Showing posts with label Tundra Vs F150. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tundra Vs F150. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2014 Full Size Truck Comparison: Truck Power

Are you looking to buy a new truck?  Well, you have plenty to choose from on the dealership lots.  The 2014 trucks are out and are ready to play!

Every year there are plenty of changes, upgrades, and additions to each of the big three's full size pickup trucks, and each year truck connoisseurs compare their strength, capacity, comfort, and price.  This year we will do the same, but will add a fourth truck, the Toyota Tundra, into the mix.

Now before you American Pickup purists leave this website vowing never to return since I have gone "Furrin", hear me out and lets truly see where the Tundra has strengths and where it has weaknesses.  For those of you who are screaming "What about the Nissan Titan or the Honda Ridgeline?", first, I can only handle so much import at a time, and second, the Ridgeline is not really a truck...

So, without further adieu, lets talk truck.

First on everyone's mind these days in truck comparisons is truck strength.  However, a change in the days of previous decades is that the consumer's desire for power is balanced by their need for fuel efficiency.  With that in mind, a current truck consumer has to step back and say "Wow, where did Ram come from?"  No, I am not inherently a Dodge fan, but with their recent changes one has to appreciate that they are now changing the industry.  This year Ram is premiering their half ton truck with a diesel engine, leap frogging the innovations Ford brought to the market a few years ago with the Ecoboost V6.

In the engine capability realm, we must compare apples to apples as much as possible, so lets look at the power of each engine class.  In the V6 market, the Ford Ecoboost is still top dog. 
  1. Ford Ecoboost 3.5L V6:  HP - 365, Torque - 420 lbs
  2. Ram Pentastar 3.6L V6:  HP - 305, Torque - 269 lbs
  3. Chevy EcoTec3 4.3L V6: HP - 285, Torque - 305 lbs
  4. Ford 3.6L V6:                   HP - 302, Torque - 278 lbs
  5. Toyota 4.0L V6:               HP - 270, Torque - 278 lbs
In the mid range engines, Ford's 5.0L V8 just edges out Chevy's 5.3L V8 this year, though both have added strength in recent years.  Dodge is not listed in this area, as their mid range V8 is not currently available.
  1. Ford 5.0L V8:                   HP - 360, Torque - 380 lbs
  2. Chevy 5.3L EcoTec3 V8:  HP - 355, Torque - 383 lbs
  3. Toyota 4.6L V8:               HP - 305, Torque - 327 lbs
And in the large V8 area, Chevy's 6.2L V8 comes in at the top this year.
  1. Chevy 6.2L EcoTec3 V8: HP - 420, Torque - 460 lbs
  2. Ford 6.2L V8:                   HP - 411, Torque - 434 lbs
  3. Ram Hemi 5.7L V8:         HP - 395, Torque - 410 lbs
  4. Toyota 5.7L V8:               HP - 381, Torque - 401 lbs
You will notice that the one setup I did not include is the new Ram 6 cylinder diesel for their half ton trucks.  The 3.0L Ecodiesel is rated at 240 HP and can deliver a whopping 420 lbs of Torque.

As stated above, buyers also want efficiency.  So since these four makes have attempted to enhance their efficiency, here are the best at saving fuel:
  1. Ram 3.0L Ecodiesel:        30 MPG
  2. Ram 3.6L Pentastar V6:   25 MPG
  3. Chevy 4.3L EcoTec3 V6: 24 MPG
  4. Chevy 5.3L EcoTec3 V8: 23 MPG
  5. Ford 3.6L V6:                   23 MPG
  6. Ford 3.5L Ecoboost V6:   22 MPG
  7. Ram Hemi 5.7L V8:         22 MPG
  8. Ford 5.0L V8:                   21 MPG
  9. Chevy 6.2L V8:                21 MPG
  10. Toyota 4.0L V6:               20 MPG
  11. Toyota 4.6L V8:               19 MPG
  12. Toyota 5.7L V8:               18 MPG
  13. Ford 6.2L V8:                   18 MPG
Although one could argue over the newness of Ram's most efficient options and the balance needed between power and efficiency, nobody could argue that Toyota's efficiency is anywhere near that of the 3 "American" brands.

