What's the Best Light-Duty Truck for Towing 2016: Texas Truck Showdown

Joe dyno reading II

By Patrick Olsen, Cars.com

We put these five light-duty pickup trucks through a week's worth of tow testing in and around Houston to see which came out on top. Our judges were:

Mark Williams — PickupTrucks.com editor
Joe Bruzek — Cars.com senior road test editor
Bruce Smith — automotive freelance journalist who specializes in trucks and 4x4s
Kent Sundling — editor and owner of MrTruck.com

Here's how the trucks finished and what the judges thought about each one.

 

No. 5: 2016 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition, 5.7-liter V-8; 2,102 points

Toyota Action 1 II

100-point categories (best in test): Fuel-tank capacity

The Verdict: "Perhaps a Tundra equipped differently could have made a better tow rig," Bruzek said, "but this Tundra with its off-road package was far outclassed for a comparison on maximum towing."

What They Liked

Quick start: The Tundra "launches with authority," Smith said, and Williams agreed: "The engine and transmission is always ready to jump off the line."

Transmission: "It may be short a few gears compared with the others," Bruzek said, "but the Tundra has very positive shifts from its six-speed package."

Handling: "Its light steering effort makes for quick lane changes, despite being the heaviest in this comparison," Bruzek said, and Smith liked how the Tundra "handles the trailered load."

The 1794 trim level: Bruzek liked the "beefy looks of its TRD Off-Road Package," while Williams said that "the 1794 Edition is a good first attempt with room for improvement," and Sundling appreciated its "quality luxury interior."

And …: Smith liked the "overall visibility." Sundling applauded that its "4.30 axle ratio is made for towing; you have to go to a Ford F-450 to get that axle ratio." And Williams noted that "there is nothing like the CrewMax cab out there. It's an entirely separate room in the back of the cab."

What They Didn't

Poor mpg: It "inhales fuel," Smith said. "The fuel mileage is the lowest in this group," Sundling noted, and Williams added, "fuel economy for a truck like this in a segment this competitive needs to be much better."

Toyota Int 1 II

Transmission, while towing: "It did a lot of hunting when loaded with a heavy trailer," Williams said, and Sundling found that "at slower speeds, even in Tow mode, the transmission hunts for gears and doesn't stay in gear until it reaches higher speeds."

Ergonomics: Smith disliked "the Tundra's placement of switches and knobs," while Sundling noted that he's "glad they finally have a factory trailer-brake controller, but it's hard to see while driving and using the manual control."

The exhaust note: "The optional TRD exhaust is an initial novelty that grows old the more miles you put on the truck," Bruzek said, and other judges agreed.

And …: "Most outdated truck in the group, other than the sheet metal," Sundling said. "Brake pedal feel is light and uncommunicative," Bruzek said. Williams found that there was "too much sagging in the rear end with payload; 1,200 pounds of [calculated] payload here is unconscionable."

 

No. 4: 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn, 5.7-liter V-8; 2,149 points

Ram Action 1 II

100-point categories (best in test): None

The Verdict: "The value player in the group when loaded with options and features," Williams said, "if you're looking for a half-ton that doesn't need to work too often."

What They Liked

Interior quality: "Our Laramie Longhorn delivered top-notch layouts and quality at thousands less than Ford and GMC," Williams said. "It has the look and options of a luxury truck for a midrange price," Sundling said. "Highest quality and most comfortable interior with supple leather seating and fine materials for this class," Bruzek said.

Ride quality: "One of the most comfortable empty," Bruzek said, and Smith said he liked the "stable ride it provides when towing." Other judges agreed.

Value proposition: "A dollar goes very far with features like heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, towing mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, all for $50,805," Bruzek said.

And …: "I love the sound of the Hemi under hard throttle," Smith said. "By far the easiest to get comfortable inside and around town," Williams said. "Visibility is as good as it gets for a pickup truck," Sundling said. Finally, "although some hate them," Williams said, "I like the pivoting side mirrors that offer a ton of rear visibility."

What They Didn't

Side mirrors: "They hang out like oars and do little to increase vision," Smith countered.

Ram Int 1 II

Trailer squat: Williams disliked "the horrible sagging when the Ram was loaded with bed cargo. It's uncomfortable to look at and has the headlights pointing skyward." "With this squat," Sundling added, "it handles the worst with a trailer, fishtailing."

