2015 Light-Duty V-8 Challenge: Acceleration

GMC 5

We ran all the trucks several times to determine the best strategy to get the best zero-to-60-mph number. The biggest challenge with some of the vehicles (the ones with the biggest engines) was to get them to launch effectively off the line as fast as possible without spinning the tires too much.

Empty Runs

2015LD_AccelEmptyF2

During our empty runs at the beginning of the day, the GMC Sierra 1500 ran a blistering 5.91 seconds to 60 mph and had Cars.com Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek, our test driver, questioning the validity of the recorded number. He backed it up several times.

This result shouldn't surprise many people given that the Sierra 1500 does have the largest engine in this group of pickups, a 1st-gear ratio of 4.56:1 with a fast-running and smart 8L90 eight-speed transmission, and a relatively low 3.42:1 axle gear.

Chevy 2

The GMC's time beat the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (also equipped with the new 6.2-liter V-8 and eight-speed transmission) by the smallest of margins; it recorded a 5.92-second run. This was impressive given that the Chevy had 3.23:1 axle gears.

Ram 1

The Ram 1500 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 (with 3.92:1 gears) came in third with a 6.68 time, while the Ford V-8 (the smallest engine of our group) came in at 6.78 seconds. The Tundra's 5.7-liter V-8 came in last with 7.05 seconds, largely due to the lack of grip of the BFG All-Terrain off-road tires.

Loaded Testing

2015LD_AccelLoaded_F2

Not surprisingly, results here were similar. After the appropriate cool-down period for each truck after its empty runs, we loaded 31 bags of rock salt (40 pounds each) into the bed to give each truck 1,240 pounds to haul. This payload was an arbitrary amount of weight, but the truth is we believed this to be a "normal" amount of weight a typical truck owner would likely think his or her half-ton pickup should be able to carry comfortably.

Thirty-one bags barely covered the floor bed of any of our trucks, so it seemed reasonable to us that by keeping the weights identical for each truck (as opposed to calculating a 90 percent-of-payload number for each), we could make this a more practical and real-world test. This one is pretty simple: same weight in each truck. 

As to how each truck's weight-carrying capacity compared, when including 175 pounds for our test driver, two of our competitors had plenty of payload weight to spare (GMC and Ford), one was pretty close to our number (Chevy), and two others were over their calculated payload rating (Ram and Toyota).

Once again, the GMC Sierra clocked the best zero-to-60-mph run loaded in 6.94 seconds, while the Chevy ran close behind at 7.09 seconds. The Ram, even though several hundred pounds over its payload rating, ran a respectable 7.72 seconds, with the Ford 5.0-liter at 8.08 and the Tundra at 8.34.

Tundra 4

Visually, the Tundra TRD Pro, with its softer rear suspension leaf springs, was the only competitor that looked like it was struggling with the weight, while the GM trucks did not show any rear-end sag when loaded.

How We Conducted the Testing

We conducted all track testing at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz. We brought our five 2015 test trucks to the track on the same day, ran them with the same RaceLogic VBOX computer, had the same driver behind the wheel (just one person in the truck for the runs) and ran all the trucks in the same direction down the newly surfaced quarter-mile racetrack.

Conditions at the track were consistent throughout the day; temperatures ran between 70 and 73 degrees with a blanket of high clouds above and no wind. Since we were not concerned with how fast our times were relative to other media or testing outlets, the numbers we provide here are uncorrected, allowing you to compare each run time directly. Bruzek used a combination of left-foot braking and right-foot throttling to get the trucks to launch smoothly yet aggressively.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

 

 

 

 

 

Overview | Acceleration | Quarter-Mile | Braking | Fuel Economy | Davis Dam | Results

Comments

I wonder why the Silverado was consistently second to the Sierra, with the same engine and transmission. Were the axle ratios different?

Yes they were. The Sierra was the 3.42, and the Silverado had the 3.23. Also explains why the towing capacity/payload is different. interesting that the mpg didn't differ much between them.

@Alex - Sierra had a higher cargo rating and IIRC different tires than the Silverado. That would account for some differences in times.

Lots of untapped power in the 6.2, cam or just a supercharger and your at 550HP, its basically a corvette engine with different cam/exhaust.

TYPE: front-engine, four-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door truck


PRICE AS TESTED: $61,520 (base price $38,635)


ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection


Displacement: 213 cu in, 3496 cc
Power: 365 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm


TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 145.0 in
Length: 231.9 in
Width: 79.9 in Height: 76.9 in
Curb weight: 5577 lb


C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.4 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.2 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.4 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.4 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 107 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 179 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.75 g


FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 17/23 mpg
C/D observed: 16 mpg
*stability-control-inhibited

Car and Driver 2015 F150 3.5 Ecoboost test results


2014 Chevrolet Silverado

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup


PRICE AS TESTED: $54,675 (base price: $49,975)


ENGINE TYPE: OHV 24-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection


Displacement: 376 cu in, 6162 cc
Power: 420 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm


TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 143.5 in
Length: 230.0 in
Width: 80.0 in Height: 74.0 in
Curb weight: 5672 lb


