The Best Trucks on the Road
These 8 pickups each have one characteristic that sets them head and shoulders above the competition.
Americans love their trucks, and each truck buyer has a different reason for needing one. Drivers might need a truck to tow a boat, camper or snowmobile, or as an everyday workhorse on the job site, or simply for the occasional trip to the garbage dump. Traits valued in a pickup may include power, towing capacity, off-road capability or passenger space. Here we bring you the best, most capable pickups in eight categories.
Most Powerful Heavy-Duty Pickup
Ford F-Series Super Duty
Over the past few years, there has been an arms race in the heavy-duty pickup market. Power and torque numbers for diesel engines have grown significantly. Chevrolet and its GMC truck brand have reached 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque with their 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine. Dodge Ram's 6.7-liter Cummins V8 turbodiesel has 350 horsepower and up to 800 lb-ft of torque. But the winner is Ford. The Power Stroke 6.7-liter V8 turbodiesel in the 2012 Ford F-Series Super Duty wrings out some nice round numbers: 400 horses and 800 stump-pulling lb-ft of torque. As we'll soon see, though, more power doesn't necessarily mean more hauling capacity.
Best Heavy-Duty Hauler
Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra 3500HD
The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups may trail their Ford counterparts by 35 lb-ft of torque, but thanks to a beefy ladder frame, they boast the highest towing and payload capacities on the market. General Motors' heavy-duty duo can each tow up to 18,000 pounds on a conventional trailer hitch or 23,000 pounds using a bed-mounted fifth wheel. Payload capacity tops out at 7,215 pounds. The closest competitor is the Ford F-Series Super Duty, which is within 500 pounds for towing and 105 pounds for payload capacity. To aid towing, the GM heavy-duty pickups also offer an integrated trailer brake, an exhaust brake, dual rear wheels and 4-wheel drive.
Best Light Truck
Ford F-150 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
In most barroom bull sessions, admitting that you have a V6 engine in your full-size truck is like saying you wear a skirt. But not when you're talking about Ford's EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6. It can outperform most V8s, churning out 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, while delivering 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway. That's less horsepower than the GM 6.2-liter V8, the Ram 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and Ford's own 6.2-liter V8, but the torque numbers are similar and fuel economy is roughly 3 mpg better. Better yet, the EcoBoost is more responsive on the street, delivering quicker acceleration than any other light-truck engine.
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
With the SVT Raptor, Ford has put the full extent of its off-road engineering knowledge into a single vehicle. This is more than just a standard pickup with a lift kit. It is a fully realized off-roader in the vein of the pre-runner trucks used to scout courses before off-road races. Ford engineers widened the F-150 by 7 inches, which helped them increase suspension travel. That travel, 11.2 inches up front and 13.4 inches in the rear, lets the Raptor clear extreme obstacles while maintaining traction. Fox Racing shocks handle hard off-road impacts, and the stability control system is tuned for off-road demands.
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WHAT KIND OF JUNK WOULD YOU BE DRIVING WITHOUT "JAPANESE JUNK" MAKING THE US AUTO MAKERS BUILD BETTER CARS ???????
my friend has a ford and gets 8 mpg. Cannot beat a straight 6 cylinder diesel.
I've found that the best way to compare is to talk to those who repair them. They're not just out to sell you something, and they'll tell you the goods on each vehicle. My diesel performance shop guy tells me that my Cummins has by far the fewest repair problems.
If I'm going to spend that kind of money, this is a crucial piece of research.
I have an old dodge M-37 weapons carrier that is over 50 years old. 6 cylinder, rough riding but runs like a top. All steel, tough and pulls or hauls whatever needs to be moved. Not pretty but will work with anything out there.. I haul gravel, fire wood, I push snow and I take care of it. I doubt seriously that any of these new high dollar detroit ego-carts will be running and working 50 years from now. And has it cost me a l.ot of money to own and drive the old warrior? no!
I work the dodge and play with the Mighty Max.
at work i pull a bobcat,2 buckets,a trencher and a sweeper attachment . we have a 3500 99 dodge, a 2002 chevy and2005 f350 ford . the cummins dodge does it way better . nuff said