Power: "I expected gutsier acceleration for its power and torque ratings with the eight-speed automatic transmission," Bruzek said, "though its hefty weight might have something to do with that."

Controls: "I don't like the dial-a-shift in the Ram," Smith said, "and the Longhorn's distracting gauge overlays make it difficult to read them, day or night."

And …: "I can't quite explain why this truck has a heavy and sluggish steering feel," Williams said. "Braking performance is far less confident when carrying the maximum payload," Bruzek said. "Ram desperately needs a more aggressive fuel-economy strategy as the Hemi has to be babied to get good mileage."

 

No. 3: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ, 5.3-liter V-8; 2,233 points

Chevy Action 1 II

100-point categories (best in test): Empty 60-to-zero-mph braking, sound at idle (tied with Ford), empty mpg (tied with GMC), calculated maximum payload, gross vehicle weight rating (tied with GMC)

The Verdict: "The Silverado offers stability and driver confidence when towing," Smith said. "The only thing that could make this package better would be if it had the 6.2-liter engine under the hood."

What They Liked

Transmission: "The eight-speed transmission squeezes every bit of acceleration from the 5.3-liter with impressive results," Bruzek said. Smith agreed: "The eight-speed's programming is perfectly matched to the engine."

Value proposition: "This Silverado is a good value for the price difference versus the 6.2-liter if you don't tow often," Sundling said. "I can't think of a better mainstream player in this segment, delivering solid ability and function," Williams said. "It's not sexy, but it's honest."

Interior design and quality: "It has a huge number of USB ports plus wireless charging, and that allows every passenger to charge a device at the same time," Bruzek said. "The interior designers have shown wonderful self-restraint," Williams said. "It's easy to see all the important stuff with dials and big buttons." "The memory foam in the seat makes it the most comfortable GM has ever made," Sundling said.

And …: "I like its fuel economy and power," Smith said, while Sundling appreciated its speed and braking ability while empty. "Its handling is planted when loaded or empty," Bruzek noted, and Williams concurred: "The Silverado chassis has the most composed feeling when loaded or towing."

What They Didn't

No 6.2-liter engine: "I had 6.2-liter envy driving this back-to-back with the GMC's more powerful engine," Bruzek said. "With little difference in fuel economy versus the 6.2," Sundling said, "it would be hard to pick the 5.3-liter."

Chevy Int 1 II

Steering-wheel position: "GM trucks still have their steering wheels pointed toward the door," Sundling said. "This goes back to the 1970s when it served the purpose of making entrance easier. Now that we have tilt and telescoping steering wheels, why doesn't GM align the steering wheel with the seat and doors?" Other judges agreed.

Ride: Smith didn't like "the harshness from the front suspension when encountering sharp bumps and dips, such as expansion joints and broken pavement." "Ride quality when empty is slightly disruptive and definitely more trucklike," Bruzek said, "but at the same time, body movement is controlled very well."

Features and quality: "Chevy trucks will always come up short on more options and features as long as GMC is around," Williams said.

And …: "I can't believe the crew cab doesn't offer a bigger fuel-tank choice," Williams said. "The new hood blocks frontal vision," Smith said. "With a trailer, acceleration is disappointing," Sundling said, "even with the eight-speed transmission."

 

No. 2: 2016 Ford F-150 Lariat, 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost; 2,323 points

Ford Action 1 II

100-point categories (best in test): Least expensive, scale weight, sound at idle (tied with Chevy), sound at 60 mph, peak torque on dyno @ rpm

The Verdict: "This F-150 is perfect for the times when V-8 muscle is needed," Smith said, "and perfect for when mpg matters most."

What They Liked

The way it drove: "The F-150 has unparalleled agility and maneuverability in this comparison that contribute to the Ford driving like a much smaller truck," Bruzek said. Smith liked "the nimble, sporty feeling when driven empty."

Power: "The torque from the EcoBoost 3.5-liter is confidence inspiring with big payloads," Bruzek said. Smith appreciated the Ford's "surprisingly nice balance of horsepower and fuel economy."

