Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2021 Ford F-150 is driving on a mountain after winning a 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500 comparison.

The Ford F-150 Vs The Ram 1500: A 2021 Face-off

The 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500 battle is an intense one. Two half-ton truck brands are racing to see who’s the most powerful, and things have finally come to a major head for 2021. Between the two, which one wins? That question is easier to answer than you may think. While both models offer many similarities, a side-by-side comparison of their specs states otherwise. This is especially true when it comes to convenience features and safety.

Performance Specs

Before anything else, most truck drivers want the maximum available towing and hauling capacity. This is where the F-150 instantly takes the lead, offering a best-in-class towing and payload score. With a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, the 2021 Ford F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds. Its max payload capacity stands at 3,250 pounds. The 2021 Ram 1500, on the other hand, has a max towing capacity of 12,750 pounds with the proper trailering equipment. Further, the Ram’s payload maximum is only 2,300 pounds. Between the two models, the Ford F-150 definitely wins here.

Even the Ford F-150’s hybrid engine competes with the Ram’s strongest engine, only falling 50 pounds short of matching the Ram 1500’s max towing capacity. As far as off-roading goes, both models offer their own off-road capable trims. The 2021 Ford F-150 has the Raptor and the Tremor model, and the 2021 Ram 1500 offers the TRX. Both models come with their own off-roading pros and cons, but the Tremor wins when it comes to both towing and payload capacities.

Overall, if it’s strength you’re looking for, the 2021 Ford F-150 is the model for you. However, the 2021 Ram 1500 is a great truck model as well, especially if you’re not concerned with towing capacity.

A red 2021 Ram 1500 is being used to move mulch at a construction site.

Safety Differences

When you’re spending this much on a new truck, you obviously want as many standard safety features as possible. In the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500 battle, the F-150 comes out ahead with the most safety features available. First off, Ford models all come with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite standard. This feature alone offers several important driver-assist features, even on the lowest F-150 trim. Some of these include Blind Spot Monitoring and Front Pedestrian Braking. The 2021 Ram 1500, on the other hand, comes with fewer safety features. Further, even these few safety features only come with higher trims or for an additional fee.

Further, the Ford F-150’s military-grade exterior material makes it physically tough in addition to its safety assistance features. However, when it comes to trailer safety, both models perform well. The 2021 F-150 includes something called Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which lets you use a knob to indicate the trailer’s direction. After that, you just wait and let the automatic steering do the rest for you. On the other hand, the Ram 1500 has Trailer Detection, which monitors your trailer’s blind spots in addition to your vehicle’s regular blind spots. The Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist is definitely the fancier technology. However, the Ram 1500 doesn’t shy away from trailer assist features, either.

Work Perks!

Oftentimes, we think in terms of power and style when we think about trucks. However, the Ford F-150 has brought a new perk to the table, and that’s workability. How does this factor into truck buying, you ask? Well, the 2021 Ford F-150 includes workstations, and it even has its own built-in powerhouse. Overall, it offers some impressive features. Let’s look at each one of these work-based assets in further detail.

First off, the F-150 has a tailgate work surface. It’s basically a construction worker’s dream hub. The tailgate is made from material that won’t easily scratch or dent. This is so that you can use power tools without worry. Plus, you’ll get free tools with the F-150 that you can use on your tailgate work surface, such as rules, a cup holder, and even a place to house your cell phone. Oh, and let’s not forget about the pencil holder.

Speaking of the F-150’s tailgate area, let’s move on to the truck bed’s power station. This model has a power station on the left side of the truck bed, near the tailgate. It includes three different power outputs, with a 2.0kW option, a 2.4kW option, and a monstrous 7.2kW output. This is enough power to use power tools, and you can even use your F-150 as a generator!

While most people like trucks because they aid in physical labor, we all know that even construction workers need a pencil and paper sometimes. When that’s the case, the F-150 includes a fold-out work table between the driver and passenger seats. Between this and the model’s Wi-Fi hotspot capability, you never have to worry about running behind at work again. Just make sure to only use this workstation when you’re stationary yourself.

The 2021 Ram 1500 cannot compare in this category. While it does have an easy access tailgate, it does not offer a tailgate workspace, a power hub, or an interior workspace. Overall, the F-150’s best-in-class towing and haul aren’t the only things that make it the superior work truck. Its handy accessories put it even further ahead in the ranks.

A black 2021 Ford F-150 is towing a trailer at night.

FordPass Connect Benefits

Connection-based services are handy tech services that make your life easier. These include roadside assistance, remote start, and the likes. Unlike most other vehicle brands, Ford actually offers their connection services for free. And that’s not just for a few years, either, it’s for the entire time you own the vehicle. These types of services are usually subscription services that you have to pay for monthly or annually. But that’s not the case for the F-150.

When you get a 2021 Ford F-150, you’ll gain access to remote vehicle start, as well as other remote controls such as a lock and unlock option and scheduled start times. For example, if you go to work every day at 6:30 A.M., you can schedule your F-150 to start at 6:20 to warm up or cool down, depending on the current weather. FordPass Connect makes convenience easy and free on its new Ford models.

Ram does offer a connection service called Uconnect Access, but it’s available as an option rather than being a standard free service like FordPass Connect. This can cost up to $149.99 yearly, whereas Ford includes these services for free. Between the two, Ford serves its customers better with its free connectivity services.

Why The 2021 Ford F-150 Wins The Battle

Here’s the deal. After reading this, you may assume that the Ford F-150 is more expensive due to its higher level of features. However, that’s not the case. In fact, when we look at the base-level 2021 F-150 and the base-level 2021 Ram 1500, the F-150 is cheaper. So, when you compare the F-150’s perks to the Ram’s, you realize that your best deal lies with Ford. The Ford model is still cheaper when you’re picking between the highest F-150 and Ram 1500 trim as well.

While both trucks are definitely capable, (otherwise there wouldn’t be any competition here in the first place), the F-150 wins by a landslide. When you want power, convenience, and safety all compiled into one truck, the 2021 Ford F-150 is the model for you.