F-150 vs RAM 1500: Why the F-150 is a Better Buy

Unless you're a hardcore brand loyalist, you're going to comparison shop before you buy your next truck. If you're living in Alberta, that comparison is usually between the Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500. While both truck lines offer great value, there are some major differences between the two. These differences help explain why the F-150 has been Canada's go-to pickup for the last 50 years. When it comes down to it--F-150 vs RAM 1500--the choice to buy the F-150 is easier than you might think.

The F-150 comes out on top in four key areas: Safety, Performance, Fuel Efficiency, and Entertainment.

Let's go over them together, one by one.

#1: Safety Rating

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluates vehicles based on two safety measures: Crash-worthiness (how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash) and Crash Avoidance and Mitigation (technology that can prevent a crash or lessen its severity).

The IIHS is one of the most valued sources on safety in the automotive world. When they award a vehicle with a rating of "Good", the highest score you can earn on either of their evaluations, you can trust that a vehicle is an excellent choice when it comes to safety.

That being said, the 2016 F-150 is the only truck to ever receive the Large Pickup TSP (Top Safety Pick) from the IIHS. It also earned the highest score in roof strength, rear crash protection, side impact protection, small overlap front protection, and moderate overlap front protection.

The Ram's IIHS safety scores on the other hand, don't compare. The truck scored a "Marginal" (second lowest score) in two of the five categories of crashworthiness; small overlap front and roof strength.

Safecar.gov is another highly trusted source for safety information on vehicles. Powered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), safecar.gov gave the F-150 a perfect score on all measures of safety, except awarding it a four-star on the rollover test (unfortunately the F-150 still can't defy physics... yet).

Crash Test Dummy in a crashed vehicle
The F-150: very low intrusion on the door and instrument panel (Photo: IIHS)

Crash Test Dummy in a crashed vehicle
The RAM 1500: extensive intrusion on the door and hinge pillar (Photo: IIHS)

How did the Ram do in the crash test? The Side Crash measure was the only five-star rating the pickup received.

The images above show the Small Overlap Front Collision Test performed they performed. While the F-150's test showed a very low intrusion on the door and instrument panel, the Ram 1500 has extensive intrusion on the door and hinge pillar. The results from the Ram 1500's test indicates drivers are likely to experience a high risk injury to the left leg in an accident of this type. The Ford-150's test on the other hand, showed the pickup is more likely to keep you safe in a similar type of accident.

#2: Performance

When it comes to performance, the F-150 bests the Ram 1500 thanks to its 3.5 Ecoboost V6 engine. With a ton of power--365 HP and 420 lb. of torque--and agile handling, I guarantee you'll fall in love with the F-150 after just one test drive.

Why is the 3.5 V6 engine better than a 5.0 L V8? The simple answer is that the new Ford EcoBoost V6 engine lacks the lag that's commonly found in turbo engines. With intuitive engineering, Ford was able to combine power with efficiency on the 3.5 L EcoBoost. And with 365 hp. and 420 lb. torque, as well as a Best-in-Class towing capacity of 12,200 lb. (the RAM tops out at 10,700 lbs.), the 3.5 L V6 EcoBoost is the best engine that Ford's ever made.

#3: Fuel Efficiency

The F-150 is the winner when it comes to fuel efficiency,.

When equipped with a 2.7 L EcoBoost V6 engine, the pickup earns 10.2,/7.5 L/100 km for city/highway driving.

You do lose a little power with this option, but if you're planning on doing everyday towing and hauling, this version of the F-150 is the perfect choice. Not only is it versatile, it saves you major money at the pumps because you're burning less fuel.

The Ram 1500 with 3.0 L EcoDiesel V6 is the next closest fuel efficient option, earning a rating of 11.2 L/100 km in the city and 8.11 L/ 100 km on the highway. Although the numbers are close, the F-150 still outperforms the 1500.

3.5 Liter Ecoboost Engine Close Up
The 2017 F-150 EcoBoost Engine: a thing of beauty (Photo: Ford Motor Company)

#4: Media and Entertainment

Are you like me, in that you can't stand slow, clunky response times with touch screens? With the F-150, you'll never have that problem in your vehicle ever again.

With the F-150's Sync 3 and Ram's Uconnect, the responsiveness you enjoy with your phone is now available in your vehicle. Both trucks also have voice recognition/Bluetooth features so you can sync your truck with any iPhone or Android device.

What separates the F-150 from other trucks on the market, including the Ram 1500, is something called 911 Assist®. This feature is the latest innovation in the safety technology game. Owners will find it incredibly useful, especially those of us who live in Alberta.

Imagine for a minute that you're driving at night and snows begins to fall quite heavily. Without warning, your tire blows and you lose control. Your truck swerves into oncoming traffic, and you miss a fatal collision by a matter of inches. You're in the ditch and your heart is racing. Now what?

In these types of situations, wouldn't you want to know that 911's already been called and help is on its way? That's what Ford's 911 Assist® is all about. The system searches the area for any cell phone that's currently connected to Sync 3. It then overrides the Bluetooth to connect, and then calls 911. It can even send the GPS location, impact speed, and if it was a rear, front, side collision or a rollover. This lets first respondents know exactly what they're dealing with the second they get to the scene.

911 Assist is a cutting-edge new system that helps keep you safe and gives you peace of mind in tough situations, like an accident. The F-150 is the only truck you can buy right now that has this feature.

F-150 vs RAM 1500: Who Wins?

By now, it should be clear that the F-150 comes out on top.

Both trucks are capable options, especially when it comes to towing anything above 10,000 lb. of cargo. When the Ram taps out, though, the F-150 still has more muscle to flex. The F-150 has a Best-in-Class payload rating -- 3,270 lb. -- when equipped with a 5.0 L engine and a Heavy-Duty Payload Package. It also has a class leading towing capacity of 12,200 lb. max, provided that it's properly equipped. The Ram 1500 can only afford 10,700 lb.

Towing is also easier with the F-150, thanks to innovative features like Trailer Backup Assist, Dynamic Hitch Assist, a Smart Trailer Tow Connector, and a Tow/Haul Driving Mode that uses engine braking to take pressure off the brakes.

In the interest of fairness, the RAM 1500 is the cheaper option. But if you're financing, the F-150 will end up costing an extra $10-$20 a month, which is negligible when you consider all the different ways it out performs the RAM 1500:

  • Towing: F-150
  • Payload: F-150
  • Fuel Efficiency: F-150
  • Engine Performance: F-150

You don't have to rule out an F-150 if you're on a tight budget. At Kentwood Ford, we can find an F-150 that meets all your needs.

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