2010 Heavy-Duty Shootout
It's been three years since our last Heavy-Duty Shootout, but in that time there has been tremendous change in the pickup truck segment. The Ram trucks' looks and interiors have been redesigned, Ford and GM have introduced new diesel engines, and Ford has also introduced a new gas V-8. Ford and Chrysler have made major exterior and interior changes, and GM has given its trucks all-new chassis and suspensions.
This year's Heavy-Duty Shootout is our biggest comparison test ever. We gathered nine heavy-duty rigs: Three single-rear-wheel three-quarter-ton crew-cab 4x4s with gas engines, three SRW three-quarter-ton crew-cab 4x4s with diesel engines and three dual-rear-wheel one-ton crew-cab long-bed 4x4s with diesel engines.
Truck Specs and Testing Approach | Three-Quarter-Ton Gasolines (SRW) | Three-Quarter-Ton Diesels (SRW) | One-Ton Diesels (DRW)
Given the rivalry among the Detroit Three, we mimicked it by driving the trucks between the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State University in East Lansing. The trucks ran a 150-mile circuit twice, once unloaded and once towing a trailer. .
Fuel Economy | Quarter-Mile Drags (Unloaded) | Quarter-Mile Drags (Towing)
We took all nine trucks to GM's Proving Grounds in Milford, Mich., to see how they would fare towing 10,000 pounds and 12,000 pounds while climbing hills at 7-percent and 16-percent grades. It became clear through the tests which trucks were the most capable and the true "King of the Hill."
7 Percent Grade | 16 Percent Grade
New for this year is the 60-to-zero mph test. We added it because performance testing isn’t just about how fast trucks can accelerate or how fuel efficient they are. We tested stopping distances from 60 mph with the trucks empty and with one ton of ballast in their cargo box.
There are three components to the scoring: First, subjective evaluations of important characteristics account for 20 percent of the total score. Second, data-driven results of our tests account for 55 percent of a truck's score. Finally, we looked at fuel economy, 25 percent of the score.
Overview | Best Overall Three-Quarter-Ton Gas (SRW) | Best Overall Three-Quarter-Ton Diesel (SRW) | Best Overall One-Ton Diesel (DRW) |