What We're Up to: Driving 2014 V-6s

Group side shot II

We've been at a sunny and warm location for the past week with a gaggle of V-6 pickup trucks as part of PickupTrucks.com's Annual Physical. For this first year we decided to bring together as many new V-6 pickup trucks as possible to see what kind of shape they're in. We're collecting test information from the track, taking a few measurements, looking at their weight and finding out how their real-world fuel economy compares to their EPA numbers. We even put together a few video reviews you'll see pretty quick.

Depending on how this initial effort goes, the Annual Physical may be something we do every year, choosing a particular segment of pickup trucks each year and testing as many configurations within that segment as possible. We think "checking the temperature" of these trucks each could be quite valuable for someone looking to purchase a pickup or to see how different pickups measure up. We should note that Ford did not have any 2014 V-6 F-150s, Ram could not find us a Pentastar half-ton, nor did Toyota have a Tundra V-6.

We'll have more on what we found out from our 2014 patients coming soon. Stay tuned.

The 2014 Annual Physical patient list:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Double Cab two-wheel drive
  • GMC Sierra 1500 SLE Z71 Double Cab four-wheel drive
  • Honda Ridgeline Special Edition all-wheel drive
  • Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab four-wheel drive
  • Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn EcoDiesel four-wheel drive
  • Toyota Tacoma PreRunner SR two-wheel drive




IMG_7278a II



Looking forward to seeing EcoDiesel stats.

Seems like kind of a lame physical since the big 3 did not provide any V6 gas trucks. Kind of like me going in for a physical and only letting them look at my hands and feet but not my heart...wants the point?

Not really an apples to apples, The ecoboost, EcoDiesel, are similar to V8's power and costwise especially with the Diesel. The pentastar and 3.7 Ford V6 would have been a more even test.

Seems a bit premature. Could have waited until the new Canyon/Colorado were available (if compact pickups are the focus). But as an exercise, not a bad place to start eval-ing drive trains.

frontier is a great truck

I understand why Ram "could not find" any Pentastar V6 trucks. They want to expose Ecodiesel to the public as much as they can. Smart business decision, but for Ford to no be able to "find" a 3.7 V6 truck is just hilarious!

There are two V6 gasers provided by GM.

To bad no Pentastar 8 speed. I'd like to see it vs the GM 4.3L.


$30,000 Tacoma vs $60,000 Ram

seems fair enough...


This isn't a shoot out. They're just gathering stats to see what each of these trucks can offer.

@Dave: So Toyota is now one of the "Big Three"? GMC/Chevrolet had V6 full size there.

Interesting that ford didn't want to provide a v6 considering that I think they won the last comparison they had with their 3.7 v6 f-150. It will be interesting to see how the ecodiesel does. It's really strange that there are all these test drives of the ecodiesel trucks and still no EPA mileage data.

What's the point without including comparable trucks from Ram and Ford and Toyota.

excellent! I applaud your decision to do v6 truck tests. The whole half ton truck range should really only be offered with v6 engines. towing 37ft campers with a 150/1500 series truck should be illegal. they make gas guzzling heavy duty trucks for those jobs. and diesel power is becoming less appealing when you see the mileage numbers are getting closer instead of further apart In heavy duty trucks. Prices of 60k are too common! V6 everything in half ton, v8-v10 in the HD's with ultra duty diesels being an option. the small diesels are a great idea! less cost of maint, less to fix out of warranty. parts are smaller less weight, all great things. MPG are insane with this eco diesel. the little Dmaxx will also be getting 30 mpg or close.

Make a v10 that run on 5 cylinders until you flip a switch and let it run on all 10. put that in a HD and it will sell like crazy, if the price is kept far away from the 60k premium they are asking for the junk they currently sell. THEY ARE JUNK!

Thinking Ford didn't want to send the soon to be dead 3.7L when the new 3.5L is here next year.

@ Joe

The only way the Ecodiesel and Ecoboost are comparable by capabilities is if you compare a 3.15(3.31 for 4wd) rear axle Ecoboost to a 3.92 rear axle Ecodiesel. In both of those configurations in a 4 door crew cab truck, they both are rated to tow around 8,500-9,000 lbs by their manufacturer. Any shorter gear in an Ecoboost (ie. 3.55 or 3.73) then capabilities far exceed the Ecodiesel even with it's shortest 3.92 rear ratio available.

