The truck world was waiting with bated breath after the release of Ford and GM's newest HD trucks for 2011 to learn just how much power would be available from the updated diesel powerplants. As you've no doubt heard, Ford released their numbers first, then GM released their figures, upping the ante, and Ford answered with an updated ECU modification to claim the bragging right to the tune of three more horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. Numbers are nice, but we wanted to get to the bottom of how each truck would perform in everyday use.
For our testing, we had an F-250 Lariat and a GMC Sierra Denali, both diesel and both optioned to nearly $60,000 MSRP. We also nabbed two gasoline-powered 3/4-tons, both considerably less expensive, and put them through a week's worth of daily driving and identical towing tests. Our initial plan was to hitch each truck up to the biggest, heaviest trailer we could find and flog them up and down the steepest grade around. Then we considered what we typically see being towed behind an HD truck at any given show we travel to. With that thought in mind, we hitched each truck up to a Jimglo trailer with our Project Drift King Suzuki Equator strapped aboard, but we still kept the steep grade portion of the plan, heading to the Cajon Pass on Interstate 15 in Southern California. Here's the result of our week-long evaluation.