Consumer Reports Offers HD Advice

2012_SilveradoHD_LTZ II
For the first time that we can remember, Consumer Reports is making suggestions to potential heavy-duty truck buyers. As you might expect, they seem a little confused about what these vehicles are about but there is some good information and advice to be had in their newest web video

On the premise that a potential (or existing) truck-buyer would be interested in doing some towing and hauling (good assumption there CR), they take a close-up look at the new Ram 2500 HD, Ford Super Duty F-250, and Chevy 2500 HD. All three were well-equipped, crew cab, four-wheel drive models with prices listed above $50,000. 

The video doesn't select an outright winner (although they seem to like the Chevy) but this could mean Consumer Reports may start looking more closely at both three-quarter- and one-ton pickups in their annual vehicle ratings issue. Regardless, we applaud them for stepping out and expanding their content with good advice for first-time truck buyers. 

Comments

Of course they could not decide which was best.. There are only American HD trucks, they dont have an import praise and slap the crown on.

you might be onto something there LS1

I know which one I would buy.

The Silverado HD is a good looking truck. Much better than it's butt ugly 1500 counterpart. It must be the bumper and grille fix they got in 2011. Consumer Reports really didn't go into detail here. I suppose it's a start but as LS1 said, they really do have an import bias. I mean look at the guy doing the 'test'. What's his deal with trying to talk people out of buying HD trucks? Why bother testing them if you don't think they're necessary? It's like he wants to go back into the realm of 1500's so he can crown a Toyota or Nissan King. They need to stick to praising the newest model Camry and Corolla.

If you read the article and watch the video it is clear that they are mocking Heavy Duty trucks and picked light duty trucks as the winner.

Consumer Reports has the most useless vehicle evaluations of any group out there. I wouldn't even trust there vacuum eval's...

@ Dave- I think you are onto something.

@TimJ48-The Silverado HD looks more like the Tahoe and the Suburban which look a lot better than the regular Silverado, but it looks like it has the painted plastic bumpers that are easily damage and expensive to replace. I fear that all the trucks will eventually go to these bumpers just like the autos in order to shave weight off to meet the new fuel standards. After replacing a bumper on a 2000 Taurus that had a dent on it I am not so keen on painted plastic bumpers. That repair cost just under a thousand and if it had been my truck bumper it probably would have not been noticeable.

When you get to the point in an HD pick-up truck segment where people are choosing one over the other based on the plastic feel, infotainment content and grill styling. I'd say all three manufactures have done an excellent job.

Honestly, If you were completely unbias and had to choose a winner in this segment based on thier capabilities. It would be very tuough.

I think I agree with the first few comments it is hard to pick a winner in a catergory that doesn't have a Toyota. Also I agree with the other they seem like LD pickups over HD pickups.

I think it's high-time CR started looking seriously at big trucks, as Chrysler has skated by far too long offering an inferior product. The Ram 2500/3500 is a great-looking, well equipped truck...the problem is the quality of parts and design.

Most metrics we have as consumers - from JD Power to crash testing to resale value - all show that the Ram HD trucks are some of the worst on the road in terms of quality and reliability.

Cummins aside, Ram has a lot of problems. I'd love to see Consumer Reports call them out.

Furthermore, when Ford and GM screw up their big trucks (Ford's outrageous quality problems with the 6.0, for example), it would be great to see them held accountable by Consumer Reports.

Of course, CR needs someone who knows what the hell they're talking about when it comes to trucks. We'll have to see how it goes I guess...

Dont forget that this is for your average joe on the street concsumer who wants a truck. I see alot of liffted HDs that are mall crawlers. If you tow occasionaly, depednding on the wieght of your trailer a gas hd pickup or a half ton is a better value. If you tow an RV trailer everyweeked but only twice a year up a steep grade, get the gasser and dont go as fast up the grade, but if your constantly hualing something get the Deisel. I have no need for an HD truck so i dont have one. that is what the CR was trying to say.

@Tundra HQ The Ram HD did very well in the recent crash test.
You need to take some of your own advise and learn about trucks before coming on here with false information.

Very well? Ram got 2 stars front crash. Only one other vehicle tested so far by NHTSA this year also received two stars for front-crash safety, the 2012 Acura TL.

