Unveiling the Powertrains
Let’s kick things off by exploring the beating hearts of these beasts—their engines. Each of these giants boasts a gasoline engine, but the real differentiator lies in the nuanced experience each brand offers. General Motors flaunts its 3.0-liter Duramax diesel, celebrated for its smooth, powerful, and quiet performance. Ford, having bid farewell to its diesel F-150, embraces the impressive PowerBoost hybrid—a game-changer in terms of standard pro power, fuel economy, and sheer power. Meanwhile, Ram finds itself at a crossroads, with a Hemi that stands strong but beckons for more innovation in its powertrain department.
Tailgates: A Race and a Showdown
Moving to the business end, all three trucks boast tailgates equipped with unique features. In a playful tailgate race, the GM steals the show, dropping like a pro, while the Ram encounters some unexpected hiccups. However, the real distinction lies in the tailgate features. Ford impresses with a multifunctional tailgate that serves as a flat workstation, complete with clever utilitarian features like pencil indents, ruler markings, and tie-down points. GMC, with its Denali, introduces a tailgate within a tailgate, offering a versatile work station and load stopper. Ram, the latest contender, brings forth a split tailgate for enhanced bed access and a well-designed step for convenience.
Unique Features: Ram’s Trump Cards
While these trucks often mimic each other, Ram takes the lead in uniqueness with its Ram Boxes—dry, lockable storage spaces in the fender, coupled with a 120-volt 400-watt plug on the driver’s side. These boxes, absent in competitors, add a layer of practicality that resonates with a certain buyer. Moreover, Ram stands out in the suspension department, adopting a coil spring rear suspension and available air suspension, offering a distinctive ride and handling experience.
Towing, Payload, and the Real-World Numbers
As we navigate the towing and payload landscape, the trucks present a spectrum of numbers. While advertised max towing figures might seem impressive, the real-world application is revealed when considering crew cabs with short beds and robust V8 engines. The trucks in question can comfortably pull between 7,500 to 10,000 pounds, emphasizing the importance of practicality over theoretical capabilities. In the payload department, Ford and GMC stand neck and neck with 400 pounds each, while Ram lags behind at less than a thousand pounds.
Wheel Wars: Aesthetics vs. Utility
The aesthetics of wheels become a focal point, with Ram’s optional 20-inch wheels earning accolades for their stylish design. Ford’s plain 20-inch wheels, or the potential 22-inch upgrade for the Limited, and GMC’s Denali showcasing 22-inch wheels, stir the pot of personal preference. However, a curious trend emerges as General Motors hints at 24-inch wheels for the upcoming Silverado EV, prompting a debate on the balance between style and utility.
Behind the Wheel: Interior Insights
As we step into the cabins, the Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn Edition impresses with its attention to detail. Knurled metal, beautiful wood, and a spacious 12-inch screen contribute to a luxurious feel. GMC’s Denali, while striking externally, falls short inside, criticized for a lack of materials and a seemingly undersized screen. Ford’s F150 Platinum, a step below the Limited, surprises with a well-balanced interior, featuring a big screen, a thoughtful flat workstation, and a clean layout. Each truck offers a unique driving experience, appealing to individual tastes and preferences.
Ride and Handling: A Soothing Symphony
Embarking on a drive in all three trucks, the nuances in ride and handling become apparent. Despite different approaches—leaf springs for Ford and GMC, and a coil spring rear suspension for Ram—the differences are negligible. The refinement in soundproofing across the board ensures a quiet and comfortable ride, making the distinctions subtle and personal.
The Verdict: Balancing Act
After an exhaustive exploration, the question lingers—why do people stick with a particular brand? It turns out; it’s a combination of practical features and emotional connections. In the realm of truck shopping, it’s about finding the brand that aligns with your heart’s desires. While each truck excels in its own right, the Ford F150 emerges as the preferred choice, offering a well-rounded package of power, features, and a touch of innovation.
Conclusion: A Glimpse into 2022
As we bid farewell to the 2021 lineup, the anticipation for the 2022 models looms large. The battle of the half-ton pickups continues, with manufacturers striving for supremacy. As you consider your next truck, remember, it’s not just about the specs—it’s about what resonates with you. So, which of these trucks would you choose to drive off into the sunset with? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for the exciting updates coming in 2022.