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F-150 2.7L EcoBoost 4x4 vs. Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 4x4 vs. Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 4x4
Motor Trend
By: Scott Evans
January 2015


Pickup trucks are so ubiquitous, so common on American roadways that we tend to take them for granted. They're hugely important vehicles, both to consumers and their manufacturers, and they make up a significant percentage of vehicles on the road. If the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado were brands instead of individual vehicles within a brand, they'd both be among the top 10 best-selling auto brands in the country, and that's without counting the Silverado's GMC twin. Ram wouldn't be far out of the top 10, and its sales are on the rise.

Trucks are also among the most versatile vehicles you can buy. They tow and haul, and they also commute and road trip. They can be everything from a stripped-out work truck with manual windows and door locks to a leather-stuffed special edition that costs as much as a full-size luxury sedan. They carry anywhere from two to six passengers in a mind-boggling number of cab, bed, and wheelbase configurations. To its owner, a truck can be a tool, a commuter vehicle, and a luxury car all rolled up in one. Fully aware of the weight these vehicles carry with their builders and their buyers, we brought together the big three: Chevy, Ford, and Ram. Each has launched an all-new model within the past five years stuffed with significant updates based on volumes of customer research. Each brand is confident that its truck represents the best answer to the truck customer's competing needs in towing, hauling, fuel economy, and comfort. From Chevrolet, the Silverado 1500 LTZ with 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8. From Ford, the F-150 Lariat with 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6. From Ram, the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo-diesel V-6. We drove them well over 1,000 miles through California and Arizona empty, loaded, trailering, in cities, on highways, and in the mountains to determine which is the best all-around truck. Before that, though, we pored over customer research from multiple sources in order to understand how truck buyers in this class actually use their vehicles so that we could base our judgment on their needs.

Full article available at link.
 

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Ford F-150 Real MPG
17 MPG City
22 MPG Highway
20 MPG Combined
16.8 MPG observed with 1000 lb in the bed

Chevy Silverado Real MPG
13 MPG City
19 MPG Highway
15 MPG Combined
16.4 MPG observed with 1000 lb in the bed

Ram 1500 Real MPG
20 MPG City
28 MPG Highway
23 MPG Combined
23 MPG observed with 1000 lb in the bed
 

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There has to be some serious handwringing in the exec offices of the Ren Cen and Tech Center. This wasn't just a poor showing. It was a thumping!
A cosmetic MCE won't come close to addressing the powertrain and suspension issues. Looks like they shot for a C+ and nailed it.
 

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None of the three vehicles sceam "buy" to me. I don't want a diesel so the Ram is out, I like the F-150 but I will wait at least three years to see how the aluminium panels work out and the GM twins are just too ugly for me. I still maintain that the mid-sized Colorado/Canyon will end up in my driveway.
 

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All makes sense to me, as I'd pick the Ram if I needed a truck. The new F-150 seems very competitive, as it should be, but the Ram still has a great interior, nice drive quality, the 8AT, and things like an optional diesel or adjustable suspension.

The GM trucks' issue is not that they aren't good. They seem to be competitive in most areas, but stellar or noteworthy in none. Kind of an Old GM problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll never understand why GM doesn't just replace the 5.3L with the 6.2L. It's a night and day better engine with a lot more power and equally disappointing fuel economy.
What would they have as their range topping engine, though?

What I'd like to see is the 5.3L dropped and replaced with a ~5.7L engine instead. More power, similar FE, and still enough breathing room for the 6.2L. The 6.2L should also be making more power in the trucks IMHO.
 

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Not sure I buy everything here:

- Basically they don't like the feel of the Silverado, it did perform well, just did not "feel" it
- Complained about how slow it felt with a trailer, but perform as well as others
- Complain about the backup camera and how they can't line up a trailer without a spotter, never had a problem with mine, first time every time.
- Many times stated the Chevy felt slower, but wasn't.

I am not saying the Silverado is top of the Class, but something seems off when it is performing, and you are complaining it feels different. Something is not right with this.
 

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What would they have as their range topping engine, though?

What I'd like to see is the 5.3L dropped and replaced with a ~5.7L engine instead. More power, similar FE, and still enough breathing room for the 6.2L. The 6.2L should also be making more power in the trucks IMHO.
I think we may see a turbo instead. 5.3 & the 4.3L will continue, but there may be a turbo V8 or V6 coming.
 

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Funny they didn't mention that the Ram was over it's payload capacity on at least a couple of the tests. 960 lbs of payload is pretty low. With a 1,000 lbs of payload for the test, plus a minimum of a driver in the truck, it was well beyond its capacity. A 7,000 lb test trailer should have had a minimum of 700 lbs tongue weight, plus extra gear and passengers.

I think GM would be better off losing a mpg in the EPA tests and programming their transmissions so they aren't so annoying for anyone not trying to win a FE challenge. Sounds like they need to tighten up the suspension a bit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A 4.5 liter twin turbo small block with a conservative 115HP/L good for 520 HP. With cylinder shut down it would probably get better FE than a 3.5 Ecoboost. It's coming, but not soon enough.
I'd love to see this, but 520 HP is too much IMHO. 480 HP is plenty, plus you won't overtax the engine.

Also, if they do a smaller-than-Duramax diesel, I'd like to see a 3.2L with around 280 HP and 500 TQ. THAT would be a game changer.
 

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These auto writers are all the same.....they simply luv diesels.......
Chevy 0-60 6.9 unloaded 19.5 towing
Ford 0-60 6.4 unloaded 16.2 towing
Ram 0-60 8.8 unloaded 23.9 towing

They then say it simply felt quick.....this is nothing but the diesel mafia crowd.......
If Ram put these numbers up with a Hemi and same MPG they would simply kill the Hemi......
 

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I have noticed over the last few years GM has done everything in there power to make there cars quieter and more isolated and wonder if they have gone to far and this test is an example
the silverado came in 3RD BUT performed as a #2 in timed events and if everything was NOT set to "soft" would have "felt" better and
the same is true for the Cruze Turbo and how everybody complains it is "dangerously" slow when it is FASTER then some of it competition it just "FEELS" slow
 
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