Truck Trend’s 1-Ton Challenge: How We Scored It
The Final Reckoning
After a long week of competition, we settled in to tabulate the final scores. Much like our Pickup Truck of the Year competition, we weighted each of eight scored categories differently based upon our perceived importance and relevance to the buying public. The breakdown is as follows: 20 percent Drive Impressions (as considered by our expert panel of staff and judges), 15 percent Fuel Economy (testing performed on ATS Diesel Performance’s dynamometer), 12.5 percent Horsepower (uncorrected, at the rear wheels), 12.5 percent Torque (uncorrected, at the rear wheels), 12.5 percent Quarter-Mile (elapsed time, average of three runs), 12.5 percent Eighth-Mile (elapsed time, towing 10,600-pound trailer), 10 percent Obstacle Course (elapsed time, towing 10,600-pound trailer), 5 percent Sled Pull (distance traveled). Total scoring is averaged and normalized.
Best Interior – Ram 3500Despite being the oldest pickup in our competition, the Ram 3500’s interior won a lot of praise from our staff, judges, professional drivers, and onlookers. The top-level Limited trim is outfitted with premium Natura Plus black leather seating, leather-wrapped steering wheel and center-console lid, genuine wood trim (Ram calls the graining “Argento”), and real aluminum throughout. The gauge cluster is unique to Limited as is a sliding wood cover on the center console’s “media compartment.” Silver highlights are subtle and classy, including the upholstery’s piping and stitching.
Best Exterior – GMC Sierra Denali 3500HDSince 1999, Denali has been the premium package found on GMC vehicles. Of our three competitors, none received more acclaim for its exterior styling than the clean and classy GMC Denali. From the chrome-trimmed, functional hoodscoop to the bold, Denali-specific grille, the truck exudes class everywhere it goes. Adding function and style are projector-beam HID headlamps, LED signature daytime running lights, and LED clearance lights, turn signals, and taillights. Even more chrome brightwork is found accenting the bumpers, mirrors, and doors. Rounding out the package was the Denali’s wheel and tire package, which proved to be the preferred combination of the three.
Final ResultsAs we learned in our week of testing, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these trucks. Each is plenty capable of doing serious work, and each has its own list of strong suits and ideal uses.
However, when the chips fell, the ’17 Ford F-350 Super Duty was able to fight off its rivals for dually supremacy. With excellent numbers on the dyno, an impressive performance at the dragstrip, and stellar sled-hauling abilities, the Ford was at or near the top of every test.
Still, we’re living in a world of brand-new, factory-warrantied, supremely capable, surprisingly comfortable, 900–lb-ft trucks, and that’s something we should be very grateful for.
|Ford F-350 Super Duty||GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD||Ram 3500|