PickupTrucks.com asked five half-ton truck manufacturers to provide their best trucks for $30,000. The entries consisted of the 2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 Extended Cab, 2011 Ford F-150 Regular Cab, 2011 Nissan Titan King Cab, 2011 Ram 1500 Quad Cab and 2011 Toyota Tundra Double Cab, all of which were put through a variety of tests over four days in and around Detroit. Unlike a comparison that seeks model-feature parity, this one allowed for manufacturers to provide whatever they thought was best, which is how you get Ford supplying the only regular cab among the field.

After being run through load tests, brake tests, the drag strip, 0-to-60 and even an autocross run, the crown was given to the Ram 1500 Quad Cab. It didn't scorch its competition, but it was always near the top of the field, which gave it enough to take the glory. There's a video of the test after the jump, or head over to PickupTrucks.com to read the full piece.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 110 Comments
      Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you've actually driven them, you can't ignore the vastly better handling and ride from the Ram's coil link rear end. Personally, I liked the interior over the Ford and GM as well, but that's subjective. I have no idea what the real world MPG is for the others, but my Ram 1500 is actually better than the EPA estimate of 20; it's more often 22-23 on longer trips.
        HemiFred
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Austin
        I find the same thing. If you try to keep the speed reasonable 22mpg and up is easy. Now, if you get on it a little bit, it is easy to drop below 12 around town. I usually average 14-15.
      Bruno Nekic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lets see which truck has great features, quality, and is the most American truck out of them all.......Toyota Tundra. The truth hurts, so down downrank me if you must.
        tkosoccer03
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruno Nekic
        great features? like what? quality? it's leads the list in recalls and has never won a quality award.. truth does hurt, and that's why you get a thumbs down for being a dumbass..
          Nick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          It's never won a quality award?? The Tundra won the 2009 JD powers initial quality award and it's the winner of JD's vehicle dependability study award for 2011. The Tundra is one of the older trucks on the market, but it's won plenty of awards for quality, dependability and low ownership costs over the past couple of years. http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/03/toyota-pickup-trucks-top-jd-power-dependability-study.html http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/06/f150-ridgeline-tundra-top-jd-power-and-associates-initial-quality-study.html If you'd like, I could show you plenty of other awards the Tundra has received for quality and reliability. Seriously, why do people hate this truck and this company so much? If you do nothing but read the comments on this site, you'd believe the Tundra to be the worst rated and most poorly made truck ever made. People can have different opinions on what they believe to the best truck, but no need for the BS that gets posted about it.
          Ed
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          Jd powers is full of crap.
          Bruno Nekic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tkosoccer03
          So basically your saying American labor is poor and so are American parts, since the Tundra is built in Texas and uses the most American parts out of any truck. Think before you speak!
        gnvlscdt23f
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruno Nekic
        Truth is among V8 2WD trucks like these, even it CR's supposedly pro-Toyota survey, the Tundra doesn't stand out. All except the Titan are ranked average [the Titan is Much (46%) Worse than Average]. The F-150 leads at +18% (+ or -21% is the start point for Better than or Worse than). The Tundra is next at +15% and then the Dodge is +6%. The Chevy's -7%, but that's still considered average. So I'm not seeing quality is a factor here, except for the Nissan. I'd point out for the most recent year, both the Dodge and Ford beat the Toyota (CR uses 3 years for their percentage prediction).
        Bruno Nekic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bruno Nekic
        Wow 14 downranks, you people are ignorant.
      HemiFred
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a little experience in these truck dealings. I have been a working contractor for 16 years. I have owned in order: 1993 F250 5.7L 3 speed. Regular Cab. 4wd 1995 Silverado 1500 extended cab. 5.0 4 speed. 4wd 2002 GMC Sierra extended cab 2500. 6.0L 4 speed. 4wd 2004 Ram 1500 Sport 2 door. Hemi 5 speed 4wd 2006 Ram 1500 Quad Hemi 5 speed 4wd 2007 Toy Tundra Double Cab 5.7 6 speed 4wd 2009 ram 1500 crew hemi 5 speed rambox. 4wd. The 2009 ram is by far the best over all truck. The 04 ram reg. cab was most fun to drive. The old f-250 was a very Big Macho truck. The Toy was just a joke. It was squeakey and creakey. It felt like the motor was trying too hard to make power. The ride was insanely rough! Worse than the old F250! When I loaded the bed I thought the thing would die. When it had 2000lbs of stone in it, the engine seemed to struggle a lot. Plus it was in the shop several times for various issues. I got rid of it before it was out of warranty. Worse than the old F250! I did have the best city MPG and resale. The 09 and 06 ram smokes all in highway mpg. I just took a trip from Denver to Aspen and back in the truck. The back way up a couple of steep 13000ft passes. I had 4 passangers and luggage. We did some off roading way above aspen for a couple of days. About 500miles round trip. The truck averaged 22mpg. The ride is better than my wifes '10 camry xle and the Hemi feels like it is always ready to go. It never feels like it would run out of power. All in all, my 2009 ram is by far the best truck I have ever owned. When I bought it I looked at em all. Ford was nice, but too expensive and not enough power. Chevy and GMC were just ugly and boring to me. The Dodge fit the bill. I had also had ZERO problems with any dodge. I don't keep trucks for too long, and my first two dodge's were about 40k miles when I traded them in. They however were used like a truck is meant to be used. I even had 4500lbs in the bed of the Regular Cab! 24k miles on my 09 and I think I will keep this one for a while.
