The 2011 $30,000 Shootout is Live

There was so much interest in the upcoming shootout that we decided to launch it today instead of Monday. Check out the full shootout and of course weigh in with your own opinions.

2011 $30,000 Shootout


Or did you launch the shootout today because of the faux pas of giving away the results of the test on

You didn't hear me say that...

Hope you enjoy it regardless and thanks for sticking with us during this transition time.

Way to go Ram!!!

The proven "old-school" 5.7L pushrod V-8 HEMI Magnum gettin' 'er done. You can not knock the reliable, and simple, design of the venerable pushrod motor. They can still win. Clearly.

Sorry Ford and Chevrolet.

Guts-Glory-Ram. Rama-lama!

First you don't specify a cab but then make the extra cab a shootout winning requirement? Pretty lame.

As typical with Toyota's, nothing flashy just honest good and solid results in ALL categories!

@David Thomas - I will, and thanks. I am a big fan of this site and mistakes happen.

On top of proven; quality, performance, and reliability (F-Series, Sierra, Silverado, and Ram), I like to also get some flash with my cash.

Quite honestly, I find the most surprising part of this test was the Silverado. No way in the world would I pay $30k for a truck that doesn't even have power windows and locks!

I'm disappointed Ford didn't opt to send an extended cab STX with power and convenience groups. It'd have just as many interior conveniences as the other trucks that were provided and just as much interior space. They took a gamble, and it seems not to have paid off.

Rams are good trucks, so I'm not surprised they came out the winner in this particular instance. If I was told I had to buy one of the five trucks provided in this test as my personal truck, I would have chosen Ram as well because a regular cab just wouldn't cut it for my needs & wants. Luckily my budget was higher when I was buying a new truck in 2010

Surprised that the Tundra only beat the Ram by .06 in the quarter mile considering it had 4.30 rear axle and deeper transmission gears vs 3.55 gears and taller transmission gears in the Ram. F150 with its 500 lb weight advantage and skinny 235 series tires had the acceleration runs locked up from the get go. Too bad Nissan couldn't have sent out a Titan with the big tow package ( the deeper gears in the big tow package makes a huge difference in acceleration and towing ) Would have loved it for the aging Titan to knock the F150 down a notch.

Im really surprised people make such a point of the Tundra's 4.30 rear end giving it such an advantage, especially when compared to the ford.

This isnt the days of 3 speed auto's where all of the transmissions from all the manufacturers has almost the same gearing.

If you look at the Tundra vs the Ford and taking into account the rear end and the transmission gears ratios they are very close to each other

Below are the overall gear ratios for both of the trucks

Ford (3.55 rear axle)
1st 14.8035
2nd 8.307
3rd 5.396
4th 4.047
5th 3.0885
6th 2.4495

Tundra (3.55 rear axle)
1st 14.319
2nd 8.428
3rd 5.8179
4th 4.3
5th 3.1304
6th 2.5284

sorry the tundra should have read 4.3 rear axle

dodge deserve to win,ford have to many attention for no reason..fancy not mean quality,,

I agree that Fords transmission definetely eliminates the rear gear difference with its aggressively spaced gears. The same can't be said for the Rams transmission gearing though. That is why i was surprised that it was as close as it was with not only a rear gear disadvantage but its transmission gearing disadvantage. Things sure aren't as simple as they once were!!

No, Toyota should be disqualified for their 4.30 rear axle ratio and ford should definitely be disqualified for using a reg cab. Sorry ford if you can't deliver a cab configuration that is comparable to everyone else, your disqualified because you can't meet the requirements.

So Toyota and Ford, your place rankings are all disqualified. You cheated and I am calling your sorry Donkey rear ends out on it. So if your going to run a shootout, atleast have the trucks be as simular as humanly possible to be fair and impartial. Otherwise your shootout is meaningless and has NO MERIT.

Michigan Bob-

Sorry, an extended cab was NOT a requirement for this particular competition. Nothing in the rule book about gear ratios either. The ONLY requirement was that it had to be priced at no more than $30,000.00. With that, both the Ford and Toyota were both more than able to compete.

@Michigan Bob- Or maybe Toyo, Nissan, Dodge, and Chevy should all be dq'd because they didnt send Reg cabs like Ford did. See how much sense that makes? None. Course you probably think it does, so...