Interior quality and ergonomics: "This is the standout feature for me," Williams said, "offering more features and options and quality surfaces than anyone in this price range. There isn't anyone who understands how to deliver information to the driver than Ford." Smith agreed: "I like Ford's technology package and how it gives a broad scope of information that's easily accessed while driving." Sundling applauded its "great dash layout, with the most options to scroll through."

Bonus features: Bruzek liked the "countless utility features, such as LED box lighting, the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, retractable tailgate step and digital dashboard displays with trailering info."

And …: The Ford "has great grade shifting in Tow/Haul mode," Sundling said, "and it's very well-equipped for the price."

What They Didn't

Wheel choice: Smith didn't like "the way its two-ply, carlike tires handle when towing," while Bruzek, our track driver, saw "absurd wheelspin that keeps the big power from being used to its maximum potential." "Our test truck had Michelin Energy Saver tires, and it was frustrating to watch it on the track," Williams said. "Yes, it got better mpg, but there was a lot of tire spin."

Ford Int 1 II

Trailer and payload issues: Smith didn't like the F-150's "soft rear suspension when towing," and Sundling noted that it "squatted bad with a trailer, which changed the headlight angle." "It doesn't track nicely when loaded on the track," Bruzek said. "It was darting around at highway speeds with the nose pointed high and the rear of the truck squatting."

Lightweight: "We could definitely feel that this truck was the lightest of the group, but that meant it was less settled on bad roads," Williams said.

And …: "There's nothing like the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, but it forces the trailer-brake controller too low," Williams said. "It didn't have the optional towing mirrors that many others in this competition did," Bruzek said.

 

No. 1: 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT, 6.2-liter V-8; 2,357 points

GMC Sierra Action 1 II

100-point categories (best in test): Empty zero-to-60 mph, loaded zero-to-60 mph, empty quarter-mile, loaded quarter-mile, loaded 60-to-zero-mph braking, peak horsepower @ rpm dyno, empty mpg (tied with Chevy), mpg with trailer, calculated maximum towing ability, maximum rated towing, gross combined weight rating, GVWR (tied with Chevy)

The Verdict: "This is a mild-mannered pickup that is ready to don its cape and do some heavy lifting," Williams said, "saving the day from a long list of work chores."

What They Liked

The powertrain: "The hot-rod 6.2-liter engine and eight-speed transmission are a match made in heaven," Bruzek said, "capable of making a maxed-out payload feel nonexistent." "The engine and transmission are synced up like a smooth-flying jet rocket," Williams added. And Smith liked "the fuel economy and power the 6.2-liter and eight-speed combo provides." "I love the sound of the 6.2," Sundling noted.

And more powertrain: "Did I mention it's fast?" Bruzek asked. "It's like hit-the-speed-governor-before-the-quarter-mile-ends kind of fast." "It's surprising how much of a sleeper hot rod this is," Williams said. "Loaf along and get rewarded; stomp the throttle and get rewarded too."

Tech: "I like the way the Apple CarPlay integrates with the Sierra," Smith said. "Apple CarPlay simplifies using an iPhone in the truck easier than any other multimedia system," Bruzek added. "The gauge layout is the quickest to read the vital signs such as engine temperature, oil pressure and battery amps," Sundling said.

Interior quality: "Even the midlevel package SLT offers all sorts of nice details and touches in the cabin," Williams said. "Soft for all elbows."

What They Didn't

Value proposition: "The 6.2-liter and eight-speed automatic are only available on the priciest trim levels," Bruzek said. "GMC will always be a little pricier," Williams said, "but I'm not a fan of having to pay $50,000 for the big V-8." Smith objected to the GMC running on premium, adding to long-term ownership costs.

GMC Int 1 II

Empty ride: "Like the Chevy, ride quality without payload or a trailer is bouncy and more rigid than the more-refined-riding trucks in this comparison," Bruzek said. Smith disliked "the GMC's stiff compression damping of the shocks, especially in the front." "The ride is not as good as the Ram's rear coil springs," Sundling said.

And …: "Just like the Chevy, it's difficult to believe that there isn't a larger fuel tank option for crew cabs. Everyone else has it, even Toyota," Williams said. "It has a smaller windshield than the other trucks, and the large rearview mirror with OnStar blocks some of the view," Sundling added.

