Shopping Advice For Full-Size Pickups


Our friends at KickingTires put together an update every so often letting new-car shoppers know what kinds of deals there are out there for popular models. Part of the exercise includes trying to keep the vehicles as identically equipped as possible in order to see which vehicle is truly the best value.

We know these vehicles may not be exactly what you're looking for as you shop for a new mode of transportation, but it will give you a ballpark idea what to anticipate when walking onto the dealer lot.

The vehicles in this exercise are the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150. Each model had to be a 4x2 crew cab model with a V-8, one of the most popular configurations for any of the truck makers. Also, we had several other requirements as well. In the end, with currently available financing and incentives, the difference between the two ordered pickups was just over $7,000 certainly not an insignificant amount of money. 

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Can't argue with 0%

Most of the time, unless you have a truly horrible interest rate, the cash back is the better deal in the long run.

I'd pay the extra for the F-150. You get what you pay for in the quaility of the Ford.

On my 2nd F150 currently (2009 and 2012) i must say the that the details listed for the Ford are just about spot on, no lie. I can not speak on behalf of the dodge side though.. In my opinion the money i spent on the ford was well worth every dollar. Having a vehicle that can show off doing 0-60 in 6.82 seconds and also having one with balls to pull 11k in weight sure comes in handy. again, as for the dodge, i can't speak.

~ Jay J.

Interesting comparison. If I wanted a short box truck, I'd have no problem driving off the lot with a Ram. The Ram looks better. These are the only brands that offer two tone paint. I like that option because I don't see that many. It is one way to get a truck that looks more unique. I've only seen one other 2 tone Ford like mine, but I've seen tons of solid silver, or dark silver ones.

That's a big difference especially if purchased with credit.
A total difference of over $14k which is almost 50% of the Ram price.

Anyone that finances at 5.24% for 60 months is stupid or has bad credit. My bank has 2.75% interest right now and Ford will beat it.

GM will beat this too. I can't help but notice this comparison is rigged in favor of Fiat. Ram's website says 0% is only good for up to 36 months, not the 60% stated by Kicking Tire, and not all buyers will qualify for 0%. Kicking Tire needs to try harder.

As low as 0% APR financing for up to 36 months plus up to 1,000 Cash Allowance on select models. Ford well qualified buyers. Not all buyers will qualify.

This article presupposes that the buyer would want to buy a RAM over an F150, even at a $7K discount. I don't buy into that notion at all.

When people go out to buy a new car or truck, most have a preconceived notion what they want and how much they want to pay for it.

Given the parameters of this article, if I had to make this choice, I would choose to buy an F150 over a RAM any day, no matter what the price differential between similarly equipped trucks. There is a reason why the F150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, year after year. There's a reason why the RAM lags in sales. Do the research.

In the real world, I owned Silverado and I owned F150. I now CHOOSE to drive a 2011 Tundra DC LB 5.7 SR5. And it cost me at least $5K more than similarly equipped domestic pickup trucks. IMO, well worth every penny! Will happily do it again. The best truck I ever owned, bar none.

Buying the lowest price anything doesn't mean you're buying the best. That's the problem with all these government contracts given to the lowest bidder. Something's gotta give.

Ditto with trucks. RAM vs F150? No contest! F150 wins hands down at any price.

I'd pay the extra for the F-150. You get what you pay for in the quaility of the Ford.

@Daryl, exactly. Interior quality, body quality, the good looks combined with the New engines make the truck untouchable to me. Plus the SD's have a high frame and straight axle up front. Not to mention if you need a car or suv you can get that same Ford quality and stay within the same brand name which I prefer.

If you pay cash, like me, you get even better prices. THOSE WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND INTEREST PAY IT; THOSE WHO DO EARN IT!!!!

does paying cash still work in the states? In Canada I have tried a few times and so has my dad to pay cash on a vehicle to get a better price and every time they would not budge on price, reason being is they make their money off loans/payments and are not interesting in rewarding someone with a lower price when they are not making anything off a loan. Everything i have heard is there really isnt alot of money in selling new cars/trucks its the 2nd hand cars where they make the moola.

