Which Pickup Will Win Motor Trend's 2011 Truck of the Year?

Which Pickup Will Win Motor Trend's 2011 Truck of the Year?
Photo: Motor Trend

Motor Trend will announce the winner of its 2011 Truck of the Year award this weekend. The contenders include six heavy-duty pickups from Chevrolet, Ford and GMC.

The first three trucks that MT tested are three-quarter-ton, single-rear-wheel HDs with gasoline engines, including the 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 and GMC Sierra 2500 twins powered by GM's 6.0-liter V-8 and the 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty with the all-new 6.2-liter V-8 under its hood. The second set of trucks are one-ton dual-rear-wheel rigs, including the 2011 Chevy Silverado 3500 and GMC Sierra 3500 with the updated 397 horsepower, 765 pounds-feet of torque 6.6-liter LML Duramax V-8 and the 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty with the all-new "Job 2" 400/800 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8.

We've already determined our Best Overall HD trucks during the 2010 Heavy-Duty Shootout and co-managed the awesome grudge match between the Silverado 3500 and Ford F-350 in the Rumble in the Rockies.

Which truck do you think will come out on top in Motor Trend's Truck of the Year competition?

[Source: Motor Trend]


GMC Denali HD hands down

Probably one of the gm p.o.s. will win since they won the rumble in the rockies.....would still take the SUPERDUTY in a heartbeat though

Geez. They couldn't wait for the EcoBoost F-150?

I honestly think the Ford will win the Gas, and then a toss up between the Ford and GMC on the 1 Ton Diesels.

Usually it has a lot more to do than just the motor, and Ford usually has higher marks in fit/finish, interior etc. The GMC if in Denali trim will get good marks for interior, but GM has been taken a beating on it's interiors lately due to age and material quality. Things like wind noise in the GMs and the long list of available features on the Ford, driver control, work solutions, inverter in the cab etc.

I honestly would take either, and i think the Duramax is really proving itself lately.

Should cause lots of controversy either way.


I would say hands down ford has the gas won. The diesel trucks may just come down to what the testers and editors of m.t. like best. I just hope that when they release their results they have compared as best as possible the different models to each other.

Either the Ford or Chev or GMC.....Who knows !!

If sales are taken into account, the Ford trucks will win. Significance is a large factor in MT's OTY testing, and nothing says significant like huge market share gains that lead to owning more than half the market share in your segment.

If sales aren't taken into account, then it could go either way. Both trucks are very good.

If they can unrightfully give "chevy volt" motertrend car of the year then id guess a 1986 datsun could win this!!!

Dodge isn't even invited to the dance? They haven't been invited to several of these dances lately, and yet their sales have increased. That says something for older technology, lower numbers, and simplicity.

Ford will win the Gas competition. For the Diesels is is hard to say for sure.

Ford has a lot of driver comfort and controls in mind so it might in that respect.

GM on the other hand had the speed.


Dodge Ram H.D won the Truck of the Year in 2010 !

The truck or car of the year only qualifies all new models,meaning a all new design,engines ect..

The Ram is not an all new design in 2011..it was in 2010.Therefore it wasnt invited to test against the Ford or GM trucks.

Dodge has the most technology in its vehicles,and they are not simplistic.First trucks with temp readout,compass,keyless entry,traction/stability control,go back farther first trucks with electronic ignition,first vehicle computer,first 4 wheel drive system ect...

By the way Ram was named manufacturer of the year by Off-Road Adventures magazine !!

But another confusing note...Chrysler has totally redone its car and minivan line-up,but since the 2011's Chrysler's are not in production yet...They will not qualify for any of the car of the year awards,as testing was already done and other manufactures were selling 2011's since Aug/Sept.The all new Charger or the 300 would of won that award hands down!!

Remember car or truck of the year does not compare every single 2011 vehicle against each other..only brand new designs...

For example : Say 1/2 ton truck of the year awards are going on ,and the only all new 1/2 ton is the Ford F-150 so its the only new truck in that category ! it wont be against a Tundra,Titan,Ram or Sierra/Silverado because they are not an all new truck for 2011....

The smallest truck with the most fuel efficient motor will win, is the John Deere Gator in the running? Have you read their magazine lately? Every other page is about CO2 released per mile driven. I refuse to order a magazine that pushes man made global warming propaganda.

They will consider CO2 grams per mile as the largest factor in their decision!

Motor Trend awarded the Chev Volt car of the year, so go figure. This magazine is no longer for enthusiasts.

Im a GM guy, but with all the hype of the new ford I wouldn't be shocked if the go Ford.

I would say ford they arent gooing to give GM the win cause they can climb a mountain faster!