It was also the only truck to catch on fire after the crash.

http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/ram-heavy-duty-pickup-catches-fire-federal-crash-145744153.html

It is about time pickuptrucks.com and CR holds Ram accountable for these low ratings but also for the fire after the crash.

You would think pickuptrucks.com would have covered this. Is there a reason why pickuptrucks.com did not cover the 2 star rating or the fire?

tundra hdq: what problems are you talking about? rusting frames? bad camshafts? flimsy tailgates? rusting body panels? the only Rams I have owned have gone for 100K+ miles with few if no problems, just brakes exhs. tires bal jionts, all easy to fix and very resonably priced, my boss had to replace his starter on his tundra it cost him over $1,000!!!, and now he has a truck that won't pass inspection because of frame rot!! and when we loaded his Harley in it, the tailgate bent in half!, all my friends that run on the beach have had to replace there frames on there tundras and tacos, (at least toyota paid or the tacos), yes thee are probably more problems on Rams, but the last time I checked there were more than 20 times the amount of Rams still on the road over the yrs.! the same goes for all the American trucks!

@Tundra HQ The Ram HD did very well in the recent crash test.
You need to take some of your own advise and learn about trucks before coming on here with false information.
Posted by: HEMI V8 | Jun 8, 2012 2:12:37 PM

False information???? WTF HEMI V8 Really you need to open your eyes and see past the fanboy crap his comment was spot on they all have there problems and no one on this comments section is going to tell me different, the big three are here to make money and could give 2 shits about you or me when i buy a truck i expect to have problems that is just how it goes big and small buy what you want and move on

Thank you sandman 4x4. Anyone who needs a real truck doesn't buy toyota.

Hemi V8,
I already saw that and there is no mention of the low 2 stars front crash ratings from Ram or the fire after the crash. Why is that?

Ram ratings look higher than they are actually are because they averaged 3 of the tests (side + side + front) to get to 4 and rounded down the Chevy from 2.5 to 2 stars. They list out the individual side rating but not the front? Hmmmmm.

I hope PickupTrucks is not trying to cover up for Ram's unsually low rating . I hope pickuptrucks.com would be unbiased and give us the whole truth .

@built

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2012/06/nhtsa-crashrollover-data-34-ton-pickups.html#more

This is what I was going on.

Ram doesn't sound so tough right now. 1's and 2's with all the technology out there now is just rediculous.

2 star front and 1 star side pole in a half ton.

2 stars front driver in a HD and 2 stars pole.

I dont buy just because of crash ratings but frontal crash ratings like that will sure sway me to a different pickup.

@Hemi, False information? I actually like my family. I put family ahead of fanboyism.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/11/first-pickup-trucks-crash-tested-by-nhtsa-under-new-5-star-safety-rating-system.html

@rob,Who said you had to buy a dodge.Buy what ever you want to its your money.

http://www.cars.com/ram/1500/2012/safety-ratings/

This is how I know when people are just trying to bash the Tundra they resort to linking the frame replacement problem of the 1st gen to make it sound like it's a 2nd gen Tundra problem as well when it is not. We would all know if the 2nd gen Tundra hasn't had any serious frame problem because we would have read that here or from any other unbias source. So no your friends, coworkers or family members have not had any frames replaced on the 2nd gen Tundra as a result of a manufactures defect.

Hey Hemi V8 someone might say anyone who needs a real truck doesn't have a truck with coil springs in the rear that squat the most http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2008/11/squat-test.html.

@5.3LOL Last I checked this was a HD news article. Last check
toyota didn't make one LOL. Due to the J2807 toyota lowered its tow rating. If your hauling more then groceries you need the big three. Toyota is a joke. Ever wonder why toyotas are not collectible? Because they are disposable.

I love my Rams. All the bs i read on here dosnt make sense to me. Reliability problems? Dont think so. My 04 2500 Hemi has a whopping total of $1500 in dealer repairs since the day i bought it. I am partial to Dodge, I own 4 of them, The 94-2001 Trucks are great aside form the front end being the weak link but my 98 2500 Cummins has over 300k miles and have had to put a new 5 speed tranny in at 275k miles. I will never buy another truck other than Dodge but im not on here talkin crap about the other brands.

