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Domestic pickup truck showdow

Find out which all-American truck is the best hauler

Published: February 2014

When it comes to full-size pickups, there are really just two classes: the trucks from the Big Three and those from everyone else. Consider this: Ford, GM, and Ram (owned by Chrysler) are on track to sell about 1.8 million of those trucks in 2013. The Ford F-Series has long been the best selling vehicle—car or truck—in the U.S., with the Chevrolet Silverado (and its GMC Sierra twin) not far behind. The Ram is a somewhat distant third. Needless to say, the rivalry between the manufacturers—and often the owners—of the F-150, Silverado, and Ram can get heated.

Humongous sales, however, don’t always equate to quality or performance or comfort, and in our latest tests we rank the Silverado 1500 a smidgen ahead of the Ram 1500, and both of those substantially ahead of the Ford F-150.

In our most recent truck trials we tested two of Detroit’s Finest, the Silverado and Ram, configured as most people buy them. That means mid-trim, four-door crew cabs with four-wheel drive and V8 engines: the 355-hp 5.3-liter in the Chevy and 395-hp 5.7-liter in the Ram. In 2011 we tested the F-150 with both its 360-hp 5.0-liter V8 and 365-hp 3.5-liter turbo V6. Prices for all of them hovered in the $42,000-plus range. Those prices are steep, for sure, but they’re also highly negotiable, and big discounts are common.

The Silverado was totally redesigned for 2014 and tremendously improved in nearly every area. The Ram received several enhancements for 2013, including a smooth-as-silk eight-speed automatic transmission. (The other trucks still have six-speeds.) The F-150 has changed little since our test back in 2011, and has fallen a bit behind. However, it’s scheduled for a full redesign for 2015, and it might set a new bar for the Chevy and Ram to aim at.

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