2014 Annual Physical: Braking


Photo by Joe Bruzek

Our brake-testing procedures were pretty simple. We ran each truck up to 60 mph, making sure the transmission got to the top gear, and then we performed our braking over the same stretch of asphalt, smashing the pedal. The driver kept track of safely running the truck up to speed, while the passenger called out the actual vehicle speeds from our test computer's digital readout. Each of the two passengers riding inside the trucks during our brake sessions weighed about 170 pounds.

Not surprisingly, the heaviest vehicle of the 2014 Annual Physical, our fully loaded Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn, had the longest stopping distance at 159.1 feet, but not far behind was the much lighter (by almost 2,000 pounds) Honda Ridgeline, which stopped from 60 mph in 158.6 feet. See the chart below for all of the figures.

For this initial segment test, we opted not to conduct loaded brake testing at or near maximum payload ratings, although that may be a feature we add in future Annual Physical tests. Certain trim packages can dramatically affect a truck's payload capacity.

It's worth noting that the vehicle with the highest calculated payload was the two-wheel-drive Chevrolet Silverado at 1,780 pounds, offering a payload equaling 35 percent of the truck's actual weight. The truck with the smallest payload capacity turned out to be the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (Laramie Longhorn with air springs), with a calculated payload of 490 pounds, which equals just 7 percent of the truck's actual weight.

Click here for each vehicle's specs and data.




The Full Report:

Overview | Acceleration | Braking | Fuel Economy | Wrap-up


That's a pretty big difference, like the difference between having a major accident and not a coupe times over.

Just 490 lbs of payload is the max for the Ram Longhorn with air suspension? Most cars can haul more than that. How can you take 4 adults around in the crew cab with that low of a payload?

Not trying to be down on the RAM, but that payload is actually shocking. I could not put my atv in the bed??? Sorta misses the point of a pickup.

What the hell happened to the Ram 1500 500 lbs?

They must ditch those coils or go with stronger ones.

I wonder if the optional air suspension takes a huge hit on payload capabilites. If you run the stats on a standard Ram 1500 Laramie Longhaul Crew 4x4, 3.0L Diesel, 5'7" box, and 3.55 gears, its almost double at 881 lbs payload.


That low Ram payload sums up TRX Tom's addition to his name - "TRX 4 Tom "Someday the people that own a Ford are going to want an automobile"-John Dodge".

This proves what he is saying. If a Ford truck guy wants a car he can go out and buy a coil sprung Ram.


@Lou_BC Now we'll have him on here making up excuses 5 pages worth why the Ram is losing badly LOL!

You know if you made the Ram a quad cab, the only one with more room would be a Honda, interior wise. As is, none of them are even on that.

A better comparison would be a Quad Ram, one with 17" wheels, because you will stop better and go better. Test one Slt or Outdoorsman based. A whole lot less weight.

Right now we get apples to oranges comparisons. Little trucks..big trucks...4x4s and 4x2s...

@johnny doe - see the post below mine - you are correct. LOL

@TRXTom (Ram coils replace Crown Vic) - they say right off the bat that this "Annual Physical" wasn't meant to be a direct comparison.

Who's fault is it that the Ram in the test is legally rated to carry less than 500lb?

@Lou: 100 perccent Rams fault. They need to up the GVWR. I myself wouldn't get all those options, that add weight and I dont need, but somebody hete will want. But the point is still there, none of these trucks but the Honda have interior space like the Ram.

Part of it is, would they just compare a midgrade truck? Oh wait, the 30k shootout was just that.

Point is, a 17" wheel will get better mileage, and stop better.

I've said it before, they aren't getting as much out of the air suspension if it doesn't raise the GVWR/and payload.

Sure, if you want to go extreme offroading, the air ride isn't what you would want. If you want just more clearance, it will work, if you want to beat the crap out of your truck, just get a level kit. I have no desire to beat the crap out of a 40k plus $ truck.

You did know that Fords leafs in a 650 poind squat test were only good for 3/8" less squat, right lightning Lou? That's worth a crappy ride. uh huh!

As for 5 pages, how about that great GM mileage, johnny? I know it's hard for you to understand inertia and stopping a bigger wheel. Plus we compare a lightweight double cab to a crew cab, so atleast it should take longer to stop.

I woulda thought double cab 4x2 v-6 would get closer to it's 24 mpg then 20...lol

At the end of the month next month, or this one, you will be boo hoo-ing your Chivys don't sell.

I'm confused cause on Ram's website it lists the Laramie Longhorn at over 1000lbsof payload, where do you get 400ish?

880 is the payload on the website with premium options TO START and properly equipped. Now you have to take off for other options. The website is not accurate at all.

Even if you opted for a lower trim with less options, payload would only start at 1200 for a 4x4 CC. Take off a few hundred for options and you're looking at 750 to 950. Unacceptable.

