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Ford F-150 Vs. Chevy, GMC And Ram: Half-Ton Diesel Engines Comparison

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Finding the right diesel-powered pickup isn’t always easy. As is often the case in the automotive sphere, specs matter quite a bit here, so we’re breaking down the top three half-ton diesel engines in terms of peak torque, peak horsepower, and a few other critical figures to see how they all line up.

Naturally, we’re including the 2020 Ford F-150 diesel as the baseline model in this comparison. Additionally, we’re also examining the half-ton diesel engines found in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, plus the 2020 Ram 1500 as well.

Ford F-150 diesel

Let’s begin with the Blue Oval brand first. Mounted under the hood of the 2020 Ford F-150 is a 3.0L Power Stroke turbodiesel, nicknamed “Lion.” Peak output for the V6 is rated at 250 horsepower at 3,250 rpm and 440 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. All that muscle is routed to the ground through either standard rear-wheel-drive or optional four-wheel-drive, while a 10-speed automatic transmission (the same 10-speed developed with GM) handles the cog swaps and keeps the engine humming at the meatiest slice of the torque curve.

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Chevrolet Silverado diesel

Up next in this half-ton diesel engines comparison, we’ll take a look at what General Motors has to offer. When it comes to Ford’s crosstown rival, there are two models to consider – the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado diesel and the 2020 GMC Sierra diesel. Per usual, both models are equipped with exactly the same powerplant. The lump in question is the 3.0L inline six-cylinder LM2 Duramax turbodiesel. This is the first-ever inline six-cylinder turbodiesel ever offered in GM’s full-size, light-duty pickup truck siblings, and output is identical across the board, with 277 horsepower produced at 3,750 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque produced at 1,500 rpm. Both engines mate to the GM 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ram 1500 diesel

Finally, we have the 2020 Ram 1500, which comes to the party with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 powerplant. This engine was completely overhauled for the latest 2020 model year changeover, and now produces upwards of 260 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 480 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm. The previous eight-speed automatic transmission carries over from 2019 with new programming to make use of the newfound torque.

2020 Ford F-150 Diesel vs. Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra vs. Ram 1500
Vehicle Engine Displacement Configuration Horsepower @ RPM Torque @ RPM
2020 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel Lion 3.0L DOHC 250 @ 3250 440 @ 1750
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel LM2 3.0L DOHC 277 @ 3750 460 @ 1500
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Duramax Diesel LM2 3.0L DOHC 277 @ 3750 460 @ 1500
2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0L DOHC 260 @ 3600 480 @ 1600

On paper, it looks like the F-150 is a bit outgunned when it comes to specs for these half-ton diesel engines. Peak output figures are all down compared to the Ford’s main rivals, with 10 fewer horsepower and 40 fewer pound-feet than the Ram 1500, plus 27 fewer horsepower and 20 fewer pound-feet than the GM cousins.

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That said, there’s more to the story here than just peak output. Half-ton diesel engines must work within the confines of the ratios set by their respective transmissions, and with 10 gears in play, the Ford F-150 has ample opportunity to make the most of what’s there. Vehicle weight and configuration also play a major role in how an oil burner performs in the real world.

Rest assured, we’ll have further info on these half-ton diesel engines coming down the pipeline shortly, so stay tuned. In the meantime, subscribe to Ford Authority for more F-150 news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Ford F-150 Photos
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Written by Jonathan Lopez

Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.

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15 Comments

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  1. With all of the maintenance issues that are out there with the new vehicles especially trucks and vans for service work the performance specs don’t mean squat to me. I want to know if I can go a hundred thousand plus miles without spending thousands of dollars in repair costs such as a turbocharger for a Mercedes sprinter at a hundred thousand miles as I have now. Show me something that’s going to go and perform like the old 7.3 powerstroke and I’ll buy it. I don’t care if I have to sacrifice a little power or a little torque or even some comfort. Give me something that keeps my wallet fat is all I’m looking for

    • I totally agree with you about the Ford 7.3 Diesel motor. Ford engineering surely hit a “Grand Slam” with that innovation. Adding any Turbo was a bit of a contradiction towards any real pure torque and power. Diesel motors should never be harnessed to provide a conscientious driver with something akin to a quicker quarter-mile time.

  2. Why don’t you explain the poor rating for air pollution from all these diesels. They barely pass the legal limit with a rating of 5 out of 10. That is an F in the schools I went to. The is no justification for polluting my grandchildren’s air over crappy gas mileage of pickup trucks shaped like a brick.