All I know is Chevy needs to bring it like they've never brought it before next go round. I'm talking aboout dropping the bomb... The Hiroshima or 2013.. Total destruction of the competition to the point where it will take years if not Decades to recover. And I'm not talking about that crap knock off GMC government truck, I'm talking pure and real Chevrolet. It's time for the owner of all that was once real to take back the throne.

CR has zero credibility in this arena.

@TundraHQ- The turdra has a whole lot of quality problems!!!

Toytoa extends the warranty of those worthless air pumps because it is cheaper to extend the warranty then to issue a recall!!!

The turdra is old and is showing it true colors as a expensive P.O.S!!!!!!

I would walk before I get in another turdra. So go back to your turd tunnel and talk that quality sh@t to your minions!!

problems are tru 2012.
http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2012/05/25/all-known-2008-toyota-tundra-problems/

i want to be in the link posting game www.whogivesafuck.com LOL!!!

@x007
You have the audacity to bash the 2nd Gen Tundra with a actual known problem that causes concern in the back of the mind of all 2nd Gen Tundra owners. I just want you to know you are the first to have done so since I have been here. If I could award points for comments you would have received some because the TripleTech frame will out live the 5.7L iforce, 6-speed auto and everything else.

Tundra HQ had some valid points. The Ford 6.0 isn't a shining pillar of reliability and Dodge/Chrysler products despite what the fanboi's say haven't had a great reputation either. Even Chevy has had their issues and yes, even Toyota.
I like to see JD Power and Consumer Reports post reliability data. I don't look at just one. Comparing the two helps reduce the odds of picking a poor product. We need more impartial sources to post that kind of information.

I read the story and watched the video. The fellow was an automotive engineer. He had some valid points about each unit and also had some very valid points about buying a 1/2 ton versus HD. I see lots of 3/4 ton trucks running around empty or pulling similar loads to what a 1/2 ton can. I is sound advice to realistically loook at what you need and purchase accordingly.

@Lou,I would agree with chrysler products haven't had the greatest reputation in the past. Owning one for nine years now I
can say It has been Great. These J.D. power ratings are to vague. If a plastic panel is loose their not reliable. They mean nothing to me. I go by real world experience. Everyone said my transmission was going to go out. I tow an 8,000 lbs tow hauler.
Has a lift with 35's. I tow my trailer at pismo beach ca dunes in the sand.Show me more then projected reliability LOL. My truck
is 9 years old. I believe Dodge is building the best vehicles now
more then ever. I do however change all fluids and filters when due. Everyone has an opinion. I have mine too.

@TimJ48-The Silverado HD looks more like the Tahoe and the Suburban which look a lot better than the regular Silverado, but it looks like it has the painted plastic bumpers that are easily damage and expensive to replace. I fear that all the trucks will eventually go to these bumpers just like the autos in order to shave weight off to meet the new fuel standards. After replacing a bumper on a 2000 Taurus that had a dent on it I am not so keen on painted plastic bumpers. That repair cost just under a thousand and if it had been my truck bumper it probably would have not been noticeable.

@Jeff, I have a 1500 Silvy with the chrome bumper center section (not the new one), I can tell ya, it's no better than what your Taurus was. The metal is so thin I have tons of dents on it. At least with plastic it would bounce back. Our Trailblazer has no such dents and we've owned it twice as long. I'd much prefer the Tahoe/Avalanche set up because of this. I too prefer the 2500 look. I never was fond of the 1500 front end even though I bought one.. The colored ones are painted metal though in the center sections, not plastic like the Tahoe. And actually, those are even worse than the chrome ones. Those dents you get crack the paint open even easier and they just rust right out. They should have just done the 1500 front end like the 2500's when they did the fix on those. Then either made them sturdier steel or just chromed plastic bumper covers. This Silverado has really been kind of a disaster in one way or another since day one. I'm not all that impressed with the build quality of mine. What CR doesn't understand about trucks is pretty much everything. There's so much more to a truck build than tossing it around a cone or a shorter stopping distance. If they knew the areas in which costs were cut out of this truck, I'm not sure they'd be so impressed. You almost have to be familiar with trucks to notice though. A wax dipped frame for instance will go right over a car guys head. Guys like myself that own these things though know they rust pretty quick. That's just one of many complaints I have on my Silverado...