@TRX 4 Tom You are the only one boo hoo-ing and making up excuses LOL! Rams new ad should say( Welcome to Ram get a eco diesel, the speed of smell will pass you while only being able to haul you and you're dog in a roomy crew cab but you'll probably be over weight. Oh well you get good MPGs and stop as slow as a fully load semi truck LOL!

@TRXTom (Ram coils replace Crown Vic) - Make up all the excuses you want, it is obvious why the Ram rides better than other trucks............... that is because it is set up like a CAR.

Squat tests mean squat. Ohhh brand X squats an inch more than brand Y........ that will stop 500,000 buyers from picking one brand over another.

I wonder how much this Ram would squat with 1,000 lb in it?

Ohh.....can't test for that since it would be overloaded with 4 passengers and a cooler full of beer.

Yup.......... John Dodge is correct in his saying " "Someday the people that own a Ford are going to want an automobile".

Truck buyers can have a Dodge automobile .......... it is called Ram 1500.

I can't imagine John Dodge looking down on his company with a smile on his face.

Ram isn't giving you fanboys much to work with............. you can focus on the extra 4k for better mpg.......empty or loaded, it doesn't matter since there isn't much difference between the 2.

For months I've used every opportunity--sometimes to the point of being an annoying ass--to get the point across about choosing a vehicle with the capacity and the versatility to be a good truck.

Ram has demonstrated here that for those who want to cruise the Interstate, its small diesel will get you great FE.

I am shocked to see what a high price (sticker) and dismal payload that Ram owners are forced to accept to have a green solution. Green is almost always the most expensive way to go.

Oh Lou, I was wrong, the squat test Ford wasn't 5/8" less then the Ram, it was 3/8 less squat with 650 pounds. So I will put that in LOUMANS terms, because you probably lack measuring skills, that's half the diameter of your Canadian penny, wow! The Ford had 90% the squat the Ram had, oh boy!

You wonder how much it would squat with 1,000 pounds in it? Well since you didn't pay attention, it's the air suspension, so ZERO is your answer.

The last light duty shootout Ram had an air suspension, and a low payload, but they loaded 1200 pounds and I believe two people in it. It must have done good as the Ford max payload autocross wasn't as good. It won that event, loaded or empty. Guess what, when the weight was added, the Ram stopping distance was not increased as much as the Fords...shouldn't the Ford have handled stopping it the best?

The GMs gained the second most, which makes a person question their ability to handle weight.

Maybe in the last shootout or this comparo, Mark Williams should've done a squat test? The Ram would have won, at ZERO squat, with the air suspension. How would they score that? "Never mind, let's skip that" he probably said.

The air suspension levels it, key word, level.

If the 2008 shootout Ram squated 3 5/8", then how about at 1,200 pounds?How would it do? Can they test anything at max?

Oh, and here is Edmunds take on the Ford in their Ram V-6 vs. Ford V-6 vomparo.

But the curves and crosswinds are another matter. The gently wagging Airstream sets the Ford's hindquarters into a subtle but nonetheless unsettling swimming motion. This is utterly absent in the Ram, doubtless because its coil-spring rear suspension enjoys the lateral control of a Panhard bar. The Ford's relative lack of on-center steering feel doesn't help much here either.

Unloaded and away from Jacumba, the F-150's ride is not overly stiff. But the asphalt roads on our Edmunds test loop (and elsewhere) set off a persistent low-level shake and jiggle that originates behind the cab, a feeling we rarely sense in the Ram. It seems tied to the unsprung mass or the "stiction" of the leaf spring rear suspension. The lack of a B-pillar that results from the SuperCab's archaic reverse-hinged rear doors probably isn't helping.

Wow! Doesn't look like that Ford is so great now does it?!

Now Ford is going to shorten leaf springs for the 2015 model year, to save weight? Less travel, and the ride will get worse. So much for Mike Rowe pitching that Ford uses a longer leaf for better ride! They don't sound like they care (Ford, care? Those words don't belong togethet!)

I see you are trying to scare anybody away from Ram Ford boy Lou, maybe you should get some oppinion.

Besides, not everbody wants a turbo engine with timming chain and head gaskit issues, or a few v-8s that need revved real high to make torque, 5.0 and the discontinued 6.2.

But we know people will buy whatever Fords throws their way...lol

@papa jim: only if they want the loaded version, which maybe they would have been better off throwing some SLTs and Tradesmans into the pile of test vehicles, and the payload is decent on those, as well as price. The mileage and capacity will only get better on those. Atleast you see what the heavier versions do for mileage.

Go add 33" tires to the GMs, so you could actually clear an obsticle, because GMs low rider can't clear much, and make it a crew cab, now the mileage wouldn't be 20 mpg as tested.