@Bob - all of the trucks with power windows, and power door locks, and have 4 wheel disc brakes that price out under 30k should be DQ'ed as well.
Hmmm............. We have a winner.

The Chevy Silverado!

Someone had to come in 5th place.

LMFAO @ some dolt from Detroit!

Kind of weird to have this story as the main story with a link to the real story.

Ford wins 6 of the 8 tests and they come in 3rd?

Ram wins 1 test and comes in 1st?

Mike, I know you are no longer working for PUTC, but you were working on this test and I think you could have done better.

I also thought the constant comments about the F-150 being lighter was a bit snarky. Why criticize because a truck is light? I thought you wanted lighter trucks? The comment about the tailgate set and ITBC of which I both love was also snarky.

I recall that you loved the Ram Tradesman when it came out. That is only in regular cab.

I think you should have called this test "most back seat room for under $30k" or made it known what cab configuration you wanted because the results clearly were not based on performance but swayed by back seat room.

Performance wise and overall, the F-150 is clearly the better truck.

So if you're not doing an apples-to-apples comparison, why did you bother ranking these vehicles? Seriously.

Paul810, I guess I was right about the 5.0 f150., being 500lbs lighter, it barely squeaked out the tundra. Reg cab shortbed 5.7 tundra runs low 14's. Configurations being equal the 5.7 tundra > 5.0 f150.

Hey Guys, you have to realize that this is not the usual PUTC Truck comparison we are used to seeing.

We need to slowly adapt, unfortunately!


Keep in mind that most truck buyers do not look at 1/4 time as their target goal for purchase.

I think Ram is doing good with this package. I hope it helps them sell!!!

@ uh-huh. Yeah, duh. Your comparing a 5.7 against a 5.0. The larger Toyota engine will put out more power obviously, but it still needed that 4.30 rear axle ratio just to keep up lol. Maybe Toyota should have rolled up in a single cab too, but of course that would mean a loss no matter how many times it won a category because it wouldn't have rear seats.

Frank, You are right that buyers don't look at just 1/4 mile times. I hate when buyers do that, but if you look at this test, Ford did best in all of the categories: performance, features, price.

This is what was said was the basis for awarding the Ram the best truck: "the vehicle that does the best in the most categories is likely to come out on top, and that’s exactly how the Ram won."

Ram did not do the best in most categories. Ram is a good truck but did not do the best in anything.

"Ram found the winning formula that balances price, performance and features."

Performance: Ram lost all of the tests except half of one test.
F-150 won nearly all of the tests. Performance Ram was not the best. F-150 best performance. CHECK.

Price: Ram priced higher than F-150. Price Ram was not the best. F-150 best price. CHECK.

Features: F-150 had the most features, but not a double cab. Ram did not do the best in features. F-150 best features. CHECK.

Ford lost because it was a regular cab and someone did not liek that and they liked a bedliner instead of ITBC and tailgate step. This is not a good enough reason to make Ram #1.

I think they just wanted to get controversial so they came up with this "the results will surprise you" stuff. I just read that the words were by Mark Williams so Mike Levine is not completely to blame for this one.

Lou asked why there was no chart with weighting and scores. The answer is because the winner would not stand up to the numbers if there was a chart.

If there was scoring it would have to be something like this:

55% rear seat space

45% factory bedliner

2.5% performance

2.5% fuel economy

@ uh huh

What are you talking about? I've given you the numbers three times. Here's the links for you:

F150 5.0L Crew 4x4 3.73 rear: 15.53 @ 92.85


Tundra 5.7L CrewMax 4x4 4.30 rear: 15.68 @ 92.63

Again, similarly configured trucks, but yet Ford's 5.0L is faster than Toyota's 5.7L in the quarter.

@ uh huh ALL STOCK .....

the ram 1500 won!

I am still waiting for a, "Big Guns Shootout". I want to see the; Ford F-150 6.2L V-8, Ram 1500 5.7L V-8, Sierra or Silverado 1500 6.2L V-8, and Toyota Tundra 5.7L V-8, strutting their stuff.

I would also like to see a, "King of the Mountain Shootout. Put together the best 4X4 pickups the manufacturers have to offer. The; Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor SuperCrew, Nissan Titan Crew Cab Pro-4X, Ram 2500 Power Wagon, Sierra or Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Z-71, and Toyota Tundra Double Cab TRD. Or whatever Nissan and Toyota are calling their packages these days. Put them through their paces and see who has the best off-roader. Of course, the winner is obvious- the only one with rear and front lockers & disconnecting anti-sway bar. The runner-up of course would be the pickup with the killer suspension.