Say I'm looking to buy a truck that's 6-8 years old, listed at, say $11000. is it safe to say to a dealer "I'll give you $9000 cash IF you reduce the price of the truck in such a way that tax, title registration AND the price of the truck do not exceed $9000." I've got the cash, so I'd like to think I hold a bit more power than the average buyer, but would this be considered lowballing?

If the Ram is your first choice, price not withstanding, great. Otherwise you'll take a hit on the quality of life everday, just a little bit especially everytime you see an F-150 in the color and trim you would've chosen. Life is too short as it is and you'll take a bigger financial hit when you trade the Ram in sooner.

I would take the Ram over the F-150 regardless of the price. I'd rather not be a sheep f-150 buyer. The Ram is the better looking truck, better interior, the Hemi V8 speaks for itself, and ford has no answer for the Ram Box. It's really not even fair for the Ford if you go into it with an open mind. Key word there open mind, not a mindless minion ford buyer with perceived notions.


For years Ram trucks were thousands more than the Ford,finally Dodge wants to be a real player so they priced their trucks inline with Ford and GM which both were thousands lower than Dodge for decades !!

@ Highdesertcat :

@ Daryl :

Ford has been lower priced than Dodge for decades,hence the higher sales numbers,just NOW Ram is lower priced than a Ford !
I dont know how you can say a Ford is better than a Dodge,do your research I did,remember the Ford spark plug in head syndrome late 90's until 2010's,fires ,and in the 90's Ford transmissions were also very problematic among other Ford bad quality issues ....
RAM WINS !! Plus the HEMI V-8 gets practically the same mpg as a eco boost 6 shooter ! So the HEMI V-8 sips as much fuel as a 6 cyl !

@ JayMurch :

The Dodge RAM 1500 CrewCab does 6.4 seconds (and now quicker) 0-60 with a fully loaded CrewCab 4x4 (2009 model) The 2012's are quicker due to a lower first gear in the trans..Also the RAM R/T is the quickest truck around 5 sec range 0-60's and mid 13's in the 1/4 when you get the tire spinning under control !

Anybody who thinks they are willing to pay full MSRP for a Ford pickup, are really drinking and loving the Koolaid this site is serving up. Around my area they are discounted nearly as heavily as GM & Ram.

If you set parameters for one specific type of truck and see which brand has the lowest price for that specific configuration, the "best buy brand" would change practically every time. For example, because one of the parameters set was crew cab they had to bump the Ford up to an XLT instead of doing a more apples to apples comparison of a Ram Express with a Ford STX. With that XLT you get lots more features than the Express and likewise pay a little more for it. Another example, if you compared a Lariat to a Laramie to a LTZ, the results may be different. The financing is also not completely accurate to throw in as others mentioned because 1. only certain buyers qualify and 2. personal banks can get you better rates depending. Then, if you want to get real serious, throwing in MSRP is also not true indication because people don't pay that price; they negotiate off it which depends on a whole host of factors (customer, dealership, time of the year, salesman, etc).

BOTTOM LINE: If you are in the market to buy a truck on a configuration that you want, you need to do the homework yourself with several dealers to come up with prices to determine what is the best buy FOR YOU. These "comparison" articles aren't going to do you any good at all.

@ 1954

Why anybody would pay that much more for any apples to apples pickup is ridiculous.

Nothing against the F150 at all but I'd just wait until there's more incentives on it especially knowing it's only a matter of time until it happens.

In Canada they have a $7500 rebate on them. All fullsize are carrying big discounts except for Tundra.

@ Four Barrel

There's no gearing change. They have the same transmission as before. The 6 speed 1500 is a marketing gimmick since all it does is allow for manual access to the other second gear. In drive, it works the same as the 2011 and there's no gearing changes. The HD Hemi has a proper 6-speed, mayb that's what you meant?