 

TTS16_AllChart_Tow_pmo_F2

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears and Angela Conners

Overview | Acceleration | Braking | Mileage | Results

 

Judges 1 II


 

Comments

@Mark, this test also shows that its ok to illegally tow them without WD at max tow?? That part alone tells alot about this site and its validity. Plus dont try to call out us Fan boys, I only ever owned 1 Ford, my current truck, owned all the rest and have said many times, I will drive them all and buy what I like

Well they definitely did not use equalizer hitches as you can see it in one of the pictures. An equalizer hitch makes a huge difference in rear end sag in many cases.

GMSRBAD, I'll also say again, to you and BAFO, DOnt brag that the NEW big 6.2 engine barely beat he old v6 of Ford,

Posted by: nitro | Jan 26, 2016 7:19:48 AM

Haha! I'll brag because, right now, I drive a winner. Whooohoooo! Yeeeesss!

Congrats to GM's 6.2L Sierra for finally building a truck that matches Ford, it only took 5 years.

2nd to last pic in this link you can see a equalizer hitch. That is the only clear pic that shows the truck and trailer hitch.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/texas-truck-showdown-2016-towing-mileage-test.html

I believe it's a Andersen hitch which doesn't look like your typical WD hitch. So I can understand how some believe they didn't use a WD hitch..... Not informed about modern tech in towing like the staff of putc.

I'm not a fan of the style of WD hitch they used cause I don't think it transfers the weight as advertised. If there compliant is sagging in the back and headlights pointing up that means the WD hitch isn't transfering weight all that well.

Wait till the next diesel challenge. Your duracrap will be destroyed by 900 lbs of torque from pure American muscle!
Posted by: HEMI V8

"pure American muscle!"

That is true since the Cummins is the only American part of the truck.

The rest is assembled in Mexico with a Japanese transmission. The company is owned by Italians with a head office in the Netherlands and a tax office in England.

I can see the Sam Elliott commercials now..........

RAM

The United Nations of Trucks.

@lou
Actually the 6.7 cummins engine itself is a Mexico made engine....

Another thing the L86 was all new in 2014 vs the old vortec 6.2. Doesn't share much in common besides displacement. So gm was using brand new 420 hp tech that barely beat old 365 hp tech. On tires that would absurdly spin in every challenge. The new engine tech for ford will come out in 2017 model...

http://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/gm-engines/l86/#tab-1

The GMC lost 125 lb/ft of torque to parasitic loss????

HOLY COW.

That transmission must suck.

Actually the 6.7 cummins engine itself is a Mexico made engine....


Posted by: Scott | Jan 26, 2016 12:35:58 PM

I believe you are correct. The 6.7L for the fiat is built in a different facility than for medium duty trucks.

Lou_BC,
Lou, it appears your comment alludes to the fact that if something is not built in the USA is must somehow be inferior.

Is this the intent of your comment?

I do believe the Japanese and most any OECD country are as advanced as each other in the basic engineering of motor vehicles.

Even countries like Mexico, China and Thailand have the engineering expertise to produce motor vehicles.

Or, as per usual is your comment a troulle aiming at any product other than Frod??

I do think my latter statement is more accurate.

The 6.7L for the fiat is built in a different facility than for medium duty trucks.

Posted by: LMAO | Jan 26, 2016 12:59:58 PM

FIAT doesn't use any 6.7 made in Mexico.
You are wrong.


BARFo - there you go again defending the FCA minions. You FCA bias once again comes to the surface. You don't shoot down your FCA allies now do you.
ROTFLMFAO

ONCE AGAIN YOU MISS THE POINT.

HemiV8 is a "nationalist". He has posted many comments that prove this out. He says "buy American" BUT does not practice what he preaches.

I'm just pointing out that the Cummins engine that was going to destroy the Duramax was the most "American" part of the truck he mentioned.

Nothing more nothing less.

I understand mpg. Braking. Sure performance..... But this is for max towing correct? So why is handling not a separate category... How it handles and how it sags and how much steering is affected is a major area in my opinion when it comes to max towing. Sound at idle? Who gives 2 ..... And not to bash Ford but isn't it "v8 performance with v6 efficiency" so when a natural 6.2 v8 has more hp/tq and better mpg that should be a slap in the face. Whether it's 1 mpg or not. And these days 1300 lbs payload in the Ram..... Sad..

That 6.2 is very impressive. But like its been said upper trim.. Sucks

"if something is not built in the USA is must somehow be inferior."

