2010 HD Best Overall Three-Quarter-Ton Gas Truck (SRW)


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The best overall heavy-duty pickup in the three-quarter-ton gas category is the 2011 Ford F-250 with 6.2-liter V-8. As the tests became more extreme up the hills, the 6.2-liter V-8 was up to the challenges, opening large gaps between the Chevy and Ram trucks. It also proved to have the best loaded fuel economy. But this race was very close. The Ram 2500 scored just behind the F-250 based on its tremendous pulling performance at Milan raceway and better ride and handling characteristics than the Ford. In fact, we’d suggest the Ram 2500 as our HD choice if most of your towing and hauling will be across level ground, like in the Midwest. If you’re going to pull heavy trailers through the mountains, though – and don’t want to pay a premium for a diesel – the Ford F-250 is a better choice.

Score Category Weights: Subjective 20% / Performance 55% / Fuel Economy 25% 


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Kudos to Ford for finally making a viable gasoline V-8 engine. I hate to say it, but it looks like the 6.0 is holding back the Silverado here. That's nothing that GM's 6.2 couldn't fix though. Although it's fuel economy would probably be a little worse.

gotta agree Matt, Im a die-hard GM guy but the 6.0 has to go (or be updated)... It was a great engine 2 to 3 years ago but its just getting too old...

But I never worry about GM when it comes to gas V8's... They will have a response to Fords 6.2, I guarantee it.

And yes Kudos to Ford, They have finally given their trucks a good gas V8, never thought I would see the day..

Well, GM could adapt the 6.2 for the HD trucks, but seems like I remember reading on here once about a DI 7.0L V-8 GM was developing??

I do remember reading about that Matt, but it seems like it was just a really cool rumor..

I recall Mike Levine not to long ago saying GM has plans to upgrade the 6.0 V8 here in a year or two...Like I said before, when it comes to V8's I have all the faith in the world in GM.. What ever they have in store for us will be very nice.

There's a lot of potential for all the gas v8s. Direct injection would be a good start!

Let me get this straight, you have the Ford 10 points more for it's trans down shifting one more time when compared to the Ram and 15 more points when compared to the Chevy. Was that one more down shift really 10% better then the Ram and 15% better then the Chevy.

Then you gave a the 16% grade test the same weight as 7% and flat land, even though most of this county is well under 7%. The 16, 7 percent grades needs to be weighted less then the flat land points.

Then you, obviously, don't even include the Ford's sub par performance in the traction control department, as a part of the fit and finish. You complained about it in almost every test! I would consider electrical glitches as part of a trucks "finish".

I don't know Mike, you are a great writer, yet your conclusions baffle me sometimes.

I see this as:
1)Ram (Had more 100s then any other truck)
2)GM (Performed similar to the Ford but no obvious finish flaws)
3) Ford (Would be much improved if they redid the traction control issues)

@Letlla: The best part about our scoring system is that you can change the weights to your own preferences. It's all right there in the data and test results.

Also keep in mind -- aside from subjective scores, which are only 20 percent of total -- that a 100 score isn't that big of an advantage if the second place truck finished a few hundredths of a second behind, since performance scoring is all relative and calculated as a percentage of the best performing truck.

Gas all the way!

You said above that the Ford 6.2 gasser had the best unloaded gas mileage. That is incorrect according to your MPG test the Ram had the best unloaded mileage and overall average. Hope the scores dont reflect that mistake.

It is not any surprise that Ford won the shootout. Gas trucks are the future of trucks.

And Ford is the future.

@ToyLuver: Sorry about that. I've corrected that sentence. It was a typo. As you can see, the mpg scores are based exactly on what the data told us: http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2010/08/2010-hd-fuel-economy-test.html

Kudos to Ford.

I am surprised to see the hemi hanging in there with the 5ish speed trans. those things pull great with 4.56 gears like in the power wagon or the g56 stick. Sounds like they could be top of the class with the new 8 speed they are working on.

I'll admit the first time I drove the 6.2 in the Super Duty several months ago I wasn't that impressed. After the Shootout and seeing how tough it was on the hills, I'm sold. Excellent truck.

All I have to say is, I have a financial interest in all three of these companies, but only one by choice.

@Letlla - the objective scores are determined by the best times. You convert that into a fraction which yields your percent score.
Example: Gassers 1/4 mile
Dodge - 16.9 (1st)
Ford - 17.5 (2nd)
GM - 17.9 (3rd)
you divide 16.9 by the slower times gives you the score
Dodge - 16.9 divided by 16.9 = 100%
Ford - 16.9 divided by 17.5 = 97%
GM - 16.9 divided by 17.9 = 94%

It takes as much bias and subjectivity out of the test as possible.
The Russian judge(Bob) with a 6.7 isn't going to effect the overall score this way;)

This is the problem with these speed tests. .6 difference between the top two trucks and .4 seconds difference between 2nd and 3rd.