I believe it is illegal to tow a 37' camper, with any 1/2t truck made, unless said camper weighs less than what the truck is rated to tow! and that is very unlikely! even when you look at the Airstream trailers, they do make one that is 36' long, and that weigh in at 10k gvw, they do make a couple others up to 30' that go for 8.8k gvw, and when you consider the Airstream is the lightest in the class you can see where I am coming from, and that is you can not even find a 30'+ travel trailer that is light enough for a 1/2t to tow! even in an Airstream! the 30' is about the only one, and then you would havew to get the best tow package from Ford, Chevy/GMC, Toyota, Nissan and maybe Ram to do the job! legally. But absolutely no V-6's.

The pentastar v6 is currently the best performing NA v6 in a half ton. Comparing this directly with the 4.3 from GM would have been fantastic. Not having that comparison is very unfortunate.

@All1 Your comparing manufacturer tow ratings is a complete waste of time when one of those manufacturers is Ford. Ford makes up whatever numbers suit them as they go along. The ecoboost and ecodiesel are going to fairly comparable for most people doing serious towing, with the obvious differences that you will be able to accelerate faster with the ecoboost (not important in many instances while towing) and you will get significantly better fuel economy in the ecodiesel (probably well north of 50%).

oh yeah i forgot to say the 14 chevy with 5.3 is getting 14mpg! that is not impressive. makes me think they can put 4.10's in by mistake lol

"excellent! I applaud your decision to do v6 truck tests. The whole half ton truck range should really only be offered with v6 engines"

Narrow minded at it's finest.

The same could be said with the diesel, just keep on making the final drives lower.

Manufacturer's have to meet certain requirements when producing a pickup. FE is one of them, it isn't just about towing.

The reality is many pickups don't tow or carry much. V6's will gain in popularity as prices rise for pickups.

For towing and FE the diesel will be the winner.

So, it appears the primary aim of this test is FE and towing is secondary.

newbrandydrinkerdonyork: I know huh! as my 5.3 Chevy gets 14mpg, while towing my Airstream! and when just the truck? I get 21 hyw and 17 city, just as long as I drive the speed limit, and safely, the only way I can get 14 mpg is to drive it like I stole it, or tow, of course I do get less, around 12 while towing in the mountains, but still that is not so bad! as you like to say! My Eco-Boost does get the same also, but it does have more power, but the Chevy is still doing the speed limit, so all is ok.

I agree 100% with Big Al from Oz. The Ecodiesel will have the better numbers.

@ Mileage Man

So by your reasoning you would compare the more powerful Hemi 5.7L with a 3.92 to an Ecodiesel with a 3.92 even though the capabilities of the Hemi far exceeds those of the Ecodiesel? If that is the case then you might as well compare the Pentastar 3.7L with 3.55 gears to the 5.7L Hemi with 3.55 gears. Doesn't make sense does it? Why would one compare fuel mileage of two engines and gear configurations that obviously don't compare in capabilities.

I think we have already established that the Ecoboost can tow 10,000+lbs up a 10,000+ ft above sea level 8 mile mountain road and standing toe to toe with the big towing V8's in the Ike Gauntlet. If you have not seen it then I will post it for you here ( http://youtu.be/QR-gMWRzvOg ) Sadly, they have not done an Ecodiesel test yet and the only real towing review we have of the Ecodiesel is a Fourwheeler.com article where they were towing about 7,300 lbs in altitudes no greater than 4,500 ft with a 4x4 Crew cab with 3.55 gears which is rated to tow 7,300lbs. (note that the same configuration in an Ecoboost is rated for 9,600 lbs and It will do it easily) In the article, the writer had this to say about the towing "While ascending the steepest areas on the route, which included the 6 percent grade of the Grapevine, we had our foot to the floor and the V-6 was spinning at 4,000 rpm for several minutes in order to maintain 55 mph." You can read the full article here ( http://www.fourwheeler.com/vehicle-reviews/2014-ram-1500-ecodiesel-review-towing-and-mpg-fuel-economy/ ).