Check back next week for the next installment of the 2014 Full Size Truck Comparison: Towing and Room.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2013 Half Ton Truck Comparison

Every year the big three truck makers, Chevy, Ford, and Dodge, come out with their newest model of truck heaven, complete with new gadgets, more horsepower, and a flashy change to the outer appearance. This year is no different. As the 2013 full size trucks are beginning to roll into car lots across the country and people are trying to compare the three truck to decide which is best for them, many will be torn between the strength of one and the comfort of another. With so many choices, you may also be looking to compare the new 2013 full size truck models. Well, here is some help, my 2013 version of the Full Size Pickup Truck Comparison.

Over the past few years each truck has made many changes to their full size truck package. Chevy beefed up their front end appearance, Ford added a double turbo V6, and Dodge revamped their whole truck. But what else have they been working on?
In this truck comparison we will look at stats and specifics in the areas of power, comfort, design, durability, and price to see which full size American truck is best for you. While nothing can surpass the feel you will get on a test drive of one of these trucks, I will try to give you the closest idea of what each truck is like.

2013 Truck Power Comparison

For the last 3 or 4 decades, the big three truck makers have each put out their fair share of audacious commercials or videos showing their truck pulling the other two on a trailer, or racing ahead of the others, or even tying their truck to a train. No doubt, truck power is one of the largest selling points of any truck brand. Today, truck buyers need a truck that can go from play toy to work truck at a moments notice, so power is still of great importance.
First, I will begin with the oldest of the three models, the Chevy Silverado. Although this package is older than the other two (the base of this model began production in 2006), They have done plenty right. With plenty of awards when the model began production and again when it had upgrades in 2011, Chevy got many things right. One area where they do lag behind now is in power. Although the 5.3L V8, Chevy's best V8 engine, is very efficient and provides plenty of towing power, its 315 horsepower fall behind the field. Chevy does have its 6.2L V8 with 400 hp, but it is far less efficient and drinks fuel.
Second, Ford's V8 powerplant, the 5.0L 360 hp V8, has been eclipsed by the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost powerplant. The Ecoboost has 365 hp, largely due to their twin turbos, and gets an efficient 22 mpg (hwy). Ford's GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating), a measure of towing capacity is a massive max of 17,100 lbs. This capacity is only reached with the V6 Ecoboost package and the 6.2L V8 package which has 411 hp.
Lastly, the Ram 1500 is the newest of the three designs and is rolling out their new Pentastar V6. This V6 has lest power than the Ecoboost, with 305 hp, but paired with the new "TorqueFlite 8" 8 speed transmission it is touted to get an amazing 25 mpg (hwy) when combined with a few other efficiency changes Ram has added (to be discussed below). The Hemi is still available with more hp than last year (395) and will be available with the new 8 speed tranny next year.

2013 Truck Design Comparison

With each of the truck makers, Chevy, Ford, and Dodge (Ram), looking to create the most "manly" looking truck while also trying to get a step ahead in design innovation, the full size truck models have had many changes over the past 10 years. Larger front ends, larger wheels, and more accessibility are ideas that have driven the truck designers in the immediate history.

A few years ago, I, and most other Chevy drivers, would never have thought that the current Chevy Silverado design would have gotten "old." Although it has been spruced up a couple of times since, this exterior has been on the road since the 2007 model year and 6 years is an eternity in such a competitive industry. The Chevy front is muscular, yet relaxed, and although it is not as flashy as its counterparts, its solid look still gets plenty of attention on the road. Add into the picture the excellent frame and suspension changes that have been made to it over the past 5 years, and the overall design is a good one.

