The Ford F-150 has been the best selling vehicle, not just pickup, in the United States for about four decades. That is a serious streak. But does best selling always mean it is the best vehicle? If you’re looking for a new pickup, you’ll want to consider the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150. While the Ford F-150 outsold the Ram 1500 last year, the Ram counterpart took home just about every industry award. So are you more interested in an award-winning or the best selling pickup? The best way to determine this might be to compare the two pickups head to head.
When going with the base trim on the 2020 Ram 1500, a 3.6L V6 engine comes as standard (although a V8 Hemi is optional). The MSRP on this model starts at $31,895. With the V6, the engine puts out 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. With this configuration, the pickup will net around 20 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
As for the Ford F-150 base model, it also comes with a 3.3L V6 (and the option to upgrade to a V8). It also has an MSRP of $28,495 (although if you want a two-row cabin like the base model Ram, the MSRP increases to $32,580). However, the V6 on the Ford produces 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, so there is some drop in engine performance. Fuel economy is also 19 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway. Even with the slightly less powerful engine fuel economy dips as well on the Ford.
If you’re interested in a pickup with a standard V8 on the Ram, you will be looking at the Lone Star trim. The Lone Star comes with a 5.7L V8 Hemi. It produces 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. With this larger engine, you can expect a fuel economy of around 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
The first Ford F-150 with a V8 is the XL. The truck uses a 5.0L V8 and produces 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy for the truck is 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Hidden Cost Of Aluminum
Ford F-150 pickups are not built out of aluminum, while The Ram 1500 is made from steel. Initially, when the Ford F-150 came out, repair costs skyrocketed. Now, in general, the repair costs are about the same. However, there are several hidden costs that Ford often doesn’t talk about.
First, yes, if a bumper needs to be replaced on both a steel and an aluminum pickup, the part cost will be the same. However, you’re more likely to need an entirely new part. Aluminum does not spring back to its original shape like steel does, so while small fender-benders or dings caused by shopping carts might be able to be pulled out of the Ram, on a Ford, it may require additional welding or a brand new part, which increases the cost. Aluminum itself is a cheaper material to manufacture, but there is a greater chance you’ll need to repair the part.
The other issue is there needs to be an aluminum repair specialist in the city you’re located for your Ford to be repaired. This is fine if you’re in a larger city or there is a Ford dealership in the area. But what happens if you’re on the road or in a smaller town? You might be completely out of luck. If there aren’t any aluminum repair shops in the area, you might need to send your truck out for repairs. That will leave you without a working vehicle, and it will increase the repair costs.
Both the 2020 Ram 1500 and the 2020 Ford F-150 come with diesel engines this year. On the Ram 1500, the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 produces 260 horsepower and 480-lb ft. of torque. As for the Ford? The Ford uses a 3.0L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel, which produces 250 horsepower and 440-lb ft. of torque. When looking for a more powerful engine capable of improved towing, the Dodge simply can’t be topped.
Additionally, Ford says on its website that its diesel engine is “class-leading” at 11,500 pounds of towing. However, this was published before the release of the 2020 Ram Ecodiesel, which has a towing capacity of 12,560 (a full thousand pounds more). So while Ford has not yet updated its comparison specs, you will know the Ram actually out tows the Ford.
When it comes to safety, both the 2020 Ram 1500 and the 2020 Ford F-150 offer several beneficial features. On the base Ram 1500, you will receive a driver, front head, front side, passenger, and rear head airbags. It also comes with four-wheel ABS and four-wheel disc brakes. Additional standard features include brake assist, traction control, child safety locks, electronic stability control, and daytime running lights. You also have the option to install integrated turn signal mirrors, cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.
The base Ford F-150 comes with a driver, front head, front side, passenger, and rear head airbags. It has the same four-wheel ABS and four-wheel disc brakes as the Ram, and in terms of other safety features, it has brake assist, traction control, daytime running lights, and electronic stability control. It does not have child safety locks. It also only can include integrated turn signal mirrors. It does not have the option to include cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
Comparing the top trim models for the Ram and Ford F-150 is challenging as there is a significant difference in price point. The 2020 Ram 1500 Limited 4×4 Crew Cab is the top tier, with an entry MSRP of $57,215. The 2020 Ford F-150 top trim is its own Limited 4WD SuperCrew, but the MSRP is $70,910. On the Ram, the safety features are the same as on the base, with the addition of integrated turn signal mirrors, front tow hooks, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and adjustable pedals. Optional features include lane departure warning and lane-keep assist.
The Limited Ford trim includes the same as the Ford base, plus a lane-keeping assist, cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, front tow hooks, integrated turn signal mirrors, adjustable pedals, and child safety locks. Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist are two features that come standard over the Ram, where it is optional. However, you can add these features on the Ram and still come in well short of the Ford MSRP. It’s also too bad Ford doesn’t offer child safety locks on all models. It’s not a feature you should be forced to pay extra for.
The Best Pickup On The Market Today
Whether you’re comparing the recent awards of the two trucks or the design features and options, the best pickup on the road today is the 2020 Ram 1500. It simply is built with superior towing, interior designs, and it takes up the mantle from the multi-award-winning 2019 Ram 1500. Add in the fact that it’s likely less expensive to maintain, and there is no question about it: when considering the 2020 Ram 1500 vs the 2020 Ford F-150, the only answer you should arrive at is the Ram 1500 is the better truck.