Which is the best midsize pickup truck on the Ike Gauntlet, world’s toughest towing test, gas or diesel? At first, the diesel seems like the obvious choice. Let’s not be so quick to discount the gas-powered truck. It’s the 2017 Chevy Colorado with the new 3.6L V6 and the 8-speed automatic transmission. The reworked V6 now produces 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed automatic transmission has a wider overall gear range. GM says the new V6-powered truck is a little quicker and a little more efficient. Although, the truck is rated at approximately the same 0-60 MPH time and MPG rating by the EPA.
As promising as the V6 truck is, the 2.8L Duramax-powered GMC Canyon was last year’s Gold Hitch award winner in the midsize class for towing. It was also TFLtruck’s 2016 truck of the year. It is a really good towing truck and a tough one to beat. The “baby” Duramax still produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Although there are rumors of this engine being paired to an 8-speed automatic, the 6-speed is still there in this 2017 GMC Canyon diesel.
Ike Gauntlet is an 8-mile stretch of I-70 between Dillon, CO and the Eisenhower/Johnson memorial tunnels at the Continental Divide. The maximum grade is 7% and the highway tops out at engine-suffocating 11,158 feet above sea level. At the top of the Ike Gauntlet, there is approximately 32% less air density. Engines of all kinds struggle for air and most require wide-open-throttle just to maintain speed when fully loaded.
Here is the quick summary of the results.
Both of these trucks are participating in the 2017 Gold Hitch awards for midsize trucks (along with the 2017 Nissan Frontier). Check out the video below for the Ike Gauntlet scores and all of the details.