These two best-selling pickup trucks have plenty of pluses to their credit. Which should you choose?
You’ve probably known someone who owns or has owned an F-150. It’s Ford’s flagship truck, and it’s been the best-selling pickup in America for more than 30 years.
Most used F-150s offered by CarMax are powered by a V8 or V6 engine. The latest used F-150s can be had with a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine, which has nearly all the horsepower of the V8 (365 hp) and gives owners a strong mix of performance and fuel economy. A six-speed automatic gearbox transfers power to the wheels, two-wheel-drive-, awd-, or full four-wheel drive-style.
Capacity & Towing
Drivers who haul lots of stuff or have lots of friends who need moving help will be comforted by the F-150’s numbers here: around 5 tons of towing capacity and about a ton of payload in the full-sized bed (2-door models).
Prices for recent, base-model, used F-150s at CarMax average around $25,000. Upper-range, tricked out F-150s like a used 2014 Raptor can be found at CarMax for around $53,000.
Dodge Ram 1500
The Ram’s 4.7-liter V8 or 5.7-liter Hemi® V8 get the job done whether you’re towing or just road-tripping; other options include a 3.6L or 3.7L V6 for better fuel efficiency. For drivers who need a little extra towing power, some of the latest Ram 1500s come with a torque-y six-cylinder diesel engine. All engines amply power the 1500 in its two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. Fuel efficiency isn’t the best, but this is a full-size pickup—you probably know what you’re getting into here, mpg-wise. Hemi-engined Rams can deliver up to 21 mpg on the highway, and six-cylinder models like the late-model, two-door Tradesman can return up to 25 mpg.
Capacity & Towing
The 1500 can pull up to five tons, and payload capacity is right around 1,600 pounds.
A base model, used 1500 Tradesman can be found at CarMax for around $25,000. Upper range models, like a used Laramie Limited, cost around $42,000.
The numerous trade-offs between the F150 and 1500 make it tough to pick a real winner. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Both are full-size pickups made by best-selling truck builders who have more than half a century of production under their belts. Both have similar engine choices and similar gas mileage; both have spacious interiors and plenty of optional features. While Ford gets points for agile performance and an edge on hauling capacity, the Ram scores with a combination of good fuel efficiency, a smoother ride, and an upscale interior.
Still undecided? Maybe you’re looking for an alternative to the power of the Ford and versatility of the Ram? Sporting an eight-speed transmission and ample seating, GMC offers their Sierra 1500 to drivers who seek a more luxurious pickup. The Sierra 1500 isn’t too different from Chevrolet’s Silverado 1500, especially mechanically. Heavier than the F150 and shorter than its competitors, drivers who want a more subtle ride will enjoy the Silverado. Finally, the Toyota Tundra has all the mass and power of any used V8 pickup, without high-end upholstery or state-of-the-art gadgetry found in other pickups. Drivers who pull campers or want easy access to the cooler stored in the bed will appreciate the Tundra’s power rear window.