Buying a truck in the competitive full-size truck segment can be an overwhelming task as there are so many options on the market now. It is a popular segment, so it’s no surprise that there are so many options out there for you to choose from. But as you research which one might be right for you and your family, your search will most likely come down to this: 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150.
It’s certainly not shocking to see the Ford F-150 included, but the recent generation of the Ram 1500 has catapulted it to the top of many people’s lists too. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle on the planet, and for a good reason, but the Ram 1500 is right on its heels. So let’s take a look at what sets these two trucks apart and see which one is the right choice for your lifestyle.
Versatility and Functionality
If you are looking for versatility, you might initially think that you should focus your search on the F-150. Truck buyers expect innovative features to help them get the job done, and the F-150 delivers while also offering luxury and high-tech features you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a truck. However, the Ram 1500 overachieves in the department of luxury and convenience and offers even more than the F-150. Let’s look into how the F-150 and Ram 1500 perform.
With the F-150, you will find it has the most payload capacity of any truck on the market and is also only 200 pounds off the leader in towing capacity. So if you need to tow heavy and haul big loads, you might want to look at an F-150. But wait—the Ram 1500 stands out for its excellent towing and payload numbers and sophisticated interior. So, even with the F-150’s stellar reputation as an all-around great truck, there’s the Ram 1500 putting up the same kind of numbers and looking better doing it.
When you look closer at the numbers, you’ll find the Ram 1500 outperforms the F-150 in several key categories. For one, it has the best-in-class towing rating for a half-ton diesel at 12,560 lbs. This is more important than you might think. Diesel engines are new to the segment and a big luxury for truck buyers to have as an option. For this diesel engine, you’re looking at best-in-class torque (480 lb-ft) and impressive fuel efficiency (22/32 MPG), and excellent payload capacity as well at 2,040 lbs.
The other thing to consider—and this might be more important to your passengers than it is to you—is the impressive ride quality the Ram 1500 delivers. Every trim comes standard with Ram’s unique coil-spring suspension. Where other trucks still use leaf-springs or technology-based on horse-drawn carriages, the Ram has evolved differently. It employs modern-day technology to the ride, and you can feel the difference. It brings a more car-like experience that’s so smooth long-time truck owners will take some time getting used to it. Available also is Ram’s air suspension, which brings an even more modern approach to suspension. The Ram 1500 will automatically adjust ride height for increased fuel efficiency and off-road capability.
One area where the Ford F-150 excels is in its many configurations. With six engines to choose from, the F-150 seems to have an engine for every need. The Ram 1500 lags behind a little in this category as it only has four engine options to choose from. But with a more powerful and efficient standard engine for the Ram 1500, it depends on what you are looking for. If you don’t need to tow super heavy, and don’t need to spend more on an expensive engine, the Ram has the best option of the two trucks. If you are looking for a diesel, the Ram is the better option as well, but the F-150 has a good one too. And while the F-150 has a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, if you are looking for a vehicle with good fuel economy, the numbers do not look so good. This only returns 20/26 MPG. Both the F-150 and Ram 1500 have big V8 engines with similar stats, so it really depends on what you need from your engine and what kind of work you do.
Interior and Tech
Where the Ram 1500 truly shines is inside the cabin. Not only do you benefit from comfortable driving manners, but the interior is also loaded with luxury features and amenities. While both the F-150 and Ram 1500 compete well in the segment with their luxury and technology, Ram has clearly made it more of a priority. If you are looking for your truck to double as a family hauler or your daily driver, the Ram 1500 should be at the top of your list.
The Ram 1500 should no longer be considered just a truck—it should also be thought of as a luxury vehicle. This is limousine-like comfort and the best and most useful technology in its class. What sets these two trucks apart is the quality of materials, a 12-inch color touchscreen in the Ram 1500 versus an 8-inch touchscreen in the F-150, and Ram’s Uconnect 4C NAV infotainment system. The F-150’s cabin can be described as a rugged, easy-to-use interior, both functional and attractive, but just not on the same level of the Ram 1500.
In fact, no other vehicle on the road is as luxurious as the Ram 1500. Cars.com named the Ram 1500 as the top luxury car of the year, beating offerings from Mercedes and BMW for the top luxury car of 2020. That’s right, a truck won the honor this year, which really says something about the build quality and modern conveniences offered in the 2020 Ram 1500. When asked why they chose the Ram 1500, Jenni Newman, Cars.com’s editor-in-chief, said, “It’s luxurious leather that’s used. It’s the genuine wood trim that you see around the cabin. It’s the beautiful color combinations that you normally wouldn’t see in your everyday car.”
Both trucks offer the technology you’ve come to expect, however, including a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, impressive driver assists, and safety features, and the towing assist options you will appreciate when taking the family out for a day on the lake. Both crew cab versions of each truck start at about the same price, so you will want to look at what options you want from your truck and compare prices based on your needs.
Which Truck is Best?
No matter which truck you choose, you are sure to have plenty of options to find the truck of your dreams. It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for so you can identify which truck works hard where you need it the most. The Ford F-150 still holds the title of the best-selling truck. But, with the recent improvements made in the Ram 1500’s fifth-generation, it’s hard to see the F-150 keeping its title very much longer as the Ram 1500 seems to have already pulled ahead of the F-150 in many important categories.