Ford has continued to slowly morph their design from almost a decade ago, yet it looks new almost every year. The current model is very similar to last year with a couple changes to spruce up the grille and some small changes to tooling on the sides and tailgate. The front end design has grown slightly taller and more muscular over the past few years, especially with the development of the grille area and the additions to some exterior accessories, such as a tailgate step, this design is more flashy and aggressive than its Chevy counterpart.

Nowhere near the Dodge design from the early 1990's with the huge front end, the new Dodge is aggressive, flashy, and refined at the same time. The negative angle slant of the grille, tapering down on the sides and moving back to a solid cab and box creates a line for the truck that catches every eye. With new tooling on the hood, changes to the headlights and fog light design, and a new look to the grille background, this model is easy to look at in every way. Add that to standard side boxes and the 2013 Ram is a the best designed truck this year.

2013 Truck Price Comparison

These definitely are not your father's pickup truck, and, furthermore, they are not your grandfather's pickup truck prices. With more aluminum, high strength steel, leather, electronics, safety technology, and better design come a higher price tag. Add to that the fact that the government is pressing for higher fuel efficiency and it is easy to see how prices could go even higher in the near term.

The low end of these truck brands are slightly more expensive than they were a couple years ago, but are definitely still within reason. The regular cab model with their least expensive package and engine for each come to $22,590 (Ram with 4.7L v8), $22,595 (Chevy with 4.3L v6), and $23,670 (Ford with 3.7L v6 [not the Ecoboost]). These are the "bare bones" models, but they come with much more standard than they did in years passed. Cruise control is standard in the Chevy and Ram, and power windows and locks are standard in all.

The upper end of these American Pickup trucks are much more of an expensive purchase. The largest cab version with the best available package of these models come to $39,290 (Chevy with 5.3L V8), $44,275 (Ram with 5.7L Hemi), and $46,400 (Ford with 5.0L V8). Each model has its own ways to amaze you and every ride is fun in these models, but fun definitely costs. The Chevy LTZ model is the best buy in my opinion with the best Chevy engine and still $5,000 less than the next truck. The Ford is even more in their Platinum model when you add their larger v8 or the v6 Ecoboost.

2013 Truck Durability Comparison

Although the Chevy, Ford and Ram are making stronger trucks with better frames and more efficient engines, they are also including more and more technology that can become a liability over time. Everyone loves a new truck with all the bells and whistles, but for every new innovations in today's trucks, there is one more item that can break.

In last year's 2012 Full Size Truck Comparison I lamented that there could be some long term issues with Ford's new V6 Ecoboost engine, but so far there have been no mass recalls and the Ecoboost packages are the first ones off the lot. They are not easily found in used truck listings and often have a wait to receive them when buying new. Shows what I know. Although a long term issue cannot be totally ruled out as the package has only been out for 2 years, the early indication would show that it is not a likely problem.

Ford does have a problem, however, when it comes to their Powertrain Warranty. Ford has remained at a 5 year 60,000 mile warranty for powertrain issues, whereas Chevy and Ram both have a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty. I know they are both 5 years, but how many truck drivers only average 12,000 miles per year? That comes down to only 33 miles per day. Best put off that long road trip Ford owners.

2013 Truck Comfort Comparison

Gone are the days when a truck was a stiff ride, sure to shake you out of your seat. Also gone are models that come standard without power windows, automatic transmissions or even CD players. Most of those come standard now. And the stiff ride has been replaced with suspension systems that ride more like a car than an old work truck.

With that said, not all trucks are alike in ride, accessories, or amenities. To a certain extent, the level that a person is comfortable in a truck is due in large part to the feel to which they have become accustomed. By that, I mean that if a person is used to driving a Chevy and likes how the seat feels and how the truck handles, they are more likely to feel out of place in a Ford or Dodge. However, there are plenty of high points in each of the trucks that anyone could appreciate.

