If you're considering purchasing a new Tesla Cybertruck in 2024 then you're probably not cross-shopping it with a heavily modified 1994 Dodge Ram 2500. But hey, if you have access to both vehicles, then why not see how they match up? That's exactly what the crew at TFL Classics did.

In one of their recent YouTube videos, Tommy and Kase pit the latest in electric vehicle technology against this tried and true diesel pickup.

Both competitors offer 4WD and are riding on all-terrain tires. The Cybertruck weighs 6,600 lbs with just under 600 hp. Unfortunately, Tesla does not provide official torque numbers, at least none that make for an easy comparison. But estimates have pegged it as roughly 550 lb-ft of torque.

The 1994 Ram Cummins weighs in at 6,300 lbs with 175 hp from the factory. However, the Cummins has been modified over the years and now features more than 300 hp with torque figures “in the 600 range”.

Tug-Of-War

The first test between these two titans was a classic tug-of-war contest. Their strategies? The Cybertruck would lock the rear differential to turn off traction mode, then floor it. The Cummins would stay in low range (low gear) mode to send as much torque to the wheels as possible at slower speeds. 

The trucks were quite evenly matched. Despite more horsepower and a higher curb weight, the Cybertruck was unable to win out over the Cummins which likely had access to more torque. But on these all-terrain tires, neither truck could get enough traction to pull away.

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Approach and Departure Angles

In this test, the high-riding Ram sleepwalked up the “near-vertical climb” without incident. Although the rear bumper narrowly avoided scraping the ground, the tall ride height and departure angle got it over the obstacle. 

The Cybertruck also made it up the hill but not as smoothly. With the suspension set to Extract, the truck was lifted to a respectable 16 inches of ground clearance. There was a short struggle to maintain traction on the incline, but the truck was being driven somewhat timidly to avoid damage. Most likely, Tommy was spooked after briefly brushing the ground with the trucks rigid plastic mud flaps. These accessories should probably be removed before any additional off-road testing.

Articulation and Traction Test

On the next test, the trucks first made a tight 360-degree turn onto a rough patch of road that would test articulation. Thanks to its 4-wheel steering, the initial portion of this test was a breeze for the Cybertruck. “This is the first vehicle-truck, car, whatever- I’m able to make this turn without having to do a 3-pointer.”

Tommy then sets the truck to a low cruising speed, locks his rear diff, and lets the truck attempt to navigate the terrain without touching the throttle. Initially, the Cybertruck performed very well but eventually got hung up. After about 30 seconds spinning his wheels, Tommy locked the front differential as well. After that, the Tesla was quickly able to clear this troublesome section. “You’re better off just using the pedal. Just use the accelerator pedal and drive it like a truck.”

Despite the short wheelbase of the Cummins, it is not as maneuverable as the Tesla. So it is no surprise that Kase had to make a wide 3-point turn at the start of the test. Thanks to the solid axles, the Cummins does have better articulation and maintained constant contact with the ground. Whereas the Cybertruck's articulation is practically nonexistent while at maximum ride height.

Unfortunately, that advantage didn't save the Cummins from tripping up on the exact same obstacle as the Cybertruck. Once the wheels started spinning and the truck began sliding backwards, Kase had to reverse course. After regaining traction, he eventually built up enough momentum to exit the ditch. Although doing so produced a symphony of creaks and clanks that overpowered the noise from the Diesel engine.

Utility

So when it comes to utility, this one is a little apples-to-oranges. The Cummins is a regular cab work truck with an 8-foot bed. The Cybertruck is a crew cab with a 6-foot bed.

Still, the Cybertruck does have plenty of points in its favor with an impressive 2,500 lbs payload and 11,000 lbs tow rating. As a heavy-duty diesel, the Cummins is similarly rated for 2,550 lbs of payload and 11,900 lbs of towing. 

The Cybertruck has a convenient powered tonneau cover while the Ram has a manual cover. Like many modern trucks, the Tesla also has on-board power accessible from the bed.

However, the oddly shaped bed makes reaching over the side to grab something next to impossible unless it is sitting near the tailgate. There is also an inward slant where the bed meets the cab, effectively reducing the bed length for larger objects. When loading up a pair of futons, this protrusion kept the tailgate from closing. By comparison, the regular cab, 8-foot bed of the Cummins could be loaded up with room to spare.

Still, both futons fit in the Cybertruck and could easily be tied down. “It’s a true crew cab truck.” Explains Tommy. “A lot of full-size trucks would be 5.5-foot while this is a 6-foot bed.”

Daily Driving

You know which truck will come on top here. As a daily driver, the Cybertruck is better in basically every way. Unless you really love creaks, rattles and the sound/smell of burning diesel, the Cybertruck is the way to go. 

“Listen, I really think that this is the perfect truck for non-truck people.” Tommy concludes. With its quick acceleration, smooth ride and quiet interior, the Cybertruck suits most car needs incredibly well while also having a level of utility that most vehicles lack. “If you drive this vehicle and live with this vehicle like an oversized station wagon? It has huge benefits.” 

If you’re a Cybertruck owner, what car or truck did you upgrade from? How does your new truck compare to your previous ride? Let us know in the comments below. 

Gallery: Tesla Cybertruck

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