2020 Ram 1500 VS 2020 Ford F-150
By Jakob Hansen, 7/16/2020
It’s time to pay attention, the big boys are talking.
Chevrolet lost its place as the second best selling truck, a position it has held for many years. Now that the 2020 Ram 1500 has slid into the second-place spot, we need to take a look at how it compares to the class leader, the 2020 Ford F-150.
Truck sales in the US have been on the rise since the early 90’s. Dodge's second generation of the Ram made the pick-up truck usable as a daily driving vehicle, and changed truck sales forever. Since then, Ram, Ford, and Chevrolet have been in a heated three participant race, with Ford leading, Chevrolet close behind, and Ram trying its best to keep up. Well, the times have finally changed, Ram has taken the second-place spot from Chevrolet, and they aren’t planning on looking back. So how does the Ram 1500 compare to the class sales leader, the Ford F-150? Let’s dive in and have a gander at the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150.
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For a long time, to be a “truck guy” meant that you were also very brand loyal. “Ford guys” only bought Fords, “Ram guys” only bought Rams, and so on. But times have changed. No longer are buyers constrained to one brand simply because that's what they have always bought.
Reliability between all brands is better than ever before, powertrain figures are nearly identical, and the build quality is directly comparable. What’s really driving sales recently are the awesome new features that make our daily lives that much easier. So what truck has the best features?
The 2020 Ford F-150 is jam-packed with cool stuff. Ford has integrated an insane amount of features dedicated to towing alone! For example, Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes it easy to back up a trailer like a pro. Simply using a knob to control the steering, the truck automatically steers itself and the trailer wherever you need it. The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Trailer Coverage ensures you are always aware of your surroundings, even with a trailer in tow. You can also have the truck “remember” trailers, knowing the weight, length, and capabilities of a trailer.
Innovative features like Hill Descent Control™, a fully flat rear load floor, LED bed lighting, stowable loading ramps, integrated tailgate step with lift assist, remote tailgate release (lock or unlock and lower the tailgate), deployable box side steps, a full 360-Degree Camera With Split-View Display, an 8-Inch LCD Productivity Screen (Digital Gauge), and FordPass Connect™, Ford’s useful phone connected app.
The 2020 Ram 1500 is no slouch when it comes to features either. Obviously, Ram’s biggest asset is that giant 12” touchscreen that dominates the interior. The Uconnect® 12.0 with Navigation is the perfect integration of touch screen and physical controls to make your life as easy as possible.
Ram also offers other awesome features such as active noise canceling (yes, the same noise canceling technology that’s found in your headphones), a 7” digital gauge, Harman Kardon® Premium Audio System, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, Class-Exclusive cooled center console, with space for a 15” laptop. Ram also features clever storage solutions such as under-seat storage, in-floor Ram Bins, and a rear flat-loaded floor.
The features are difficult to compare since there is almost an overabundance of them. It’s simply amazing all of the tech the manufacturers are able to stuff into these trucks. Reading through the features, it's best practice to look at what you would use, and research how much that particular feature can increase your productivity. This way you are able to make a real-world comparison of what you may actually find helpful. For some, a trailer back-up assist may not be needed, for others, it could be the life-saving feature they have been waiting for.
The capability of these trucks is another factor that has become absolutely astounding. “Half-Ton” and “One-Ton” trucks used to be called so because of their respective 1,000 lbs and 2,000 lbs payload capacity. Today, the payload and towing capacity of the “Half-Ton” pick-up is far beyond what a heavy-duty truck was capable of only ten years prior.
The 2020 Ford F-150 is rated with the best-in-class towing capacity of 13,200 lbs, and best-in-class payload capacity of up to 3,270 lbs. Truly impressive figures. Horsepower is equally impressive. The 2020 Ford F-150, when equipped with the High-Output 3.5l EcoBoost engine, puts out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. That’s only 10 horsepower down from a Mustang GT. The standard 3.5l EcoBoost puts out a still-impressive 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Other engines include the 3.0l Power Stroke Turbo Diesel: 250 horsepower, 440 lb-ft, the 2.7l EcoBoost: 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft, the 5.0l V8: 395 horsepower, 400 lb-ft, and the atmospheric 3.3l V6: 290 horsepower, 265 lb-ft.
The 2020 Ram 1500 is rated up to 12,750 lbs, with a max payload of 2,300 lbs. Slightly less than the Ford, but more trucks are sold with this top powerplant then Ford sells with theirs. The Ram is capable of some impressive horsepower as well. The 5.7l Hemi® V8 with eTorque puts out an impressive 395 horsepower with 410 lb-ft of torque. Other engines include the 3.0l EcoDiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 420 lb-ft, and the 3.6l Pentastar® V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft.
Whew, that was a lot of numbers indeed. The important ones to pay attention to, however, are the tow and payload capacities, and the top and mid-range engine powertrains. Ford has the High-Output EcoBoost available, but only on the Limited and Raptor trims. When looking at the most sold engines, Ford’s standard 3.5l EcoBoost V6 has less horsepower but more torque than Ram’s 5.7l Hemi.
Comfort and Styling
Since the power, towing, and reliability figures are all so similar in today's trucks, the decision often comes down to which catches your fancy more? To be fair, these are very subjective ratings, as everyone's taste in vehicle design is unique.
When it comes to comfort, both trucks have strong suites. The Ram has some of the best seats (outside of Volvo’s) that we have sat in. Comfortable on long trips, wide and supportive, yet soft enough to not make your butt sore after sitting for several hours. Importantly, the seats don’t cut circulation to your lower legs, a problem we have seen in many other truck seats in the past. The rest of the interior is upscale and sleek, especially for a truck. The massive screen is nothing to contend with, it’s well laid out, easy to use, and smartly places important controls static on the screen.
Ford’s interior has plenty to offer in its own right. The seats are large and comfortable, though not as much as the Ram’s. The digital gauge is intuitive and convenient, as is Ford’s excellent Sync 3. The fit and finish is also very nice in the Ford. An excellent use of materials, convenient space usage, and all in an overall attractive cabin.
Styling is a difficult point to argue. Both trucks are attractive in their own right. The Ram is sleek, modern, and downright “cool” looking. The Ford has a particular masculinity to it that shows off its proud heritage. When it comes to overall styling, the more modern Ram does take the cake for me, but Ford is due soon for a styling update, and I am confident that the restyling will bring it into an even more modern, and sleek design.
Trucks are no longer the archaic, workhorse nightmares that they once were. They are now comfortable vehicles that are more than functional as daily drivers. The old dimensions that we once tested and rated trucks by are no longer the important factors. Or course, towing and payload are still important, but there is much more to the game today.
Ram is perfectly representative of this. They have steadily fought their way against brand loyalty and nearly 100 years of truck manufacturing to become the second best, and they have set their sights square on the F-150. Can they ever surpass it in sales? Time will only tell. But from where sitting (and if I had a choice that would be in the driver's seat of the Ram), they have a pretty solid chance to dethrone the Ford as the top truck.