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|22/32||Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)||20/27|
In the world of pickup trucks, the competition is as hot as the Sahara desert at high noon. This should be of no surprise as trucks have gained tremendous ground in popularity and can be seen all over the roads and highways of America. But there are two models of this automotive segment that stand out from all of the rest, and that would be the Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150. All things considered, both choices would make excellent additions to anyone’s garage, but as we are a culture of competition, only one can stand above the rest when it comes to the 2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Ford F-150.
There is a lot to admire in the Ford F-150, including performance, features, and towing capacity. The Ram 1500 offers a lot as well, including innovative trims, a functional cabin, and a desirable infotainment system. The Ram 1500 also boasts a diverse and compelling trim lineup, with the TRX a much talked about choice. We get it; you want to hear all about the details that make these two truck choices so popular with drivers. So, let's dive in and see which of these trucks comes out on top.
The Ram 1500 only offers one transmission choice, an eight-speed automatic, but there are several engines from which you can choose. The standard engine in the Ram 1500 is the 3.6-liter V6, which includes Ram’s eTorque hybrid system for more power off of the line. The V6 boasts 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, which is acceptable. The fuel economy is decent enough, and you can expect to get about 20 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. Of course, if you are driving the four-wheel drive model, you can expect those numbers to dip slightly.
If you are seeking something with a little more power, there is the 3.0-liter turbodiesel that will give you 260 horsepower with 480 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy on this engine choice is a little better, and you can expect to garner about 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. But, again, you can expect these numbers to drop if you are choosing the four-wheel-drive model.
We know there are big engine fans out there who are all about the V8 under the hood. After all, there is no replacement for displacement. But we digress; the 5.7-liter V8 is available with or without the hybrid assist. Whether you opt for the hybrid assist, horsepower remains the same at 395 with 410 lb-ft of torque. Of course, the hybrid will give you better fuel economy, but it’s still a V8, and as such, you can’t expect great numbers.
Let’s talk for a bit about the 6.2-liter V8 Hellcat offered in the TRX trim. This is the engine that has people talking around the water cooler at work. The Hellcat will give you the ride of your life behind the whopping 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Do you want to get from point A to point B in a hurry? The Hellcat will go from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 4.1 seconds. We are not giving out fuel economy numbers because, quite frankly, nobody is choosing the Hellcat option for good gas mileage.
Ford offers six engine options for the F-150, and they are all excellent choices. There is the 3.0-liter Power Stroke which boasts 250 horsepower, and diesel engine enthusiasts will enjoy this choice. There is also the 3.3-liter V6 that will give you 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. There is even a V8 option, the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT, that delivers 400 horsepower.
In the end, the engine choices, for the most part, are pretty comparable. But when you stick the Hellcat option into the mix, well, nothing that Ford has to offer right now can come close to this powerful engine.
The Ram 1500 offers trim levels with a variety of features and options. Starting at the base model, the Tradesman, you enjoy a few features, including remote keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, and an electric parking brake. In addition, the Tradesman is available in a crew or quad cab, and you can either utilize a short bed or a long bed depending on your desires and needs.
We skip ahead to the Lanrime, which will give you all of the goodies you get in the lower trim levels plus a few additional features. Let’s start with the exterior, where you will get 20-inch premium painted wheels. On the interior, you will enjoy the 7-inch cluster display as well as a heated steering wheel and front seats. If you are into black, you can choose the Night Edition package and enjoy black wheels, a black grille, and black exhaust tips.
Without a doubt, there are drivers out there who are looking into the Ram 1500 for recreational purposes. That is, they want to take their truck on off-road adventures on the weekends. For the outdoor enthusiast, we would recommend the Rebel trim, which comes with the features you need to get you to those off-road camping sites and other destinations. The Rebel trim features a rear locking axle, a one-inch factory lift, and all-terrain tires for better grip on those roads less traveled.
If you are going to use your Ram 1500 for typical daily use or to shmooze customers while driving them to a lunch meeting, you want them to enjoy a luxurious ride. If this is the case, then you have to look into the Limited trim; it comes with a huge 12-inch infotainment system screen with built-in navigation and a Harman Kardon premium audio system with 19 speakers. You read that correctly, 19 speakers.
Let’s stop for a moment and talk a bit about the trim levels available for the Ford F-150. First, the base-level XL enjoys desirable features, including 17-inch wheels, an eight-inch center stack screen, and a rearview camera. Skipping to the Lariat, this trim level boasts a 12-inch productivity screen, chrome front and rear bumpers, and dual-zone temperature control.
The Platinum trim level sees the addition of several luxury and convenience features, including heated seats and steering wheel, ambient lighting, and a wireless charging pad. There are also exterior upgrades that include heated side mirrors, running boards, and LED mirror-mounted spotlights.
All in all, the trim levels of these two trucks offer relatively similar features and options. But where there is a serious discrepancy is when we compare the top trim levels of both models. While the F-150 Raptor is an excellent trim level with plenty of features and highlights, it just isn’t enough to overtake the Ram 1500 TRX, which is in a class all on its own. The Raptor features a 3.5-liter High-Output V6 engine that produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. On its own, that is an incredible amount of power. However, it simply won't be able to keep up with the TRX.
In addition to the most powerful engine in its class, the TRX trim offers style, an aggressive look, and a functional interior. The interior is refined and offers several luxury and convenience features that include leather and microsuede options, heated seats, a head-up display, and carbon fiber accents. On the outside, the TRX is eight inches wider than the other 1500 models and enjoys an intimidating look with bulging fenders, a scooped hood, and 18-inch wheels. And let’s not forget that the TRX is the most powerful street-legal pickup currently on the road, with a whooping output of 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque from its 6.2-liter Supercharged Hemi V8.