    • More liberal hate speech. Please go find a tree to save or a whale to hug. Perhaps a quick trip to a local felonious State-licensed “Stoner’s Emporium” is in order. Surely you will be able to find a lot more carcinogens lurking there, than what you’ll find in from any diesel emission solid particulates. Follow along with the additives contained within gasoline… e.g. benzene, which is a carcinogen, and lead, which can cause birth defects. There is a slew of other ingredients (MTBE) that aren’t released until gasoline exhaust actually breaks down at the groundwater level. It poisons the groundwater anywhere near gasoline exhaust might dissolve, at the very least contaminating aquatic flora and fauna, and possibly polluting and poisoning whole aquifers and/or private wells. Where is the uproar about that impending apocalypse? I know, everyone drives an automobile, it’s part of our culture, isn’t it? Don’t point your finger at a problem because you’ll always find out that there are nine more digits pointed right back toward yourself.

      • You seem angry. Air pollution from diesel engines are obvious. The study information is from health data so no one is fudging the results. It is what it is. As for my politics I am far to the right of Attila the Hun. Stewardship of God’s creation is my quest. Engineering excellence does not stop moving forward based on last year’s imperfect designs. Every part of design should advance especially aspects that harm people. This has zero to do with your buzz words used in the way you intended. There are 260 suspected and known human carcinogens in both diesel and gasoline heat engines. Heat engines do not crack the 50% efficiency ceiling so not impressive for energy. There is this new thing called “unleaded gasoline” Check it out next time you are at a gas station. The automobile is not the problem the idea that an automobile must emit trash is what is under examination in this discussion. We can do significantly better than the crap the big three (little broke three now) produce. They failed to improve over time through engineering laziness. My point in agitating those driving fart-cars is fast cars that cost half as much do not fart as the go along. They do run on only sunshine. They travel at three times the speed legally. What is so unamerican about better vehicles both freight and people movers?

  3. Does it need to stay that way? HEFF is at the DOE that describes a clean alternative to those old trucks. If you care about the deaths from air pollution call the DOE and ask them why are they sitting on it. Air pollution kills 4,400 human beings every day in China. Do you want to copy China with unhealthy air?

  4. The World Health Organization is who you need to take that up with. I was in China last year and the air was white between Nanjing and Beijing. That was before they started burning coal for winter. MIT has a study that says that in the US 200,000 people die young from air pollution each year. So the WHO and MIT are not to be believed from studying health data. You know China has a population of 1.434 billion people. Their miscount is more than our head count.

  5. Jerry ! Fear mongering Jerry ! Fake news Jerry ! And if it was true why isn’t the government doing something about it . You don’t here about it on the news . You better go back to the cave man days .

  6. Published August 13, 2015 in the New York Times, Huffington Post from the World Health Organization. The government of China has outlawed gasoline scooters completely. The poor burn coal because it is cheap and the average per capita income is $12,472.51 per year. That same number in India is 3,288 per day and their air pollution is also bad. The government has not properly addressed air quality because they are not good at their job. I suggest we go three times faster and use only sunshine for transportation power. Not really cave man tech. The DOE has it as well as the US and Chinese patent offices. We bid moving water to Karachi PK this week. Feeding 14.91 million people with clean water.

  7. Wow Jerry ! Were do you find all these numbers? According to you people are dropping left right and centre. And your comparing scooters to diesel trucks I think trucks have high emission standards than scooters! And coal burning power plants Canada has the technology that has coal plants burning cleaner than natural gas. I think we should get you to save the planet! Jerry deal with the problems in your own back yard .Your going to have a Heart Attack! And stop flying reduce your carbon footprint . Look in the mirror Jerry !

    • 1. When you ask for where the numbers came from after I just posted them to you it makes me think you cannot listen to new information. The WHO (not the singing group) . 2. China has 1.4 billion people so 1.6 million is a small fraction of the population. That is B as in billion. 3. Big diesels at idle (EPA data HDDV) emit 33.763 grams nitrogen oxide per hour. That is before you put your foot on the pedal. Coal is nasty and natural gas puts out 1/2 as in 50% of the nitrogen oxides of coal so not clean just half nasty. 4. I am speaking in San Francisco this month with China as the sponsor. Saving China and India first is a good plan as they both need better air. If you understood HEFF it replaces those big rigs you mentioned with a 100% clean alternative. I am trying to help you avoid your heart attack from PM 2.5 entering your lungs passing right into your bloodstream then collecting around your heart. The WHO and MIT may be who you should listen to.

  8. This article address differences between three engines. I’m ok with that. These engines address the complaints that to get diesel engines in a PU truck you had to go with the 250(0) trucks with big block displacement, and it was costly.

    There should have been a photo shoot on a cruise ship. Those big boys burn 75,000+ gallons of diesel fuel in one day of cruising, more fuel than most of us would use in a life time.

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