Ask TFL: Which HD Diesel is Best? Cummins, Duramax, or Power Stroke?

Which 2015-2016 heavy duty diesel is best and most efficient? We recently received this question from Seth G.

2017 hd diesel truck mpg towing
2017 HD diesel MPG Towing battle

What is the best diesel for 2015-16 Power Stroke, Cummins, or Duramax? Which one is the most fuel efficient, and what is the best HD truck for those years?

Seth G.

We have tested many diesel heavy duty trucks over the years, but perhaps the best comparison came during the 2017 model year. This was when we have three HD dually trucks at the same time. We tested them on acceleration, overall towing performance on the Ike Gauntlet – world’s toughest towing test, and towing fuel economy on a flat highway.

I know this does not specifically cover the 2015-16 years, but our 2017 testing revealed several distinct differences. The three big turbo-diesels are very close competitors, but Ford’s 6.7L Power Stroke V8 proved itself as the quickest accelerating truck (although it was very close to the Chevy 3500).

The Chevy Silverado 3500 HD is not rated to tow nearly as much as the Ford F350 or the Ram 3500, but when we loaded each truck with a nearly 23,000 lbs trailer – the Chevy HD performed best on the Ike Gauntlet.

Finally, we took all three trucks on our 100-mile towing MPG loop in the plains. We used the same 23,000 lbs trailer. The 6.7L Cummins I6 was the most efficient truck on the highway when towing a heavy trailer.