Hooniverse Asks: Sport trucks or Off-road trucks, which do you prefer?

Ask me this question years ago, and my answer would’ve definitely been sport trucks. Today though, I want to go play in the dirt. I’ll take something prepped to handle off-road runs. Both types of truck, a sport truck or an off-road truck, are still cool, but people usually flock to one over the other.

So which is it for you?

I’ll admit that I would still love to have a go in a bone-stock Ram SRT 10. Before Hellcats were a thing, Ram stuffed a Viper engine into the nose of its half-ton pickup truck. Bonkers at the time, surely. Today, it would be just another wickedly over-powered offering from FCA. Actually, why don’t we have a Ram Hellcat yet? At this point, the Pacifica will come-out with a Hellcat variant sooner.

Besides an older SRT 10 Ram or Ford Lightning, our options for fresh sport trucks is… well, kind of non-existent at the moment. You might consider the modern heavy-duty rigs to be the equivalent. They boast insane torque figures and colossal towing capability. Some drivers are even ripping them from stoplight to stoplight in a flurry of turbo flutter and ridiculousness.

On the other side of the equation, however, we are currently awash with great off-road options. Jeep, Toyota, Ford, and Chevy all have something purpose-built and waiting on a dealer lot right this moment. Do you think sport trucks are primed for a comeback? Is the off-road spotlight going to keep shining across multiple brands and offerings for some time to come?

If you have to draw a line in the sand, would you choose to have a sport truck or an off-road truck? Sound off below!

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26 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Sport trucks or Off-road trucks, which do you prefer?”

  1. GTXcellent Avatar

    Jeff, you and I are on the same wave-length here. I was this close to pulling the trigger on a quad-cab SRT10 back in ’05 but couldn’t justify the $10k price premium and ‘settled’ for a quad-cab Hemi sport. Going further back, I thought the 454SS (and even the 350SS) and Lightning trucks were the ultimate in cool.
    Maybe it’s maturity, or just reality, but I personally have zero need or desire to have a sport truck. I need a truck that actually does truck things – I need to tow, I need a useable box, and I absolutely have to have 4 wheel drive. Give me a new F250 Tremor and I’d be a happy camper.

  2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I love ‘em both, but the off-road focus makes more sense. As cool as it is for a truck to be quick on the street, it is not the right tool for the job. A truck is an excellent platform on which to build something intended for off-road shenanigans. It is a terrible platform on which to build a sports car.

    1. danleym Avatar

      My thoughts exactly. Fast street trucks always seemed silly to me- a car will do it much better, and if I’m going to have something that’s fast on the road, it will be a car.

      And Iove going wheeling, so offroad all the way for me.

    2. Tiller188 Avatar

      You expressed my thoughts better than I was going to. Sport trucks are cool in a fish-out-of-water, why-the-hell-not kinda way, but if I were looking for something sporty for myself, I’d start with something a little more suited to purpose. (Actually…are we counting hot utes in the “sport truck” category? Or do those pass the halfway mark on the gauge and become truckified sports [muscle] cars?)

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        In the ute domain, I chose off-road; at least as much as it applies (clearance, diff, protection) when I could have gone the sports option instead. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c281362f99bc82f2706e8dd67b24d238a14d98c73cbc9d96f08a781bf85e1530.jpg

        1. Tiller188 Avatar

          I do quite like that! Either flavor of ute gets closer to the “sports car in hiking boots” look that I mentioned liking on the recent news post that featured that lifted Alpine design study, so I’m a fan either way, but I’d have a harder time with the choice between something like you posted and, say, an FPV F6 with a turbo Barra I-6, than the choice between a Ram SRT-10 and a Raptor.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    I don’t doubt that off-road trucks make more sense (and that’s the reason you can still buy one while the sport truck market has dried up), but I don’t have a ton of easily accessible off-road areas anywhere near me. Plus, if a Grand Cherokee Trackhawk can tow 7200lbs, a Ram Trackhawk should be able to tow plenty for any needs I’d realistically have.

  4. caltemus Avatar

    I prefer off-road trucks, but there are so few places to wheel in Connecticut, that a sport truck would be far more practical

  5. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    A sport truck can’t carry weight in the bed. It can’t tow. It’s such an American thing. I mean I love the idea of the Typhoon and the Lightning but they are useless and aren’t very good at what they do. The 4x4s on the other hand are very good. Trucks at their best. It only makes sense.

    So give me a Typhoon

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      I tend to think of my Trollblazer as the spiritual successor to the Typhoon, but it’s rated to tow 6500lb.

      1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
        Wayne Moyer

        The Trollblazer is its own beast and a fun little GM experiment. The 9-7X and 9-2X are the best kind of brand management. They didn’t even hide what they were. Oh hey let’s just put the key in the center console and call it a Saab! There is one in my tiny little town of 2500. I love seeing it because they are so rare.

    2. 0A5599 Avatar

      At various times, I’ve brought home a refrigerator, a dryer, a riding lawnmower, an inventory of car parts, full sheets of plywood and drywall, bicycles, an engine block, a couple hundred feet of used sprinkler pipe, a cradle for moving a heavy piece of industrial equipment, an emergency generator, etc., in the bed of a Syclone. That wouldn’t have been possible in any stock production vehicle that was quicker or better handling than it in 1991.

      No, it can’t haul a lot of weight, but it hauled a lot of bulk that had some weight. Not everyone buys a pickup truck to have a craneload of building materials dropped into the bed at a construction site, contrary to what the truck commercials want you to think.

    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      This won’t be PC but I think the sport would be midget wrestling.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          The front though is a shrunken Volvo 140:


        2. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

          Small “sport trucks” are more reasonable because the offer a better driving experience and retain more load capacity, good examples are Min pickups with Cooper engines and tuned suspension and VW GTI pickups made by repowering Caddy pickups.

          1. crank_case Avatar

            That works visually way better than I’d have imagined.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      Anywhere you want with those dimensions.

  6. neight428 Avatar

    Sport truck, I guess. Full sized trucks are just too heavy, notwithstanding military grade aluminum, to be actually “sporty”. In comparison to my prior daily crew cab F150, my 4Runner feels sports car nimble in the way it turns and stops. Lop a half a ton off with a regular cab version and you’re getting something closer, but it’s still really wide with really heavy unsprung mass and an agricultural rear suspension.

  7. mdharrell Avatar

    Why settle for one or the other? My 2WD open-diff ’70 International is equally capable at both tasks.

    1. crank_case Avatar


  8. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I prefer utility trucks to do carrying and towing. If I have to choose, I’d come down more on the side of offroad trucks since that is closer to the core mission of pickups. Sport trucks like the Lightning, Syclone, SS454 or SRT10 are more like dancing bears, it’s not that they do it well but that they do it at all. If you want a powerful V8 and RWD a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger do the job much better that a big engine 2WD pickup with lowered suspension.

  9. salguod Avatar

    Sports car, work truck.

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