For one, Chevy has long been seen as one of the more comfortable rides in the truck world. The Steering is easy, the seats are comfortable on a long ride, and the layout of the driver's area is easy to master. Where Chevy has fallen behind is in not having an overall integrated electronics screen like Ford and Dodge, not updating the interior materials, and having done away with its premium audio package that used to include Bose speakers.

Ford, known for their work trucks and off-road handling, has become quite a comfortable ride in the past few years. Their steering has gotten much more responsive, their cabs are definitely the best at keeping sound out, and their Ford Sync system, complete with touch screen and integrated computer system, has led the industry into a whole new realm of electronic possibilities. Ford does have a little work to do in their seats, however, which can become quite painful on a long ride.

The Ram has undergone a load of changes in the past couple years, especially inside. They have totally revamped the materials used inside, including the leather on the doors and their seat materials. This year's truck includes a rotary dial to select gears rather than a column shifter (initially only on the V6 Pentastar models and later on the Hemi models). The rotary dial is more similar to the inside of a luxury sedan, so we will see how the rugged Ram owners appreciate it. Dodge has also added a new integrated electronics system with touch screen to follow the Ford Sync. Dodge has done some work on their suspension to make their ride less stiff, but their coil springs in their rear suspension means less carrying capacity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chevy Vs Ford: Who Has The Best Truck Brand?

 Every truck owner in the U.S. has their preference of which brand they would drive, and no brands are more competitive with each other than Ford and Chevrolet. For years Ford has put out hundreds of thousands of trucks that are used as family vehicles, work trucks, and emergency services vehicles. They have had a history of producing both cost efficient and comfortable lines and options all in between to satisfy a wide range of consumers.

Chevrolet has developed a brand with a reputation of highly dependable, comfortable rides that can last for many miles. Although they have not always been as competitive with Ford's low prices as they are today, Chevrolet now competes strongly for emergency vehicles and fleet options. If you do not have a preference between the two of these brands, you have never driven either or do not care to drive a pickup truck.

GM Midsize Trucks: GMC Canyon And Chevy Colorodo

The design of both GM and Isuzu, the Chevy Coloroda/GMC Canyon began production in 2004 to replace the S-10/Sonoma. Although the truck is not large, in looks and size it is a step up from the old S-10, and you can definitely see the Isuzu influences in the design, if not, just look at one parked by a Isuzu D-Max which began production 2 years prior to the joint venture.

The Colorodo has a bit more height to the cab, causing the larger look, than the S-10, and compares well with other small to midsize trucks on the market today in size and power. The truck has options for a 4 cylinder, 5 cylinder, and the 5.3 L v8 that is the main powerplant for the larger Silverado. Fuel efficiency for the platform is close to the top of the field in each of the sizes of engines, so even though there is plenty of strength under the hood, your wallet won't sacrifice.

Ford Ranger, Ford's Small Package

Although the Ford Ranger has ceased as a U.S. Ford product, their are still many 2011 Rangers on the market. Ford ceased its production of the Ranger in the U.S. in December of 2011 after 29 years of production of the small pickup truck. Though the Ranger was never known for comfort or a smooth ride, it was, however, known for dependability and utility.

Ford is still producing the Ranger in Australia, although their newest version is a larger Ranger, much more comparable to the Chevy Colorodo or Toyota's Tacoma line. It is understandable that Ford decided to drop the current Ranger from its American line, considering lower sales in small trucks as half-ton trucks have risen in mileage, and they have joined Dodge in dropping the smaller end of their pickup line.

It will be interesting to see, when the U.S. truck market and auto market in general begin to rebound, if Ford will incorporate the flashy new Australian Ford Ranger design into its American Ford Truck brand.

Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra, The GM Pick Up Flagships

The underlying design of the current Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra has been in production since the 2007 model was released and met with the North American Truck Of The Year and Motortrend's Truck Of The Year awards. Although the basic shape has stayed the same since the initial model, these trucks have incorporated some recent changes that have definitely strengthened the Silverado/Sierra brand.