I am not trying to put down the Ecodiesel. It has it's place amongst truck buyers that want fuel economy. However if you want to compare an Ecodiesel with a 3.92 axle to an Ecoboost with a 3.73 axle then go right ahead, but be sure to put in that report that fuel mileage will be the only thing the Ecodiesel will be winning in that comparison because it will get outgunned by the Ecoboost just as it would if you pitted the Ecodiesel to a 5.7L Hemi. In order for the Ecodiesel to be comparable to the Ecoboost is to give it a shorter than a 3.92 gear ratio which will adversely effect it's fuel mileage and is not offered by Ram. However, taller gear ratios are offered in the Ecoboost to bring the capabilities of the Ecoboost closer to a Ecodiesel with a 3.92 axle which also gains fuel mileage for the Ecoboost. So, yes an Ecoboost with a 3.15 is comparable to an Ecodiesel with a 3.92 axle. I mean, you even said it your self in your post that the Ecoboost is faster (hence being more powerful) so we would need to give it taller gears to bring it to the Ecodiesels level for an equal comparison would we not?

Considering that it takes a diesel to make at least 3-4mpg better to break even on the fuel bill over gas compensate for the $.45-.55 per gallon higher diesel cost in most areas. I think I will stick with more power over the fuel economy just like I think most Hemi owners will. My work truck Crew cab 2wd Ecoboost with 3.15 rear gears return 19.5-20 mpg combined cty/hwy at the end of each tank and I know for a fact it will tow at least 6,000 lbs ( the most I towed with it) with the greatest of ease while still being very quick and responsive with plenty power to spare. It's not all about fuel economy for a lot people thoigh. Yeah we want better fuel economy, but not at the expense of the power we expect out of our trucks. I think most Hemi 5.7L , I-force 5.7L, and Vortec 6.2L owners will agree with me on that. After all, that is why they paid more for a more powerful engine even though they knew it would get less fuel economy.

Again, I am not saying that the Ecodiesel and Ecoboost do not totally compare. I am just saying that if you do then make sure it is an Ecodiesel with a 3.92 and an Ecoboost with a 3.15 since they are the most alike in there capabilities is all.

You start off stating you can't compare the Eco diesel against a gasoline Eco Boost or Hemi.


Then you state it only has a 3-4 mpg advantage over a gasoline engine.

Show where an Eco Boost or Hemi is getting only 3-4mpg worse FE than the diesel Ram.

You appear to chop and change your argument. Is your FE comparison against an 8spd Pentastar Ram or the Hemi?

The diesel must be good if you change your argument from a V8 for towing and a V6 for FE. This is what confuses you an engine with better FE than a V6 and the tow ability of a V8.

Face reality, a diesel is a far better engine for towing. A V8 isn't as competitive for work as a diesel.

@ Big al

I think you might want to re-read what I said.

In responce to your first question in my response to Joe, I said:
"The only way the Ecodiesel and Ecoboost are comparable by capabilities is if you compare a 3.15(3.31 for 4wd) rear axle Ecoboost to a 3.92 rear axle Ecodiesel...."

Then Mr Mileage Man stated:
"Your comparing manufacturer tow ratings is a complete waste of time when one of those manufacturers is Ford. Ford makes up whatever numbers suit them as they go along. The ecoboost and ecodiesel are going to fairly comparable for most people doing serious towing, with the obvious differences that you will be able to accelerate faster with the ecoboost (not important in many instances while towing) and you will get significantly better fuel economy in the ecodiesel (probably well north of 50%)."

I never said you can't compare them, I just said if you do, then make sure they are with gear ratios that match each other capabilities. I was just using the Hemi and Pentastar V6 to show how stupid it was to compare an Ecodiesel with a 3.92 rear end to an Hemi with a 3.92 rear end, and the same goes for comparing an Ecoboost with a 3.73 to and Ecodiesel with a 3.92 when their capabilities are totally different. If you are going to compare FE on trucks then make sure they are with in the same capabilities. For example, compare the FE of a truck that is rated to tow in the 8,000 lb range with other truck engine/gear configurations that are rated to tow in the 8,000 lbs range. How stupid does it sound to compare a truck engine/gear configuration of 8,000 lbs to another engine/gear configuration of 10,000lbs. I was just using the Hemi as prime example since it was in the Ram's line up along with the Ecodiesel.

Your second question. I never said the Ecodiesl gets 3-4 mpg better than the Hemo or Ecoboost. I said:
"Considering that it takes a diesel to make at least 3-4mpg better to break even on the fuel bill over gas compensate for the $.45-.55 per gallon higher diesel cost in most areas. "

Which means that in order for a diesel to brake even on the higher $.45-.55 per gallon fuel cost, it would have to get at least 3-4 mpg better than a gasoline counterpart just to break even on the added cost of diesel. This is true for most people in the US where a gallon of diesel is considerably more expensive then a gallon of gasoline.

