Originally Posted by Lara Me
Like switz, I tow motorbikes in the truck with lots of gear, so payload is critical. 4x4 is also important, as we live amongst lots of passes and have regular snowfall in the winter.
Torque is far more important to me than horsepower. Heading up a pass, with the trailer loaded and 800 labs of bike and gear in the back, plus 4 passengers, you want to be able to harness as much as possible. Brakes are also critical, and the engine braking capability of a diesel is important.
Diesel trucks in the past few years are quite unlike their predecessors. The smoke is gone, courtesy of urea and the EPA regs, which also impact mileage. If you see a late model truck belching smoke, the owner has modified the exhaust and egr, deleting the particulate filters in order to increase gas mileage. It's illegal, voids warranty, but is common. Newer 2013 and later trucks with urea don't benefit from deletes.
My RAM has only 375hp, but 800 lb Ft torque. For me, this is optimal power. I could not pull up the passes, passing semis and slower RV's, loaded as described, nor could I average close to 14mpg, with a gas pickup, and certainly not in a half ton truck. Those who can manage with a gasser likely do not have the same towing needs or payload as I do, so I can appreciate how a gas powered tow vehicle is the better choice for them.
Well said again ... LaraMe !
Want ultimate torque for towing, get a diesel
(and park it when not towing if you can).
Want better handling,
get a sports car (think Porsche or Corvette).
Want better / safer everyday driving in the winter,
get a Jeep Wrangler or other 4wd.
Want better gas fuel economy in an enclosed vehicle for around town or short commute,
get a Spark (think almost as small as a smart car).
Want vastly better fuel economy and verstility in gas,
get a dual sport motorcycle! (and take it along with your AS)
Clearly, no one vehicle best meets all of those needs.
Each one has its merits and drawbacks.
We give thanks that we are finally in a position to enjoy some of the wide variety of vehicles now on the market and selected those which we feel are most well-suited for our job at hand ... but certainly remember when only one had to do multi-purpose... it is a hard choice ... always with some regret. YMMV