C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.5 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 18.5 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.9 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.1 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.1 sec @ 99 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 110 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 181 ft


FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 14/20 mpg
C/D observed: 15 mpg

2015 Chevrolet Silverado


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door truck


PRICE AS TESTED: $56,485 (base price: $52,045)


ENGINE TYPE: pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection


Displacement: 376 cu in, 6162 cc
Power: 420 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm


TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 143.5 in
Length: 230.0 in
Width: 80.0 in Height: 74.0 in
Passenger/cargo volume: 136.0/53.4 cu ft
Curb weight: 5658 lb


C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.7 sec
Zero to 90 mph: 11.9 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.2 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.0 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.3 sec @ 98 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 99 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 186 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.73 g


FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 15/21 mpg
C/D observed: 16 mpg
*Stability-control-inhibited

: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door truck


PRICE AS TESTED: $40,430 (base price: $36,225)


ENGINE TYPE: pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection


Displacement: 345 cu in, 5654 cc
Power: 395 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 410 lb-ft @ 3950 rpm


TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 120.5 in
Length: 209.0 in
Width: 79.4 in Height: 74.6 in
Curb weight: 5106 lb


C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.4 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.5 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.7 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.9 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.8 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.1 sec @ 99 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 106 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 189 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.76 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway: 15/22 mpg
C/D observed: 15

Have you guys read the Pick Up Trucks. com road test of the 2011 5.0. Google it! It shows a 2011 5.0 Crew XLT doing 15.53 at 92.85 and a 7.18 0-60 run.

So... tell me... Ford ups the power by 25hp to 385 and drops the weight by 500lbs or so and only picks up 1 mph in the quarter and a tenth or two???? ask any drag racer they can tell you that this just doesn't seem kosher at all. Something is not right and imagine if the 5.0 had the 3.73's! I totally respect the GM 6.2, but the lil' 5.0 should be much closer in performance.

So, I suspect that something's up here with this current road test.

Wonder What Happens when one feeds a Chevy 6.2 Regular?
For 200K miles?
Does mpg plunge?

Running a Tundra TRD Pro with off-road tires is a major handicap. Those number should be thrown out. Nobody else had to run tests in off-road tires. Trucks don't accelerate, brake, or handle as well with off-road tires, and these guys know that.

Next time, run the vehicles with the same equipment, or don't do it at all.

@Evander

Agree about the AT tires on the Toyota. The Tundra was already at a disadvantage with its motor and trans, but the funky tires did them no favors.

This test is ridiculous. I live in AZ; have a 2014 Tundra crew max 4x4 (SR5 TRD) and it does 0-60 at about 6.1 on a launch and 6.6 when just standing on it from a stop. Check proof on you tube. I have not time-tested it pulling but when my buddy's 6k pound boat is attached it doesn't miss a beat (I use Tow/Haul mode - not sure if it makes an acceleration diff). Unloaded MPG is 13-14 with lead foot, 14-15 hitting it once in a while and 15-16 with a feather touch (all in mixed driving). I paid $36k in Jan 2014; thousands less than what is tested here. Tested the Silverado 5.3 & F150 ecobust comparable models at the time and the Tundra 5.7 was the obvious choice. I didn't consider Ram as it's a Fiat now. Titan was too old.

Can you guys please get a better sample of Ford's 5.0? My totally stock 13' model is about on par with your 5.0 used for this test AND it weighs 820 lbs. more!!

where is gm 5.3 ???????? cmon guys seriously ??? oranges and apples ....not fair. its another example of how gm brings a gun to a knife fight.......not to mention gm interior is a CLEAR knockoff of the ram.

I must say the 6.2l with 8 speed sure is impressive as it should be. That's coming from me a 2015 f150 owner. Though what is not impressive to me is the 5.3l volume selling engine that GM has. Lets be real the 6.2l is something I would be proud to own but its only available in top trim levels from GM unlike a 3.5l ecoboost that is available in all models. Considering that a small percentage of 6.2l GM trucks are out there this isn't all that impressive. Put the 5.3l in this test and it would be last at everything. GM wake up and offer the 6.2l 8 speed in all trim levels or at least hurry up on the 5.3l 8speed combo. Imagine the 6.2l and 8 speed in a reg cab. What is the point of having two 6.2l GM truck here. Also I would never expect gearing with an 8 speed to make a huge difference in lightly loaded or empty cases. Likely more shifting would slow it down when there is that much power available. Would be interesting to see Ford with an 8 speed or the upcoming 10 speed. They are really holding strong with their current 6 speed though.

Have a 2015 Ram Hemi reg cab w/ the 6`4" box, 3:21 rear end.

Installed the aftermarket AFE cold air intake and a cat back exhaust which included an 18" magnaflow muffler. Est HP now at 420.

Unloaded and with a no spinning the rear tires launch, 5.32 seconds from 0 to 60. Same time and maybe slightly better than the reg cab hemi with the 3:92 rear end.

What rated octane was used in the Ram? Manufacturer recommends 89.



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