Both the F-150 and Ram 1500 are being introduced for 2009 with major overhauls, and both Ford and Dodge are airing TV commercials saying they have the tougher truck.
The market for these trucks has been cut in half during the last 4 years, with nearly 3 million pickups selling in 2004 and a projected 1.6 million this year. Which pickup is truly the toughest and most deserving of your cash?
I’m going to get to the bottom of this and tell you.
First, the 2009 Ford F-150:
The 2009 F-150 borrows it’s looks from last year’s Super Duty truck and creates one massive and intimidating front end, with a body to match. It’s offered in a near-endless array of trims with prices beginning around $20K and sailing all the way across the $40K barrier. The big news here is that all trim levels have a base 4.6L V8 engine. No more V6’s for the ol’ F-150!
Step up to the 5.4 V8 though and get slightly better fuel economy, to the tune of 15/20. Not bad for a mighty truck!
Innovation in the F-150 includes a trailer towing package that monitors your trailer and adjusts itself if it senses sway, giving you a level of trailer control never seen before. Speaking of trailers: the F-150 can tow up to 11,300 pounds and offers a payload capacity of 3,030 pounds.
Ride quality though is where the tradeoffs may come, as Ford continues to rely on the traditional rear leaf spring system. Why not though, since no self-respecting truck company would ever build a truck with sissy coil springs. Right?
Enter the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500:
It’s true; they broke the cardinal rule of truck-dom and are using coil springs on the rear. Albeit massive coil springs, but still…
Well not to worry! Dodge took a risk and it looks like everything’s going to work out just fine, though at the cost of not matching Ford’s tow numbers.
Ram is offered with a 3.7L V6, probably for under $20K. Prices and trim levels of course multiply from there, ending upwards of $40K for the top of the line version. Dodge’s 390 horsepower 5.7L V8 Hemi will tow a max of 9,100 pounds and achieve gas mileage of 13/18.
But those coil springs will provide a ride quality never before felt in a pickup.
So which truck should you buy? Well OK, I’ll let you tell me:
Better MPG and higher tow rating of the F-150, or a smoother ride and decent tow capacity with the Ram 1500?