It's not apples to apples. It's a lower trim Express vs XLT. Apples to apples would be close to SLT vs XLT. I would pay more for the XLT because you get a bigger cab, load flat floor, better quality, longer bed option. You get what you pay for.

It's not apples to apples. It's a lower trim Express vs XLT. Apples to apples would be close to SLT vs XLT. I would pay more for the XLT because you get a bigger cab, load flat floor, better quality, longer bed option. You get what you pay for.

- also more features and payload on the Ford. Apples to apples? Not even close.

0% is also a gimmick as they don't show all of the incentives you would miss by not taking their financing. Also as was said earlier, the dealer can and will just state you do not qualify for the 0% interest rate.


Ford loses again!


Rams are better trucks and better deals.

Ram beats Ford and Chevy during truck month and all month long!

Everybody, Check out this comparison and see for yourself.

@ Four Barrel. Dodge probably makes decent trucks now but my Brother owned a 2006 and after 3 transmissions he finnaly gave up on it. Not to mention all the other crap that kept it in the shop. Water pump, A/C, electronics. You name it and it happened to that dodge. He had already had a chevy as a company truck and said between it and his dodge, he spent more time at the dealers shop than he did working. He has a 2009 F150 he bought new and now he has no problems. Now I don't have to pick him up at the shop anymore. Thank you Lord!!!!


I would love to have another Ford truck someday as the one I had was a good one. But I'm not the luckiest guy in the world and just can't do it now because of the poor powertrain warranty, especially with new engines. Please Ford, quit the tough talk and match Chevy and Ram. I drive 20,000k or more a year, so it makes a difference to me.

Keith, I call B.S.

I have the same generation Ram, and I have had it to the dealer three times: once for a recall and twice for warranty work (passenger side weather strip tore, and the power rear window was manufactured wrong and vibrated). That was all in the first year of owning the truck, now going on the 4th year of ownership, and 3 years without visiting a dealer.

It has been proven that the 545RFE is just as reliable as every other competitor’s transmission. Stay tuned, I'll hunt up the article.

I was a Ford guy until changing jobs ,my current employer has Dodge Ram trucks and range from 2003-2011 all but 3 have Hemi V-8's,2 have the 4.7 (1 is a 08 310 hp 4.7 that eats my 5.4) and 1 diesel,and the highest one has 260,000 miles and is a Hemi.
I was curious about the engine /trans/diff and what work they performed on them and was shocked to find out none had any major work ever,all orig trans rears,front ends engines ect..just oil changes,plugs,tires,brakes,batteries and 2 had alternators,1 had a starter but all over the 100,000 mile mark ! I was first given a 03 Ram 2500 Hemi and once I proved myself I moved up,now roll in a 09 1500 Hemi with 70,000 it drives better than my babied 08 Ford F-150,my next truck is going to be a Ram 1500 Hemi proven bullet proof !

FYI,I found out the reason Chrysler scores low on consumers ect is some models the brake rotors wear out around 20,000,other than that they are reliable and problem free.

My F-150 was fairly good except the the headlights went dead at night,then came back on,then off then on,electrical short they changed several electrical components under warranty,and took them 3 weeks to sort it out ! Other than that the cold start knock Ford seems to have,other than that at 43,000 it is o.k but that knock really bothers me,and after driving a 200,000 mile Ram on cold start ups no odd noises,I am hooked,especially the 09-up are real fun beasts to drive,just awesome.

@Bobby Lou-Keith Frankinson
The name you posted under is funny.

@ Bobby Lou-Keith Frankinson Your experience with the trucks at your company is typical for any truck owner of any brand. I think the results of the J.D. power survey likely indicate your chances of getting a lemon may be higher and/or if you get a lemon it could be a real bad one. With the averages they obtained, if you have customers with no problems then that means you have customers with at least 2 problems to make up the average.

Four Barrel: I've owned a 2006 F150 XLT 5.4, also a Silverado, but I don't care to own either one again.

These days I CHOOSE to drive a 2011 Tundra DC LB 5.7 SR5. It does everything the Silverado and the Ford could do except the Tundra does it better with more finesse plus better ride and handling.

