2015 Annual Physical Coming Next Week

Group Five AP II

Just a few weeks ago we published our 2015 Light-Duty V-8 Challenge during which we took the newest V-8 half-ton pickup trucks (crew-cab 4x4s that cost less than $55,000) and tested them in just about every way possible. That was a big test for us, but what we didn't tell you is that we had six other pickups with us at the time — all of which were different types of V-6s (gas, diesel, turbos, etc.), and they had to do just about everything the big V-8s did.

We'll be posting our 2015 Annual Physical — this time focused on half-ton pickups with one exception — next week with all the specs and data we collected during a battery of comparison tests. The types of vehicles and configurations are all over the map with regular-, extended- and crew-cab models along with a diesel and even a new midsize pickup for comparison. We don't choose a winner for this one, but we do give you more data points than anyone in the industry on the vehicles you want to know about.

And as we did with last year's inaugural Annual Physical, we want to know which pickups and what type of tests you want to see for our next big test comparison. Be as specific as possible, and if you know where the best roads and hill climbs are located, be sure to share that with us too. Who knows? Maybe we'll have to contact you to help us out. More coming.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears


Chevy Colorado II




A cool comparo would be like 37k trucks, 1/2 ton 4x4 extended cab with base v6 engines F150 3.5 ram 3.6 chevy 4.3 toyota 4.0 and just mix it up toss in a colorado with the 3.6. Try pulling about 5k, mpg, off roading and all the usual battery of tests. Oh and feel free to contact me to do some testing, that would be a blast for a nerd like me.

awesome. data and lots of it. keep up the good work guys.

what % of the truck is made in the USA.

and test trucks with all engine options.

I agree with Terry. Run a test at the same time with every available engine for that configuration.

I have a lot of roads to suggest but I doubt PUTC will drive 1,700 miles north.

That would be a test in itself.

No winner picked? I guess everyone's a winner then. Except Tundra and Titan, no V-6....losers.

Too bad the new Titan wasn't around for the test, it would smoke em all!

The new Titan V-6 would smoke what? It should hang with the non-turbo motors beyond that it might prove mostly competent.

This is off subject but the more I see the "mid-size" trucks the more convinced I am those are the future 1/2 tons due to the EPA mileage standards the manufactures have to hit and the Present behemoth 1/2's will be the heavy haulers.
Downsizing is the trend.

My mistake, I misread the article...

I'd like to see an interesting new venue for future tests instead of the same old thing in the same places. Use the trucks the way people use them in the real world and would be great if you got guys to help you out with the tests who rely on trucks everyday. No offense but you guys clearly don't have real world experience relying on a truck everyday for work and play. You need someone like the manager of a calf ranch who is running multiple trucks hundreds of miles a day 5 days a week hauling cattle. Or a snowmobile enthusiast taking a load of snowmobiles up steep slick roads. Or an elk hunter taking his truck up steep muddy rocky terrain and hauling out an elk four days later. Or a farmer hauling some small straw bales, or a combine header, or a load of bean seed, or a pallet of gear boxes. I just find a lot of these tests on here lame because I know many people that regularly push their trucks far beyond what you guys do in your tests. You need to mirror some of the stuff ford does with their "real world torture tests" but tell us the WHOLE story unlike ford in their gimmicky advertisements. Id love to see a test where you went in and got stuck and three flat tires and one truck broke down and a great backstory! You need to branch out a little further from LA! You need to get a little dirty!

Test these new heavy weight 1/2 tons against 3/4 tons. Mainly the coil rear Ram while towing the 1/2 max 12,000lbs. See if the 3/4 ton Ram handles the weight better. Acceleration, braking,ride quality, uphills. The question being is someone better off towing 12,000 with a 1/2 ton or better off towing 12,000 with a 3/4 ton? Bigger axles, brakes, Frame, some models bigger engine.

If that tradesmen is an ecodiesel it sure looks like it has a short bed which isnt available with the ecodiesel. And it has a badge so its an ecodiesel or a hemi. And they aren't testing v8s here. That black express is a pentastar though. I bet the extended cab ford is a 2.7 and the crew cab is a 3.5. Toyota quit the 4.0 completely. Nissan has nothing to offer yet. Gm could have sent a gmc with a different rear end like they did in the v8 comparison.