Will anyone notice .4 seconds difference in the real world?

Congrats to anyone like Bob who will come in and claim victory for GM, but the real test will come down to the subjective which is based on opinion and given only 20% of the total.

@Mark: Interesting point you make about difference between trucks in tenths of seconds.

When we picked the 2009 Ford F-150 as the best overall light-duty truck (I think we nailed that decision!) for the 2008 Shootout, people cried foul saying our test was incredibly subjective because the F-150 didn't win a single acceleration test. Now, you're saying we didn't make subjective judgments count enough?

As you can see - we scored each of the truck strictly on relative performance, so if two trucks finished at the same time or close to each other, the winner wasn't a winner by much. It's about as fair and unbiased as we can make the scoring thought I'm certainly open to hearing opinions on what could be done better.

@ Mark - a more objective test is better in every respect than a subjective test.
You can argue about the numbers being close or nitpick but facts are facts. You can look at the data based on what is important to you. You then decide on what data is relevant to your own personal application.
A subjective test is all personal opinion. I made a joke about that in a previous post.
When a test is this close it is best to leave the subjective part up to the buyer.
Example - I'd rate the trucks looks:1.Denali 2.Ram 3.Ford 4.Silverado. That is obviously purely subjective.
Example - I live in mountainous terrain, I don't want or need the towing power of a diesel. Objectively the F250 would be the best choice for me.

I am so happy to see this test results. It shows me one thing important for me, so based on this test results, I am going to buy
RAM 1500 4x4 Quad CAB with 5.7 HEMI and 3.92 Axle ratio ( limited slip dif.)
Towing Capacity is 10050 LB which is on pair with your tested gas trucks and because this 1500 model has HEMI with MDS it will have much better MPG than any other gas truck in this shootout (non of them has MDS.) At least almost empty, which is 90% of my driving and 10% is my travel trailer driving or puling some other stuff.
It would be interested to see, how this configuration is working in your test. I am pretty sure, it would finish first in gasoline engines.
BTW Cummins need just upgrade piezo injectors for 2011 models and it will leave Ford and GM in the dust without Blue Urea.
That's my opinion. Nobody needs to agree with me.

Mike, Yes, if you thought you nailed it in 2009 you could have continued the same approach here. Here with the performance scoring gap coming down to almost nothing, that is even more reason to go with the subjective scoring a little more. I also wanted to see an off-road comparison because PM claimed the Ford had a better ride.

@Mark: Off-road testing will be the next component we add to the Shootout.

Hey mike, do the manufactures see the validity of these tests in respect to them using them to upgrade flaws you point out for the next generation or is the shootout for Joe blows like us to use as entertainment or guidance into purchasing the right truck for us

@Trvdot: Great question! One I often think about before we do this.

I don't know if I'd call the items flaws -- like the power hop we observed in the Super Duty -- although some are -- like the hill hold assist glitch we found on GM's trucks on the 7% grade.

I think we highlight areas that we think can be improved. In 2007, we made a point of saying how small the fuel tank was in the GM truck and how poor the interior was in the Ram. We also said the Dodge Ram had the best steering, relative to the other two trucks. Fast forward to the 2010/2011 trucks and all of those items have been addressed.

Did we have something to do with that? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd like to think what owners said echoed what we found during the Shootout when we drove the trucks back-to-back.

Here's the situation I see today about the Shootout.

The majority of our tests emphasize pure pulling performance at WOT and these trucks aren't typically used that way in the real world. However, Ford and GM are also making very big deals and fighting hard to have the most torque and horsepower. How do you prove that, aside from having SAE certify the power ratings? You have to do an extreme pull-off between the trucks. That's what we do. If the truck makers are going to brag about power, then we're going to emphasize power. And we're going to emphasize fuel economy - something that didn't seem to be as important last time until diesel owners realized how much of an mpg hit they were taking during DPF regeneration.

Will Ford fix the power hop we saw? I think that when an all-new Super Duty platform debuts, we won't see the power hop we saw during the Shootout. Was that because of our test? I don't think so.

With regard to buyers finding this test useful -- I hope some buyers will find data about a truck they didn't know or weren't considering. We were very surprised by the performance of the Hemi and I was very surprised at how well the Ford 6.2 did on the hills against the other trucks. Those results, personally, could influence my decision.

Hope that helps answer your question.

Great coverage Mike levine this is really the only truck website i look for reviews u have awesome Ford truck reviews all the time keep up the good work!! Any word on a 2011 f350 harley edtion?

Thanks for answering that mike. It would be hard to say because the manufacturers could have observed this during there own testing after their product was set into production. Either way still makes for a great read!!!