        hevace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HemiFred
        Who are the D-bags voting this down? This guy sounds completely legit to me. Maybe if they would move out of their parents' basement, finish their GED's, and get a job, they might be able to appreciate someone speaking from experience. Go ahead and vote me down too, ya pantywaists.
          kb
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          What bunch of crap I'm seeing here. Right hevace and Frank, you should always trust anyone that overloads their truck with nearly 2-1/2 ton loads, names themselves HemiFred and says his newest Ram is the best truck he's ever owned... Because you know you're going to get clear and unbiased thinking, right? Sarcasm And a couple of things about these stupid arguments going on here about what truck is better or more problematic. 1.MOST NEW VEHICLES ARE RELIABLE! The problems only start with the idiot owners that abuse them and neglect them. 2. Too many truck owners will believe whatever the hell they want, are generally very stubborn, insecure and very, very ignorant. If they hear one story about some other guy's truck having issues, they'll ignore all other facts about the same truck that does not support them and continue to argue about why these trucks are so bad. And these kinds of arguments went on long before Japanese automakers ever stepped into the large truck market. If you said anything about a Chevy to a Ford owner or Ram to a Chevy owner back in the late 90s, you'd get nothing but a bunch of childish bickering. It's just how they are. As someone that actually has experience with every single brand and nearly every truck on the market, I would never knock any of the trucks on the market. My company has several 07-11 Tundra pickups that sit right next to a fleet of 03-11 Chevy and Ford trucks...Guess what? We're actually happy with all of them!! Sorry guys, I just can't see why you get crazy with one brand more than the other. The all have their strengths and quirks, but they do their job. If we take care of them, make sure the workers don't drive them like crap, they'll come back to the lot ready for the next day of work. That's all there is to it! So when I read some of the comments being posted here, I see nothing more than childish fanboys and narrow-minded fools doing what they always do.
          HemiRoadRunner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          And what Hemifred said about loading his ram with 4500 pounds is the truth. They can handling anything damn thing you drop in the back. Only in a Japanese made truck would that be too much.
          HemiRoadRunner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          KB is full of ****. Not all vehicles are reliable. Just google and youtube all the problems the tunjunk has. Its easily the ****tiest made truck in the last 20 years or more. I never seen a truck have any problems like the tunjunk. Seriously yall, Toyoturd needs to stop building their **** and let American trucks makers do what they do.
          HemiFred
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          I am legit. I own a construction company in Denver. Grew up in Detroit.
          HemiFred
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          KB-- I just signed up to comment on this thread. Since 3 of my last 4 trucks have had a Hemi, I figured it was an OK screen name. Do you even drive a truck? Or are you one of the guys working at best buy driving a Corolla?
          HemiFred
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hevace
          The dodge is just my preference based on what is most important to me. If I was looking for 0-60 I would have the Toyota. I put 3,000lbs in the back of the tundra, (with Air bag springs blown up) and I thought I was going to snap the frame. It did it though. I just feel that for every heavy application, the Dodge does it effortlessly. So did my f250. It was a total tank. Rode like one too. It was great for plowing snow with an 8ft v plow. I wasn't knocking Chevy or GMC. After I was done with the GMC I sold it to my dad. He tows a 33ft travel trailer with it, and has a tool box topper on the back. 300k miles later and not a single issue. The issues I had with the TOY I would attribute to it being a new vehicle. The boys from Detroit have had time to get it down. I don't think the TOY was ready for the big leagues yet. I think it would have been fine for the average Joe. I think I would have killed it after a few years. I was glad to get it, and was glad to trade it in for a ram 8 months later.