"Or, as per usual is your comment a troulle aiming at any product other than Frod??"

Ummm........... the PowerStroke diesel is built in Mexico.

Ohhhhhh I'mmmm sooo conflicted................ the PAIN............ the IRONY........

BWWWHHHHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA

Do you want to talk about inline 6 gas engines again? You got really quiet on that thread.

BWWWHHHHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA

I have one question:

Why is towing 10K pounds considered "light duty"? That's the equivalent weight of two Bobcats on one trailer which makes it a medium-duty load. Light duty would be a camping trailer at 7500# or less or maybe a single car being carried home for restoration. But to me that's more capability than a true "light duty" truck ever needs.

I don't understand, the Toyota has a max calculated payload of 1200#, the ram 1300#. Did they run these trucks with 1750# in the bed? 550#-450# over gvwr a number to never be exceeded!

I don't understand, the Toyota has a max calculated payload of 1200#, the ram 1300#. Did they run these trucks with 1750# in the bed? 550#-450# over gvwr a number to never be exceeded!

I also don't understand how i posted this twice?

Well, it official. GM owns the half ton pick-up market in sales, capability and performance. It has been a good month.

Haha! LAMO is such as sucker, I told him I posted here and he immediately comes here and posts a comment using my name. LOL. Wait a second, what's that word to describe him, oh yes, LOSER!

Smooches!

Have I told y'all, lately, how beautiful you look?

If you look at the pictures you'll see a W.D. Hitch was used, adjustable head lamps should be standard in all pickups, as well as optional air bags for leveling,provided you aren't overloaded

How is the Ford able to tow so much weight, when it only has a load capacity of 860 lbs? That would mean if they were to tow the max, the tongue weight would be more than 10%, by far! After going over all the numbers, the test seem to be fair. But they should have stuck to the 10% rule with the tongue ratio, that would have effected half the trucks outcomes here, not only towing, but load carrying also! It might have given the GM twins 1st and 2nd place, if they had stuck to the rules in the owners manuals!

The funny thing none of you mention is that this test is bogus, they all should have been 4X4 equipped.

This would show, much closer weight between the Ford and the GM Twins

This would show, the Ford getting much worse Fuel Economy, look them up, a 2.7 ecobust goes WAY down in FE going from 2wd to 4wd, the 3.5 suffers as well, no Fuel Saving cheat tires and no 500lbs difference between Ford and GM, it was only 80 pounds in the last test of the 4x4 chevy 6.2 vs the 3.5 ecobust 4x4 crew cab,

Mike Levine suggested this 2wd towing compare because he knew the 4x4 towing alum f150 would have looked way worse.

The 5.3 with the 8 speed is a great combo and most wont tow at MAX, if you tow 10k+ on regular basis time to move up to an HD, towing 5-8k the 5.3 is the way to go, the 6.2 is a monster and there is ALOT left in that motor, 500/500 has been achieved easily, that's GM factory testing...

Here are the numbers of the 2015 Ford F150 3.5 Ecoboost 4x4 versus the winner of the Light Duty V8 Winner, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2 4x4.

As you can see, the Chevrolet wins almost every test, you could say 8 speed vs 6 speed is an advantage for GM, as you could say Gears favor the Ford, along with slightly lighter and less payload, versus 100 pounds more trailering on the Davis Dam Run Only.


Chevrolet 54310
Gears 3,23
Weight 5620

0-60 5.92
0-60 loaded 7.09 1240 pounds
1/4 14.34
1/4 loaded 15.36 1240 pounds
Unloaded Chevy 6.2 19.8 MPG
Braking 60-0 133.7 unloaded
Trailering Chevy 6.2 10.2 MPG 6,700 pounds
Braking 60-0 132.2 loaded with 1240 pounds
Davis Dam 19.92 6,700-pound trailer

Ford F150 60880
Gears 3.55
Weight 5560

0-60 6.22
0-60 loaded 7.02 1080 pounds
1/4 14.84
1/4 15.50 loaded 1080 pounds
Unloaded 3.5 Eco boost 18.5
Braking 60-0 133.6 unloaded
Trailering 3.5 Ecoboost 11.1 6,800 pounds
Braking 60-0 135.3 with 1080 pounds
Davis Dam 20.76 6,800-pound trailer

Sandman4x4 - that must have been a typo. The F150 in the test had a cargo capacity of 1,860. It shows it on a table in the overview.
http://cars.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e201b7c80b4300970b-pi

Sandman4x4 - that must have been a typo. The F150 in the test had a cargo capacity of 1,860. It shows it on a table in the overview.
http://cars.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e201b7c80b4300970b-pi

In all fairness the GM 6.2 is a brand new engine while the 3.5 EB is 5 years old. I agree Ford should update and increase it's ability, but it took this long for anyone to make something better.

