The 2007 Shootout
It’s ironic that this year’s test also came together in a very short time span – about five weeks. But there are some notable differences from 2002.
The full-size pickup segment continues to change rapidly. Nissan and Toyota didn’t have competitive full-size, half-ton haulers back in 2002. Now they do, so the heavy duty three quarter and one-ton segments represent the very last bastion of complete market domination by the Detroit Three in personal-use vehicles.
Like 2002, there are three all new or updated diesel engines we’re comparing but it’s not necessarily the competition that’s driving change so much as it’s new federal regulations implemented to strictly control diesel soot and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions. More about this later.
We’re no longer limiting the comparison to just lean burning diesels. This year we’ve broken the HD trucks into two groups. The first group is single rear wheel (SRW) three-quarter-ton crew cab short-bed 4x4s with gas engines. The second group is dual rear wheel (DRW) one-ton crew cab long-bed 4x4s with compression ignition motors. They are all automatics, since the trend among buyers is moving away from manual transmissions. GM no longer offers an HD pickup with a manual shifter.
There’s one more diesel – but it’s in a class all its own. We’ve included Ford’s all new 2007 F-450 Class 4 pickup. It’s the first one-and-one-half-ton chassis cab truck to come from the factory with a standard truck bed. We’re guessing it won’t be the last of its kind either.
And joining up with PickupTruck.com to help with this comparison is Kent Sundling – a.k.a. MrTruck.com. Kent knows everything there is to know about towing and hauling. After all, Kent has a ‘BS in Trucknology’. We’re very pleased to have Kent on board for this comparison. If you haven’t done so, you need to take some time to visit Kent’s many truck websites.
We’ve kept the test scenarios the same as the 2002 Shootout plus added a few new ones.
Each test was performed unloaded and towing a 10,500-pound trailer.
This put us just a hair over current light duty towing thresholds for
most half-ton pickups, except for the 11,000-lb capable Ford F-150.
PickupTruck.com rented Milan Dragway, about 45 miles southwest of Detroit, to run our one-ton ¼-mile tests down their International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned asphalt. We think we broke two track records (but not the track) for the heaviest and longest vehicles to ever travel its 1,320-foot length, with the F-450 towing a 20,000-pound fifth wheel. Hey – we don’t mess around with our testing.