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2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 Ram 1500: Which Is Better?

  • The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America.

  • The Ram 1500 will be all new for 2018.

  • Both offer the same available cab and bed configurations.

Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2018 Ford F-150 review, and the 2018 Ram 1500 review.

If you’re considering a new 2018 Ram 1500, chances are you’re also considering a 2018 Ford F-150. Both vehicles offer a workhorse pedigree, but as far as the 2018 models go, one is simply more modern than the other.

Still, both the F-150 and Ram 1500 offer a number of trim levels and engine options that can make choosing which one is right for you seem a bit complicated. Below, we’ll compare the two and highlight the major differences that should factor into your purchase decision.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Exterior

Basic Specs

The best-selling F-150 was last all-new for the 2015 model year. The last redesign improved upon a number of powerful and efficient engine options, brought about modern features and technology and, somewhat controversially, introduced an aluminum body that helped the new F-150 to shed over 700 pounds vs. the previous generation model. Altogether, the aluminum body hasn’t proven problematic to customers like some expected it to, and it likely isn’t worth factoring into your decision — though its resulting fuel economy gains are. See the 2018 Ford F-150 models for sale near you

F-150 engine options include:

  • 3.3L V6: 290 horsepower; 265 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive earns 19 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, while the 4-wheel drive earns 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.
  • 2.7L Turbo V6: 325 hp; 400 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.
  • 5.0L V8: 395 hp; 400 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.
  • 3.5L Turbo V6: 375 hp; 470 lb-ft of toque. Rear-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

  • 3.5L High-Output Turbo V6: 450 hp; 510 lb-ft of torque. Four-wheel drive: 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined.
  • 3.0L Turbo Diesel: 250 hp; 440 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

The Ram 1500 was last fully redesigned for the 2009 model year. While it has received a number of updates over the years, the current model is, at its core, based on a decade-old design. This is starting to show in terms of engine options, available technology and overall refinement. Luckily, an all-new Ram 1500 is on the way for 2019, and should help to bring the model up to par with the current competition. Still, when you factor price into the equation, the 2018 Ram is still a viable option, as dealers are likely offering incentives in order to clear out space for the upcoming 2019 model. See the 2018 Ram 1500 models for sale near you

Ram 1500 engine options include:

  • 3.6L V6: 305 hp; 269 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

  • 5.7L V8: 395 hp; 410 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined.

  • 3.0L EcoDiesel V6: 240 hp; 420 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive: 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined; 4-wheel drive: 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

Ford offers the off-road ready, high-performance Raptor. The Ram 1500 is offered in an off-road ‘Rebel’ trim, although this model is a step below the Raptor in terms of performance.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Exterior


In base-model form, the F-150 can tow up to 7,700 pounds and offers a payload capacity of 1,990 pounds. Step up to the most capable model, equipped with the potent 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and these figures swell to 13,200 lbs and 3,230 lbs, respectively.

Entry-level Ram 1500s equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 offer towing capacity of 7,070 lbs and a max payload of 1,690 lbs. Equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and in the right configuration, these figures can reach 10,620 lbs for towing and 1,660 lbs for payload.

Overall, the F-150 offers considerably better payload and towing capacities than comparably equipped Ram 1500s.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Exterior


While the F-150 appears in the top half of most credible full-size truck reliability rankings, the current generation Ram 1500 tends to skew toward the bottom. The same goes for the Ford and Ram brands as a whole. While neither of these rankings will determine whether or not your truck will be able to perform truck-like duties, they are indicative of future resale value and reliability down the road.

Given their high production volume, parts and service for either vehicle should be relatively easy to come by.

At 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain, both vehicles offer identical warranty coverage.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Interior

Interior Design & Quality

The F-150 further sets itself apart from the Ram 1500 with regard to interior refinement and features.

As both vehicles are available in a variety of trims, from work trucks to high-end luxury models, their interiors range from utilitarian to luxurious. With that, the F-150 sets the standard for luxury in the full-size truck market, with high-end Limited models offering a panoramic moonroof, massaging seats, and Bang & Olufsen sound system, among other things.

