The Best Diesel Truck Of 2012: A Comparison Of The 2012 Diesel Models
Every year a new set of vehicles role out of their respective factories, and every year car and truck junkies compare them to see who has improved, what new innovations are included, and just who has the best model. Diesel trucks are no different. In diners, hardware stores, and around dinner tables across the nation there are opinions about which truck maker, Ford, Chevy or Dodge, has the best trucks and who has the best new diesel truck. For the most part, these people buy the same make over and over, but every now and then they may just change their mind.
Most of these truck buyers and owners want to know how strong the new truck models are. They want to know what kind of a load they can put in it and will it pull their loaded trailer without chugging or burning all of the fuel they can afford. They also want to see the new additions to each truck. They want to see if the new additions make the truck more comfortable, more user friendly, and more capable of getting any job done.
For those of you who read my 2011 Diesel Truck Comparison, this one is definitely similar. Be assured that with every bit of news released about the coming 2012 models and the changes and upgrades that this page will be updated to reflect the new model year.
Towing Comparison: Who Can Pull More?
Many of today's truck buyers want to know how much a truck can pull. Many diesel owners either use their truck for work and have to haul trailers full of equipment or material and even those who don't use it for work have large boats or campers to pull. So who can pull the world? I'm sure that everyone has seen the videos of one truck carrying another, all while pulling a third truck up a mountain of rock. Manufacturers definitely tend go overboard in advertising claims, but these trucks can definitely move mountains. With that said, often it is less about how much your springs and bed can hold and more about what you can pull. Trailering or tow capacity is one of the most important factors for many work truck owners and with that in mind, here are the best at pulling.
Chevy comes in as the best 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 than the 2011 upgrade. No longer can the other two diesel truck makers ignore Chevy as serious diesel truck competition.
Which Of These Diesel Trucks Have You Driven, Test Or Otherwise?
The Ford came in second in 2011 at 16,500 lbs, up 200 lbs from 2010. With the upgrade to the 6.7L diesel and some modifications to the computer, Ford has further raised the bar. Ford is now claiming that the top end for towing for the F250 is now 17,500 lbs, just 300 lbs off of the Chevy number.
The Dodge, although they are third, has beefed up their towing capacity from 13,400 lbs of towing power in 2011 to 15,450 lbs in 2012. Dodge may be third with this number in its Ram 2500, but they are much closer this year with a number that is likely to keep most of their faithful Ram drivers buying Dodge in the near term.
What's Under The Hood?
For a large portion of diesel truck buyers, engine strength is as far as they go. They want to know how many horsepower the engine can muster and how much torque the truck can apply to the driving surface. This is one area where there are always changes. Every few years the truck makers make large changes in their Diesel Engine design and each year they may make tweaks to cooling, efficiency, etc. that can make differences in overall horsepower and torque.
Well, the diesel engine packages have not changed much for 2012 from 2011. In 2011, both Ford and Chevy brought out many changes, from a new power plant for Ford to changes in cooling and other areas to Chevy's Duramax. Although their may be some tweaks to transmission gear ratios or shift settings to bring more low end torque, these trucks remain largely the same.
Beginning with last years 2011 F-250, Ford currently has the most powerful truck. The 2012 Ford diesel engine, still a Powerstroke Diesel, has 400 horsepower and 800 lb-ft torque. The huge 2012 powerplant, the same as 2011, is the 6.7 L, twin turbo V8 diesel engine. Most of the Ford drivers are glad to say that the 6.4L is gone due to the many problems this powerplant experienced.
No longer is Ford the far and away leader of HD trucks, however. With an upgraded engine, Chevrolet has established itself as a true competitor. After revamping their HD line for 2011, and subsequently getting multiple awards, the 2012 Chevy 2500 HD currently boasts a 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8. The 2012 engine can put out 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque. Most people would say that this power-plant is equal to the Ford's; really, what's 3 horses between friends?
