At Davis Dam in Kingman, Ariz., we recorded times in increments of 10 mph up to 60 mph, at which point we took a final reading. Given that the Ford 2.7-liter EcoBoost had a 4,200-pound trailer and the Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost towed a 6,800-pound trailer, it's not surprising that the times would be pretty close (in fact, the difference between their zero-to-60-mph times over the half-mile or so were within 3.5 seconds). The weight advantage the smaller EcoBoost enjoyed — a lighter truck and lighter trailer — allowed the F-150 XLT SuperCab to hit 60 mph in just 17.3 seconds. The Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel was just less than 10 seconds slower, with both the Ram 1500 Express 3.6-liter and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4.3-liter more than 10 seconds slower.
The full results are as follows:
How We Conducted the Test
For our final data collection test of this year's Annual Physical, we took our test trucks to Davis Dam. The infamous Davis Dam grade sits on Highway 68, a nasty hill climb from the Colorado River at its base to a rocky summit almost 11 miles up. From bottom to top, it's an almost 3,000-foot elevation gain with several sections coming close to a 7 percent incline. Rather than run a wide-open-throttle bottom-to-top climb that would undoubtedly have us blowing past legal speed limits, we chose one of the steepest sections to do a flat-out zero-to-60-mph timed run with our 4,200-pound trailer in tow.
We ran each of the pickups (we had to leave the Chevy Colorado behind because one of our drivers had to leave early) up the grade with two occupants — one driver and one data recorder — along with a double-axle trailer. The only deviation we made in this test with these V-6 pickups was to haul a heavier trailer with the Ford F-150 Platinum equipped with Ford's premium half-ton engine, the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (with a power rating more like a V-8 than V-6 at 365 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque). And before anyone starts screaming foul, we did this to allow readers to directly compare these results with the V-8 numbers posted by our 2015 Light-Duty V-8 Challenge contenders (which were tested with the same trailer over the same route at nearly the same time).
Each 2015 Annual Physical test truck started from the exact same section of road with the windows up, air conditioning off and the transmission in Tow/Haul. Most of our runs were conducted during the day with temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s. There was no wind, and midweek traffic was light. Every run was made when we had a long break in traffic with the throttle mashed to the floor to start the VBOX timing.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears