Ram and GMC/Chevy Pickups Get Better MPG Than Tundra? – No Way Says Consumer Reports
The perennial thought, among critics, is that the Tundra is the WORST pickup for fuel economy on the market. Not so fast says Consumer Reports who has tested all of them. Does 1 MPG matter?
Consumer Reports said today that in their November issue that the full-size truck MPG average hasn’t changed this year. It found both the new Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado to be about the same (1 MPG better for Chevy). In combined driving the Ram gets 15 MPG and the Chevy gets 16. This is about average for full-size trucks with 15 MPG being standard (as in the Toyota Tundra).
They tested, “Silverado’s widely sold 355-hp, 5.3-liter V8 version with four-wheel-drive.” It found that:
The 5.3-liter delivered ample acceleration, but it lacked the thrust of the 5.7-liter V8s in the Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. The Silverado’s transmission up shifts smoothly and quickly but can be reluctant to downshift, making the truck sometimes feel underpowered. Towing Consumer Reports’ 5,000-pound trailer to 60 mph took 14.8 seconds, a strong performance. Off-road performance on Consumer Reports’ demanding rock hill course was hampered by wheel spin and ground clearance.
For Ram, Consumer Reports tested, “Ram with Chrysler’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8, four-wheel-drive, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission that’s smooth and efficient.” They also said:
Consumer Reports found that combination delivered seamless and effortless power, while returning a relatively good 15 mpg overall. Acceleration is quicker than the Silverado and the Hemi feels much brawnier in real-world driving.
The Ram also brings its own impressive workhorse credentials. Its driver-selectable full-time four-wheel-drive system works well, and the truck scrambled up Consumer Reports’ rock hill with ease. It can tow up to 9,950 pounds when properly equipped. The truck pulled Consumer Reports’ 5,000-pound trailer to 60 mph in 14.9 seconds, a strong showing.
What gives then? We have been hearing for a few months about how great the fuel economy is in the Ram and the Silverado/Sierra. Yet, when you compare the same crew cab, 4×4 with a 5L+ V-8, there isn’t much difference. Turns out that if you drive only highway, sure you might see 1-2 MPG improvements over the Tundra. Yet, when you do combined driving, the Ram 1500 is the same and the Silverado/Sierra is just 1 MPG better (see: deal, not a big one).
Consumer Reports actually says in their full-size Top Pickup issue that the Silverado/Sierra is better than the Ram except when it comes to commuting. The nod then goes to the Ram. While, they haven’t released all their results (without a subscription of course), it is highly likely that they tested a 2013 Tundra (not the new one).
Why not the new Tundra? Frankly, they have just been hitting lots and normally magazines have a 3-6 month calendar. Odds are that they did their testing back in the June/July. This is really when the new Silverado came to market and the Ram had already been on the market. They also left out the Ford F-150 from testing saying that there wasn’t anything new and they would wait until the 2015 model.
Sadly, this is how most magazines work and is really reminiscent of the Pickuptrucks.com test which pitted 2014 models against older 2013 models. And yes, many do have their gripes about Consumer Reports and their perceived bias. However, people read and buy things from their reviews.
Let’s forget the relevance of Consumer Reports for a minute. Are you surprised that the trucks get the same fuel economy? Do you think the Tundra needs a vast makeover for better fuel economy? Sound off!
Filed Under: Auto News