To your last question, again, I was using the Hemi and other engines as example of how stupid it was to compare the FE of a les powerful engine to a more capable and powerful engine.

Big Al, you seem to get your rocks off to diesels just as I do with my little Ecoboost. I am not downing diesels here. I am just simply stating that if you were going to compare the two, then do it properly. Most people think that you have to compare like for like (ie. gear ratio for gear ratio) when comparing two engines, but that is not the case when one engine is more capable than the other with the same gear. that is the reason why I brought up the Hemi with a 3.92 in comparison to a Ecodeisel with a 3.92. Yes, they have the same gear, in the same truck, with the same trans, but due to the power of each engine they don't compare on capabilities and performance therefore they are not even in the same class in my book. The same goes for comparing a Ecodiesel 3.92 with a 8,500 lb rating to an Ecboost 3.73 that has an 11,300 lbs rating. Wouldn't an Ecoboost with a 3.15 ration and an 8,500lbs rating be more comparable to an Ecoboost with a 3.92 rear axle since they both have the same rating? Like I said before, I am not downing the Ecodiesel or other diesels here. I would buy one if they made something more powerful than the Ecodiesel (like the 5.0L Cummins) All, I am saying that if you want to compare them then do it right. I have and I would rather stick with my more powerful engine, but that is just me since FE is not higher on my list than a certain capability. When I went to purchase my truck in 2011, my main prerequisite was it had to me 4x4, it had to be 4 doors, and it had to tow at least 9,000 lbs which I do on occasion. Even today the Ecodiesel does not meet those requirements for me since the most it is rated to tow in a 4 door is 8,700 lbs and that is in a 2wd with 3.92 gears. I would have had to get the Hemi 6-speed in order to fit what I needed out of my truck. If there would have been a more powerful diesel on the market in a half ton with more capabilities to fit my needs then I would have considered it, but that was not the case.

Sorry, I messed up I that last one. I meant to say:

Wouldn't an Ecoboost with a 3.15 ratio and an 8,500lbs rating be more comparable to an ECODIESEL with a 3.92 rear axle since they both have around the same 8,500lbs tow rating?

PUTC should rent the "unavailable" trucks from a rental company instead of sucking hind teet on the corporate PR fleet cow.

@ALL1 - I have to agree that one needs to compare towing class to towing class.

Apples to oranges; the only thing they have in common is they are fruit. Why not do a test of all pickups that have 5 foot beds? It'd be just as helpful.

@ Mark Williams

I think once all of these manufacturers finally adopt a reasonable towing standard that these tests should start being about comparing trucks with similar capabilities than just engines. For example GM rates a new 2014 5.3L 4 door Z-71 with a 3.08 rear end at towing 6,600lbs which is right below it's own 4.3L with a 3.42 and other competitors V6s. As I have said before, trucks should be tested in classes depending their tow rating and capabilities. For example, have a 6,000 lbs class, 7,000lbs class, 8,000lbs class, 9,000lbs class, and so on. That way truck buyers can make better buying decisions based on how much each truck does in the weight rating they need to tow and it would keep truck makes honest by showing that a certain truck should not be rated for say 10,000lbs since it cannot hang with the other 10,000lb rated trucks.

That is how I and many other people I know purchase our truck. We look for trucks with a certain tow rating and discard all the ones that are below that or excessively above. We don't care that a certain brand makes claims that a certain configuration of their truck gets 28 mpg because that is a moot point if it cannot do the job we need it to do by it's rating. Most of the time a simple test drive will tell you if that truck can do what the manufacturers states it can, but some times it is hard to tell which is why we look to test and review sites like this. Hell, I say start doing something like this right now and keep each truck make honest. That way we can tell if the manufacturer is sprinkling magic towing dust on there trucks depending on how well it does in its rated class. Test each truck by their rating and let us decide if it should be there or not.

The price of admission should have been a 6 speed automatic with V6 engine.

Nissan upgraded to the JATCO 7 speed automatic for the 2009 model year, so you figure let Infiniti have a five year run of exclusivity. The 2014 Nissan Titan & Frontier should be using a 7 speed automatic. The Titan could then have the VQ40 V6 as an entry level offering.

Toyota has been intentionally 'half-assing' it with regards to their US pickups. The only difference between the 5 & 6 speed automatic is an extra overdrive gear. That would allow the Tundra to drop the 3.909 ring/pinion from their parts inventory, and just settle on 4.1 for 4x2 & 4.3 for 4x4. The Tacoma still uses the original non-upgraded 1gr-fe V6.