The point about the article I wanted to make, when it comes to choosing a RAM over an F150? No way! It doesn't matter if they're giving the F150 away. If it's junk, no one will buy it.

And the annual sales numbers tell the whole story. The F150 is the best selling vehicle in America. The RAM not so much.

@High Desert Cat: still trying to figure out what the Tundra does with more finesse then the Ram and F-150. The last $30,000 shootout showed the Tundra didn't stop better loaded or autocross that great. It raced up a 7% grade pretty quick, but I aint all about racing my truck, it's more then sufficient. I guess if you want to tow 8,000 pounds the Tundra 6 speed (not a bad choice of gears) and engine might be a better combo. Sorry the I-Force puts out no more than a 5.7 Hemi, sorry you don't like pushrods if you look at K&N website before they put on their air filter kits they dyno them at their place. Yeah, the Hemi peaks at 400 rpm higher, and makes as much torque at 3600. The ride? Well that's opinion. Ford has done a few tests on you tube, of course a person has to wonder how many tests they never have showed cause they got beat. I'll give you credit, the Tundra with it's gearing would have won that Davis Dam shootout, but they didn't want to compare it to the F-150, lol! I think the Rams sales speak alot there considering they don't have a proper 6 speed. The 545 5/6 speed does fine for most of us. Hurts some for towing real heavy and would run quicker if it was a 6 or 8 speed. Just watch the sales go up next year, it's gonna happen. Better transmissions are on the way, and are in the new Hemi 2500. It doesn't have near the problems Ford had with theirs. We don't all tow 8,000 + pounds all the time, if I did I would just get a diesel truck. Want bang for your buck, get a Ram.

Rams are great trucks but theyre geared way too high to get good fuel mileage. I have watched many fords jump off the line quicker than the hemi, and its a hemi. It carries a prestigious name. I do like the coil over spring ride, it sounds like its very comfortable. I got my first ford truck and unless ford falls off the map, i will continue to buy the most innovating truck which isnt chevy,gm,nissan,toyota, or ram.

If I were in the market for a half ton today, the Ford would be my first choice. The 0% incentive would have me drop by a Dodge dealership though. With a little patience, I'm sure there will be a dealer incentive fairly comperable in the next few weeks. For those who said it's plain worth it, you have every reason to be proud of your truck but you might want to take some more pride in your credit score.

As a consumer I'm glad to see great deals on great trucks. As a shareholder I'm thrilled to see high profits on high volume models.

@ Glance, call it what you want but it happened. Look up all the articles you want but that won't fix what happened to his truck.

@TRX4 Tommy
"Sorry the I-Force puts out no more than a 5.7 Hemi, sorry you don't like pushrods if you look at K&N website before they put on their air filter kits they dyno them at their place. Yeah, the Hemi peaks at 400 rpm higher, and makes as much torque at 3600."

Im glad you bought up the 5.7L iforce and 5.7L Hemi as I have been studying both engines to see which is a better truck engine and I want PUTC to correct me if I have something wrong in my understanding (THIS IS NOT A BASH OF ANY ENGINE OR BRAND).

I should start off by saying I have always had the undertsanding that a longer stroke was better for torque and a bigger bore would allow for more top end HP

That logic led me to look up the stroke of some engines and compare the first was the 5.7L iforce and 5.7L Hemi which have same displacement but are completely different. The first difference is the Hemi is a OHV and the iforce is a DOHC and I have always thought that a DOHC the same size as a OHV would produce more power due to the fact that DOHC are more high rev. As we know that is not the case with the 5.7L Hemi and 5.7L iforce as the OHV makes more power. I went and looked at the specs for both engines and noticed the 5.7L Hemi has a larger bore but smaller stroke than the 5.7L iforce (also the 5.7L ifoce has the same bore as the 4.6L but a longer stroke) and

As many of you may know I have not been in favor of the 5.0L Coyote as I have said stuff like "I like the 5.4L more than the 5.0L" I have also said " I think Ford should have stroked the 5.0L to 5.4L." I have also noticed that the 5.4L has a longer stroke and smaller bore than the current 5.0L I also noticed the 5.4L had a longer stroke than the 5.7L iforce.

