Work Truck

Winner: Ram 2500 HD
Runner-Up: Ford F-250 Super Duty

The models we consider for this category are the regular-cab, ¾-ton two-wheel-drives, the ones you would expect to see in a fleet. As you can see from the specs, all three trucks have similar capabilities, with the Ram offering the most towing capacity, but the Ford providing the most payload. After considerable discussion, we gave this to the Ram. It is the only truck in the category to offer buyers the option of three engines, and it is the lone holdout when it comes to the option of the manual transmission. That, plus the lowest price and best towing, confirmed it for us. The Ram bests the Super Duty's towing capacity by more than 1000 pounds.

Work Truck, 3/4-ton 2WD Reg Cab
Vehicle Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra 2500HD Ford F-250 Super Duty Ram 2500 HD
Base price $32,405/$32,405 $31,230 $30,985
Wheelbase 133.7 in 137.0 in 140.5 in
Base engine 6.0L OHV V-8 6.2L SOHC V-8 5.7L OHV V-8
Opt engines 6.6L TD V-8 $7195 6.7L TD V-8 $8315 6.4L V-8 $1495, 6.7L TD I-6 $7795
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto 6-speed man
Opt transmissions 6-speed auto $1200 6-speed auto $500
Power, SAE 360 hp (397) 385 hp (400) 383 hp (410, 350-370)
Torque, SAE 380 lb-ft (765) 405 lb-ft (800) 400 lb-ft (429, 660-800)
Airbags Front Front Front, side, cur
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/75R17 E 245/75R17 E 245/70R17 E
Fuel cap 36.0 gal 35.0 gal 32.0 gal
Seating cap 3 3 3
Curb weight 5788 lb 5760 lb 5966 lb
Max GVWR 10,000 lb 10,000 lb 10,000 lb
Payload 4212 lb 4240 lb 3970 lb
Max towing cap 17,800 lb 16,800 lb 17,970 lb

Topline Power Puller

Winner: Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn
Runner-Up: Ford F-350 Super Duty Platinum

The topline power pullers combine big luxury with loads of capability and toughness. The idea of being able to tow 25,000 pounds with a pickup may seem daunting to non-truck people, but that's a normal task here. These trucks also have enough payload capacity to carry the equivalent of what a ¾-ton work truck weighs, all while allowing the driver to ride in style. It was a close contest, but the new Ram takes this category as well, with a 28,760-pound towing capacity, cowboy-style interior, and 850 lb-ft of torque. The Super Duty Platinum is a close second.

TopLine Power Puller, 4WD crew cab diesel dualie
Vehicle Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD LTZ/GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD Ford F-350 Super Duty Platinum Ram HD 3500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab
Price incl diesel $59,035/$61,980 $65,210 $62,465
Wheelbase 167.7 in 172.4 in 169.3 in
Engine 6.6L OHV 32-valve TD V-8 6.7L OHV 32-valve TD V-8 6.7L OHV 24-valve intercooled TD I-6
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto 6-speed auto
Power @ rpm, SAE 397 hp @ 3000 rpm 400 hp @ 2800 rpm 385 hp @ 3000 rpm
Torque @ rpm, SAE 765 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm 800 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm 850 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Airbags Front Front Front, side, cur
Brakes Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 235/80R17 245/75R17 235/80R17
Fuel cap 36.0 gal 37.5 gal 31.0 gal
Seating cap 6 6 6
Curb weight 7997 lb 7330 lb 8568 lb
Max GVWR 13,025 lb 14,000 lb 14,000 lb
Payload 5028 lb 6670 lb 5430 lb
Max towing cap (fifth wheel) 22,500 lb 24,700 lb 28,760 lb

Compact/Midsize Pickup

Winner: Toyota Tacoma
Runner-Up: Nissan Frontier

This category could be on the verge of a renaissance. Next year, we will see a new Colorado and Canyon -- and likely a new Ridgeline in 2016. For now, though, the Tacoma is still at the head of this class. It gets the biggest market share for many reasons, including its wide variety of trim levels, bed, engine, transmission, and cab options, plus best towing capacity. We will see if someone can shake things up next year.

Compact/MIDSIZE Pickup, 4WD ext cab
Vehicle Honda Ridgeline Nissan Frontier King Cab Toyota Tacoma Access Cab
Base price $30,405 $26,860 $26,315
Wheelbase 122.0 in 125.9 in 127.4 in
Base engine 3.5L SOHC V-6 4.0L DOHC V-6 2.7L DOHC I-4
Opt engines None None 4.0L V-6 $4495
Power, SAE 250 hp 261 hp 159 hp (236)
Torque, SAE 247 lb-ft 281 lb-ft 180 lb-ft (266)
Tires 245/65R17 265/70R16 245/75R16
Fuel cap 22.0 gal 21.1 gal 21.1 gal
EPA fuel econ, city/hwy 15/21 mpg 15-16/21 mpg 18/20-21 mpg (15-16/19-21)
Seating cap 5 4 4
Curb weight 4504 lb 4311 lb 4050 lb
GVWR 6050 lb 5690 lb 5350 lb
Payload 1546 lb 1379 lb 1395 lb
Max towing cap 5000 lb 6100 lb 6500 lb