Coming in last, not a viewpoint they are accustomed too, is the Dodge Ram 2500. The Dodge engine is the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6, an engine that Dodge has used for a while. The output from this engine is well shy of the other two trucks with 350 Hp but after some modifications, it now has 800 lb-ft of torque. Even the Dodge Hemi V8 can match the Cummins, but comes up short with a torque value of only 400 lb-ft of torque. Although Dodge has definitely fallen from the top, many of their dedicated buyers say that you cannot beat Cummins reliability.
2012 Diesel Truck Stats
Ford F 250 Super Duty
Chevy 2500 HD
Dodge Ram 2500
Maximum Towing Capacity
Hauling Comparison: What A Load...
As said before, many things have changed in truck design from years ago. In the '80s you could walk up to any pickup and reach into the bed and grab whatever you needed. Not so today. Although most of us like some things about the older models of these trucks, current models have improved on many areas. They can carry more. They look much bulkier, which appeals to many truck buyers. They have also added innovations that make the truck bed more usable and easier to access.
The heaviest load in 2012 can be placed squarely in the bed of the F250 Super Duty. The highest payload capacity for Ford is in their single cab F250 at 4,290 lbs. That is 2 tons. Ridiculous. The frame under the Ford F 250 is definitely an equal match for the power of the 6.7L diesel engine.
The Chevy payload comes in at just under the Ford mark with 4,192 lbs. Sure, the Ford can handle one more bag of concrete mix, but most people would find the payload capacity plenty.
Dodge falls just behind the other two with a payload capacity of 3,120 lbs. However, with Dodge's new side boxes and Ford's tailgate step, not only will the payloads get greater in the future, but they will also become more accessible.
This And That... Other Aspects Of The 2012 Diesel Trucks
So with these 2012 diesel models being so close together, how should one choose which truck best suites their individual needs? For some people, the decision goes beyond simple specs and is decided when looking at their new additions, creature comforts and intangible factors like which handling feel a driver prefers. So to help you decide, here goes.
The Ford: Although it has lost its lead in power and now is second in towing and payload, it remains king in space. The roominess inside the F250 is second to none, even older F-250's. The 2012 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. For a large person, especially guys over 6' 2" or so, the Ford definitely offers the best cab.
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 has fallen behind in the Hp, Towing and Payload areas, Dodge has made great 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 Ford and Chevy, 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. Now in the 2012 the extra side boxes are supposedly going to be standard.
The Chevrolet: Yes the truck is stronger and pulls better than it has before, but did they give up on comfort? No! Actually the truck is more comfortable. With additions in the past 2 years to room in the front seat and head room, and the added weight and frame and suspension upgrades, the truck feels bigger and stronger without becoming stiff and bouncy. With the better comfort and the higher MPG from the other trucks, Chevy has a great HD.
And The Best 2012 Diesel Truck Is?
Similar to every other truck owner, I have a make that I prefer. However, the 2012 field of diesel trucks have something for everyone. Each of these trucks are great buys and can do almost any job they are called on to do. I think most peoples decision will come down to what they prefer as far as "feel" of driving each. By that I mean that some people just prefer the handling in the Chevy, the space and size of the Ford, or the ruggedness of the Dodge.
One doesn't have to look hard to find a reason to by the F-250. For years now the Ford models have had tons of room and their lavish interiors are excellent. That room along with the now proven 6.7L Power Stroke and the towing capacity and it is a great package. Ford definitely has a great product and will continue to hold a large part of the diesel market.
The Dodge diesel can definitely claim to have made some strides in the area of comfort and innovation. The recently reworked cab of the Dodge is not plush, but is much better than a few years ago, and the new side-rail boxes built into the truck bed will probably change how the industry deals with truck bed additions in the future.
However, without much change from the 2011 models, the Chevy still keeps my attention. The 2012 2500 HD Chevy is just as amazing as last year's. 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! Every truck driver has an opinion of each of these trucks. However, please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you have any questions about these trucks that I have not answered above, please let me know!