        caddy-v
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HemiFred
        Having a somewhat similar situation we maintain a constant fleet of 14 pickups, all 3/4 and 1 ton Chevys and GMC's with one Ford, I would not hesitate buying a Ram if they could prove to me that something has been addressed in two areas. The only Dodge we had was a 95 2500 4x4 with the Dana 4x4 rears. After the factory u-joints started to wear at 60k, I could count on replacing them at least every other year. I had them upgrade the truck to the Dana 60's and then it improved slightly. The other problem was rust. After four years the rust began to slowly eat away to the point of no return. The truck mechanicaly (aside from the u-joints) was amazingly reliable after spending it's entire life pulling a bobcat and snow plowing. We retired the truck last year with over 300K, the exact mileage is unknown due to the sensor being sheared off in a hard snow bank a year earlier. The wife keeps accurate maintenance records of every truck we've ever owned for the business and the Dodge still to this day is just slightly above the others in cost to own. My deepest sympathies on the Tundra.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HemiFred
        [blocked]
          HemiFred
          • 3 Years Ago
          How do you know? I did not lie. Just tellin it like it is. You probably have a 84 beretta.
          jtav2002
          • 3 Years Ago
          The Beretta didn't exist in 1984.
          HemiFred
          • 3 Years Ago
          MY bad. 1987. I don't keep up too well on my 80's chevy's apparently.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        buckfeverjohnson
        • 3 Years Ago
        I guess I own a pickup truck because I own guns. I don't want to put a bloodied up deer carcass in the back of an SUV, so I put it in the back of my pickup truck. Seems like logic to me, but is scary to you.
        hevace
        • 3 Years Ago
        Diagnosis: loser. Prescibed treatment: kill self.
        HemiFred
        • 3 Years Ago
        I drive a truck. Don't own or ever used a shotgun. Never been to a rodeo. I respect Jesus. Nobody takes away my job. I am the best at what I do. When you are the best, no one takes away your job.
      Carlos
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Tundra isn't a pickup truck. That's all.
        David P.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Carlos
        Really? I'd like to hear what your definition of a pickup is then.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        TAF4Mopar
        • 3 Years Ago
        I would like to see a link showing this please...
        miles
        • 3 Years Ago
        Does your mom know you're online saying things like this?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        reattadudes
        • 3 Years Ago
        please, share your personal experience with the Tundra 'that will outlast all the American crap". in case you didn't know, the failure of the Tundra in the marketplace is in Edsel-like proportions. they were expecting sales of over 500,000 units per year, and they're lucky to muster 100,000 sales with big incentives. you know things are pretty pathetic at the Tundra plant outside San Antonio when workers there are cleaning public parks, as the plant is down for "inventory adjustment". and so share your "experience" with "the Chrysler product that will blow up at 20K miles". gee. if that would actually occur with any regularity, it seems it would not only be noticed, but would be completely covered by the factory warranty, right? my experience with Dodge trucks has been quite the opposite. I have six in the fleet right now; all are 2006 1/2 ton HEMI quad cab 2 wheel drives. my own is the "low miler", with only 206,000 miles. the other 5 have between 500,000 and 650,000 miles on the clock. I ask that question again: when are they supposed to "blow up?" this is the fourth cycle of six trucks we've purchased, and we've never had a single problem; not one engine, not one transmission. nothing. if you think this is some kind of Dodge endorsement, it isn't. I'd tell you the same thing about Chevrolets or Fords; we've had them all. you really show your total lack of knowledge about the subject at hand when you mention the Ridgeline. this test was about TRUCKS, not some wheezing, 6 cylinder wanna-be unit body crossover-with-a-bed. have you ever seen a Ridgline towing anything of substance? the rear end is draggin, the headlights are shining to Jesus, and it's in the slow lane going uphill. torque is what moves a load, and that unit body wanna-be doesn't have any. and please share how you put things in the high sided "bed". since it greatly slopes up in the front, is a ladder in order? you could take ANY of the tested trucks, hook a 5,000 pound trailer to them, and they'd do an exemplary job. any of them would leave the Ridgline in the dust in any test. and what is "AWD"? real trucks don't have AWD; they are either 2 wheel drive , or 4 wheel drive. if you don't know the difference between AWD and 4WD, let me enlighten you. 4 wheel drive has a low range, and AWD does not. AWD will not get you out of sand, snow, or mud; 4WD will. AWD in a pickup is totally useless. for those of us who live in sunbelt climates, AWD is about as desirable over 2WD as a turd in the proverbial punchbowl. why would I want the added weight, expense, and complexity of something I don't need, or will ever use? ...and the Ridgeline stupidly only comes in AWD form.
          Charles2337
          • 3 Years Ago
          @reattadudes
          Finally a person who knows what they are talking about.
