Well, I have all three types. And, lots of hills right outside my door. In fact, I have to go up the same 1 mile hill every time I leave to bike anywhere. So, my comparison is sort of a controlled experiment, I suppose.
I can't quote you the actual gearing back there on the cassete because I've never looked, but I know the chainrings are as follows:
Trek 830: 48/38/28 with huge gears in back Dry weight: 31#
Trek 520: 52/42/30 with big gears in back Dry weight: 25#
Sequoia Elite: 52/39/30 rear 12-25 (I don't know why mine has a 52 ring-50 is stock) Dry weight: 23#
Easiest, but slowest: Trek 830. But it will haul like truck when loaded and I don't feel like it's loaded.
Next: The Sequoia. Can't haul a thing on it. It's my "sport" bike. I dash up fast, then ask for oxygen.
Last: Trek 520. With lower C-rings, would probably equal the mtb except that the old 830 has a trump card going for it. OvalTech (BioPace). Nothing beats it on long hills when you have a load on or the bike is no lightweight.
I've never ridden a sub-20# bike before, but those are the only type that out run me on hills. They are usually piloted by strong men half my age. BioPace, baby!