First, the trucks now come with more packages that offer the 6 speed transmission which translates into higher fuel efficiency. Eventually, as 4 speed transmission are phased out, all of the full size GM trucks will have the 6 speed transmission, mostly to help reach the new cafe standards.

Second, the truck line is phasing out the 6.0 L V8 and replacing it with a 403 Hp 6.2 L V8. This engine, along with the standard 5.3 L, come with a "Cruise Grade Braking" option (Jake Brake) which downshifts the engine to assist with slowing so brakes are not overused.

Some other new options include a WiFi hotspot option which reaches 150 ft from the truck, mobile apps that can link your cell phone to your truck via On-Star, and Bluetooth options that allow you to answer and end phone calls without touching your smartphone. The new Silverado/Sierra truly has every toy you could think of. Some future options for this truck are rumored to include an option for a built in air compressor built into the rear of the truck, and side rails that actually lower down from the body when the truck is placed in park. What will they think of next?

F150, Ford's Bread And Butter

Beginning with the F-1 in 1948, the F series pickup truck has provided versatility and utility to Americans and Canadians alike for well over 60 years. What quickly became known as the F-100 was replaced by the F-150 as the half ton model and the main seller for the F series in the late 1970's. The F-150 is currently the best selling truck when the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra sales are not added together, and it was once the most sold vehicle in the U.S. for 24 years.

The new F-150 has a stronger looking front end to make it closer to the design of the Ford Super Duty trucks. In 2011, the F-150 was given a small cosmetic change which carries over to the 2012 model, including a new grill, a more muscular hood design, and the addition of some more modern designs on the tailgate of the truck. The interiors are similar to the last few F-150's with a few small changes, including more packages with Ford's Sync system available.

The engine changes are some of the best that Ford has made to the F-150 in recent years. With the addition in 2011 of the 365 hp V6 Ecoboost and a relatively new 6 speed transmission that has Ford trucks at tied for the top in full size truck fuel efficiency. With a 411 hp 6.2L V8 also available, Ford has the horsepower competition pretty much in hand.

Although Ford has upped its warranty from the old 36/month 36,000 mile to a more competitive 60/month 60,000 mile warranty they still are behind the new standard of 60/month 100,000 miles. I mean, how many people are going to buy a truck that is as fun to drive and use as the 2012 F150 and only average 10,000 miles a year?

Chevy And GMC HD Trucks

After being totally redesigned for their 2007 models, the GMC Sierra HD and the Chevy Silverado HD quickly became a replacement for the Ford SuperDuty in many ambulance services as well as in work truck roles around the country. The move was largely due to the dissatisfaction with Fords 6.4 L Powerstroke Diesel which had plenty of problems. Whether or not the GM HD brand will maintain its new strength in the HD market is hard to know, considering the early reviews on Fords new 5.7 L Powerstroke seem to be great.

The current model of GM HD trucks has been given a heavier frame, a safer cab with more side protection, and more capability with best in class towing and only 3 Hp less than the Ford SuperDuty. With few changes from their JD Power Truck of the Year model in 2011, the 2012 is definitely pleasing to both sit in and drive.

Ford Super Duty Trucks

With a newly updated exterior from last years model, the 2012 line of Super Duty Ford trucks are bigger and better than ever before. These 2012 Super Duty Fords also include a larger diesel option, increased from the 6.4L Powerstroke to the 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel V8. They also upped the available size gas engine, from the 5.4 Triton V8 that is in most of the F-150's to the 6.2L "Boss" V8 engine.

Besides the bulkier and stronger looking exterior and the definitely stronger engines, the new Super Duty can carry more while burning less fuel than ever before. The fact that the F-250 or F-350 can pull over 8 tons with 400 horsepower and do so with less fuel is amazing. The somewhat recent addition of Ford's Sync system also adds even more creature comfort to one of the largest cabs in the truck market.


Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 Toyota Tundra Vs F150, Silverado and Ram, A 2012 Comparison

For those of you looking to buy a 2012 model year half ton truck, never before has their been so many choices available. Only a few years ago there were only a couple of truck makes that stood out above the rest, but today most of the other trucks have caught up.

Ten or fifteen years ago, the only reasons to buy a Toyota truck were low prices, good fuel mileage, and durability. If you needed a truck that could haul a large load or pull a fifth-wheel camper you definitely did not slow down for the local Toyota dealership. If you wanted a roomy cab with lots of extras, Toyota trucks were not for you. Times have definitely changed.

With Toyota's introduction of the Tundra several years ago, it has continually strived to compete in the half-ton pickup market. They have made their larger truck more bulky, more powerful, and more comfortable in order to catch up with Ford, Chevy and Dodge. But have they? Do Toyota Tundra's "measure up," or are the American made half-tons still the better buy for truck buyers?

First off, Toyota has made the mistake of sacrificing too much fuel economy for power. For years Toyota has been known for their economically viable choices in the automobile markets. However, with their change of focus in the pickup market, Toyota has chosen to go more for a high horsepower truck than an economic truck. That will definitely get them a look from people wanting a strong looking and feeling truck, but at a time when fuel mileage is key, Toyota has placed themselves near the back of the pack with Dodge for Fuel mileage.

Yes, their 4.6 L version gets 20 mpg, but that model does not come close to the payload and towing capacities as the other trucks. The 5.7 L version gets 18 mpg, and, although it outpaces both the Chevy (5.3L) and Ford (5.0L) standard engines in HP (Toyota 5.7L - 381 hp, Chevy 5.3L - 315 hp, and Ford 5.0L - 360 hp) it lags in fuel efficiency and still comes up short in max payload and towing. The Toyota engine packages just don't yet have the right mix of efficiency and power to appeal to the mass of truck buyers in the American market as well as Chevy and Ford, yet. I would expect them to put in the effort to catch up in efficiency as quickly as they caught up in horsepower.

There are a few areas where Toyota did a good job.  First, Toyota's Tundra has added a huge amount of size to the cab interior in recent years. Many people see Ford as one of the roomiest cabs in the truck market today, but the only interior dimension that they beat the Tundra in is in head room, and that is only by 1 inch. The Tundra's shoulder, hip, and leg room is leaves room for any rider or driver to stretch out and enjoy the ride.

Second, although Toyota trucks have not been known for their interior extras and innovations, the Tundra has come a long way. The 2012 Tundra has an optional 4-disc changer, when Chevy is removing their 6-disc changer option. It also has bluetooth wireless and rear seat DVD system options. These bring the Tundra up to date and more. The Tundra also has 2 115 volt power outlets making the truck great for everyone who loves the outdoors or using their truck as a work truck.

And Third, just looking at the Tundra exterior, it looks like a large, muscular truck. Although the outer look of a half ton truck does not necessarily sell it, it can definitely help. Most men that buy half ton trucks want the strongest and most dependable. The Tundra's large front end definitely conveys strength and the Toyota symbol is synonymous for most people for dependability.

I would most likely place the 2012 Toyota Tundra in third on the American full size, half ton pickup market, just behind Ford and Chevy. The Tundra is considered one of the most dependable pickup trucks out today, but they have yet to fine tune their engine packages for the best mix of horsepower and efficiency. Also, with recent changes in Ford and Chevy frames and suspension, Toyota will have to adapt to keep up with their maximum payload capacity and their towing capacity. They have plenty of horsepower available in the 5.7L to tow as much, so some changes must be made elsewhere.

Although I did not consider Tundra a truck I would be interested in before researching for this comparison, I would definitely consider them now, when buying a new truck. I have listed some changes they need to make, but overall they are very competitive with the Ford and Chevy and their overall look and size are quite appealing.