Ram 1500 vs Ford F-150

Ram 1500 vs Ford F-150

Last Updated September 13, 2019 | Sam Padgett
Contents

Apple or Android, boneless or traditional, Ram or Ford. These are all hotly debated issues. Unlike the rivalry between Chevy and Ford, the rivalry between Ford and Ram is relatively tame. Both trucks have a lot to offer their drivers, and deciding between the two can be a daunting task for someone looking to get into trucks. While there are several variances, the essential difference between the Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150 is that Ram is more concerned with a comfortable driving experience while Ford is more focused on durability and strength. It’s not entirely that simple, but that’s the gist of it. Here are the specific differences to help you make your decision.

Engines and Performance

Depending on what type of truck driver you plan on being, this may be one of the most important elements to consider. The differences between the two aren’t too major, but they can still influence your decision. For the F-150, the engine options are numerous. There is the 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine which makes 290 hp and 265 lb.-ft of torque, the 2.7-liter V6 engine which makes 325 hp and 400 lb.-ft of torque, there’s the Power Stroke 3-liter diesel V6 which makes 250 hp and 440 lb.-ft of torque, the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 which makes 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft of torque, and finally the Ti-VCT V-8 engine which makes 395hp and 400lb.-ft of torque.

On the other hand, the Ram 1500 comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine which makes 305 hp and 269 lb.-ft of torque, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine which makes 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft of torque, and finally, a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine which makes 240 hp and 420 lb.-ft of torque.

F-150 Engine Options
Engine Horsepower Torque
3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 290 hp 265 lb-ft
2.7-liter V6 325 hp 400 lb-ft
Power Stroke 3-liter diesel V6 250 hp 440 lb-ft
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 450 hp 510 lb-ft
Ti-VCT V8 engine 395 hp 400 lb-ft
Ram 1500 Engine Options
Engine Horsepower Torque
3.6-liter Pentastar V6 305 hp 269 lb-ft
5.7-liter Hemi V8 395 hp 410 lb-ft
3.0-liter EcoDisel V6
(expected 2019)
240 hp 420 lb-ft

All in all, there aren’t too many glaring differences in terms of performance between the two besides Ford’s EcoBoost engine. That does mean that the F-150 does have the ability to have the most power under the hood, but that power, of course, comes with an added premium. For the middle of the line engines, there are equivalently economical options for either manufacturer.

The fuel economy between the two trucks is close. With the 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 engine, the 2018 F-150 gets 20 MPG in the city and 26 on the highway with a combined 22 MPG. The 2019 Ram 1500 with the 3.6 liter Pentastar engine gets 20 MPG in the city and 25 on the highway with 22 combined total.

In terms of speed, the results are close as well. The Ram ends up having the highest top speed (as limited by a governor) by a single mile per hour, capping out at 108 mph while the F-150 tops out at 107. However, the F-150 has better acceleration than the Ram 1500. According to Car and Driver's tests, the F-150 can get to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds while the Ram takes 6.4 seconds.

Exterior

This is one of the more subjective areas to compare the two trucks. The styling of the F-150 and the Ram 1500 have changed between each model year. Generally, the F-150 has a more angular exterior while the Ram has more rounded edges. Another big difference is the headlights. The Ram 1500’s headlights are pretty standard, while the F-150’s headlights past the 2014 model have a notch in the middle, giving them a distinct style. One of the exterior accents that defines the Ram 1500 is the reflective grille that’s available at almost every trim level.

Fourth Generation Ram Pickup

Red F-150 With Raptor Style Grille

Towing and Payload

This category is close as well. The Ford F-150 can tow a max of 13,200 pounds while the Ram 1500 can tow a max of 12,7500 pounds. Additionally, the F-150 can hold a max payload of 2,311 lbs and the Ram 1500 can hold a max payload of 2,302 lbs. Ultimately, the differences between the two are slight, but Ford still comes out on top.

Towing with Ram 1500

Towing a Boat with an F-150

As seen by the Ram heavy-duty unveiling, we are in the midst of a great "torque war." Since trucks are selling as well as they are right now, the bragging rights for best-in-class towing is valuable. While Ram's currently on top, Ford may have something up their sleeve. While there is a hybrid Ram 1500, the fully electric F-150 could tow ridiculous amounts of cargo. A low-end Tesla can already tow full-size pickup trucks, so just imagine what a purpose-built electric tower could do.

Interior

How about how these trucks look from the inside? While whether you like the interior of any given vehicle is entirely subjective, there are specific amenities and features that can separate the F-150 from the Ram 1500.