Which is worse when it comes to talking about trucks? Consumer Reports or Car and Driver??? They are both clueless!!!

@Jeff S - current truck bumpers are pretty flimsy. I've had a bit of surface rust form on my bumpers the last 2 winters. It buffs out easily though. I've started loking closely at other brands and they seem to have similar issues on the newer models. I'd be inclined to go with a painted bumper on my next truck because of that fact. Paint chips can be touched up chrome can't.
I wouldn't want a plastic clad bumper. Most of the one's I've seen damaged are basically plastic over what looks like styrofoam.

@HemiV8 - most of the problems with various brands are in the past but often the bad reputation lingers on. I wasn't singled out Dodge or you in my post.

I have subscribed to CR for more than 30 years. They make good sh!t-house reading some times but you can't believe everything they say as gospel.

Take trucks for instance, or cars. If I had taken CR seriously I would not be driving my marvelous 2011 Tundra 5.7 now.

I owned an '88 Silverado and I owned a 2006 F150, both at the same time, and I knew it was time to try test driving a Tundra and a Titan. I never cared much for Dodge because I helped my neighbors wrench on theirs.

IMO, I clearly got the better end of trucks when I bought my 2011 Tundra.

Ditto with cars. In 2008 my wife wanted to retire her '92 Towncar and replace it with an SUV/CUV. She started looking at what CR recommended but ended up buying a Highlander Limited because SHE liked it best.

You can't take CR seriously. Take it as just another opinion. Before making a decision test drive ALL the vehicles in a class or segment. You'll be surprised at what you might find if you keep an open mind.

Does anyone remember what CR did to Suzuki?

@HEMI V8
I wouldn't talk about how well someone did on the SAE tow rating test when your 2011-2012 Ram 1500 couldnt get one. As a matter of fact judging from how mutch it sagged on the PUTC test I showed you earlier thats probably the reason Ram didn't do a minor updates as was scheduled they had to strengthen the frame more, bring in air bags and a better tranny. Isn't it a really big coincidence the 2013 Ram changed so much before the agreed time to switch to the 2013 SAE tow rating. I congradulate Ram they fixed the problems but don't compare the current Ram 1500 to the Tundra as Toyota actually took the test and didn't drastically change the setup to do it like Ram and Ford.

Yeah, congrats to Tundra for never doing updates. Bravo. Tundra. Bravo.

Sandman4x4 - Come on man, you helped a "friend" and his tailgate broke? Let's stop making up stories...we all know you have no friends. LOL

HemiV8 - No need to apologize for your grossly incorrect statement that Ram HD's are doing just fine in crash tests. As TundraSolutions said, it's the only vehicle that's caught fire during a crash test in a long time...I'd call that a FAIL.

x007 - The Tundra is far from perfect. When the Tundra had an issue with driveshafts right when it debuted in 2007, C.R. pulled their "recommended" rating.

I don't see what your point is, really. The Ram HD has a lot of issues and Ram trucks in general are without a doubt the least reliable new trucks on the road - http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2012/03/26/2012-ram-1500-worst-truck/

BTW - not a good idea to try and "prove me wrong" by linking to proof that we published...

Lou, Superdave, and Highdesertcat all made the best points here.

- Lou's point that all trucks have problems should be stamped on every fanboy's forehead.

- Superdave is right - C.R. doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to truck expertise. I hope that improves.

- Highdesertcat is right too - you can't *just* look at C.R. Take their recommendations, JD Power, resale value, etc. into consideration and then go drive the trucks.

If you're bashing a Ram or Toyota or Ford or Chevy and YOU'VE NEVER DRIVEN IT, than you are a fool.

I'd take any one of these trucks if someone gave me one in a heartbeat...but if I have to pay, I'm going to be very picky. You should be too.

@TundraHQ - "I'd take any one of these trucks if someone gave me one in a heartbeat...but if I have to pay, I'm going to be very picky. You should be too."

Great comment. My thoughts exactly.