Given its aging design, the Ram 1500 feels old inside. That said, a high-end Limited trim level is offered with wood trim, leather seats and leather trimmed interior. Still, the Ram 1500 Limited doesn’t approach the feature content of the F-150 Limited.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Exterior


The F-150 offers more front seat and rear seat passenger space than the Ram 1500. Up front, the F-150 offers 40.8 inches of headroom to the Ram 1500’s 39.9 inches, and 43.9 inches of legroom to the Ram 1500’s 41.0. Around back, the difference is even greater. The F-150 offers 40.4 inches of back seat headroom to the Ram’s 39.9 inches, and the F-150 offers a class-leading 43.6 inches of legroom, while the Ram 1500 offers 40.3 inches.

Both the F-150 and Ram 1500 offer three different bed lengths. While you can think of them as short, medium and long, their dimensions differ slightly between the two vehicles. The Ram 1500’s short bed is 5.7 feet, the medium-sized bed is 6.4 feet and the long bed is 8.0 feet. On the F-150, the short bed is 5.5 feet, the medium bed is 6.5 feet and, like the Ram, the long bed is 8.0 feet.

While the Ram’s short bed is longer than the F-150’s, the F-150 offers slightly more room, with 53 cu ft. of space to the Ram’s 50. Step up to the medium-sized bed, and the Ram 1500 offers 58 cu ft. to the 62 cu ft. in the F-150. Move up to the long bed, which is the same length on either vehicle, and the F-150 offers 77 cu ft. to the Ram 1500’s 75.

Also worth noting is that the F-150 is said to offer considerably more interior storage space than the Ram 1500 when it comes to cubbies and compartments for things like water bottles, electronics and other equipment.

2018 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ram 1500 Exterior

Features & Tech

Optional in the 2018 F-150 is an 8-in touchscreen complete with Ford’s highly intuitive Sync 3.0 infotainment system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are included, as is 4G LTE Wi-Fi compatibility.

Other desirable features available on the F-150 include an available panoramic moonroof and a new-for-2018 Bang & Olufsen sound system, along with Ford’s hideaway step and handle located in the tailgate.

The Ram 1500 offers Chrysler’s UConnect infotainment system, which is also highly regarded. This is delivered through an available 8.4-in touchscreen and also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Like the F-150, the Ram 1500 also offers available 4G LTE with mobile Wi-Fi.

The Ram 1500 is available with lockable compartments located on either side of the bed, known as the Rambox Cargo Management System.

Both vehicles feature additional display screens in their gauge clusters and offer two 12-volt outlets and two USB ports.


In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2018 Ford F-150 was awarded scores of Good in all major categories, earning it a Top Safety Pick designation. The Ram didn’t score as well. While it earned scores of Good in three of the five categories, it was given undesirable scores of Marginal in driver-side small front overlap and roof strength tests.

In terms of driver assistance safety features, the F-150 offers adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and parking assist.

The 2018 Ram 1500 only offers front and rear parking sensors, and only on upper trim levels. This complete lack of modern safety features is another sign of the Ram’s aging design.

Hands down, the F-150 is the safer vehicle.

Autotrader’s Advice

In terms of updates and modernization, the F-150 has received considerably more attention than the Ram 1500 over the years, making it the better pickup when it comes to 2018 models.

If you’re into special editions, the Ram 1500 has many to offer, including the Express, Harvest and Night editions for 2018. Also worth reiterating is that the Ram 1500 will be all-new for 2019; marking the vehicle’s first full redesign in a decade. As dealers try to make room for the new model, there are likely deals becoming available on the outgoing 2018 model, offering additional value to customers.

Still, we recommend the 2018 F-150 over the 2018 Ram 1500 thanks to its more powerful and fuel efficient engine offerings, more modern interior and available driver assistance safety features, among other things. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, and is simply the better truck in 2018. This comparison will likely get more challenging, though, when it comes time to compare 2019 models. Find a Ford F-150 for sale or Find a Ram 1500 for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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