You have a point about actual tests.
"You need someone like the manager of a calf ranch who is running multiple trucks hundreds of miles a day 5 days a week hauling cattle."
Could be thousands of miles and several thousand cattle, different trucks, different order of magnitude

IT'S NOT FAIR that PUTC is using duct tape to hold the windshield in and deflating the tires for a smooth ride on the F-150.
also tires do not grip better in the rain when they are deflated.
make it fair by using the same tire air pressure in all the test trucks!

This will be interesting.

I'm awaiting the comments on how a vehicle that can carry 20lbs more or tow 200lbs more must better because the numbers are larger.

In all honesty I do think to much emphasis is placed on worthless 0-60 times on level roads or hills.

Or towing 10 000lbs and see how fast it can accelerate for overtaking. This is pie in the sky stuff. How long would a pickup last if every time someone overtakes of climbs a hill loaded they drive it they flog their pickup.

It gives no real clue on how the pickup would drive under normal conditions by a normal driver.

It only appeals to the school kids who comment on PUTC.

Like I've been stating of late, why not judge a pickup for what the majority are buying them for, an occasional vehicle to go to Home Depot to pickup 10 bags of cement and 50 screws and tow maybe 5 000lbs.

5 000lbs is quite a large load to have behind a pickup. You will know in any pickup you have some weight behind you.

Then do a test for the remaining 25% of pickup customers who do buy for a specific purpose.

I'd bet if someone tows 7 000lbs regularly they would buy a 3/4 ton diesel and not gas. Why do you think HD diesels are so popular?

I'd like to see the trucks maxed out to their prospective towing and payload ratings. Like the Ford F-450 is rated to tow 31,200 lbs, but can it really tow it well. Same with the half tons, the Silverado says it can tow 12,000 lbs, but can it tow 12,000 lbs well enough that I'd feel comfortable towing that. I haven't seen anybody do that since yall tried to do it with the 2013 Ram 3500

A real world comparison test between GM half ton and a GM mid size. Include towing a mid weight trailer (3500-5000lb), hauling, loaded and unloaded fuel economy loops, etc.

Big AL,

The value for loaded 0-60 is a safety one. That's part of the reason that the new SAE towing specs include a minimum 0-60 time.

The ability to comfortably control and handle a load is the goal.

0-60 is important for that reason. Unloaded 0-60 not so much....unless that is important to you, in which case you are probably not using your truck for work.

Good test, drive on I-70 thru the Flint hills of Kansas with cruise control set on the speed limit of 75mph with a 30 mph side wind. Loaded with a 3,500lb camping trailer, something light but tall like that to catch the wind. See if it will hold speed, see how many down shifts it takes to maintain speed, if it can maintain speed and how it handles in a side wind. Real world testing...

I think adding in some data about temps on the engine coolant, oil, tranny, EGT, etc. Those would help a number of folks figure out which vehicle is being more strained under use, leading to which might have more reliability or lower cost of maintenance in the long run (ie over 100k miles).

I also agree with testing on different surfaces. Maybe one of the automakers would let you rent out a test track for a week. Use the rough road portion to measure decibel levels, squeaks, rattles, etc.

Have a tank of water in the bed over the rough road and measure the amount of water that is left. (ie more water left means it has a smoother ride).

The auto makers may not like it but use some machines to test the amount of force needed to dent various panels (ie bed floor and sides, door panels, bumpers, etc)

Have some women testers too. I know men buy more trucks but even in those circumstances our wives/girlfriends often have a say in what is purchased based on their comfort/ease of use. Having lower load heights might really make a difference beyond just sheer number capability.

Dyno test all of the trucks and post all of the info. We'd like to see just how much torque is produced off-idle, etc.

