Six Awesome Off-Road Trucks at NAIAS that are Stronger with Steel

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This post is sponsored by SMDI.

All opinions expressed in this piece are our own.

When we think of off-road prowess, we immediately think of the rugged Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. While it is clearly purpose built and on display at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), it’s not the only awesome steel-intensive off-roader you’ll find in Detroit. We walked the floor during media days and found six vehicles that are new over the past year that may be of interest to off-road enthusiasts visiting the Detroit Auto Show floor in the coming days. Each of them caught our attention and they all use high-strength steel to tackle the trail.

2019 Ram Power Wagon

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The Power Wagon exists in a class all its own, as no other Heavy Duty pick-up is equipped with the off-road goodies that the Power Wagon packs. While it can struggle on tight trails carved out for Jeep Wranglers, assuming you have the space for it to roam, the Ram Power Wagon can handle any obstacle. Updated for 2019, the new Power Wagon was just unveiled in Detroit this week. 

2019 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

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Unveiled in Los Angeles back in November, for many people this is their first chance to see Jeep’s new pick-up truck in person. It’s essentially just a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a bed added onto the back. There are several trims on the floor in Detroit, including a Mopar version that is loaded with after-market goodness. We expect the Gladiator to be a big seller and can’t wait to take one on the trail ourselves. 

2020 Kia Telluride

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While not a truck, this heavily modified 2020 Kia Telluride looks ready to hit the trail never-the-less. This Telluride Horizon Roamer was built for SEMA 2018 and is joined by three other SEMA builds on Kia’s Torque Track at the Detroit Show. Consumers will be able to jump in Kia’s all-new 3-row SUV as it traverses a short off-road track and shows-off its ability to flex and articulate over the terrain.

2019 Ford Ranger

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The Ford Ranger was unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, but now it returns with a modified overland version featuring a Yakima rooftop tent and other accessories. It joins the Jeep Gladiator in the suddenly very competitive mid-sized truck market. 

2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison

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Yet another in the hot mid-sized truck market, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison is a truly capable off-roader that can go head to head with the Jeep Gladiator. It makes use of Boron Steel skid-plates to protect the under-carriage, and we enjoyed driving this bad boy recently in the desert of Arizona. This floor model is equipped with some of Chevrolet’s after-market parts.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali All Mountain

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This All Mountain concept is obviously not like the other vehicles featured on our list, as it utilizes Mattracks instead of the more typical round off-road rubber. While not on sale to customers, we expect off-road enthusiasts will appreciate checking out this awesome GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD built to tackle the mountains of Vail, Colorado.

Stronger with Steel

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Each of these off-road rigs makes use of new forms of high-strength steel in order to improve upon their previous products. The 2019 Acura RDX on display at the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) booth at NAIAS is a great example. Its designers turned to high-strength steels for more than half its reengineered body, delivering body rigidity, handling precision and cabin quietness while increasing both cabin comfort and cargo space. Our favorite off-road capable trucks at NAIAS are Stronger with Steel. 

Philip Van der Vossen

Editor at Gunaxin
Philip Van der Vossen is the Editor of Gunaxin, a Men's Lifestyle Magazine that was established in 2008. Philip also created and hosts the Trail Trek Tour, a traveling series of off-road events for automotive media.

Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.
phil