But who knows gm has 4 trucks in the test compared to fords 2 that should give them an edge...right?

Probably the Ford, its not the fastest but it does everything well while having the best ride.

I'm betting that since the GM twins look exactly the same as they did 4 years ago, they go with the Ford. Even though it looks exactly the same as it did 12 years ago in 99 except for new front facia. Is Dodge the only manufacturer with the guts to put a new look out every once in a while?

Ford F-150 and SD in my book. The 6.7L diesel has so much class leading technology that GM and Chrysler don't compare. If it's just HP and torque then all are similar. Judge based on quietness, packaging, complexity (GM has downstream injection to deal with) and Ford wins.

Im a Ford guy myself, but, the GMC Denali HD will win for sure

I would still give the award to RAM by default.

I actually think the Ford might win as they care about the overall package which Ford Obviously wins, not trying to bash gm but they're lacking in interior quality and "cool" tech features. Not to mention it seems they like to award out of the box thinking like reverse flow heads, CGI block, Liquid to air intercooler, dual compressor turbo etc..

Other publications only seem to only care about 0-60 times where the traction control interferes and who can climb a mountain where 99% HD owners will never reach...

Since Motor trend is biased towards (enter manufacturer here) the winner will probably be (enter model here).

@matt: And don't forget testing exhaust brakes to help slow a truck and trailer downhill while saving wear and tear on the wheel brakes. Yeah, those tests don't mean a thing.

If the chev wins it will be because of its downhill superiority of the rumble in the rockies, not because it can get to the top significantly faster. If the ford wins it will be because of its marketshare, marketing abilities, and hype of the new diesel that is already a performance letdown.

performance let down?...lol


Do you think your guy's Diesel shootout tests will pro swede MT any? LOL Ford will win because and only because they have a all new engine. MT likes to hand out awards for new engine designs whether or not the public agrees with it.

GM would be the hands down winner if they had the Ford front axle , keep aiming for lower HD sales GM , Ford will always spank you where it counts front axles .

@D57H: I don't know. I'm certainly looking forward to reading their analysis.

The way I see it is that it really depends what they are looking for. If they want to give it to a gasser it will go to the F-250 Gas truck with the new mill (Why doesn't GM put the 6.2 in the HDs?) If they are looking diesel they will give it to the GMC.

At least that's how MT works, in my mind.

Im not saying the new PSD is a turd (hopefully it does not turn out to be), but I am saying that it was a performance let down because of the incredible amount of hype that has gone into its introduction compared to its downhill performance in the rumble in the rockies to be exact.

Honda Ridgeline will beat all these Turds!!!!



What are you talking about? Has it broke? No!

It's only a few tenths slower than the DMAX. Not bad for a new Engine vs something that has been upgraded every year.

If the PS had the same track record as the DMAX, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Spin it the way you want, THE PS IS A WINNER. Give credit, where credit is due

it always seems, ford has the highest rating of many things but the outcome says otherwise. hmm, y's that? just marketing hype?

e.g..... superduty..... 400hp/800tq...... but got owned by gm... f150's 11,300 tow capacity, yet dead last in any towing comparison against it competitors...

this has been the trend with ford, just give it a high number for marketing n bragging rights, who cares if the competitors does it better, the costumer r stupid enough to believe it n it sells.

I notice we are disregarding Dodge too quickly, I have read a few reviews where they still prefer it. I am not partial to any particular brand and like all 3 trucks. I wouldn't rule the Dodge out. Though I know in their quick test, they preferred the new Super Duty.

I didn't mean my comments as a slam on Ram. I was talking about engines primarily. Some say its older design and lack of DEF is it's strength. Tried and true. They don't like all the add on crap of the other brands. I meant that this idea is a strength for them right now and their sales are growing.

50 50 these trucks both have their highs and lows and overall it's very close. I like the super duty though. Why isn't the ecoboost f-150 a consideration? If it was there is no doubt it would win.

Is GMC Denali included? Denali should win!!!

What does marketing have to do with a vehicles capabilities? Honestly, no car/truck will perform better because of a T.V. commercial/magazine ad. I motion that "Marketing" be stricken from the record during a vehicle review like this.

Lamborghini and Ferrari make great vehicles, but I don't recall any commercials that make their vehicles better.

