2012 Diesel Buyers Guide

2012 Model Year Cummins, Power Stroke, & Duramax Diesels

Comparing the 2012 model year Ford Super Duty, GMC Sierra HD, Chevrolet Silverado HD, and Ram 2500/3500 HD diesel pickups.

2012 GM/Chevrolet 2500 & 3500 HD

2012 GMC Sierra 3500 HD

For the 2012 model year, GM has made it quite clear that it is looking to attract consumers who need a heavy hauler. The GMC and Chevrolet HD pickups have beat out the Ram and Super Duty in most categories per independent tow tests. GM is still offering the 6.6L Duramax, which was introduced in 2001, while Ford has switched powertrains 3 times and Dodge twice during the same period. While the new Duramax has undergone major changes in recent years, including the adoption of required emissions equipment, the fact that the 6.6L is still available has become a major marketing point for General Motors. Also still in service, the 6 speed Allison 1000 transmission, which seems to have undergone additional refinement to support the engine's latest attitude adjustment.

Engine:

6.6L Duramax LML Turbo Diesel V8

Transmission:

Allison 1000 6 speed automatic

Horsepower:

397 hp @ 3,000 rpm

Torque:

765 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Towing (max):

• 23,000 lbs 5th wheel
• 18,000 lbs bumper pull

Payload (max):

5,775 lbs

Base Price:

Approx. $36,190 with diesel option and standard equipment (3/4 ton)

 

2012 Ram 2500 & 3500 HD

2012 Ram 3500 HD pickup

The new high output Cummins beats GM and matches Ford in torque. However, independent testing has shown that the diesel powered Ram falls short of its competitors in overall performance and fuel economy. The 6.7L Cummins does not require the use of urea injection in order to meet emissions, unlike the Power Stroke and Duramax. While this eliminates the expense and hassle of keeping the DEF tank full, it restricts the Ram from achieving the fuel economy figures that Super Duty and Silverado owner's are reporting. The Ram is the only truck currently available with a manual transmission, but owner's will have to sacrifice 190 lb-ft of torque to shift their own gears. The Ram receive high remarks with regard to interior space and the aesthetic appeal of their interior packages.

Engine:

6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel Inline 6

Transmission:

• 68RFE 6 speed automatic
• G56 6 speed manual

Horsepower:

350 hp @ 3,013 rpm

Torque:

• 800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm w/ automatic transmission
• 610 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm w/ manual transmission

Towing (max):

22,750 lbs 5th wheel

Payload (max):

5,181 lbs

Base Price:

$35,625 with diesel option, manual transmission, and standard equipment (3/4 ton)

 

2012 Ford Super Duty

2012 Ford Super Duty

Despite increased competition from GM and Dodge, the Ford Super Duty remains the front runner of the light duty diesel category, outselling the Ram and Sierra/Silverado HD by a wide margin. Ford's new 6.7L Power Stroke has already spawned a cult following, and there have been no major reoccurring problems to report on Ford's new diesel platform. For those who need a serious workhorse, Ford continues to sell the F-450, with class leading towing and payload capabilities. Independent testing proved that the Ford Super Duty isn't the quickest up a grade, but it did manage to excel in fuel economy tests while weighted down. It looks as though Ford is sticking to their roots, and it seems to paying dividends. Additionally, Ford is merging into the luxury segment by offering the Super Duty with a variety of creature comforts that were unavailable in years past. Did we mention the Super Duty continues to lead the market in overall customer satisfaction?

Engine:

6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8

Transmission:

TorqShift 6 speed automatic

Horsepower:

400 hp @ 2,800 rpm

Torque:

800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Towing (max):

• 24,500 5th wheel
• 17,500 bumper pull

Payload (max):

7,110 lbs

Base Price:

$36,900 with diesel option and standard equipment (3/4 ton)

 

2012 3/4 Ton Diesel Comparison

 

2012 Ford F-250
Crew Cab 4x4

2012 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab 4x4

2012 Ram 2500
Crew Cab 4x4 (auto)

Horsepower:

400 @ 2,800 rpm

397 @ 3,000 rpm

350 @ 3,013 rpm

Torque:

800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

765 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Conventional Tow:

14,000 lbs

13,000 lbs

12,000 lbs

5th Wheel Tow:

15,200 lbs

15,800 lbs

12,650 lbs

Payload:

3,290 lbs

2,706 lbs

2,390 lbs

All trucks compared are crew cab, short bed, 4x4 models with 3.73/3.55 axle ratios and automatic transmission. Payload & tow capacities may vary with alternative configurations.

 

2012 1-Ton Diesel Comparison

 

2012 Ford F-350
DRW Crew Cab 4x4

2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD DRW Crew Cab 4x4

2012 Ram 3500
DRW Crew Cab 4x4 (auto)

Horsepower:

400 @ 2,800 rpm

397 @ 3,000 rpm

350 @ 3,013 rpm

Torque:

800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

765 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

800 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

Conventional Tow:

17,500 lbs

18,000 lbs

12,000 lbs

5th Wheel Tow:

21,500 lbs

22,400 lbs

16,700 lbs

Payload:

5,990 lbs

5,133 lbs

4,500 lbs

All trucks compared are crew cab, long bed, 4x4, dual rear wheel (DRW) models with 3.73/3.55 axle ratios and automatic transmission. Payload & tow capacities may vary with alternative configurations.

Note - Diesel Hub's "Best-in-class" recognizes diesel equipped pickups only - all capacities and ratings for gasoline equipped trucks have been omitted. "Class" limited to class II and class III pickup category.

Source: ramtrucks.com, ford.com, chevrolet.com, gmc.com