Our last day of testing took place at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds, just outside of Romeo. The facility is massive, but we focused on just three areas: the 7-percent grade hill climb, zero-to-60-mph braking and a short autocross course. We conducted all three tests with 1,000 pounds of payload in the bed, with data also collected for braking and the autocross without payload.
We started by lining up each vehicle at the bottom of the 7 percent climb — air conditioning off, windows up, tow/haul mode turned on — at the same spot. Then we drove wide-open throttle. The full hill climb distance is just over a quarter-mile, so we measured speed and time at 200-foot intervals.
From the very moment each truck left the line at the bottom of the grade, we could feel how capable each truck was able to climb the slope. The strongest was the Tundra. It was the fastest to the end, carrying the most speed at every measurement point. It also was the fastest to 60 mph (at just before the 600-foot mark) and the fastest after 10 seconds (also just short of the 600-foot mark). The Tundra’s final time was 17.55 seconds, with a trap speed of 78.14 mph at the end of 1,320 feet.
In second place, but struggling a bit under the heavy load off the line (no wheelspin, just sluggish), the F-150 did the run in 17.96 seconds at 77.25 mph. Finishing next was the Ram 1500 with a time and speed of 18.29 seconds at 77.99 mph. The Nissan did the run in 19.24 seconds at 73.99 mph, and the Chevy did it in 19.38 seconds at 70.92 mph, bringing up the rear. Having lower axle gears helped the Toyota, but what was quite impressive was that the Ford and Ram were just a touch behind with much higher rear ends.