One of the big drawing features of the Ram 1500 is the option of an extra large interior screen on the 2019 model. While both the F-150 and the Ram 1500 come with a slew of features that can connect your phone and use specific apps to control the truck’s infotainment systems, the screen used by the Ram is considerably bigger. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, but it does certainly change how the interior looks in a big way. Regardless, there is still a center console screen that does come standard on Ram 1500 trucks, although the size is much more in line with other trucks and cars. There are also plenty of interior storage options on the Ram 1500 as well, including the ram bins, a series of in-floor storage bins, under seat storage, and a large middle console that can fit an entire 15” laptop. In the back seat, the Ram 1500 has the option for reclining back seats and increased legroom with the option of the Ram mega cab configuration.

Ram 1500 Tradesman Interior

The F-150 has a number of unique interior features as well. First off there’s the Ford Sync central console system. Now capable of being paired with both Alexa and Waze, the Ford Sync platform greatly expands the functionality of a typical infotainment system. Beyond the console screen, there’s also the LCD dashboard screen called the productivity screen. This screen helps show plenty of data on your truck, helping you stay on top of things when towing or when off-road. The F-150 also has the option of having a trailer back up assist knob on the dashboard, a little wheel that functions as a tin steering wheel that couples with the backup camera to help truck drivers back up their trailer loads with increased precision.

Inside of a Ford F-150

Both interiors are definitely comfortable and completely serviceable, and whichever one you decide is mostly up to your specific preferences. That being said, the Ram 1500 does offer more leg space and interior storage, so if the interior of the truck is of the utmost importance, then the Ram might be the best option.

Smart/Safety Features

In terms of safety ratings for the 2018 models of either truck, the F-150 comes out on top. The US News safety ranking for the F-150 is a 9.8 while the Ram 1500 is an 8.0. While this is a significant enough difference between the two, that still doesn’t mean that either truck is unsafe.

Again, these two trucks are pretty neck and neck in this category. Both the Ram 1500 and the F-150 have similar smart and safety features. They both have some form of smart cruise control, which can maintain a safe distance between vehicles. Additionally, they have some form of blindspot monitoring that alerts drivers when a vehicle is approaching.

Both the F-150 and the Ram 1500 come equipped with a relatively controversial fuel-saving feature: The auto start/stop system. Regardless of how you feel about this feature, you are stuck with it for either truck. At the end of the day, however, it can at least be temporarily disabled.

Trim and Price Levels

Both trucks come with an impressive variety of trim levels. Both trucks come with a limited, top of the line trim, as well as off-roading options, the Raptor being Ford's and the Rebel being Ram's. Below is a list of the various available trims for both the F-150 and the Ram 1500 and their respective prices and layouts.

Ford F-150 Trims
Trim Transmission Engine Base Price
XL 6-Speed Automatic 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 and 2.7L EcoBoost V6, 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost (optional) $27,705
XLT 6-Speed Automatic 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 and 2.7L EcoBoost V6, 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost (optional) $33,300
Lariat 10-Speed Automatic 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 3.0L Power Stroke Diesel V6 (optional) $41,015
King Ranch 10-Speed Automatic 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 and 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 3.0L Power Stroke Diesel V6 (optional) $51,930
Platinum 10-Speed Automatic 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 and 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 3.0L Power Stroke Diesel V6 (optional) $54,485
Limited 10-Speed Automatic 3.5L EcoBoost V6 $61,360
Raptor 10-Speed Automatic High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 $50,675
Ram 1500 Trims
Trim Transmission Engine Base Price
Tradesman 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $27,295
Express 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8 $28,995
Big Horn 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $33,895
Night 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8 $37,490
Sport 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $38,795
Laramie 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $40,445
Laramie Longhorn 8-Speed Automatic 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $50,395
Limited 8-Speed Automatic 5.7L HEMI V8, 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 $53,695
Rebel 8-Speed Automatic 3.6L Pentastar V6, 5.7L HEMI V8 $45,495

Final Thoughts: Ram or Ford?

The Ram and Ford truck rivalry is one of the more contentious ones out there aside from Ford and Chevy's. While Ford is still the best selling full-size truck brand in the United States, Ram and Chevy make for a close second. While both trucks are solid options, they do excel in different categories. The F-150 has always been a leader in towing and hauling and continues to be the preferable option if you plan on using your truck for heavy duty work. The Ram 1500, on the other hand, continues to excel in comfort and design, boasting larger interiors, larger cab options, and larger infotainment options.

That being said, neither truck struggles where the other succeeds. The F-150's interior is still plenty nice, and the Ram 1500 can haul and tow large loads as well. Trucks are an especially competitive market, so it should be expected that each manufacturer is putting their best foot forward when it comes to their flagship trucks.

You really can't go wrong with either truck. Given that they are some of the most prominent trucks in America, there are clear cut standards for what a full-size pickup should be, and by all means, both Ford and Ram meet those standards.

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Ram 1500 vs Ford F-150

The F-150 and the Ram1500 are some of the best selling trucks out on the market today. While they are both wonderful vehicles in their own right, there are important differences between them.

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