David T. and Mark W.- Are you listening? Keep up the good work, crew!

@ buy american the Raptor and Power Wagon wouldn't do, those are built for 2 different kinds of off road....


Yeah, I know but the Raptor is Ford's best off-road specific package. Ford's only other option would be the F-150 FX4. The Raptor would have a better chance, than the FX4, of scoring high on the different obstacles/situations. The Raptor has the benefit, over the FX4, of a suspension with more wheel travel and ground clearance for the rough stuff. The factory 35" BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain tires would also help a lot compared to the street biased tires that come standard on the FX4.

This test should compare: articulation, ground clearance, water fording depth, approach/break-over/departure angles, and side-hill stability, etc. Not a speed (off-road anyway) test. Everyone already knows who would win the off-road speed test. No fuel economy or hauling/towing tests. Strictly an off-road test.

All in favor say, I.

Nays, keep your comments to yourself.

@Buy American - the Tacoma would win ;) Just filling in for oxi. Bwahhhahaha:)

@Buy American - I think there should be a base V8 shootout, intermediate engine, and top line engine shootout. Actually - they should test all of the engines in a configuration that sells the most ie. if a crewcab shortbox 4x4 is the biggest seller then test every engine configuration available in a crewcab 4x4.

I would of rather seen a shootout where the test requirement is "send us your biggest seller, with the most frequently ordered options" .
I'll most likely never own a Harley F150 or Denali but I'll most likely buy a Ford XLT, or Ram SLT, or GMC SLE, or Tundra SR5. Most buyers go for the middle of the road trim packages.


That is a given [sarcasm]. That is why I deliberately left it off of the list.

Me- Bowing to the Tacoma gods right now. Ha-ha!

@Buy American - I'd like to see the Tacoma TRD DoubleCab V6 in a test against the Raptor and Power Wagon, if, for nothing more than to humble our mutual friend. (If that is at all possible)


I agree.

Another possibility- They should have three classes: 1) base motor (Titan with a V-8 as it's base motor has the advantage), 2) highest volume optioned V8, and 3) top motor option.


You sound like a child whining. Just take your bottle and go to bed already. Ford lost, get over it, it was Ford's own fault they didn't send a truck that gave the most for the money.

Real men drive regular cabs , leave the extra cab/crew cab for the late' drinking soccer moms .

Buy American Or Say Bye To America!,

My wife's little Subaru could beat the Raptor and Power Wagon off-road!


Anything not paved is considered off-road, so on those twisty graded roads I recall in the desert southwest, the Subaru wins hands down because the other 2 would crash or roll-over trying to keep up with the mighty flat-4 powered Subaru!

In that test, so much for the massive power and size of the pickups! Just a point about off-roading, many variables!


"@Buy American - I'd like to see the Tacoma TRD DoubleCab V6 in a test against the Raptor and Power Wagon, if, for nothing more than to humble our mutual friend. (If that is at all possible)"

While I would agree to a point...

The top Tacoma should test as is compared to those 2 tanks then run another test with a Tacoma allowed to be modded up to the price range of those other tanks...

Those 2 tanks are basically modded F-150 and Dodge Ram tanks! The Tacoma should be allowed to be modded likewise, maybe using a REAL off-road legend as the designer Ivan "Ironman" Stewart Toyota Baja-Champion driver!


That is why I gave my list of obstacles/criteria to test. I would love to see a Subaru try and follow into the places where I take my Power Wagon. It would probably give me a chance to finally use my Warn 12,000 pound winch -to drag the Subaru out of some washouts. Do Subarus come with good tow hook/tow strap attachment points?

There will still be traditional shootouts by class like there have always been. We have done price based shootouts on with great results. But we definitely take all your comments under consideration for future projects. We'll have some announcements in the coming weeks and I think you'll find the site to continue delivering high value content.

AJ, But Ford did send the truck that gave the most! Ford sent the truck that won all of the performance tests except one, Ford sent the truck that was cheaper than the winner, Ford sent the truck that had the most features. Ford sent the truck that had the least rear seat room and that is the only reason they lost which is stupid IMHO. I am not even a Ford fan so don't go there.