Honda's car division has upgraded from a 6 speed automatic to: ZF 9 speed auto, 7 speed double clutch, and 8 speed torque converter+double clutch, and even CVT. Why their half-baked Pickup is still in production is a mystery.

The question is, how will GM upgrade the transmission in their pickups. Run with their 8 speed automatic for two year, then upgrade again to the 10 speed; or just run with their antiquated 6 speeds (like Ford is doing with the new F150) until the 10 speed is a go?

Will Chrysler be allowed to use the 2nd generation ZF 8hp transmission? In its current form it is great, but not excellent.

Whats the point of having Ram provide an EcoDiesel in these tests? It should be strictly gas V6 motors only.

How do you compare a diesel? Against the Colorado diesel or a V8?

FE or towing?

It would have been nice to see how the Ram w/ 3.6 V6 and 8-speed and Ford's 3.7 V6 compare to GM's 4.3. I actually expect the smaller trucks in this test to be the thirstiest.

Big Al

Out of all the half ton crew cab 2wd trucks, the only competition the 3.55 rear axle 12,800 GCWR Ecodiesel has is the Ram 3.55 rear axle 12,500 GCWR Pentastar 3.6L. In that configuration in a short bed, Ram has the Ecodiesel rated to tow 200 lbs less than the Pentastar 3.6L's 7,400 lbs tow rating. Not only that, but the payload of the heavier Ecodiesel is rated over 300lbs less than the same truck with a Pentastar 3.6L. The Ram Pentastar 3.6L is rated for 25 mpg which is 3 mpg less than the 28 mpg that most are speculating for the Ram Ecodiesel which, as I said before, will make you break even on fuel costs due to the higher cost of diesel. In some places like where I life, it will cost you more due to it being $.55 cents more. So basically by Ram's own numbers, a Ram Pentastar 3.6L will tow more, haul more, and have better performance than an equally geared Ecodiesel that will cost a lot more while not returning any benefit in fuel savings (or cost more where I am at).

In the 8,000-9,000 lb rated with 2wd crew short beds, the comparison would look like this.

F150 5.0L 3.55 rear gear - 8,000lb rating
F150 3.5L Ecoboost 3.15 rear gear - 8,500lb rating ( 3.31 ratio is rated for 9,400lbs)
Ram Ecodiesel 3.92 rear gear - 8,800lb rating
Ram 5.7L Hemi 3.21 rear gear - 8,200lb rating
I believe both GM 5.3Ls with 3.42 rear gear should be on this list, but oddly GM has them rated for 9,600lbs in that gear configuration.

@Big Al from Oz - big picture.......... big picture.

If one wants to pick a specific category as one's main purchasing metric then so be it.

I look at what I plan on using the truck. That would be short, mid and long term. Once I've decided on that big picture I fine tune criteria.
I then make a list of variables based on the big picture. I weight each criteria and then match what is the closest to what I want for the best price available.

That is how I do it.

If PUTC wants to justify comparing all diesels together in one shootout or compare every V6 (regardless of fuel type) then so be it.
A v6 diesel can fit into multiple criteria depending on hp/torque.

I agree with "All 1" . Manufacturer stated tow/haul criteria should be the "big picture" grouping characteristic.
...A test should go beyond the usual "drag race" format.
...A test should eliminate as much "subjective" criteria.
...A separate table or rating section for subjective criteria should be included but not count to the end score.

I think that there should be more emphasis on hauling since I tend to see more trucks hauling than towing.

Sissy trucks.

I see your point of view.

But look at the metric, like I stated this appears to be more a FE exercise than a tow exercise.

I don't totally agree with ALL1. His figures appear a little stretched or exaggerated to prove a point.

There is only one Ram getting 25mpg and that's the shuttered, lowering, 8spd Pentastar with a 6' bed. It can only tow 6 400lbs. The Ram he's talking of will not get 25mpg.

I look at vehicles differently, I appear not to be as specific, I leave myself with a flexible choice. But each to their own.

You sound as if you went out to buy a pickup, whereas I went out to buy a 4x4 diesel. Pickup or SUV didn't matter to me.

First I look at how much money have. Then make a list and whittle it down to a short list and I don't have to spend what I have the ability to afford. Lots buy to what the maximum amount they can afford. Bad move.

something tells me that Toyota, Ram and Ford didn't really want someone comparing their V6 wanna-be truck motors with GM's dedicated V6 truck engine, scratch built to be a truck motor, not just a passenger car design shoehorned into a half ton truck.