"The majority of our tests emphasize pure pulling performance at WOT and these trucks aren't typically used that way in the real world" - Mike Levine

Why would you do this?

I guess I rely too much on real world testing, afterall, we do live in a real world.

What world you living in Mike Levine?

@Frank: We're testing the trucks to see which are strongest and most efficient. The only way we can do that is to stress them. If we had five years to run the trucks through durability testing, we'd do it. By that reasoning then, it's fair to beat the Ford 6.0-liter PSD up for major reliability problems. You agree, right?

I suppose, following your logic, nobody in the world needs WOT. In that case, all the trucks should be speed-governed to no more than 75 mph and should all hit 0 to 60 mph at the exact same time.

I think while we're at it, why have professional sports? Most people don't need to run so fast or score so many goals.

I think the problem in these tests isn't the objectivity or subjectivity, it's declaring a winner! People complain when their truck doesn't win, and want to see the test molded around it's strongest points to re-affirm what they bought. The truth is all of these trucks look amazing, perform amazingly, and deserve admiration. The gaps between them all are quickly shrinking, and it usually comes down to what it always has before; which truck do you LIKE more. I love Rams, can't think of a particularly great rhyme or reason, I just do. So I'm glad to see it hold it's own in this test, but it won't convince me to trade it in for a Ford. So, what was my point, hmm...oh yeah, the best shootout would be one where no winner is declared, just mountains of data are collected and presented. Keep up the good work, and I hope you enjoyed playing with all of those great trucks!

What I see from these tests are that GM, Ford and Dodge are putting out some great trucks! Only real standout I see is that the Dodge is now falling behind a decent amount in the diesel category, but I also believe Cummins has something in the works for Dodge to get their performance numbers back on track. It is clear that these newest models between the big 3 have really come a long way!

By that reasoning then, it's fair to beat the Ford 6.0-liter PSD up for major reliability problems. You agree, right?" - Mike L.


"We're testing the trucks to see which are strongest and most efficient." - Mike L

But what you are not taking into consideration is how well it will last. I have had an immense amount of trucks in my lifetime ranging from GM,Chryco, Ford. Some trucks don't seem to hold up as well as the Ford after years of beating it.

But, all in all you are not testing durablity.

Just keep doing what you are doing. Thanks again Mike!

@Dan Wow the f-250 won the gas shootout! Who cares. Find someone that does heavy hauling and wants fuel economy, idle time, and all the things people do that "work" for a living and they will tell you that diesel is and always will be the future. The future of trucks is the category ford won by a nose? If it had won a diesel category, THAT would have been the future.

I dont know about yall.. but, FORD needs to have Catapiller be building there Diesels for thrm ....This so called new diesel motor that they built for the new year.....i dont know .....something tells me that it gonna bite them in the ass down the road and they'll regret they let themselves build there diesels.... i could be wrong though....

@Brad R.

You are an idiot!


Diesels are not as MUCH of the future as you cut them out to be. Diesel fuel is more expensive than Gas. And because Diesels are so expensive to build manufactures have to charge huge premiums on them 7 to 8,000 extra$ over the gas engine. Diesels will not be taking over the world anytime soon with these cost's. Also routine oil changes in a Diesel can cost almost 100$ as to were you avarage gas V8 oil change might run you 35 to 40$

I would have to agree with Mike Livine all the way on this one. all these trucks seem to have thier strong and weak points, it's just where you need them that makes the difference. hence these shootouts we all love so much, give us the information we need to make a perfect purchase, and put one in our driveway. as for me, i have been sighning papper work on my 2011 f-250 6.2L that will be in my driveway tomarow night.

Im not sure if anyone has mentioned this because there is way to many posts,but with the GASSERS....The Ford having the 4.30 gears wouldnt that give it the slight edge over the other brands in almost every catagory? I personally think that if they all had identical gearing the results would have been completely different. They were all so very close but with the ford having better gearing(although only slightly better) I just felt that it would have the edge the whole time ecspecially towing and towing up the grade, basically the gearing making up for the lack of engine over the competions much smaller engines to begin with. Personally I love the new ford, well the look anyway, but it had the larger engine out of the competion and better gearing then barely sqeaked out a win, to me the other two are the winners. Just my opinion thats all.

In my opinion the only trucks I have had were ford and chevy so I don't no about the dodge but I know that I have had to fix the ford bunches of times and the chevy got us through everything we needed it to

Need help deciding what truck to get had a dodge ram 3 quater ton with hemi lot of Trainmission problems 2000 miles an again @8500 miles got my 1st ford with Eco boost love it on my 2 nd one now looking @getting a 5th wheel trailer 1468 dry weight don't think half ton gone work so need 3 quater ton keeping in mind won't b pulling all the time a week or 2 in summer diesel is a thought but with the def an living in Minnesota fuel prices???. I think gas b better can any one shine a little light thanks.

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