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Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge: War of the Diesels

3 Car View
Craig Perronne
| Brand Manager, Dirt Sports & Off Road
Posted May 23, 2003
Photographers: Jon Thompson

Heaps of Horsepower, Truckloads of Torque

These are sad times at Four Wheeler. Over the last few years we've watched the fleet of SUVs become massive. Now every automobile manufacturer that we can think of offers one. While a host of new choices might sound like a good thing, it hasn't necessarily played out that way. The new entries into the SUV market have muddied the 4x4 waters, and now an SUV is a far cry from what it used to be. As more and more car buyers move into SUVs, the auto manufacturers try to make them more car-like. You can't blame them; they're only trying to make a buck. But this is sad for us. It's difficult to get excited about an SUV that's built on a car chassis, which has no low range and has just minimal ground clearance. Don't get us wrong; there are some SUVs that we still love, and even some new ones that we hold in high regard. However, things just don't seem to be the way they used to be.

Luckily for us, there are still trucks to get excited about. Truck owners have no interest in their trucks being like cars. They need their trucks to haul large loads, tow big trailers and get them where they are going, no matter where that might be. These are activities that no car can come close to performing. So, luckily, the manufacturers haven't watered them down, and still build them tough.

So, yes, we love our trucks. And we love diesel-powered trucks even more. They epitomize what a truck should be. Loads of torque, gobs of horsepower and the ability to tow and haul practically anything--these are traits we admire, and which diesels possess in large amounts. Even better is the fact that diesel pickups are currently waging a horsepower war. Engineers at the Big Three are all striving to build diesel engines that produce the largest amount of torque and horsepower. Gone are the days of the slow, black-smoke-belching diesel slug. Replacing those dinosaurs are modern-day diesel pickups that are quiet, clean and powerful. Basically, there is no better time to be looking for a diesel.

To help you decide which diesel you should buy, we gathered a trio of similar 3/4-ton diesel trucks and tested them head-to-head. We loaded them up, hooked them to trailers and let them put their power to the road and the trail. What we found is that they are all great trucks and you really couldn't go wrong with any of them. In the end, however, there was one truck that rose above the others. To find which one that was, and to see what we learned about this marvelous new crop of diesels, read on.

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