Why are any of you trying to compare V6 to V8 in an article about V6s? I don't care to hear about how great the V8 is over a V6 when I'm trying to learn about the different V6s and their separate capabilities.

We're all aware that Ford has a turbocharged V6 as well as a normally-aspirated V6. Obviously the two will show significantly different performance characteristics, but does either stand out significantly over the other across ALL possible usage scenarios or does the turbo's high fuel mileage suffer when carrying or pulling the same load as the NA V6? Does the NA V6 have any advantage at all over the turbo at any level of performance?

What about all these other trucks? And yes, if the EcoDiesel is a V6, then it should qualify for these tests just to see how it is different, whether that difference is better or worse than the others. Yes, I agree with the complaint that Ford should have made their 3.7L to make an 'apples to apples' comparison. Yes, I agree that RAM should have brought in the Pentastar V6--again for an 'oranges to oranges' comparison. At least GM brought in two differently-equipped V6 versions for a fair comparison. Essentially all these tests are little more than drivetrain comparisons to show what their different engine-transmission combos can do.

I am not looking for a "winner" here, as each reader's needs and desires are different. What I'm looking for is just what each variation brings to the table when it comes time to buy a new truck.

Most of you guys must be reading a different article. No where in this article does it say PUTC is doing a comparison against the other trycks in this test. They are simply testing each truck against themselves for the data issued for them by the manufacturer, to get an idea how each individual truck performs with the V6 engine that is offered/tested.

@ papa jim The Toyota 4.0L V6 engine is a dedicated truck engine, it's only available in the Tundra and Tacoma. It's not available in any Toyota or Lexus car.

Big Al, you seem to be misinformed on your fuel economy numbers.

Any Ram 1500 4x2 with the 3.6 and 8 speed is rated 25 MPG Highway. The 4x4 are rated 23. You do not need air suspension, tubular side steps, HFE, etc.

The 3.6 is only offered with the 8 speed, and even down to Express and Tradesman models the 8 speed is available with the Hemi.

All trucks with the 8 speed trans get the grille shutters, so it's not like the grille shutters are a seperate option that needs checked. Buy a truck with 8 speed and they are included.

EC yes while the 4.0 Toyota engine is a dedicated truck engine, it is also a what, a 2-3 generation older engine than the rest? how long has it been used? while all the others are new in comparison.

@ Lou BC and Big Al

I agree with you Lou on the subjective data. We all have the internet here and have the ability to look at things such as interiors to see if we like it or not. One mans likes may be another mans dislikes. I think if PUTC would work with it's viewers (us) to come out with a standard for what we truck buyers want to know, and put each truck tested to that standard.

As I said before, have different weight classes depending what the manufacturer claims. Then set a standard for each test. Lets say an 8,000lb class truck should be able to tow 8,000 lbs 0-60 in X amount of seconds. Or even better, an 8,000lb class truck should be able to 40-70 mph in X amount of seconds up a grade Y to simulate passing slower traffic on a two lane road. Another one might be it's ability to hold at least 5 mph within speed limit of 65 mph going up a 3 mile grade 6 hill. Fuel mileage loaded and unloaded should also be a standard and noted since it is just as important or more important to some like Big Al. The same standard could be used for every weight class and I agree with others that it shouldn't be about which one is the best, but rather where each truck falls in that standard. I understand that some trucks may be better than others and not everyone wants the most powerful truck in the class because fuel economy is more important(Big Al). If a truck falls way out of that standard (ie. being 3-4 seconds behind all the rest of the trucks in the class while not being able to hold speed like the others) then we will know that the truck configuration is probably not suited for that class and should be dropped down a class regardless of what the manufacturer claims. That way people will be more informed to know that the truck configuration they choose will be able to handle the amount of weight they need it to pull along with where they want to be with fuel mileage.


This is what I would want to know in a tow rig, and this could be a standard across any class. These are in no specific order of importance.

