The Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 are two top contenders for any prospective truck-buyer. Both makes have been around for a while now, building their fan-base and crowd of critics. With trucks today offering such a wide range of customization options, it can be tough to quiet the noise and figure out which option is truly the better buy. We’ll take a look at the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150 in-depth to help you decide where to hedge your bets.
An Overview of the 2020 Ram 1500
The 2020 Ram 1500 is part of the fifth generation, which was introduced in 2019. A new Eco-Diesel engine, trim level, and two new styling packages bring several new considerations to the table. Nonetheless, this year’s Ram has retained everything we loved about past years, including aggressive capability, and a high-quality cabin with excellent storage and generous standard features. As the winner of the Consumer Guide’s Best Buy (for the 12th year in a row), there’s certainly a lot to like about this popular pick-up.
Compared to other half-ton pick-ups in the same class, the Ram’s mild-hybrid e-Torque and coil-spring rear suspension systems are unmatched. These features are found across the board of the Ram’s seven trim levels. The 2020 trim levels include the Tradesman, HFE, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited.
Starting with Tradesman, drivers get high-quality vinyl seats, a 5-inch touchscreen, remote keyless entry, push-button start, a Voice Command and Bluetooth Streaming audio with a six-speaker stereo system, and 4G LTE Wifi Hotspot. The exterior is fully equipped with 18-inch steel wheels, an electric parking brake, and trailer sway damping. Add the Chrome Appearance Package for stunning accents, a Parkview rear back-up camera, and blind-spot monitoring.
Next in line is the new HFE, a high-efficiency Tradesman upgraded with 20” chrome wheels, front bucket seats, a tonneau cover, side steps, and low-rolling-resistance tires. Compared to a rear-wheel-drive Tradesman (with a V6 engine), the HFE boosts highway and combined fuel efficiency by 1 mile per gallon.
The Big Horn (or Lone Star if you live in Texas) lives up to its name, with bigger and better features than you can find on other trucks, especially at a starting price of just $36,790. Choose to upgrade to an expansive 12-inch touchscreen with Uconnect and navigation. Pinch and zoom technology, along with split-screen capability, make this largest-in-class touchscreen a breeze to use. The Big Horn sits on 18” wheels with upgrades available.
The off-roading Rebel comes with the same 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower. Towing capacity is respectable at 7,520 pounds. To help you handle any terrain, four skid plates and an electronic locking rear axle have got your back.
For a luxurious but still affordable pick-up, the Laramie is an excellent choice. Starting at $40,890, drivers and passengers will enjoy heated and ventilated leather seats that are power-adjustable. Three 12-volt DC power outlets let you charge on the go, and optional safety packages add high-end technology like lane-keeping assist and forward-collision warning.
Taking it a step further, the Longhorn is fully equipped with refined details. A leather-wrapped wooden steering wheel, premium leather bucket seats, and a voice-activated audio system with ten speakers are all standard features. Finally, the top-of-the-line Limited trim offers ultimate luxury. Stunning chrome details and a four-corner air suspension system set the stage for a heavenly driving experience. Auto-dimming, heated mirrors, rear heated seats, blind-spot warning, and front and rear parking sensors will put your mind at ease as you take this gorgeous truck wherever your heart desires.
What To Expect From A 2020 Ford F-150
The 2020 Ford F-150 is part of the 13th generation, which was introduced in 2015. You’ll find strong towing and payload capacities in its various engine options. Modern technology carries this classic truck into the future, although you’ll have to step it up to the higher trim levels (or pay extra for add-on packages) to enjoy these perks. There are six general trims, plus a special off-road variant, the Raptor.
The XL trim is pretty basic with manual mirrors and windows, along with a four-speaker stereo system. The engine is a 3.3-liter TI-VCT V6 with 290 horsepower and 265 pounds-per-foot of torque. There are three selectable modes – normal, sport, and tow/haul.
The XLT has the same standard engine with some nice technology upgrades. Pre-collision-assist with emergency braking, cruise control, and automatic high beams are standard. You’ll also get an 8-inch touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 that’s compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The option to upgrade to a different engine choice opens up with this trim. Drivers can choose the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, or 3.0L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V6.
Moving up to the Lariat, an electronic 10-speed transmission becomes standard with various driving modes, including snow/wet, tow/haul, sport modes, and Ecoselect. The standard engine remains the 2.7-liter, with upgrades available, along with an available 36-gallon fuel tank. Standard interior upgrades bring a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, and climate control into the mix. You’ll also get a lane-keeping system as standard in the Lariat.
It’s not until you upgrade to the King Ranch (starting at $52,990) that you will find a standard engine upgrade to the 5.0L Ti-VCT V8. With 395 horsepower and 400 pounds-per-foot of torque, this larger engine offers a significant boost in power. Minor upgrades include a heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. Other than 20-inch aluminum wheels, and a few new styling cues, there’s not too much of a notable difference between the King Ranch and the Platinum.
The Limited F-150 will put you in a starting price point of $67,735. Wheels are even bigger at 22-inches, and a high-output 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost engine becomes standard. This is the same engine you’ll find on the Raptor model, with 450 horsepower and 510 pounds-per-foot of torque. The Limited’s upgraded 750-watt, 10-speaker sound system is made by Bang & Olufsen.
If you plan to take your F-150 off-roading, the Raptor is hands-down your best option. By pairing down the certain luxury features, the Raptor’s price starts at a more reasonable $53,455. It seats five instead of six, and uses the same engine as the F-150 trims (the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost engine). Unique to the Raptor is the high-output off-road FOX Live Valve Racing Shox. To deliver superior control, these monotube shocks are built with an electronic solenoid valve. This automatically adjusts to unpredictable terrain using continuously variable compression damping technology. The Raptor’s Terrain Management System has seven selectable driving modes. Trail Control lets you set the speed and manages braking and acceleration automatically for high-tech cruise control on low-traction terrain.
Which Pick-Up Is A Better Buy?
Several factors come into play when choosing the right truck. The Ford F-150 has diehard fans who prefer to stick with the familiarity of a truck that’s been around since, what seems like, the beginning of time. Although the F-150 has kept up with modern conveniences, it gets really expensive, really fast. The Ram 1500 starts out with a base model that’s decently equipped, as opposed to the bare-bones Ford XL. On the higher-end of the spectrum, a well-equipped Limited Ram with add-ons is unlikely to go over $60k, while a Limited Ford F-150 easily adds on $10k or more. All things considered, our money is on the Ram 1500.