If someone is going to spend 30,000 to 70,000 (or more) on a new truck, they should be picky. That means looking at EVERYTHING beyond the Badge on the Grill.

Did someone ask about the Tundra. Mike Levine said it best:

"I'm not sure how you measure "catching up" but beyond an excellent powertrain, the 2nd gen Tundra has been a laggard. Three years in and it still doesn't offer an integrated trailer brake controller. Trailer sway control for 2011 will only brake the truck's wheels, not the trailer's too. GM and Ford beat Tundra's fuel economy."

"I'll mention some quality issues too: cracked tailgates, rear driveline, unloaded ride quality."

"I hope Toyota gets the engineering and features right in the next Tundra. I'll be the first to stand up and applaud."

- Mike Levine
The king of pickup trucks
Founder of pickuptrucks.com

Great comments, Mike, I agree!

Did someone ask about the Tundra? Mike Levine said it best:

"I'm not sure how you measure "catching up" but beyond an excellent powertrain, the 2nd gen Tundra has been a laggard. Three years in and it still doesn't offer an integrated trailer brake controller. Trailer sway control for 2011 will only brake the truck's wheels, not the trailer's too. GM and Ford beat Tundra's fuel economy."

I'll mention some quality issues too: cracked tailgates, rear driveline, unloaded ride quality. I hope Toyota gets the engineering and features right in the next Tundra. I'll be the first to stand up and applaud."

- Mike Levine

Great comments, Mike, I agree!

@Tundra HQ,My above link on pickuptruck.com shows the Ram
HD did very good in the crash test read it.Also read your fire
article in the crash test.Read my above about J.D.power.

@Tundra HQ & LOU,

You both have great points about doing your home work before you buy. Working very hard for my money I could not afford to get the wrong truck. 1st TUNDRA in 2003 when i bought my new truck could not pull my 8,000 lbs trailer. I needed a 4door pickupfor my two kids. I needed a 6 foot + bed to haul two quads.FORDs 150 had a 5foot bed along with chevy/gmc 5foot bed.DODGE had 6foot+bed and was the most powerful 1/2ton on the road.7year 70,000mile warranty
FORD CHEVY 3year 36,000 mile warranty.Now that I have owned a DODGE I love It. 9 years 72,000 trouble free miles.
When the time comes to get a new truck I will buy the one that fits my needs the best. For now I will keep driving my die hard DODGE 4x4 quad cab Hemi.

5.3LOL,My comment about the J2807 tow rating being lowered for toyota was because before they were in the 3/4 truck range. Now not so much. If you need to haul or tow more then 9,000lbs
You need the big three. You are limited with toyota. The RAM
has the best ride of all 1/2 tons because of their rear coils. Unlike toyota you can buy a 3/4 ton if you need to. The more you can tow the less the truck handles smooth. Toyota has one size. Buy the right truck for the job.

@TurdraHQ-"BTW - not a good idea to try and "prove me wrong". What are you going to do about it??

All manufactures have their share of problems and toyota does a good job at keeping things as quiet as possible. The turdra is a low volume truck and to have as many problems as it does, its pathetic.

I don't use magazines or websites to make a decision on what I drive. I see first hand what these trucks can do everyday. I would take a Ram over a turdra.

"I don't see what your point is, really." to come to a website and tell CR what they need , talk about quailty of the big 3 and promote a website (turdahq). Sounds desperate and condescending.

I wish you the best with your low volume truck and low volume website. Have a good weekend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y85KLT0IjAY

@ HEMI V8

ANYTHING your truck can do my toyota will do better and with more control. just look the trucks over for attention to detail, if you cant see the differences than it really doesnt matter anyway. these trucks are built completely different and THANK GOODNESS mines not built like yours. AND mines more american!

@Tundra HQ,

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/safety.aspx?year=2012&make=Ram&model=1500&trimid=-1

LOL, You can have your jap wana be dodge ram front end C
channel weak rusty frame ugly ass over priced cant work hard
bad cam shaft bad half shaft 4x4 models thottle sticking wana be 1/2 ton P>O>S TOYOTA.


P.S. How many times has the 5.7liter i force been on wards 10
best engine awards.

answer O.

5.7L Hemi 6 times.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2014 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com