"The funny thing none of you mention is that this test is bogus, they all should have been 4X4 equipped."

I disagree, GMman. Very few people do real towing with a 4x4 because the bed and chassis are too high for the average Class 4 or fifth-wheel hitched trailers. Those that do need to have the hitch ball itself lowered enough below the frame as to make the 4x4 almost useless while towing. As such, the 2WD trucks are the best choice for any kind of towing especially when hauling any kind of weight. The test IS valid, even if you disagree with the results.

That said, I too disagree with the results, but for a different reason. As was previously mentioned, this time every truck hauled the exact same amount of weight, even if that weight was in some cases significantly over the GVWR. I will grant that owners tend to ignore that GVWR when they need to move bulky items but at the same time it's relatively rarely that any of them will carry a full load unless its used professionally and not as a family station wagon.

The trucks I see carrying heavy loads are almost exclusively the 1-ton class and very often with duallies. As I live in horse country to some extent, I see one of these carrying a load of hay 6' to 8' above the cab in the bed and pulling a heavy trailer stacked even higher down its full length, often followed by by a class 7 or 8 carrying even more. Not once have I seen a half-ton truck pulling more than a medium-length travel trailer (about 7500#) or a single car on a trailer while most of the time they're not pulling a trailer at all.

But what is really bad is when you see a fancy pickup truck with a solid tonneau cover on the bed pulling a dinky utility trailer with a few bags of stone, mulch or other material that could easily ride IN that bed. Now you tell me; exactly why does that person even have a pickup if he's not going to use it as such?

Sounds like the Ford EB is the faster truck if it didn't have wheel spin. A 4x4 would blow the doors off the 6.2. The Ford almost won starting in second gear. And the Ford has the most torque. I hope they EB the 5.0L in the future. Also, fuel should be based on the expense in the point system. Premium fuel will get better mpg so rate it based on cost, same goes for diesel options in the future. Adding points based on mpg with variable fuel types is just wrong.

And again you missed turning radius for ease of parking. Also resale was missed and build quality. None of these things matter if the truck is just going to fall apart and be worthless in a few years.

4x4 would've not help the f150. So people stop trying to come up with sinerios to justify the butt kicking your favorite truck got.

the chevy 5.3 8 speed is a better driving truck than the other. i bought one after i drove them all. it also gets stupid good economy. the 6.2 is a great motor but i doubt daily driving in traffic it gets what the 5.3 does. on the gm forum i belong to, the norm for mpg on a new 6.2 is 17 vs 20+ for the 5.3.

ford needs to get the rear end on par with what chevy sells. i dislike the elocker. should be a ls of some sort. i sold my 2013 eco boost mainly because pulling out into heavy traffic was a pain with wheel spin. i had to use 4x4 too often.

ram just needs a new v8 and they will be fine. toyota just needs to update the frame and tranny. they will catch up.

@Thomas the Train Ya the 4x4 Evoturd blows the doors off the 6.2 NOT!!!!

Sounds like the Ford EB is the faster truck if it didn't have wheel spin. A 4x4 would blow the doors off the 6.2. The Ford almost won starting in second gear. And the Ford has the most torque. I hope they EB the 5.0L in the future. Also, fuel should be based on the expense in the point system. Premium fuel will get better mpg so rate it based on cost, same goes for diesel options in the future. Adding points based on mpg with variable fuel types is just wrong.

And again you missed turning radius for ease of parking. Also resale was missed and build quality. None of these things matter if the truck is just going to fall apart and be worthless in a few years.


Here are the numbers of the 2015 Ford F150 3.5 Ecoboost 4x4 versus the winner of the Light Duty V8 Winner, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2 4x4.

