Towing is what makes a truck a truck. A big old fashioned station wagon can haul a bunch of junk in the back, but it takes a truck to tow a boat, drag a tree stump out by the roots, or haul the family camper across the Rockies. All the fancy interior accoutrement and flashy styling won't add up to squat if you lash a trailer to the back of a truck and it can't get the job done. For this test we're stealing a bit from the drag strip and adding a hill climb portion to the evenings events. The trucks towed an identical 6,500 lb trailer
One would think the 381 HP and 401 lb-ft of torque out of the 5.7 liter V8 would be outgunned by the GM twins of Chevy and GMC when hooked to a trailer, but you'd be missing an important figure, the rear axle ratio. With a 4.30:1 final drive compare to a 3.42:1 in the GM's, stump pulling is the name of the game for Toyota. With the 6,500 lb trailer hooked up, the Tundra managed a 0-60 MPH of 13.92 and a quarter mile of 20.16 with a trap speed of 72.24. Some of our heaps in college didn't even manage that kind of speed.
We hate to have to do this, but there wasn't an outright winner here. The Chevrolet Silverado stormed the 1720 foot hill in the fastest time with 28.91 seconds while the Toyota Tundra managed the fastest speed at the finish of 61.04 seconds. Both trucks were obviously more than capable up the climb, but the Chevy came on strong from the get-go while the Tundra had to build up a head of steam higher in the rev range.
Head back on over to the full 2009 Half-Ton Pickup Truck Comparison!