-How quickly the loaded/unloaded truck can go from 20-60 mph with the weight in it's class up at least a grade 3 to simulate merging onto an on ramp?
-How quickly the loaded/unloaded truck can go from 40-70 mph with the weight in it's class up at least a grade 3 to simulate how well in could pass slow moving traffic on a two lane road?
-How well the loaded truck can hold 65mph pulling the weight in it's class going up a 3 mile grade 6 hill?
-How well the loaded trucks engine braking performs and can hold 65 mph pulling the weight in it's class going down a 3 mile grade 6 hill?
-How quickly the loaded/unloaded truck can go from 60-0 mph while being able to keep the trailer or payload in check to simulate an emergency stop?
-How well a loaded truck handle the load in it's class? Does it feel like the load is pushing the truck? Does the suspension have that horrible back end bounce or wobble at highway speed? How well each truck handles trailer sway. Etc, Etc,
-How well does each trucks traction control handles a loss of traction situations loaded/unloaded?
-How is the fuel economy loaded/unloaded?
-How reliable is the truck and does it over heat or have any other issues pulling the weight in it's class?

These are most of the questions I like to know when buying a truck meant to tow a specific weight I need it to. There are probably other criteria that people look for that I probably left out. Like I said before, it does not have to be a "whose the best" comparison. Just let us know where each truck falls in this set standards so we can be more informed to make the right buying choice based our own wants and needs out of a truck. Some people may need to tow 8,000lbs with power to spare no matter what the fuel costs while others are fine with pulling 8,000 lbs at a slightly slower pace then the rest in its class if it return better fuel mileage.

I work on performance equipment that is maintenance intensive. Why? Because of the nature of their usage.

The parameters you set for testing doesn't test 'real life' operation. The quickest or the biggest doesn't tell me how the vehicle manages the work it's given. Like people the quickest worker doesn't always produce the best or give a higher quality end product.

This has made for some interesting debate on this site.

Even if you have a truck rated to tow 10 000lbs doesn't mean it will manage towing 6 or 7 thousands pounds as well as a vehicle rated at 7 500lbs.

Merging onto a highway or going up a hill the quickest doesn't tell me how well a vehicle manages to work under more normal conditions. You will find some vehicles will tow better than others at lower rpm's as the engines characteristics differ.

Why not learn to merge? Just out accelerating to merge tells me the person behind the wheel of a vehicle doesn't have a clue how to drive safely.

I think it's about how the vehicle performs overall and how well it manages. Even the shortest distance to brake doesn't tell you will vehicle is better under braking. If a vehicle is different at managing it's performance, you might not need to use the brakes in as many emergency situations.

I'm not saying not test braking distance, but it doesn't tell me how well the vehicle manages.

I would like to see a more subjective opinion that is consistent across all brands on how a vehicle manages itself with a number of testers, not just one but maybe 4-6. Test them loaded, unloaded, towing, with a family what ever, but don't flog them for results.

Many complain on how CAFE affects vehicle design and construction and yet many do the same for test results.

Let me make the final decision when I get behind to wheel to test the vehicle myself prior to purchase.

I drive differently than you and Lou the same. I think that alone will have us assess all of a vehicle's attributes differently.

Just give an impression under normal operation of a vehicle. Not a race track version and a tractor pull. It just doesn't prove as much. You will get the same result on which vehicle appears to be better at work.

Maybe this form of journalism/testing will reduce the mine is bigger than yours approach to pickups. Because most any pickup runs around empty hauling air. If you were to buy a pickup and you only tow once or twice a year, maybe the empty performance is a better metric to base your judgement on when purchasing. If it can tow what you want safely and run around empty very well it would be the better option.

You are arguing about differences in ratio's and how it affects performance. But, the manufacturers set those ratios and load figures.

You then state the opposite concerning FE figures. Stating that what the manufacturer's provide.

You can't have it both ways. The couple hundred pounds variations in tow limits is no different than the impact of ratio changes to FE.

Look at my above argument concerning towing and how often a pickup is used for towing. I would understand your argument better if you are talking about a trucking operation looking to run a truck 24/7, but for a vehicle that runs around empty most of the time, what is the more important 'metric' to base a buying decision on?

@big Al

I guess you missed the part where I said:

"These are most of the questions I like to know when buying a truck meant to tow a specific weight I need it to. There are probably other criteria that people look for that I probably left out."

Just because those things don't apply to your world does not mean it doesn't apply to others. Your opinion on "The parameters you set for testing doesn't test 'real life' operation" is relative based off of your life experiences and is not the same for everyone else. You are applying your mindset and beliefs upon everyone as if it were fact. That is the reason why I said "There are probably other criteria that people look for that I probably left out." because I know not all people are the same with the same circumstances. I was not being like you where it was my way or the highway and what everyone else thinks is wrong. I was putting down a list that I (as in ME) would like to see PUTC do, and acknowledged that others might want to see other stuff done as a standard.

