything

  • Quickest times around the off-road course

  • Usual spacious F-150 cabin

Quick Neutral:

  • Couldn’t hear the supercharger regularly. This was a positive for me but will be a negative for others, mainly adult children.

Quick Negatives:

  • Cost, the most expensive offroader at the event ~$111,000 as tested.

  • Size

Check out Chris’ quick review with Zack from Shooting Cars.

SUV Off-Roaders

Three of the SUVs are not traditional off-roaders. In a world where the Subaru Outback Wilderness exists, other companies are entering the competition with their “tough” SUVs. Ground clearance was an issue for all of the tested SUVs, except the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek

Base Price: $42,820.00

As Tested: $45,250.00

Premium Paint ($790) and the Rock Creek All-Season Floor Liners and All-Season Cargo Area Protector ($345) are the only add-ons to the price other than destination charges ($1,295).

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek

Quick Positives:

  • Toyo Open Country AT3 all-terrain tires

  • 3 Rows of Seats

  • Comfortable ride

  • Camera screens turn on unprompted when the scenario deems them

  • 60/40 split third-row seat folds flat with rubber mat cargo space cover

Quick Negatives:

  • Traction Control/Stability Control was intervening unnecessarily

  • Not a lot of ground clearance (⅝-inch lift) and no added protection

  • Unconventional gear selector with buttons and directional movements

  • Rear seat center console limits mobility to the 3rd-row seats

  • Lack of panoramic glass roof

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport

Base Price: $48,350.00

As Tested: $48,745.00

Options include Sonic Gray Paint ($395).

2023 Honda Pilot Trailsport

Quick Positives:

  • All Wheel Drive system

  • Continental TerrainContact All Terrain tires

  • Push Button gear selector, unconventional, but made more sense than other examples

  • Good Cameras

  • Panoramic Glass Roof

  • Three-rows of seating

  • Clear walkway to 3rd row

Quick Negatives:

  • No real added protection (lower plastic cladding) or ground clearance

  • Scrapped in a couple of spots that the Kia did not

  • The transmission would take some getting used to

  • Not as comfortable a ride as others

2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Pro

Base Price: $52,785.00

As Tested: $55,120.00

Options include Midnight Lake Blue Pearl ($495), Terracotta Interior Color Package ($295), & Carpeted Floor Mats ($210).

2023 Kia Telluride SX-Prestige X-Pro

Quick Positives:

  • Continental TerrainContact All Terrain tires

  • The most comfortable ride of any of the SUVs

  • Traditional gear selector

  • Offroad Driving Modes

  • Most Luxurious interior of the test group

  • Glass Roof

  • 3 rows of seating

  • 60/40 split 3rd Row seats

  • Clear walkway to 3rd row

Quick Negatives:

  • No real protection or ground clearance added

  • V6 does not offer the best power or torque

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Base Price: $35,745.00

As Tested: $46,290.00

Options include Exterior Paint Color ($495), Driver Assist Group ($2,640), Trailhawk Elite Group ($3,235), & Sun and Sound Group ($2,580).

2023 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Quick Positives:

  • Did everything on the harder off-road course

  • Includes 4WD LOW & 4WD LOCK buttons

  • Downhill Cruise Control

  • Panoramic Glass Roof

  • Front & Rear recovery points

  • Least expensive vehicle tested

Quick Negatives:

  • Scrapped the most of any vehicle offroad over the two days

  • Most Highway-style tires of the test group

  • 2.0L Turbo four-cylinder engine, after all the V6s, V8s, & electric motors, this wasn’t as powerful

  • Only seating for 5

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe

Base Price: $65,260

As Tested: $72,630

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe

Quick Positives:

  • 4xe – 2.0L Turbo four-cylinder plus an electric motor

  • Full-time EV offroading is available

  • Rock mode for the highest air suspension setting (requires to be in 4LO)

  • 4LO and Sway Bar Disconnect buttons

  • Downhill Cruise Control

  • Front and rear hard recovery points

Quick Negatives:

  • Heard everything in electric mode: every creak and groan

  • Only seating for 5, no 3rd Row seats (Grand Cherokee L offers 3rd Row, but not Trailhawk yet)

Jeeps & Bronco

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary AEV

Base Price: $60,585.00

As Tested: $75,685.00

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe 20th Anniversary AEV

Quick Positives:

  • Turbo 4-cylinder and EV motor combine for a very quick vehicle.

  • Electric mode is amazing for offroad

  • Sway Bar disconnect button

  • Forward-view camera with tire thread lines (includes a washer)

  • The slot for the Jeep key between the cupholders

Quick Negatives:

  • Price. $75k…

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 20th Anniversary

Base Price: $82,495.00

As Tested: $95,385.00

2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 20th Anniversary

Quick Positives:

  • Engine noises, feel, and power

  • Absolute giggle factory the whole time.

  • Sway Bar disconnect button

  • The slot of the Jeep key between the cupholders

Quick Negatives:

  • Price.

  • Suspension doesn’t soak up the bumps as much as the Bronco Raptor does

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor

Base Price: $68,500.00

As Tested: $77,090.00

Options include Equipment Group 374A Raptor Series ($2,695), Keyless Entry Keypad ($110), 17-inch Wheels ($1,695), and Leather-trim/suede Seats ($2,495).

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor

Quick Positives:

  • Suspension soaks up everything

  • Faster time completing the harder off-road course

  • Great power delivery

Quick Negatives:

  • Front view camera turned off while on trail (either timed out or went too fast)

  • Hardtop roof still creaks in offroad situations