Side-by-Side Comparisons of Chevy, Ford, and Dodge Diesel Pickup Trucks

Updated on January 18, 2019
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I enjoy writing about lawn and garden, travel, emergency medicine, automobiles, and more.

A Healthy Competition

Every person that owns a diesel or heavy-duty truck thinks they have the best diesel truck. Many people who buy a heavy-duty diesel truck continually buy the same make time after time; brand loyalty is huge!

People who have Chevy trucks tend to only look for new Chevy trucks; the same with Ford and Dodge diesel trucks. But every now and then, those of us who are truck lovers have to sit back and take stock: really check on which make actually has the best diesel truck. We want a true, side by side comparison of diesel pickup trucks, and search for honest pickup truck reviews.

For some of us, power is key, whether it be towing power or overall horsepower. For others it is comfort, stability, or interior extras. Whatever your tastes, whether you are looking only for new Chevy trucks, Dodge diesel trucks or whatever, I have for you a true comparison of the specs, what the experts say, and, because I can, what I like and dislike about each make.

I hope you enjoy reading the breakdown of which truck has what, but I have also added some video to give you a glimpse of the new Chevy trucks, the Dodge diesel performance, and the Ford power. I have done this so you can get a small feel of the changes they have made and how they compare side by side. I have tried to make this a little different than most pickup truck reviews, so you can get both opinion and actually see who has the best diesel truck.

Which 2011 Diesel Truck Do You Prefer?

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The Engine, Where It All Starts

The engines in each of these beasts are all very good, but exactly which is strongest? For years, Dodge diesel performance had a corner on diesel strength with their Cummins diesel engines. Then Ford took center stage with upgrades to their Power Stroke. So who has the top Horsepower now?

Well the answer is Ford. The Ford 2011 diesel engine has a whopping 400 Hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. The Super Duty is still King. Ford lovers can stand proud. This animal has the new Ford 6.7L twin turbo V8 diesel engine. Say goodbye to the 6.4L.

Although Ford has the top spot on the podium for Hp/Torque, the new Chevy trucks are not far behind. The Chevy 2500 HD sports the 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8. This engine boasts 397 Hp and 765 lb-ft of torque; just below the F-250. Chevy has boosted its Hp by 32 and its torque by 105 lb-ft. Many would see this engine as an equal to the Ford; what's 3 Hp between friends?

Bringing up the rear, a new place for this make, is the Dodge Ram 2500. Dodge has the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 that falls behind Ford and Chevy with 350 Hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Dodge Hemi V8 even has more Hp with 383, but lags with only 400 lb-ft of torque. Alas, Dodge is far from its domination of the diesel market in the mid '90's.

Great! So What Can They Pull?

We have all seen the videos of a truck carrying another truck while pulling a third truck. Sometimes the manufacturers go overboard in advertising claims, but these trucks truly can move mountains.

Chevy comes in as the pest trailering capacity at 17,800 lbs. With the added engine strength and a newly bulked up frame and suspension, Chevy has upped the ante. The 2010 2500HD had a maximum towing capacity of 13,000 lbs, 4,800 lbs less.

The Ford comes in second at 16,500 lbs, up 200 lbs from last year. With the upgrade to the 6.7L diesel and some modifications to the computer, I would expect this number to rise considerably.

The Dodge comes in with 13,400 lbs of towing power. That rating was good for second last year, but with the changes to the Chevy Diesel, Dodge is now in a class of its own, which is far from a good thing.

And What Can They Carry?

Huge beds, higher sides, and larger suspension. The trucks of 2011 are much different than they were 10-15 years ago. Although I do like some things about the old trucks, current models have improved on certain areas.

Payload is definitely one of these areas. The top in payload for the 2011 models is the Chevy. The payload for the diesel option is 3,425 lbs. That is just under 1.75 tons with a "3/4 ton" model.

Second in payload is the F-250 with 3,170 lbs. Still over 1.5 tons, the Ford can always carry what is needed. Bringing up the rear again is the Dodge with 2,590 lbs. The Dodge that was the leader of the pack several years ago has a pack to catch up with now.

Hauling/Towing Capacity

Chevy 2500
Ford F250
Ram 2500
3,425 lbs
3,170 lbs
2,500 lbs
17,800 lbs
16,500 lbs
13,400 lbs

Everything Else...

Each of these trucks have their own perks, and which one a person buys is still largely up to tastes. The reason for this is that most diesel owners will max out their truck on a daily basis. So to help you decide, here goes.

The Ford: Though it has lost its lead in power and now is second in towing and payload, it is still king in space. The roominess inside the F250 is second to none, even older F-250's. The 2011 F-250 has all that Ford has to offer, including the Sync System, new step assists in the tailgate, and a new clean, open look to the interior.

The F-250 also is considered by many to still have the best ride while under load, which is somewhat debatable now with the changes to the Chevy frame. However, the handling definitely still has the Ford feel to it which will keep the Ford-lovers happy.

The Dodge: Although it is lacking in the Hp, Towing and Payload areas, Dodge has made huge strides in comfort-ability. This Dodge no longer has as stiff a feel as the old Dodges due to a re-worked interior and softer suspension. Don't get me wrong, it still feels much more stiff than the other two, but it is catching up. With additions of side boxes built into the bed and the new larger cab available, some work has definitely been done.

The Chevy: Sure the truck is stronger and pulls better than it used to, but did they give up on the comfort? No! If anything the truck is more comfortable. They have added some room to the front seat and head room, and the added weight and frame and suspension upgrades, the truck feels bigger and stronger without feeling stiff and bouncy. MPG has also been improved by 11% over the 2010 model.

For What It's Worth

Well, just like any other truck lover, I have my favorites. Although I am a devout Chevy man, I was seriously tempted by the F-250. The tons of room, larger cab, and lavish interior was excellent. Add that to the new power from the 6.7L Power Stroke and it is a great package. In fact, as the Ford truck has transformed over the past decade, the feel of the truck's handling has changed to me and I definitely enjoy driving them.

I had to, however, come back to the make I love. The new 2500 HD Chevy is amazing. The designers have finally sat down and included everything from their wish list. With the new frame and suspension, the truck feels bigger and heavier. The new Duramax 6.6L is thrillingly fast and strong. And the Allison transmission just seals the deal.

Have you tried these trucks out? If so, what are your sentiments? Don't hold back!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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    • profile image


      12 months ago

      The first truck maker that makes a small inexpensive truck will make a killing. I am so tired of these oversize, macho machines that are useless in the city.

    • profile image

      JOE T 

      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      They were just comparing the 2011 models to each other. Doesn't say anyting of the more recent ones though! =)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Correct me if I am wrong, doesn't the Cummins actually have 800lb-ft of torque after a recent modification??

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Correct me if I am wrong, doesn't the Cummins actually have 800lb-ft of torque after a recent modification??

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I honestly do not know which truck is best. I only have me and my 14 yr lab tpo haul around, and the occaissional travel trailer. Haven't decided yet on regular cab or club cab. buts must have an 8' box for hauling plywood. hmm 1.5tons in a three quarter ton. what does the 1 ton haul. the titanic.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      good review and very interesting. I've had a 2004 chevy 2500HD until about 2 weeks ago when my 5th wheel pulled it over when we got hit by a micro burts in SD. Now I have to get a new truck and I'm considering leaving Chevy. No real complaints about the Chevy, but I'm just open to each and I liked this comparison (I'm really liking the Ford right now).


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