Funny the GMs were about the furthest from the EPA mileage.

oh, and johnny, take crew. cab 4x4 GM above with 33s and tell me how it stops? Slow, cause big wheels take longer to stop, and the GMs here have little tires, people tend to go bigger with tires, I am sure GM folks everywhere will be buying big tires to clear speed bumps.

Then add all the weight (that most of us don't need) of the options said GM trucks don't have, add them, and see how your Generic Motors truck stops, like the last shootout, add weight to those light weight GMs, they don't do so well stopping!

Just sounds incredible that these "cars" have such small payloads.

Something like this would send the owners into shock.

@TRX 4 Tom (Ram coils replace Crown Vic) - we don't have a penny any more and.............. seems to me that you are the one that is fixated on "sag".

There are medications for correcting sag. Maybe your outlook will be better once that problem is addressed ;)

BTW - Ram won't sag with or without airbags since 490lb isn't really a load for a pickup - well...... sorry...... a sedan with a sun deck.

Actually, just trying to compare, we have to compare some way, right?

Oh wait, Lou, if they just slapped a rating as high as the others on there, you would be happy? It wouldn't matter if the Ram or others could do what it said, Lou would be happy.

Hey Lou, just because Ford and Chivy say they can tow 11k, does that mean they really can? All it takes to make you happy is a rating on paper, not realistic.

Maybe, like I said, Mark Williams shoulda checked squat, not sag (sounds like you need to go to the doctors as much as you say SAG) when that Ram had over its payload in the last challenge, but lightning Lou wants none of that, as long as those unreliable Ecoboost engines win.

And yeah, that Ram handled it just fine, you just wont read of it.

Oh, BTW, Lou. that Edmunds I copied and pasted is from the test of v-6s, where the Ford couldn't handle 99% of what it was rated to do. So it got a trans hot light, which prevenred it from hinting, oops, I mean shifting.

It's all in a rating to you.

Hey Lou, did you know the Ram 2500 coil 2014 crewcab 4x4 has a payload rating as high or higher then an equal GM or Ford? With 6.4.

Oh wait, you read one thing from TFL Trucks, and made your narrow minded oppinion up, and one guy sorta liked the Chivy better, but he wasn't sure. Sounds like a review for you!

Meanwhile, Diesel Power tested a 4x4 crew cab Cummins ride quality was: "one of the biggest complaints about 3/4 ton trucks that we have heard over the years has been about ride quality.(a complaint means not being real happy about something, in a way) Traditionally, to achieve the high payload and towing capacities, these trucks have needed an extremly firm suspension.

They went on to say "The Ram 2500s ride is not soft, but it is no longer kidney jarringly stiff. A comparison we can all relate to would be a leaf sprung truck with 800 pounds of sandbags in the bed."

They drive all sorts of heavy duty trucks, so I would trust their oppinion more then 3 guys that do a series of 0-60 empty or trailer tow tests, of all kinds, but not near as much seat time in heavy duties.

Lol, narrow minded Lou, putting kidney belts on his kids.

I also have to wonder how Mark the Ford guy Williams got the numbers he did?

Diesel Power tested the 1500 Larimie 4x4 crew cab loaded, with heavy Ram boxs, 150 pounds, air suspension@100 plus, 20 inch wheels, and they said the curb weight, full of fuel, no driver, was 6,040 pounds. They said payload was1,140 pounds. Cat scale used.

Yeah, I know 1,140 isn't much, but there is a huge differance in Mark's numbers and Diesel Powers.

@TRX 4 Tom (Ram coils replace Crown Vic) - you are a real funny dude. Narrow minded? I look at what I read and comment upon it.
Unlike you, I do not mine the net for data to prove than a brand I favour is markedly superior to anyone else's brand.

The Ram 1500 loaded with options is a sedan with a sundeck.

That is irrefutable.

I don't need to hunt for alleged superiority of any brand. If I run accross some interesting points, I will post them. You or anyone else are free to confirm or refute that information.

This thread was/is about V6 trucks not 2500's.

Still bent out of shape by that TFL Truck story.

I'm sure that it hurts when someone says a Chevy (the brand you love to hate) rides better than a Ram.

Your posts prove that out.

I'd buy a Chevy over a Ram any day when it comes to HD's. Especially since they have changed all of the interior bits that I hated about the last gen trucks.

Lets see here, the Toyota has the lowest (quickest) gearing, weighs 1k LESS than the others, and is only a little bit faster? and only gets .5mpg more than a truck that weighs over 1kMORE!. Yes the Chevy does have the lowest (highest ) gearing than the others! or maybe the Nissan is close, but then again that does weigh a lot less. Yes the Chevy/GMC has the most payload, and decent towing numbers. But how can the Ram have such a low payload, and high towing numbers? maybe a ghost driver with a 8k trailer? and no fuel?

Tires stop a vehicle.
0.75-0.85g is pretty poor relative to what a car with even OEM tires can do.
What was the actual inflation pressure for these runs? (not just cold inflation numbers)

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