2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150 – Costa Mesa, CA

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  • 2020 Ram 1500

    A white 2020 Ram 1500 Tradesman is angled left on a white background.

    Starting at

    $32,145

    2020 Ford F-150

    A white 2020 Ford F-150 XL is angled right on a white background.

    Starting at

    $28,745

    5-inBase Touchscreen Size4.2-in
    12-inLargest Available Touchscreen Size8-in
    Up to 6Available SeatingUp to 6

    When making a pick-up truck, there are many characteristics involved. This is why it is challenging to promise - and live up to the promise - that a new pick-up is great. There are a plethora of models out there all in competition, hoping to meet high-end expectations in power-delivery, utility, and onboard technology. The 2020 Ram 1500 and the 2020 Ford F-150 are two top-ranking pick-up trucks that promise quite a lot right out of the gate. The Ram 1500 is a relative newcomer with its earliest model hitting the road back in the 1980s while the Ford F-150 has been around since the late 1940s. That said, legacy isn’t the only way to compare a pick-up truck. Engine choice, truck bed sizing, hauling power, and safety technology can all play a massive role in whether or not a pick-up truck excels or falls flat. So which of the two is truly the better truck? Let’s take a look and compare the 2020 Ram 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150.

  • Performance

    A black 2020 Ram 1500 is parked in front of brick buildings near Costa Mesa, CA.

    Performance by the Ram 1500

    Base models of the Ram 1500 start the powertrain pyramid with a 3.6-liter V6 that utilizes the assistance of a mild-hybrid system, otherwise known as ‘eTorque.’ This hybrid electric setup includes a 48-volt electric motor and a 0.4-kWh lithium-ion battery. This combined force of both gasoline and electricity amounts to a total of 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. While this hybrid system does moderately impact fuel-range, the main highlight of this entry hybrid powertrain is the fact that it helps reduce engine load and provide an ample boost to low-speed acceleration.

    A step above this base engine is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This beefy turbodiesel is a reliable option for any driver who puts hauling power above all else, and this powertrain variety certainly delivers. When you get behind the wheel of a model of the 2020 Ram 1500 with a turbo diesel engine, you can haul a maximum of 12,560 pounds behind the rear of your vehicle.

    Higher up on the powertrain ladder and standing as the reigning king of the hill is the 5.7-liter V8 engine, which is rated for 395 hp and 410 lb-ft worth of torque. What makes this powertrain particularly remarkable is that this hulking V8 can pull a maximum of 12,750 pounds, making it the most robust engine in the entire Ram 1500 lineup.

    Every model of the 2020 Ram 1500 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard, although this transmission can be tweaked in two different variants. A rear-wheel drivetrain is standard, although you can add a four-wheel drivetrain to any model in the lineup, which can transform the 2020 Ram 1500 into a truly capable off-roading truck.

    Ford F-150 Engines

    When it comes to a diversity of selection, the Ford F-150 also rises to the occasion giving drivers a plethora of models to choose from. The entry-level XL model comes standard with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that has an output of 290 hp and 265 lb-ft worth of torque and uses a 6-speed automatic transmission as well as a rear-wheel drivetrain to funnel all of that power to forward thrust.

    The base model XL can also be equipped with any of the variety of engine options, which expand from the base V6 to a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 that’s responsible for 325 hp and 400 lb-ft worth of torque. This turbocharged V6 also utilizes a 10-speed automatic transmission instead of a 6-speed and has a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds.

    Beyond this turbocharged V6 is an assortment of other V6 engines, including one of a turbo diesel variety that can tow 11,400 pounds and is rated at 250 hp and 440 lb-ft worth of torque. Although, there is only one V8 engine in the powertrain hierarchy, and it takes the form of a 5.0-liter V8 that offers top-ranking oomph with a rating of 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft worth of torque. In terms of engine power, the Ford F-150 is pretty equal to the Ram 1500. However, the Ram 1500 has higher capabilities in regards to full packages.

