2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 RAM 1500

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  • 2018 Ford F-150

    Grey 2018 F-150 compared against a Silverado

    Starting at

    $27,705

    2018 RAM 1500

    Silver 2018 RAM 1500 compared against the F-150

    Starting at

    $27,095

    450 hpMax Horsepower395 hp
    510 ft-lb.Max Torque420 ft-lb.
    13,200 lbsTow Capacity10,140 lbs

    Simple truth: when it comes to automaker loyalty, there may be no segment that generates more owner loyalty than trucks. Whether that preference comes as a result of personal experience or is handed down as a result of upbringing is beside the point. In most cases, it takes a major event (or a truly compelling model year offering) to convince a loyalist to switch from their truck of choice.

    Of course, Ford’s F-Series reigns supreme. Not only does Ford outsell every other make of truck available in the market, it outsells every kind of vehicle (including cars, crossovers, SUVs, etc). That’s not to say that other makes don’t have a wealth of appealing attributes, but it’s a powerful indication of the extent to which Ford has its finger on the pulse of today’s truck owner. Then again, it’s been that way for over a century now…

    So how well does FCA’s lineup of RAM trucks measure up against the F-Series? To offer the most apples-to-apples comparison, we’ll start at the foundation of both lines and compare the 2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 RAM 1500.

  • Awards

    In terms of recognition, Ford comes out firing, with the F-150 having earned Motor Trend’s pick for ‘Truck of the Year’. Deemed a ‘Best Buy’ by KBB.com, it also was named ‘Truck of Texas’ by the Texas Auto Writers Association and an IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’.

    The RAM 1500 has also received accolades such as a Consumer Digest ‘Best Buy’, a Consumer Products ‘Best Buy’ (for the five consecutive years prior) as well as recognition from the Texas Auto Writers Association. That said, when comparing the awards received for the 2018 model year, Ford clearly comes out on top…at least to date.

  • Technology

    With the 2018 F-150 upgraded to feature the Sync3 infotainment system, it has more to offer than ever. Features such as Bluetooth compatibility and smartphone integration are becoming more commonplace, but exploring the various trim levels offers up to an 8-inch touchscreen (with built-in navigation) and an 11-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. Additional safety features include lane departure warning, collision warning and mitigation, adaptive cruise control and parallel parking assist.

    Featuring the Uconnect infotainment system, the RAM 1500 is no slouch either. In fact these two, measure up very closely in terms of technology, and options made available across trim levels. With that in mind, we’ll consider this a tie, as well.

  • Interior

    One of the longstanding selling points of Ford trucks is that (even) the interior is designed to look and feel ‘truck-like’. More than just sturdy construction using solid material choices, Ford interiors felt cavernous and blocky, as if to imply ‘Big Truck / Big Cabin’. The 2018 F-150 is no exception, but the ‘big motif’ carries over to the doors as well, making it easy to embark and disembark from. The cabin proportions are perfect for passengers of all heights and sizes, offering plenty of leg and headroom in both front and rear seating, when applicable.

    The F-150 retains its work-horse feel, despite a solid sense of refinement apparent at all trim levels. The layout of its controls and gauge cluster feel modern and refreshed, giving us another reminder why Ford leads with such confidence.

    Just as when we discussed exterior design, interior is another area where RAM trucks have consistently excelled. In fact, it’s fair to say that RAM was the first to introduce luxury-inspired cabins widely within economically priced trucks. It’s hard to deny them credit for inspiring the next generation of pickups, as well as inspiring their predecessors. With this mind, we’ll consider interior design ‘too close to call’ and leave it up to you.

  • Exterior

    The F-150 endures as the standard for truck design; and while the 2018 model reflects a refreshed styling, it doesn’t diminish the bold, on-brand impact of its design. The most tangible change comes in the F-150’s redesigned fascia and options for the grille. This includes variants of the bold, two-bar design that lends it a welcome simplicity, and the audacious FORD grille of the (equally audacious) Raptor. The restyled bumper serves up different variations, featuring an updated diffuser which can be framed in black for a sleeper feel, or with a variety of accents. Redesign of the headlights is appreciable, as are the options for horizontal tailgate appliqué or F-150 stamping to reinforce the badging.

    Referring back to an earlier comment, RAM has always had always differentiated itself stylistically from its competition. In fact, its iconic and enduring ‘Big Rig’ aesthetic deserves some credit from upstart offerings from Nissan and Honda for proving that non-traditional truck design can be successful. Of course, the configuration and trim level selected vastly influences the overall look of the 1500. But whether you prefer a stylized or simple grill, the flash of chrome or subtlety of black-out facia, there is no shortage of options available.

    While we have an enduring appreciation for the RAM’s iconic design, the 2018 F-150 stands as a game changer and its aesthetic is a big part of it. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but it’s hard to deny the refreshed appeal of the F-150

  • Performance

    For 2018, there is no shortage of engine configurations to consider when looking at the F-150. Depending on the trim level, one could choose from any of the following (auto-start/stop) with either a six or ten-speed automatic transmission:

    • 3.3-liter V6 with Twin independent-Variable Cam Timing, offering 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This is the standard option.
    • Turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 serving up 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
    • 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 rated for 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.
    • High-Output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 rated for 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque (standard on Raptor)
    • Turbocharged 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 offering 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

    With such a wide selection of powertrain options to choose from, it’s not surprising that Ford manages to throw up Best-in-Class numbers. The includes a 3270 LB payload and 13,200 LB towing capacity. With both 4×2 and 4×4 options, any one of these configurations is ready to get the job done.

    Engine selection on the RAM 1500 isn’t quite as diverse but speaks to refinement with either of the following mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

    • The (standard) 3.6-Liter Pentastar V6 channels 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
    • The iconic 5.7-liter HEMI serves up 395 jp and 410 lb-ft.
    • 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 offers a modest 240 hp and 420 lb-ft.

    Depending on the configuration, the RAM offers towing up to 10,140 LBS making it a confident performance. Also available in 4×2 or 4×4, it’s ready to work, but the F-150 manages to outclass it both in terms of ratings and options.

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