While many automakers are known for constantly trying to one-up one another on power, Toyota generally avoids that game. The Tundra’s base engine — a 4.6-liter V8 — generates a respectable 310 horsepower. But when you step up to the available 5.7-liter V8, you get 381 horses and 401 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough to compete with the big boys. The Tundra also boasts a standard six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, rear-wheel drive, 10,500 pounds of towing capacity, and a maximum payload of 2,060 pounds.
If you’re itching to cross the 400 horsepower threshold, forget about the standard 5.7-liter, V8 engine in the RAM 2500. Go for the 6.4 Hemi, which cranks out 410 horses and 429 pound-feet of torque. (If maximum torque is what you’re after, opt for the 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline, which generates a whopping 800 pound-feet.) One notable feature of this model is that it takes a relatively new approach to suspension for a three-quarter ton truck. Instead of industry standard rear leaf springs, the 2500 uses a five-link, coil-spring rear suspension, and it gives drivers the option of an auto-leveling, rear-air suspension, which uses air bags in place of springs. Both result in a significantly smoother ride than you get with the old rear leaf spring system.
This is not a truck for someone who likes the feel of being off the ground but drives on the highway most of the time. The Ford F-series is for working, and this is the biggest beast of them all. Not only does the F-450’s 6.7-liter V8 generate an astonishing 440 horsepower and 860 pound-feet of torque, the F-450 Super Duty can tow up to a massive 31,200 pounds and carry a 7,000-pound payload. This is a truck for someone with a huge horse trailer or a mobile home with all the bells and whistles. The 450 offers only one configuration — a four-door crew cab, 8-foot cargo bed, four-wheel drive, and six-speed automatic transmission. There are five trim levels to choose from, offering a range of accents and interior options from basics such as black trim and vinyl seats to upscale features such as a tailgate assist step, heated seats and steering wheel, and a rearview camera. A big machine demands big power, and that’s what you’ll find in these horsepower-heavy trucks. Of course, horsepower isn’t the only thing that matters, so don’t let the numbers blind you. Take these trucks for a test drive and find out what else they have to offer, and more importantly, what it feels like to unleash those horses and let them run.