@Paul with a ranger,
B4 u start barking, do a little research. Refer to post above that lists final ratio ouput. The f150 with 3.55 is closet to the tundras 4.30, f150s 3.73 would put it up in the realm of 4.60/4.70 if tube tundra had to match. As mentioned b4, u can't just go by rearend ratio anymore, transmission plays a big factor. The Titan was a good example when it came out, peeps were like wtf, such tall gearing, but it really came out to being equivalent to a standard old days 4.10. This goes for this test how they keep mentioning the tundras 4.30 but fail to realize its no shorter then the other in final raruo output...... Lack of info n very misleading to readers.

Thnx for the link. I'm impressed though it needed a shorter rearend(shorter then the tundra in final output). Wonder how they would match up if done on the same day n place.

@oxi - "Anything not paved is considered off-road" That is funny, hillarious. You are so full of contradictions you make Bob sound like Einstien.
This is exactly what you said on another thread "If your buying a 4x4, you should be doing some sort of off-roading or else why on earth would you buy a 4x4?"
So mister desert, road racer - you need a 4x4 to drive down a gravel road????
but you don't need a 4x4 to drive in the winter?
again to quote you "And please winter driving? I survived an entire decade with just a low riding 1986 2wd Toyota and 2wd 1997 Tacoma!!!"
Let me point out a few other examples of "foot in mouth disease"
Oxi quote"Those who argue its better to spend that money on a full-size for better capabilities well a few points:
What if the owner of the Tacoma does not need to haul 1 ton or pull 10,000 lbs.?"
Quite some time ago now you stated you were upgrading your Tacoma to give it 1 ton capacity with Deaver springs.
Modify all you want, but your truck won't be legally licenced to carry that weight, ever. Your door tag is legally all you are allowed.
You are implying that you actually do need the capacity of a fullsized truck. Why else whould you need to make it "one ton capable".
Sounds like you should of bought a Tundra.
Next oxi quote"Why would you waste money for just a show bunny of a full-size pickup?"
Perhaps most guys are bright enough not to break the law, or void their insurance?
I can picture you in court now - "Judge, the law doesn't apply to me because I raced Baja in a Toyota with the front diff removed and the transfer case in 4 low, and I raced at Road America in a X-Runner. Floor mats don't cause a problem because I just let go of the steering wheel while driving, reach down an pull them back."(If I had the time, I could go back in the PUTC threads and find the exact spot you said that).
One more oxi quote"
Unless you need a full-size for work or farm, it's just a show bunny!!!"
Why do you offroad??? Why do you mod your truck for offroad?
You don't need to go offroad for work, or rescue, or subsistence?
Therefore your truck is just for entertainment and/or recreation.
That, by definition, your definition, would make it a "show bunny" as well.
I choose to tow or carry my recreation and/or entertainment.
How is that so different?

@ uh huh

Really, The 3.55 ratio for the Ford is a little low to be exactly equal to the Tundras 4.30. The 3.73 is a little high.

With that said, Ford's 3.73 rear is really more comparable than the 3.55's, for two reasons.

First, the 3.55 rear is Ford's standard rear for the 5.0L. Toyota's Standard rear for the 5.7L is 4.10's. The 4.30's and the 3.73's are both the next options up for performance.

Second, the Ford F150 is slightly heavier than the Tundra with equivalent configurations (around 150lbs). Therefore, it needs the slight edge in gearing to balance that out.

Regardless, Ford's 5.0L is close enough with Toyota's 5.7L that it can come down to the driver.


There is a group of people (such as myself) that want to buy a turn-key pickup, right off of the dealership lot, that is ready to tackle the rough stuff. It is nice to have a factory engineered AND still warrantied machine. Sure you can get "more for your money" with your approach, but you can kiss your factory warranty goodbye.

I personally like being able to go out on my adventures, without having to haul a supply of spare parts and tools, knowing that my truck will stand-up to the punishment. No oopsie "shade tree mechanic" modifications to fix/re-modify on the trail. It is all about; turning the key, adjusting the air conditioning/heater, adjusting the radio and going. I will save the vehicle engineering for the O.E.M. professionals.


You're still whining, and all that talk doesn't answer why Ford sent a truck that had less VALUE dollar per dollar then Toyota or Ram.

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