2017 Ford Super Duty vs. Ram Cummins 3500

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2017 Super Duty Towing

During the launch of the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty in Denver, Ford let us test their new trucks side-by-side against the competition. All of the big heavy duty truck players were there, including a Ram 3500 Limited with the Cummins diesel making 900 lb-ft of torque. While on paper they seem similar, the actual driving differences are significant.

The biggest change I noticed didn’t depend on if a trailer was attached to the rear or not. During the testing we towed a 10,000 pound water trailer or completely unladen. In both situations that Ford simply felt faster.

It accelerated quicker. While we don’t have the exact stopwatch times — we weren’t testing for that — the acceleration test area they set up allowed us to get a good feel for what is going on. With only 25 lb-ft of torque difference, the only thing that really makes sense is that the Power Stroke in the Super Duty makes 440 horsepower compared to the 350 horsepower in the Ram’s Cummins inline-6.

2017 Ford Super Duty Ford-Trucks 18

While 25 lb-ft might not be noticeable on the butt-dyno, the 90 horsepower difference is. While overall acceleration might not be what someone is looking for in a truck, at the end of the day the Ford feels faster, and I’m sure when magazines do side-by-side comparisons they’ll prove that the Super Duty is faster.

Ford went to great lengths to make sure the new Super Duty was more comfortable and more refined than before. Extra sound deadening and a focus on Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) means the new Super Duty is nearly luxury-car quiet.

If you’re a fan of the clacking of a diesel, you won’t hear it in the Ford. The Ram 3500 isn’t by any means loud, but the Ford is on an entirely different level of quiet.

When we talked to the Ford “Insiders” on the launch, who are the biggest of enthusiasts, they seemed to like the quietness of the new truck. At the end of the workday, they figure, they want something quiet to take them home.

Keep in mind these are people who own current Super Dutys that are deleted. They are enthusiasts and they still prefer the quietness.

2017 F-Series Super Duty Media Drive in Colorado

But if you are a fan of the loud diesel noise, you might be disappointed with how the truck sounds stock. Of course, enthusiasts probably won’t keep the truck stock, but it is something you might be interested in knowing.

Finally, fuel economy is a concern for some. While it might not be the first thing that you look at when you buy a truck, fleet buyers definitely do. The Cummins in the 3500 is a solid fuel economy performer, but Ford is claiming their 48 gallon fuel tank can take you 1,000 miles. That’s over 20 mpg unloaded. My average in the Ram 3500 I had earlier this year was just a hair over 19 miles-per-gallon.

As a Ford fan, you’re probably not out looking to buy a new Ram Heavy Duty. But if you are looking for bragging rights, you can be assured that the new Ford Super Duty is not only better than the previous-generation of the truck, but that it’s better than the best trucks currently on sale from the other manufacturers.

What do you think? Let us know your comments over in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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