2011 $30,000 Shootout

Warning: This is not the usual PickupTrucks.com comparison test. We went to each of the half-ton manufacturers and forced them to answer the question: What’s your best truck for $30,000? We allowed them to equip the pickups in any way they wanted, knowing that PUTC values function over form and steak over sizzle. Maybe not so surprisingly, most of the five trucks for this test were very similarly equipped, just like you’d expect in one of the most competitive automotive segments.

We tested five trucks: 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 Extended Cab; 2011 Ford F-150 Regular Cab; 2011 Nissan Titan King Cab; 2011 Ram 1500 Quad Cab; 2011 Toyota Tundra Double Cab; over four days. Take a look at their specs and key features.


We put these trucks through their paces in acceleration, braking, handling ride quality, fuel economy and more, and in some case, with 1000 pounds of payload in the bed. Some of the results may surprise you.

0-60 mph Acceleration Test | Quarter-mile Test | 7-Percent Hill Climb Test | 60-0 mph Braking Test | Autocross Test | Fuel Economy Test

It was an unusual test for us, given the focus on the combination of performance, features and configuration. We combined the quantitative outcomes of our tests with our assessments of qualitative issues including ride quality, feature lineup and overall value.