As you can see, the Chevrolet wins almost every test, you could say 8 speed vs 6 speed is an advantage for GM, as you could say Gears favor the Ford, along with slightly lighter and less payload, versus 100 pounds more trailering on the Davis Dam Run Only.


Chevrolet 54310
Gears 3,23
Weight 5620

0-60 5.92
0-60 loaded 7.09 1240 pounds
1/4 14.34
1/4 loaded 15.36 1240 pounds
Unloaded Chevy 6.2 19.8 MPG
Braking 60-0 133.7 unloaded
Trailering Chevy 6.2 10.2 MPG 6,700 pounds
Braking 60-0 132.2 loaded with 1240 pounds
Davis Dam 19.92 6,700-pound trailer

Ford F150 60880
Gears 3.55
Weight 5560

0-60 6.22
0-60 loaded 7.02 1080 pounds
1/4 14.84
1/4 15.50 loaded 1080 pounds
Unloaded 3.5 Eco boost 18.5
Braking 60-0 133.6 unloaded
Trailering 3.5 Ecoboost 11.1 6,800 pounds
Braking 60-0 135.3 with 1080 pounds
Davis Dam 20.76 6,800-pound trailer

Well, I always get a kick when judges bag on the power of these amazing machines. I have the Ram Hemi, and the power seems OUTRAGEOUS to me! I mean, what do they want? 500, 600 horsepower?? My truck will out run my sports car from the line, it is out of control....cheers!

The dyno numbers were interesting. By percentage, the GM 6.2L must be losing less power through the driveline than the Ford...because the Ford is putting putting up better numbers on the dyno, percentage wise, than the GM.

Great job to GM, with the 6.2L, at least. It seems to get good fuel economy and throws down great power, and is matched to a very nice transmission.

I suspect for the 2017 model year, the F-150 will be getting the higher-horsepower gen-II EcoBoost engine, as well as the 10-speed automatic. The 2017 Raptor is nearly locked into 450hp and 500lb-ft, so expect 400hp and 475lb-ft from the standard F-150 version. The 10-speed will definitely help the mileage.

Well thanks Dave z for being okay with gm winning I know ford really won it was all about the tires anymore excuse your precise echoboost got beat again so much for alliumium

What do you mean you are surprised how well fords v6 did against chevys v8 it has twin turbos stupid and is 500 pounds lighter and still gets worse gas mileage what an idiot do u think ford is going to put out a motor that doesn't even come close to competing with chevy

would be very interested in seeing this same test done with the colorado/canyon diesel vs ram 1500 ecodiesel with 3.55 axle ratio. much appreciated

Too bad the new Titan wasn't included. Interesting how a few changes catapult a GM offering from 3rd to 1st. Sounds like, whether you've got an F-150 3.5EB or a GMC 6.2, you've got a truck that will get the work done very well. In reality, all these trucks are more than most people need, but at least they offer a lot for the $50k price tags.

Toyota clearly needs to drop weight, and probably even drop down to a 3.73 or 3.92 gear. Being just over 1k lbs heavier than the Ford is just not right, and is obviously killing their fuel economy. They also could be dumping 5-700 lbs into their towing and/or payload rating if they re-engineered.

How did PickupTruck.com get Chevy and GMC 1500 pickups with 8 speed transmissions?

I just went to the local Chevy dealers web sites, 5 different dealers in three counties were I live, and all I can find are 6 speed automatic transmissions.

In upstate ny there are a ton of the 8 speed double cabs that you cant order. I have one and love it! it has more than enough power. Its rated to tow more than a 6.2 unless you have max tow package. the 6.2 comes through with the 3.23 gears unless you go for max tow. then 3.42's like the 5.3 8 speed. the gears increase the gcvw and tow rating

What axle ratios in the trucks? Am looking to buy a new f150 ecoboost 3.5 and they have options for 3.3 3.55 & 3.73. Have been towing 8000 lb travel trailer with current F150 5.4 with 3.55. Works but needs more gears.

Awesome test. I am surprised that so many people are still buying the silverado 5.3.

But no surprise that Ford had a strong showing

Did anyone notice between this truck test and the other (MPG challenge) that the tiny 2.7L Ford put down 4 MORE lb-ft of torque than the monster 6.2L GM? Insane..

What happened to the weako boost? My 6.2L chevy has been eating them for breakfast and lunch all over Denver............



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