  • Exterior and Interior

    A closeup is shown of the 12-in Uconnect screen, available in a 2020 Ram 1500, winner of the screen war between 2020 Ram 1500 (new Ram) vs 2020 Ford F-150.

    Ins and Outs of the Ram 1500

    Unlike some competitor models, the 2020 Ram 1500 comes with four doors regardless of the model you decide to buy. That said, you still get two different body variants for the Ram 1500, which include a quad cab and crew cab, both of which seat six people comfortably. You’ll also get two different bed sizes as well in the Ram 1500, including one that measures in at 5-feet-7-inches and another at 6-feet-4 inches.

    The cabin of the Ram 1500 utilizes some pretty standard cloth upholstery and soft-touch plastics in base models. However, should you desire a more premium feel, you can upgrade these furnishings to include luxe materials like leather, wood, and brushed metal.

    On the subject of interior technology, the Ram 1500 starts strong, with a 5-inch touch-activated infotainment system that is powered by the latest Uconnect 3 infotainment software. This base infotainment system also comes with voice command functionality and Bluetooth connection for audio streaming. Things only grow from there as you upgrade the 2020 Ram 1500. Higher trims like the Laramie, come standard with a 7.0-inch gauge cluster, and a sprawling 8.4-inch infotainment screen that comes packed with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible software. This trim also has heated and cooled leather seats to add to the premium-feeling driving experience. All the way up at the Laramie Longhorn and Limited trims, the infotainment screen is stretched out to offer 12-inches of real estate. Also included in this decked-out option come semi-aniline leather, real wood accents, and dazzling LED headlights.

    Outside and Inside the F-150

    The Ford F-150 provides quite the sprawl of selection when it comes to exterior body stylings. You can purchase the Ford F-150 either with two doors or four. There is also a wide range of cab stylings, including a Regular Cab, SuperCab, and four-door SuperCrew cab. These cab variants play out in truck bed sizing too, offering potential buyers the option between a truck bed measuring in at 5-feet-6-inches, 6-feet-6-inches, or 8-feet.

    The Ford F-150 falls in line with other competitor models when it comes to interior amenities. Base models get a rather basic cloth and plastic dressed interior, meanwhile, higher trims pack on the luxury with genuine leather. Although, the base model XL is a tried and true work truck offering the bare minimum when it comes to modern comforts. You’ll find manual windows, an AM/FM radio, manual door locks, and flip-up seats, the bare basics.

    That said, you can certainly upgrade the offerings of the Ford F-150 should you desire to spend the extra cash for it. The higher-end Lariat, Platinum, Limited, and King Ranch add in far more modern comfort tech. These luxuries include an 8.0-inch infotainment touch-display that is powered with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a sprawling digital instrument cluster, satellite radio, and heated and cooled seating.

  • Safety

    A white 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie is parked in front of a metal building outside Costa Mesa, CA.

    Staying Safe in the Ram 1500

    When it comes to safety, the Ram 1500 pulls out all the stops. For starters, the 2020 Ram 1500 earned five stars from the NHTSA in its crash-tests. The IIHS also named the Ram 1500 a Top Safety Pick+. In lower trims, models come with a rather basic assortment of safety features, including six airbags, a rearview camera, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. Although, if you want equipment that’s a little more high-tech, you can find it in higher trims which expand the offerings to include blind-spot monitors, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and active lane control.

    Safety with the Ford F-150

    The Ford F-150 earned a five-star score by the NHTSA, although, when tested by the IIHS, this Ford pick-up only received a “Good” in all crash-tests. That said, the Ford F-150 can be equipped with some pretty high-tech safety gear in higher trims. Features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control, can be found in trim as low as the Lariat. However, they’re only included with an optional purchase. To get these features as standard, you’ll need to upgrade to the Limited trim model, which sports all of this equipment as standard, adding adaptive cruise control to the list of gear as well.

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