@ Frank
Did you actually read what I said? I didn't say anything about how fast or slow the new PS is, I said It was a let down because of its poor performance downhill in the Rumble in the Rockies test. Why don't you people get how significant that test was. Going uphill is one thing, but going downhill is way more important and the PS fell short is a serious way where it counted, downhill. And as far as it breaking like you ask, no it has not broken that we have heard of in the mainstream, but its also only been out for what 9 months? The PS still has a long way to go before it can be called a 'winner' as you put it. I wouldn't trust it because something isn't right there, the numbers and times/performance just don't add up when you really test the truck like Mike did in the Rockies, not the quarter mile like you referenced. I will give it credit when it truly earns it.

My money is on the Super Duty!

"The Chevy was a superhero on the descent. It was like Superman digging his feet into the pavement to stop a runaway locomotive. In three downhill runs, we averaged one to two manual brake applies. That’s it. It consistently hung in at a steady 58 to 59 mph and stayed at that speed for miles. When we applied the foot brake after the first time, the Chevy downshifted from 4th to 2nd gear near redline at 52 mph and kept shedding speed until we tipped into the throttle to get back into 3rd and started picking up speed again. We never shifted down to 2nd gear in the Super Duty, slowing the truck to 52 mph."

Im not sure i really get this...the ford down shifted from 4th to 3rd when breaking but the chevy when breaking shifted to 2nd to near redline and then had to get on the throttle to get it back into 3rd that sounds a little more "white knuckle" feeling than a smooth shift to 3rd while breaking...imo i dont think the ford was a "performance letdown" like you say!

@Nick, were you driving the vehicles? Only the people driving would know what it was like.

I do think the Superduty will be a better contender next year, they just need more time to figure out their setup.

@ Nick
The truck slowing down would give you a white knuckle feeling? I may get the rough shift from 4th to 2nd, but this is exactly what I'm talking aobut when I've said that inexperienced drivers are getting turned loose with these awesome trucks that don't know the first thing about towing. Slowing down is more important than a smooth, irrelevant shift still leaving you using the brakes and getting them hot as Mike said at the bottom. You're reaching pretty far on that one. And I'll admit saying the PS was a perfomance let down sounds a little harsh, but I have a lot of experience hauling and towing being a 24 yr. old log hauler in NorCal. I just know the importance of keeping a load under control going down a mountain. Now if Ford had an Eaton transmission, I bet it would have been able to go from 4th to 2nd like the Allison can, Fords tranny however, not so much.

Diesel Winner=Duramax twins

Gas Winner=Ford

Now if they had a different catagory....

Butt warmer/cooler winner=Ford
New Technology=Ford
Truck which does truck things (i.e. towing, hauling, braking etc....) the best diesel category would be the Dmax, and for gas it would be the Ford.

I'm a dodge guy but gm is my second choice.
duramax LML+ allison transmission+ denali badge=win for gm

Quote from after the heavy-duty shootout, "The majority of our tests emphasize pure pulling performance at WOT and these trucks aren't typically used that way in the real world." - Mike Levine

If MT's idea of truck of the year is weighed more towards a drag race at WOT, then I could see one of the GM's diesels winning. Or maybe the updated Ford will work better in Arizona and take back some of the WOT tests? If they go with a more overall approach, then I could see one of the Ford diesel trucks winning. If they go with gas, I could see the new 6.2 Ford winning either way. The 6.2 would be my choice and you'll save yourself $7000-8000. over the diesel.

well consider how MT likes to take turns, since ford won in 2009, dodge in 2010, chevy/gm has to be next in line for 2011. any1 notice how every truck from a company has to get an "award" from motor trend, f series got a won, ram got a won so silverado has to get a won this time and the cycle will just continue.

I agree with you both that the D-max has a better exahust break but i dont think the PS is as bad as you guys are making it sound...

@Top Dog
and yea i have driven both of them just not down that steep of a grade but close to it in weight and they are about as even as even can get! so i think i can have a little input on it;)

Why Ford should win:

Power: all new engines, all new 6 speed, SelectShift, new 5th wheel package from factory, it can tow and haul the most, maybe not the fastest in all areas, but slow and steady wins the race

Looks: most modern exterior, best interior, best wheels, best mirrors (don't look like a car)

Technology: Sync, Works Solution, new productivity screen

Interior: redesigned interior, quieter, better materials, better storage and most lockable storage, lcd screen

Features: quiet diesel, best trailer sway control (not avail on GM dually) standard on all Fords, FX4 w/hill descent control, tailgate step, stowable bed extender, best tow mirrors.

Safety: front, side k bags, and side canopy airbags standard (GM just has front driver and passenger bags), traction control on DRW

Fuel economy: Ford better towing, GM better empty.

Very interesting if you ask me... Mike Levine have you any info on this or is it still only a pipe dream for us 1/2 ton owners? LLN says that a half ton 5.0 diesel may be an option in the next RAM update...


The comments to this entry are closed.