Does anybody have a stock dyno of both 5.7L's as I would think that the 5.7L iforce would generate more low end torque and make a better truck engne. The 5.7L iforce is not used in anything other than the Tundra and large SUV's and the 5.7L Hemi is more versatile and used throughout the Chrysler line up.

@Allistar: it's all in the 1st gear ratio. A 4.17 to 1 Ford first gear will move it quicker then Dodges 3 to 1. The Dodge 3 to 1 first gear was pretty good at a time when tires were smaller, and also compared to 2.74 and 2.50 gear ratios used before it. The 3 to 1 ratio is still decent, but the Fords 4.17 with a 3.55 rear gear with a heavier Ford crew cab with less power and torque from a 5.0 at the higher rpm it move it quicker then a Dodge crew with the 3 to 1 1st and 3.92 gears and the Hemi. It's not because the Hemi, it's also probably the main reason the Ecoboost F-150 out pulled the Hemi Ram up the Davis Dam comparo. Less then 4 seconds? 10 miles or so? It's about the gear. As for Dodges having too much gear for mileage, look at the 3.73 x .69 6th gear ford vs 3.92 x .67 Dodge final gear. Pretty close, or actually more rpm if choose the Ford 3.55 vs Dodge 3.55. Plus in most trim levils Ford uses tires that are an inch smaller then Dodges highest, lots of 32" Ford tires Vs. Dodge 33"s. Fords even have the smallest tires on their trucks, lighter and less effort, plus less tread resistance. I might not have a "perfect gear ratio with a great crawl ratio", but then again Dodge is not going through issues with their trans like Ford is. Sure there are some current Dodge trans problems popping up here and there, nothing like Fords current 6 speed. No slamming into 1st gear....nuff said. I'd have a Tundra 6 speed myself, haven't heard much negative there. (it's just some of the rest of the Tundra I don't care for) Ram will have some 6 and 8 speeds out there to remedy that and the Hemi will shine again.

You better have more money then that if you buy the Ford. Their warranty does not compare to GM or Dodge's warranty. That means you pay for repairs sooner and they will be there with a Ford.

Save up and pay cash, that's the cheapest way to do it, I started saving up for my next new truck a month after I bought my current one, The money in the bank will earn some interest, plus you'll save a bundle on financing interest.

A discount is only as good for a buyer for a brand they want. If the buyer is not sure what brand or if they are not particularily brand loyal then it would be a determining factor. I would only consider trade-in value if I were to keep a vehicle 5 years or less. If you keep a truck 10 or more years then trade-in value is not that important. The important thing is to get something you like and that you want to keep and keep it for a long time. This is true whether you drive a Ford, RAM, Chevy, GMC, Toyota, or Nissan. I would not buy a new vehicle because of a discount, rebate, or no interest loan unless I was ready to buy a new vehicle. Unless you drive more than the average person you are better off taking care of your vehicles and driving them at least 10 years. Save the money that you spend on buying new vehicles every few years and invest it toward your retirement. This is my opinion and not shared by many but then I am closer to retirement than many of you.

Although i lean towards ford, i serious consider any truck from the big three.

Support our american trucks so that they stay near american made and that north american automakers keep their infrastructure here. Competition is good, but too much is bad. More competition lowers the price at first but price wars will drive businesses out and the supply will be reduced forcing the price back out again. Lets keep outsourcing to a minimum. Canada and mexico are as far as Ford should go for parts.

@ Greg. Good dodge and chevy has longer warrantees than FORD because you will really need that extra coverage when you break something way into the life of your truck and you wonder why. FORD'S don't break like the others do. FORD wins and dodge and chevy lose again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont know how anybody can buy a Ram, its not even American owned anymore. I mean seriously does no one care anymore

I'll take the F150. The quality with Ram isn't there.

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