I'll start this by saying that if Dodge built a true 4-door (crew cab) pickup, I'd be driving it. With friends and family as passengers, the 4-door is a requirement for us. With that said...
I bought a Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Long Box 4WD pickup last week. I use it as my daily driver and for towing. Wow, what a brute. I had the 6.5L Chevy Diesel before this (which is well reputed to be gutless). The DuraMax diesel with the Allison transmission is much 'stouter' than the 6.5L setup.
Rated at 300 HP @ 3100 rpm and 520 lb.-ft @ 1800 rpm, it is even more powerful than the Cummins (245HP/505 lb.-ft) or the Power Stroke (210 HP/425 lb.-ft). This truck really yanks my 28' enclosed trailer around! The Allison 5-speed transmission with it's own large radiator for cooling is hell for stout with a towing capacity of 19,850 lbs. (the truck itself is rated at just under 16,000 lbs.)
The Duramax motor:
- 32 valve 8 Cylinder - water/oil cooled
- Cold start (air intake heater and glow plugs)
- Center mounted turbo with 20 psi boost
- Bosch electronic controlled common rail direct-injection
- Forged nitrided crank
- 4-Bolt mains
- Forged rods (one piece fractured)
- Pistons are barrel ground (less scuffing) and channel grooved for forced oil cooling
- Roller lifters
- Roller rockers
- Aluminum heads
- Block Cast iron/aluminum - cast iron top/bolt on alum. crank case (less vibration)
The real test is getting behind the wheel of one of these with a serious load hitched up. My trailer with car, tools, 4 wheeler, etc.. weighs about 14,000 lbs. and is a 28' enclosed tag. The difference between this truck,(2500 HD long box 4WD) and my old truck, (3500 6.5L TD, long box 2WD) is incredible. Much faster starts, much less speed reduction on steep inclines, less noise, and what appears to be similar fuel economy (14MPG with load)
Only time will tell about the reliability as the Dodge Cummins is king of that hill at this time. I'll let you know how this vehicle does with reliabilty after we get some serious miles on it.