The Ford F-Series lineup comprises the best-selling vehicle line in the US.
Functional differences are limited to towing and payload capacity.
The Ford F-Series is the best-selling vehicle product line in America. Those in the market for a new full-size truck might be curious about the differences between the 2019 Ford F-150 and the F-250. Below we’ll outline the relative capabilities of each and highlight the main areas in which they differ.
The F-150 was last fully redesigned for the 2015 model year, while the current generation F-250, F-350 and F-450, which make up the Ford "Super Duty" range, went on sale for 2017. For the first time since 1999, the F-150 and Super Duty trucks share the exact same cab. The current-generation Ford F-Series trucks make use of an aluminum body, making the lineup the only trucks on the market to do so. The aluminum components allow the trucks to shave more than 700 pounds off of their previous weights. Altogether, while the durability of the aluminum-bodied F-Series trucks was questioned early on, it hasn’t been in issue over the vehicle’s four years on sale.
The main differences between the F-150 and the F-250 start to present themselves when you look at engine options and suspension setups, which we’ll get into below.
2019 Ford F-150 Engines:
3.3-liter V6: 290 horsepower; 265 lb-ft
Miles per gallon — rear-wheel drive: 19 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving; 4-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined
2.7-liter Turbocharged V6: 325 hp; 400 lb-ft
MPG — RWD: 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined; 4WD: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined
5.0-liter V8: 395 hp; 400 lb-ft
MPG — RWD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined; 4WD: 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined
3.5-liter Turbo V6: 375 hp; 470 lb-ft
MPG — RWD: 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined; 4WD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined
3.5-liter High-Output (Limited & Raptor) Turbo V6: 450 hp; 510 lb-ft
MPG — 4WD: 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined
3.0-liter Turbodiesel: 250 hp; 440 lb-ft
MPG — RWD: 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined; 4WD: 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined
All F-150s come with a 10-speed automatic transmission except for examples fitted with the base-level 3.3-liter V6, which gets a 6-speed automatic. See the 2019 Ford F-150 models for sale near you
2019 Ford F-250 Engines:
6.2-liter V8: 385 hp; 430 lb-ft
6.7-liter Turbodiesel V8: 450 hp; 935 lb-ft
While the EPA doesn’t evaluate the fuel economy of heavy-duty pickups, expect pretty abysmal gas mileage from either of these engines. That said, when it comes to heavy-duty trucks, the diesel variant is typically more efficient. Regardless of engine choice, the F-250 comes with a 6-speed automatic as the only transmission option. So again, no manuals here. See the 2019 Ford F-250 models for sale near you
The cheapest, simplest work truck grade F-150 fitted with the base 3.3-liter V6 and no other options offers a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 1,990 pounds. In its most capable configuration fitted with the potent 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, the F-150 can tow up to a whopping 13,200 pounds and offers a max payload capacity of 3,320 pounds.
An entry-level F-250 starts with a towing capacity of 13,000 pounds, while on the most capable example, this figure jumps to 17,500 pounds with a standard hitch. Gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitches add to this figure. For more detailed specs, take a look at the 2019 Ford Towing Guide, which is readily available online.
As a whole, the Ford Super Duty range offers impressive, wide-ranging capabilities. A fully maxed out F-450 can tow up to 34,000 pounds and haul up to 7,630 pounds.
Most recreational and many commercial towing needs can be satisfied by a well-equipped F-150. An F-250, or even F-350 or F-450 makes the most sense for anyone towing heavy loads with regularity.
Another area where the F-150 and the F-250 differ is with regard to front suspension. The F-150 uses an independent front suspension, while the F-250, along with the rest of the Super Duty lineup, uses a solid front axle.
Excluding the Baja-ready Raptor, the F-250 can be had in the same exact trim levels as the F-150. The lineup starts with the basic work truck-grade XL model. From there, each trim levels adds more amenities, bigger infotainment screens, premium audio and nicer trim. Platinum and Limited models sit at the top of the pile, with the Limited offering high-end leather, real wood trim and a large dual-panel panoramic moonroof.
Given that they share a cab, the F-150 and the F-250 offer identical interiors with identical dimensions. Up front, either truck offers 40.8 inches of headroom and 43.9 inches of legroom. Crew Cab models offer an absolutely cavernous back seat, with 40.4 inches of headroom and 43.6 inches of legroom.
The F-150 offers short, standard and long beds, while the F-250 only offers a standard bed, (slightly longer than that of the F-150) and a long bed. While the F-150’s standard bed measures 6.5 feet and offers 62 cu ft. of cargo space, the F-250’s standard bed comes in at 6.75 feet and offers 65 cu ft. The long bed of either truck is 8.0 feet long and offers 77 cu ft. of room.
F-150 buyers who don’t plan to haul a lot can opt for the more manageable short bed which is 5.5 feet long and can swallow 53 cu ft. of cargo.
The F-150 and the F-250 are identical between their A- and C-pillars. That is, they use the exact same cabs. Styling ahead of the A-pillar is a different story though. The F-150 wears a tamer, subtler grille, hood and front fenders than the bigger, more aggressive looking F-250. The F-250 also has "Super Duty" stamped into hood, which is thicker and taller than that fitted to the F-150. The F-250 forgoes the 22-in wheels offered on the F-150 Limited in favor of 18-in wheels that are tougher and more capable of managing heavy loads. The F-250 also rides higher than the F-150 and features larger mirrors that can be extended to account for trailers.
Altogether, while their feature content is essentially the same, the F-250 forgoes some of the F-150’s style in favor of more functional components, given its heavy duty responsibilities.
Features & Tech
The F-150 and the F-250 offer the exact same infotainment tech. Both trucks are available with an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system running Ford’s Sync 3.0 software, which is generally regarded as being highly intuitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are included with Sync 3.0, as is 4G LTE with Wi-Fi.
Top-of-the-line Limited models come with a panoramic sunroof and a Bang & Olufsen-branded premium audio system. Ford also offers the F-Series with a retractable step and handle integrated into the bed and tailgate that are convenient for accessing loads. Additionally, both vehicles offer large, full-color driver information screens in their gauge clusters. One area where the F-150 and the F-250 differ is with regard to power outlets. While the F-150 offers two 12 volt outlets and two USB ports, the F-250 doubles this, offering a total of four and four.
The F-150 was awarded a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for earning scores of Good in all major categories. While the IIHS doesn’t test heavy-duty trucks, we’re willing to bet that the F-250 scores very similarly to the F-150.
Both the F-150 and the F-250 can be equipped with the same active safety features. These consist of forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning with vibrating feedback and parking assist. Both vehicles are also available with the same cameras and trailering features that make life easier for owners.
F-150 and F-250 quality and reliability should be the same. Ford products generally offer average reliability, but rest assured that if something breaks, parts and service are easy to come by. Ford offers a 3-year/36,000-mile basic and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The differences between the F-150 and the F-150 come down to towing and payload capacity. Both trucks offer the same interiors and amenities, and most of the same trim levels. The F-150 will suffice for the needs of most people, offering superior fuel economy and more comfortable driving dynamics given its lighter duty engines. Buyers needing to handle heavy loads with regularity though will likely prefer the added capability and higher towing and payload limits of the F-250. Find a Ford F-150 for sale or Find a Ford F-250 for sale