It was not quite a month ago that Ford released the specs for its all-new 2011 Super Duty, a machine most reasonable people would think should be capable of handling any project living on Earth might require.
The Super Duty still shines in some areas, while the Sierra kicks its tailpipe in others.
Let’s compare some specs, shall we?
Ford’s all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 produces 390 horsepower and 735 lb-ft of twist at 1,600 rpm. The F350, which is the closest competitor to the GMC equivalent, brings 21,600 pounds of towing capacity and 6,520 pounds of payload to the party.
GMC’s 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel has 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm, beating Ford in both crucial numbers and laying claim to the power king title. But power doesn’t always equate to capability, as the Sierra HD Denali’s towing capacity comes in at 20,000 pounds and its payload limit is 6,335, both lower than the Super Duty’s.
Neither truck lists official fuel economy numbers, but GMC brags that the Sierra HD Denali can squeeze out 680 miles on the highway. A little simple math based on the truck’s 36-gallon fuel tank reveals cruising economy of nearly 19 mpg. Of course, that’s only if the 10-ton trailer stays home. Ford claims its fuel efficiency is class-leading, so we can only assume it’s somewhere close.
What the Sierra HD Denali does have over the Super Duty is that classically elegant, drilled-out four-bar chrome grille. It also features heated and cooled leather seats and a matching wood-trimmed heated steering wheel.
While the Super Duty brings a more in-your-face look of power, the Sierra HD Denali is more subdued and classy. I like it, and think GM did a fine job giving Ford a worthy opponent.
Would Ford’s slight advantage in towing and payload make a difference to you in deciding which truck to buy?