        HemiRoadRunner
        • 3 Years Ago
        BAHAHAA!!! Are you for real???
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        Blow at 20k miles????!? Looks like we have trolls coming at us from all sides now.
        caddy-v
        • 3 Years Ago
        Of the hundreds of construction people I know with pickups there were a dozen or so that chose the Tundra, shoulders up, solid look of pride in their purchase, claiming the Tundra was the not only the best thing since sliced bread and home made ice cream, all but one still has his Tundra. Plagued with little problems, most with brake issues and just plain good old fasioned reliability and quality, they've moved on with their lives after rehab. The all but one crowd have moved on to mostly Fords, a few Ram's and some Chevy/GMC's and started live anew putting that miserable experience slowly behind them. There's now refreshed life in their blood as they now join an ever increasing crowd of dedicated construction workers making jokes and laughing at the few that still struggle with their Tundra's and have'nt been "reborn" in the in the realm of REAL trucks.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      HemiRoadRunner
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can see the Toyota leg humpers have arrived to protect their presious Toyota, lol . You just can't face the fact that the Tundra fails on every level. The truth is simple all you toyotaphiles. Toyota can't build a truck.
        Ed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HemiRoadRunner
        They can build a truck...Just not a truck that will pull or haul without breaking in half .
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HemiRoadRunner
        [blocked]
      J
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have any of you Ford fanboy's figured out yet that if Ford had sent a double cab truck instead of a single cab the F150 probably would have finished behind Ram and Tundra in the tests it did win? Bigger truck = more weight. F150 won the speed contests because it was lighter/smaller. Take away that advantage, Ford is right on level with the rest of the competition in terms of speed/agility when loaded and unloaded. Not to mention, had they sent a doublecab it would have most likely been a stripped down truck like the Chevy because Ford wanted to make sure they equipped the F150 with the 5.0 which comes at a premium. So, like I said, either way I think the results would have been the same. Ford boys need to accept the fact that Ram makes a good truck now.
      HC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do so many dumb comments come out when we talk about trucks? Pickuptrucks.com thinks the Ram and Tundra are better than the F150.... BIG DEAL! You don't have to agree with them. And If you don't agree with others, you don't need to turn into children over it.
        Ed
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HC
        How are the comments dumb? Maybe from the Toyota boys, but not from the others. The only thing that's dumb is saying a Tundra is better than the F150 because it has 2 more doors. This comparison was full of crap.
          Nick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ed
          "The only thing that's dumb is saying a Tundra is better than the F150 because it has 2 more doors." Ed, Toyota and Dodge (Ram trucks or whatever they call them) make a decent 4 door truck with a V8 engine for under 30k! Ford couldn't build a similar truck for the same money! That's Ford's problem, not put.com! Don't bash them for what Ford couldn't do. Ford makes a fine, but you can't face the fact that it's more expensive than the other trucks. It lost because it was too little truck for the money, nothing more.
        HemiRoadRunner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @HC
        Because the Tundra isn't better than the F150! And im saying this as someone that would never buy Ford! Stupid test like this robs sales becuase people use these test to help them decide. Stop supporting Toyota you dumbasses!
          jtav2002
          • 3 Years Ago
          @HemiRoadRunner
          So instead of using comparison tests, should they rely on biased opinions instead? I'm not saying the Toyota is or isn't better, but it's clear you just don't like Toyota, which is fine. But don't try to pass that off as factual information.
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why did Ford send a regular cab and why did PickupTrucks.com accept this unequal comparison. Most comparisons around the auto industry press have Dodge and Ford in a virtual tie. Ford always has hated competing against the Hemi and maybe this was their way of blurring the issue. Hey ToyoBORGs, a RAM HEMI kicked Toyota's ass in gas mileage! It will only get worse for the whalekillers in the next few years as MOPAR takes the lead in transmission technology and award winning Pentastars make their way to RAM.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        threefortyduster
        • 3 Years Ago
        Read the article. They told the manufacturer to send their best truck for $30k. No requirements whatsoever. Ford gambled to send a regular cab to sweep up the performance tests, and it backfired because, well, regular cabs seat 3 max while every other truck there sat 5 or 6. The performance advantage wasn't enough to justify it winning. Not to mention, the Ford handled the absolute worst with a 1000 lb load in it. Not exactly confidence inspiring for a truck.
          miles
          • 3 Years Ago
          @threefortyduster
          The manufacturer guessing what truck to send impacts the results as much as the attributes of the truck. Let's see a single-cab shootout, then a cab-and-a-half shootout, then a double-cab shootout. Go ahead and throw in a price point for each as well, then we see a shootout that will mean something. Silly weekend post.
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