A silver 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler is shown from the front at an angle.

Ousting The King of Luxury: The 2023 Ford F-150 vs the 2023 Ram 1500

The rivalry among America’s “Big Three” automakers has defined the industry since the 1900s when Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler raced to put America on wheels with the first automobiles. Over the last century, that rivalry has inspired countless innovations that have progressed the industry and introduced legendary speed demons, versatile SUVs, and capable workhorses. Drivers continue to enjoy the benefits of this ongoing rivalry, particularly in trucks like the best-selling Ford F-150 and the Ram 1500.

Comparing the 2023 Ford F-150 vs. the 2023 Ram 1500 gives us a better picture of this rivalry, and how each automaker takes a unique approach to supplying American drivers with what they want and need in a road warrior. Both of these trucks blend brute strength with luxury and innovative technology, offering drivers the best of both worlds without compromise. But which truck does this better? While Ram’s reputation for luxury makes it the most obvious answer, the results may surprise you.

Round 1: Affordability

Ram’s reputation for making luxury affordable is put to the test when you compare the 2023 Ram 1500 with the 2023 Ford F-150. The Ram 1500 lineup starts with the Tradesman at $37,410, a significant increase over the F-150 XL at $33,695. But does the higher price mean you get more with the Ram 1500? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

The Tradesman is equipped with a 5-inch display, a stark contrast to the available 8.4-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen display that pushes the truck’s price even higher. Moreover, the 5-inch display diminishes the quality of features like the Ram 1500’s ParkView Rear Back Up Camera. This leaves a lot to be desired, considering that the F-150 XL features an expansive 8-inch touchscreen display with Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system, smartphone integration, and a Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist for easier trailering.

Round 2: Capability

Just as Ram has a reputation for luxury, the Ram 1500 is also renowned for its capability and agility. The 2023 Ram 1500 is no different, offering a multi-engine lineup that starts with the award-winning 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine with eTorque that produces 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. As expected, the Ram 1500 also offers a 5.7L HEMI V8 with eTorque and a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. The HEMI pushes the Ram 1500 to its highest power output of 395 horsepower, but the EcoDiesel offers the most torque at 480 lb-ft.

While the 2023 Ram 1500’s powertrain lineup is impressive, the F-150 has a distinct advantage with its five-engine lineup, which includes a hybrid. The F-150 comes standard with Ford’s 3.3L V6 engine that churns out 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the 2.7L EcoBoost Turbo V6 boosts the F-150’s output to 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, with its 3.5L EcoBoost Turbo V6 achieving the F-150’s best combination for towing at 400 horsepower, 500 lb-ft of torque, and a max trailering capability of 14,000 pounds. This is nearly 1,300 pounds higher than the Ram 1500.

The F-150 also does something remarkable that the Ram 1500 has yet to offer. Ford gives drivers the option to outfit the F-150 with a 3.5L PowerBoost Turbocharged V6 Hybrid engine. The powertrain defies every expectation by producing 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of near-instant torque.

Round 3: Efficiency

Ford and Ram know how important it is to build trucks that conservatively sip fuel without compromising capability or performance. The balance seems impossible, but the 2023 F-150 and 2023 Ram 1500 manage this incredible feat and make it look easy. The F-150’s PowerBoost Turbocharged Hybrid offers the truck’s best fuel economy at 25 MPG both in the city and on the highway when outfitted with rear-wheel drive. This average is better than the Ram 1500’s gas-powered engines, and even the EcoDiesel’s in-town average of 21 MPG in the city. However, it’s hard to beat the EcoDiesel’s fuel-sipping tendencies at highway speeds that make the Ram 1500 more efficient at 29 MPG.

A white 2022 Ram 1500 is shown from the front at an angle during a 2023 Ford F-150 vs 2023 Ram 1500 comparison.

Round 4: Cargo Hauling and Trailering Tech

The F-150 is better engineered for hauling cargo and towing heavier loads. This is apparent in its higher payload and 14,000-pound towing capacity. However, Ford doesn’t stop there and offers three bed lengths and an expansive suite of trailering and functional technology that make the F-150 the perfect work partner. In contrast, the Ram 1500 only offers a five-foot six-inch or six-foot four-inch bed, leaving much to be desired compared to the F-150’s available eight-foot bed with 77.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

While the Ram 1500 falls short in terms of bed length, the automaker offers unique features like Trailer Reverse Steering Control. The technology simplifies the process of navigating a trailer in reverse by letting you steer the trailer with the Trailer Steering Knob. The technology transforms your experience in the driver’s seat, leveling the learning curve of mastering the trailer reversing process.

As Ram makes it easier to maneuver a trailer in reverse, the F-150 offers this technology and more. For example, the F-150’s Smart Hitch and Onboard Scales optimize your safety by estimating the weight of your load, whether on the trailer tongue or in the truck’s bed. The technology shows the estimates via the SYNC 4 infotainment system, the FordPass App, or the Smart Taillamps. In addition to these tools, the F-150 offers a Smart Trailer Tow Connector that keeps you informed of trailer diagnostics, and Dynamic Hitch Assist that helps you align your hitch with the trailer.

Moreover, the F-150’s technology isn’t limited to trailering or hauling cargo. Ford transforms the F-150 into a mobile power source with class-exclusive features like Pro Power Onboard. The system lets you outfit the F-150 with one of three available outputs 110-volt outputs–2.0 kilowatts, 2.4 kilowatts, or 7.2 kilowatts–that you can monitor via the SYNC 4 infotainment system or the FordPass mobile app. With this additional power, you can run tools, a television, a gaming console, a microwave, or other small equipment.

A black 2023 Ford F-150 is shown from the front at an angle.

Round 5: Luxury Features

Ram’s reputation for making luxury affordable is undeniable, but that isn’t to say it’s the only automaker to achieve this incredible balance in 2023. The Ram 1500 Limited is the pinnacle of luxury in the lineup, offering premium leather seating, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, and class-exclusive reclining rear seats. Moreover, Ram’s keen attention to detail is pervasive throughout the cabin, with plush seating that maximizes your comfort and transforms your experience in the driver’s seat.

Ford offers that same level of luxury and much more in the top-tier 2023 F-150 Limited. The most luxurious trim of the F-150 fleet, the Limited exudes opulence throughout the cabin, from its leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel to its color-coordinated carpeting and exclusive multi-contour leather front seats with Active Motion. In addition, Ford adds heated and ventilated seating to the front and power-adjustable pedals with memory that ensures a bespoke experience anytime you’re behind the wheel. The center flow-through console adds spaciousness to the cabin, but not more so than the twin-panel moonroof that offers an open-air experience.

These luxury features seamlessly integrate with the F-150’s many functional features that let you enjoy this luxury to the fullest. For example, the truck offers an interior work surface with a flat-folding shifter, ambient lighting for a unique aesthetic inside the cabin, and driver-assist technologies like Blue Cruise and Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control. With these features and the F-150’s penchant for luxury, there’s no question that models like the F-150 Limited challenge the Ram 1500’s reputation.

And the Winner Is…

The 2023 Ford F-150 and 2023 Ram 1500 are exceptional workhorses that showcase why competition among automakers benefits everyone involved. Where the Ram abides by its reputation for luxury, it’s impossible to ignore that Ford challenges that reputation with newer technology and more advanced features that offer premium comforts and a unique user experience. In either case, drivers reap the benefits because these trucks are incredible, and likely wouldn’t be as impressive without the ongoing challenge to do better and outshine the other.