Power Stroke Vs Duramax: The No-Jargon Comparison Guide

Considering the common diesel engine vehicles on the road today, we have three big names: Power Stroke, Duramax, and Cummins.

Cummins diesel engine is popularly used for towing vehicles. The big argument is usually on Power Stroke vs Duramax with each having its fair share of loyal fans. There are sound arguments both for and against the two diesel engine types.

Power Stroke engines are the choice for Ford and Duramax engines for General Motors. Both are unique in their ways. The big question that brought you to this page is, “Which one is better?”.

The answer is heavily based on taste and what you are out for in the market. So, if we give you our answer, it will be based on our tastes, but more importantly, on our experience as diesel engine experts.

In this article, we’ll help you understand the Power Stroke vs Duramax comparison in the simplest manner possible so you can make educated choices you’ll always be happy about.

Let’s learn!

A Brief about Power Stroke

The Power Stroke was first introduced in 1994 by Navistar International. They called it the T444E engine. Ford gave it the popular name 7.3-liter Power Stroke. This engine dominated the industry for over a decade. The major difference between this and the already-existing diesel engine was that it injects diesel fuel electronically rather than the traditional mechanical pattern. Its peak horsepower varied from 210 to 275 hp depending on the year and drivetrain. It was the greatest diesel engine ever made.

Subsequent power stroke versions didn’t quite flourish as the 7.3-liter Power Stroke and had some customer-unfriendly hassles. Ford re-modeled its own version in 2010 to regain its ground and create better competition with the popular Duramax.

A Brief about Duramax

Duramax powers different trucks, SUVs, and General Motors (GM). In 1998, GM and Isuzu united to create the DMAX, Ltd. Duramax is the trademark for a range of diesel engines that power various trucks, SUVs, and vans of the General Motors (GM) automotive group. They’re well known for their durability and high horsepower output.

For many years, DMAX Ltd. has produced 12 different Duramax engines that vary from four, six, and eight cylinders in either inline (I) or V configurations. In 2017, they introduced the Duramax L5P which was the most powerful and torque-rich Duramax ever built to date. Its horsepower rating and torque output are 445hp.

Power Stroke Vs Duramax Comparison

I’ll be using a good number of factors to make our comparison. This comparison will help you reach a compromise. Since Power Stroke is strongly associated with Ford, and Duramax, with GM, let’s use the Ford and GM to make this comparison category a smooth slide.

Let’s move on!

1. Power Stroke vs Duramax horsepower

Horsepower, just as the name implies, is the maximum power your mechanical horse (your car) can produce. It allows you to accelerate faster when carrying loads or when light. The old and the new generation of Ford and GM have always had their horsepower performance close to each other. The difference is never a big deal.

Power Stroke

The early generation of Power Stroke engines which ended in 2004 finished with 275hp. The next Power Stroke engine, which is the 6.0-liter finished with 325hp. And the latest generation of Ford, 450hp.


The GM LB7 engine, which was the corresponding 2004 Power Stroke version, was launched with a horsepower of 300hp. The next version corresponds to a 6.0-liter rated at 360hp, and the latest generation rates 445hp.


The two diesel engines have close horsepower values. And with their level of competition, they are most likely to maintain the close range even in the future.

2. Power Stroke vs Duramax towing capacity

The towing capacity of a truck is determined by the horsepower and torque (maximum engine speed) of the engine as well as the type of truck.

Power Stroke

Ford trucks with the latest power stroke engines can tow up to 34,000lb of load.


GMs with the latest Duramax engine can tow a maximum of 23,300lb of load.


Duramax engines can tow more loads than the power stroke. However, studies show that an average car weighs 4,200lb in the U.S. Small cars weigh 2,500lb, and big cars, 4,200lb. SUVs and trucks can range anywhere around 3,500-6,000lb. These stats show that the 23,300lb towing capacity of the Power Stroke is also a comfortable figure.

3. Power Stroke vs Duramax fuel economy

Diesel engines generally have better fuel economy than their gasoline counterpart. This is because diesel fuel naturally has more energy value than gasoline fuel. So, little diesel fuel burnt will produce more energy and will take the vehicle some extra miles. But still, power stroke and Duramax consume fuel differently. Although slightly differently. Let’s take a closer look.

Power Stroke

Take a look at the latest and most fuel-efficient Power Stroke engine, the 6.7-liter power stroke. It can provide you with 30 MPG (miles per gallon) on the highway. And 22 MPG in the city. Combined, it has a fuel mileage of 25 MPG.


To get the corresponding version of the Power Stroke, we will also take a look at the mileage of the 3.0-liter turbo diesel I6 engine. On the highway, its value is 33 MPG, and 23 MPG in the city.


The engine models I used here are the best and latest models from both engine types. However, things are not always black and white. In reality, fuel efficiency depends on the size of the vehicle, vehicle type, and driving conditions. So the figure I showed you here shouldn’t be taken as ultimate to draw your conclusions.

4. Power Stroke vs Duramax reliability and durability

Since Power Stroke and Duramax engines are diesel engines, they can withstand heavy loads. They can last for many years with proper maintenance and care. However, it’s worth noting that some models of these engines weren’t so perfect and had some huge defects. If you’re looking out for durability and reliability, you should take these defective models into account.

Power Stroke

If you have a 2003 to 2007 Ford Super Duty Diesel truck with a 6.0L Power Stroke engine, we are sorry to say that you are with the least reliable model of the power truck. You are most likely to encounter issues like hard starts, rough idle, loss of power, poor drivability, and poor engine performance issues.


I recommend you avoid any GM vehicle with 2001 to 2010 Duramax engines. If you have models falling into these years, you might be experiencing engine misfires and bad fuel economy.


Apart from the customer-unfriendly models, all other models are durable and can withstand heavy duty. Make sure to keep good maintenance habits. 

5. Power Stroke vs Duramax popularity

Are you interested in bragging rights in owning a diesel vehicle? Then you might want to take a closer look here and find out the one with the most popularity.

Power Stroke

According to Statista, Ford, known for using power stroke engines, is the most valuable American automotive brand worldwide as of June 2022, behind German automaker BMW. It’s a brand you can always be proud of.


According to good car bad car, GMC, known for its Duramax use, has sold over 500,000 vehicles in the past six years. But even with this mouth-watering stat, Ford still stands to be more popular.

Our Final Verdict

With these comparisons placed before you, your decision-making on the Power Stroke vs Duramax argument shouldn’t be unclear. Your choice should be best tailored to what you need in a vehicle. We don’t have to give you our biased choice. You can make yours now.

With any decision you make, what matters the most is that you properly maintain it. Power Stroke Diesel Stuff is the right resource for everything you need to know to keep your diesel engine in tip-top condition. Check out our blog today!