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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.