Ford F-150 vs. RAM 1500

By

Automotive Editor

Zac Estrada is an automotive journalist and contributing writer who hails from Santa Barbara, CA. Zac attended Northeastern University's School of Journalism in Boston and currently runs the automotive blog Confessions of an Autoholic

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, Automotive Editor - January 8, 2015

Recent talk of innovation among full-size pickups has centered around the 2015 Ford F-150 and its aluminum body and roster of turbocharged Ecoboost V6s. Both are big departures for what up until recently had been a very traditional class. But the changes are necessary in the wake of tightening fuel economy standards and demand for more everyday comfort.

See a side-by-side comparison of the F-150 & 1500 »

The Ram 1500, however, already bucked with convention by adopting a coil-spring rear suspension back in 2009. And in recent years, it's added an eight-speed automatic transmission and now a 3-liter turbodiesel V6. Do those innovations help it stay on top of the new Ford?

What the Ram 1500 Gets Right

First of all, the Ram 1500 looks the part of a mean pickup truck from the second you lay your eyes on it. And it can get very opulent if you spec up the options sheet. Features such as the lockable Ram Box in the bed and huge quad cab bodystyles make it useful in everyday situations. On top of that, the UConnect system makes everyday audio and climate functions easy to manage, and the quality of the interior is good.

Under its hood is where the Ram 1500 makes up the most ground. The base Tradesman model is truly built for tradespeople, as it features a 4.7-liter V8 with 310 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 puts down 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque while netting 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The range-topping 5.7-liter V8 remains tough at 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque. But the new EcoDiesel 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 puts out 240 horses and 420 pound-feet of torque, the most of any engine option. And it's good for up to 28 mpg on the highway, the most of any full-size truck. The eight-speed automatic is also a boon in this class.

What the Ford F-150 Gets Right

Besides its track record, the Ford is covered in new technology. It's a talking point for sure, but the aluminum body looks good on this new generation, while making the truck more nimble thanks to its weight savings. Features like MyFord Touch and other modern conveniences are only available on the F-150 in this class.

Ford gives way a little to the Ram in base power with its 3.7-liter V6, but most buyers will choose the 2.7-liter or 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6s, which offer a more broad torque curve for better towing. The Ford also has greater payload capacity than the Ram.

Why Pick the Ford?

Buy the Ford if you like features and technology. Some of the bugs may not be quite worked out of MyFord Touch, but it's a more extensive system than UConnect. Same goes for the raft of driver assistance features and toys like the power-assisted tailgate and step ladder. And the Ford's Ecoboost V6s will tow better than the V6 and V8 options on the Ram.

Verdict: RAM 1500

But for everyday usability across the board, the Ram wins thanks to its more thoughtful interior and better ride. And though it's expensive, the EcoDiesel V6 could prove to be a more worthy fuel economy savior than Ford's EcoBoost V6s and aluminum skin.

Take a closer look at the Ford F-150 »

Take a closer look at the RAM 1500 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Zac Estrada is an automotive journalist and contributing writer who hails from Santa Barbara, CA. Zac attended Northeastern University's School of Journalism in Boston and currently runs the automotive blog Confessions of an Autoholic

Follow On: Twitter | Google+ | Website