Let me ask you something. When was the last time you were over here in the United States towing? If so, where was it and how much were you towing? How often have you done it? To say that I don't need to know how quickly a truck would be able to merge onto the highway while towing its rated weight is false. Apparently you have never tried to merge onto a busy highway over here while towing before. I have plenty of times, and there are some short on-ramps in the city that it is pretty much required to merge as fast as you can in order to do it safely do to other inconsiderate drivers that will block you just to stay ahead of you. To say that I don't need to know how quickly a truck would do in a 40-70 mph passing situation is false. Apparently you have never been towing on a two lane road stuck behind an 18-wheeler doing 45 mph. I have plenty of times, and knowing if the truck still has plenty of power left while towing close to it's max weight is helpful when buying a truck. Some trucks do not have power to spare when towing close to their max weight. To say that I don't need to know how well a truck would stop in an emergency situation while towing is false. Apparently you have never towed on US roads where most cars would cut in front of you not giving you plenty of room to stop if needed. I have had that happen to me plenty of times and have had to use the full braking power of the truck/trailer to come to a complete stop while towing because a truck hit a guard rail and almost flipped right in front of me. I can go on and on, but what I am trying to get at is don't tell me that I(as in ME) don't need to know these things because they are not pertinent to YOUR real life. Not everyone is the same, not everyone uses there truck the same way, and not everyone has the same reasons for buying a truck. PLEASE, understand this.

You see, what I have stated above are things you cannot find out on a test drive at the dealership. You can't necessarily go to a dealership and ask them if you could hook up the truck to a 10,000 trailer to see if you want it or not. This is why we turn to sites like PUTC to give us information like that. It is easy to do a 30 minute test drive to get a good idea of how a truck will normally accelerate unloaded, how much fuel it will consume when driven normally, or how well the brakes work in normal circumstances. This is why I say PUTC should set a certain standard for different classes so we can know these things. Is it normal that you always need to go 0-60 all the time? No, but you can't really test a truck to see how it does in normal acceleration and reference it to a number that we can compare to a standard. I would love for the PUTC testers to do a 25% and 50% part throttle acceleration test, but that is next to impossible unless you have the right equipment. If you can come up with a way that we can test a trucks normal acceleration with all trucks as a standard then please share. Until then, all we have is a flat out 0-60 to go by. I know you don't like it, but it is all we have to use until your ingenious mind comes up with something better.

To answer this.... "Even if you have a truck rated to tow 10 000lbs doesn't mean it will manage towing 6 or 7 thousands pounds as well as a vehicle rated at 7 500lbs."..... That is why we would have a standard. We could have a test were a truck that is rated in the 9,000 lbs class would have to tow that 9,000lbs up a graded hill without doing no more than 5 miles under a certain speed limit like 65 mph (This is a real world scenario for those that do tow BTW). If the truck that the manufacturer claims can tow over 9,000lbs drops down to say 45 mph in the test while all the other trucks in that class kept it between 60-65 mph then we would know that the manufacturer is BSing us on their towing claims and that truck should be knocked down to maybe the 8,000 class since it failed to meet the standard by a large margin. How pissed would one be if they bought a truck that the manufacturer claimed would tow 9,600lbs but neglected to mention that is at 45mph with the rpms revving all the way past 5,000 rpm. How can a consumer test that on a dealership test drive to know if the manufacturer is BSing us or not. You can't which is why we turn to sites like PUTC to let us know if the manufacturer is sprinkling magic towing dust on their trucks or not.

Lastly, I will say it again.... PLEASE, stop applying your perception as reality to others. What you look for in a truck and what we look for in a truck is not the same. Take my list that I stated above as just a starting point of what we all would like to see PUTC do and can be changed by all of us as subscribers. It is not set to only one person criteria or real life events and placed upon others as fact. When you finally realize this, I promise you will live easier with less tension to want to fire back at me with an opposing rebuttal. Say it with me "We are not all the same." Again "We are not all the same." Keep repeating that for as long as it takes to sink in.

@All 1

You really need to try the decaf!

@papa Jim

No, what I really need is to get back to work. I was forced to stay home these past few days due to a cold and my work laptop is in IT. So I am stuck inside with crappy weather outside bored out of my mind. Sadly, this and the History Channel are the only thing keeping me sane ATM. There is only so many episodes of that guy with the freaky hair and a sprayed on tan on Ancient Aliens that one man can take.

The comments to this entry are closed.