Texas Truck Showdown 2016: MPG Braking

Chevy Braking II

By Joe Bruzek, Cars.com

We observed a sizable spread in the 60-to-zero-mph braking test between the shortest and longest distances for these competitors, which is what we expected given the wide disparity in scaled truck weights. More than 16 feet separated the best from the worst when empty, and almost 18 feet when loaded with 1,500 pounds of rock salt. For this test, rather than using the same percentage of max payload for each truck, we used a standardized amount of weight, and 1,500 pounds seemed like a reasonable amount of weight for a half-ton full-size pickup to carry.

To "whoa" the trucks to a stop, we used the "dynamite" method of emergency braking, where the trucks were brought to a steady 60 mph before stomping on the brake pedal to simulate an emergency braking situation.



How They Stopped Empty

The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado took the least amount of distance to stop, coming down controlled and poised in 136.8 feet from 60 mph. This particular Silverado didn't undulate as aggressively during braking as the Silverado we tested in our Max Towing Showdown; that Chevy sported heavy-duty rear springs and revised shock tuning. Stopping close behind the Silverado was the 2015 Ford F-150 at 140.2 feet, but what was more important was the carlike feel from the Ford's brake pedal. It stopped the half-ton with a confident, linear motion and a refined antilock braking system.

At 5,460 pounds, the 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel took a big leap in braking distances to 147.3 feet, but in the most graceful way possible as the heaviest competitor. The Ram had a firm, responsive brake pedal while the body settled quickly at the end of its emergency stop. Throwing out the hooks on the 2016 Toyota Tundra was really just ugly all around. Its braking distance was the longest at 153.4 feet, and the pedal had a disconnected, play-pedal response while its antilock braking system pulsated through the pedal like one of the early antilock braking systems.



How They Stopped Loaded

The Ram was the only truck above its calculated payload with 1,500 pounds of rock salt bags over the rear axle, and that was by only 15 pounds. The Ford beat the distance set at its empty weight by stopping in 140.1 feet. It's not unusual to observe shorter stopping distances with payload onboard as the payload helps distribute weight more evenly over the rear tires. What did bother us was how the Ford and Ram seemed to have more trouble comfortably carrying the load; they exhibited an unnerving amount of rear sag. Thankfully, the extra rear sag didn't seem to negatively affect our straight-line braking performance. The runner-up to the Ford was the Chevrolet, stopping in 142.9 feet, followed by the Toyota in 153.3 feet (as short as its unloaded braking distance) and then the Ram's 157.7-foot stop.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears and Angela Conners

Overview | Acceleration | Braking | Mileage | Results


Ford Braking II



The Ford and Toyota stopping the same loaded and unloaded is impressive, even if the Toyota stops a compact car length longer. I understand its beyond the scope of these press-truck match-ups, but I would love to see how everything would go on the same model tire. 13 years ago I was unimpressed with Toyota's choice for OE (base) tires, and perhaps little has changed.

Mr Knowitall - agreed. I am amazed that those 2 trucks stopped the same with 1500 lbs in the box.

I do feel that these sort of tests should be conducted with the same tires on all vehicles.

That would be even more important in a mpg test.

To the moderators of this site, seriously how do you let rolling can of beer still post here?

@rolling can of beer, wow you are special.

Toyotas braking was just ugly all around...lol..

Congrats to ford with the win, but the truck sagging with 1,500

Lbs in it is embarrassing....

An imperical test of braking ability would have all on same tire compound.
Manufacturers selections do effect outcomes and certainly are choosen to enhance what is deemed important to that manufacturer. When I buy a truck and do not like what tires are on it-off they come, problem solved.

Increasingly it seems like RAM and Toyota simply don't care about being competitive in the half ton trucks market.

I realize that Toyota's forte is sedans, and RAM is supposed to be about trucks, but you'd never know it.

Most of the features that buyers seem to like about the half ton RAM date back to the days when Daimler owned the company, almost ten years ago.

Knowing the actual [hot] tires pressures would be nice.
Check it right before you accelerate to 60mph+

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