Run the same truck, same motor, same payload, same towing but with different rear gears so we can see just how much better MPG's a truck might get under constant conditions. (ie one might be great unloaded but when towing it would be a dog. It might help those who a weekend warriors versus daily haulers choose the best option for them)

Test in various conditions, meaning do a test in Death Valley in July and if possible use the same trucks in Colorado in the winter (or for Beebe and I test in Idaho).

I have other ideas but this is getting a little long :) Thanks for already doing the best overall pickup testing out there.

Al doesn't want 0-60 loaded or unloaded because he knows it invalidates his gas vs diesel platform. The Motortrend test essentially showed that the 2.7L EcoBoost F150 ate the 3.0L EcoDiesel Ram's lunch in performance across the board. Unloaded, loaded, towing, accleration while towing......

Motortrend even states the Ram was the least capable in the article!! LOL It won a truck shootout based on ride comfort and mpg essentially. The Ram EcoDiesel fits Al's definition of a light truck, a car with a bed with load ratings and capability to match.

2016 Colorado/Canyon 4X4 3.6L V6
2016 Colorado/Canyon 4x4 2.8L Diesel
2016 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 3.5L V6
2016 Nissan Frontier 4X4 4.0L V6
2016 Honda Ridgeline 4X4 (if the 2016 will be available this year)

Would like to see fuel economy, towing performance, towing fuel economy, ride comparisons etc.

Please select similarly equipped trucks for example if you go with a Z71 off road GM, then use the Tacoma TRD Off-Road and Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

You have proven my point that the pickup is in fact mainly a SUV/Car with little usage a "truck" for hauling with your comment;

"The value for loaded 0-60 is a safety one. That's part of the reason that the new SAE towing specs include a minimum 0-60 time.

The ability to comfortably control and handle a load is the goal.

0-60 is important for that reason. Unloaded 0-60 not so much....unless that is important to you, in which case you are probably not using your truck for work."

As I stated the EMPHASIS placed on these times is used by many as debating points in attempting to show a vehicle is better. This isn't the case.

Also your comment in regards to a pickup conforming to the SAE standard isn't relevant. It either is within the limits set out by the SAE standard or not.

A standard is a limit. So, if the speed limit is 45mph and your are driving at 65mph does that make you a better driver?

Al - Reread what you posted about the SAE standard. A standard is not a limit. A limit is a limit. The SAE standards are composed of many tests that set acceptable and un acceptable perfomance numbers for a truck to meet to achieve a rating based on those tests. 0-60 time loaded is a scored rating, not a limit. If the truck does not score high enough, it has to be down rated until it meets the standard and thus a rating is achieved.

Tom#3 - please post your evidence.
BTW - not all vehicles run the same tire pressure.

Spare us the internet marketing BS.

@Beebe - agreed. Use the trucks as work trucks. Run them on rough gravel roads. Not some 4x4 play park but run them up and down a 100 mile stretch of gravel. Measure the noise in the cab etc.

I'd like to see Gross Combined Weight Ratings posted. There is obviously a large amount of confusion in relation to tare weight, cargo weight (which includes passengers), and tow weights.

@Lou_BC - I want a pickup that makes me look good, a truck that fits me like fine clothes, everybody in my work crew owns a Ram and I am a very good looking handsome man with broad shoulders , perfect body! I need a truck that also makes me look good and my F-150 doesn't do that, I have an image to keep.
The pearl white Ram 1500 will make me look good. The King always traveled in the best looking carriage with white horses.
Posted by: Tom#3 | Oct 2, 2014 3:03:19 AM

I'd like to see two F150 XLT crew cabs with the 6'6" bed, 4x4, max trailer tow package; one with the 3.5 Eco Boost V6 and the other with the 5.0 V8. Same for the Lariats.

The SAE is a standard.

Read up what standards are.

When a standard is exceeded doesn't always make for an improvement. Especially in this case when the operator is 100% to blame, not a vehicles rate of acceleration.

What a silly comment! Remember, what about the fool behind the wheel.

I'd bet you blame everyone around you when you screw up........."Sorry Officer, my pickup didn't accelerate quick enough so I had a head on. It's all Fords fault!"

Sounds a bit lame doesn't it?

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