Car buyers have a responsibility to be well-informed consumers. That's not always a very simple task, but some guidelines are self-evident. If you live in a very snowy climate, you generally know a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro might not be as viable a vehicle choice as an all-wheel drive Explorer or Traverse, for example. If you want a fuel-efficient car, it's generally a good idea to know the difference between a diesel and a hybrid. But what if it's kind of tough to be an informed consumer
No one can accuse Ram of backing away from the full-size truck arms race. Chrysler has officially dropped the payload details on its 2013 Ram Heavy Duty, and the 3500 now packs a maximum trailer weight of 30,000 pounds. Chew on that number for a moment. That's 15 tons, or the equivalent of a dozen Mazda MX-5 Miata convertibles stacked on a trailer, and it's also a whopping 6,900 pounds more than the closest competitor to the Ram 3500, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD. Ram engineers have cranked t
We've seen this sort of thing before – a group agrees to adhere to a common standard at some determined date, then when the date arrives, one or more parties in the group figures out how to 'adhere' in a completely new way. When the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) laid out its J2807 tow-rating guidelines a few years ago with input from domestic and Japanese truck makers and tow suppliers, the standardized testing regime was applauded as a way to provide reliable comparisons between m
The pickup truck towing capacity wars have been in full-blown Mortal Kombat-style battle mode for as long as we can remember. For years, it's gone something like this: Automaker A claims that its rig can tow 10,000 pounds, then Automaker B increases their truck's stated capacities to 10,500 pounds without changing a single component. And if you've ever wondered if all automakers test towing capacities in the same manner, well... they don't.
The never-ending battle of heavy-duty pickup truck one-upmanship continues with Ford's announcement that it will increase the maximum trailer tow rating on its 2011.5 F-350 and F-450 Super Duty models to 17,500 pounds. Not coincidentally, General Motors nabbed the maximum conventional trailer rating at the beginning of 2011 with the latest versions of its Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD with ratings of up to 17,000 pounds.
Automakers have been on the honor system when stating the tow ratings of their pickups, and that has led to lofty numbers that could only be achieved under a very particular set of ideal conditions. Claiming the biggest number for any truck spec is a big deal, but maximum towing capacity is the crown spec. So it was only natural that these automakers – mainly Ford, General Motors, Dodge (Ram), Toyota, Honda and Nissan – would feel the pressure to keep coming up with better and better