Comparing the Base V6 Engines of Two Popular Pickups
Published: 05/20/2013 - by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
2013 Ram 1500 Specs and Performance
2013 Ford F-150 Specs and Performance
Let's face it. The V6 truck motor has never been taken seriously, and for good reason. A few years back, the measly 215 horsepower put out by the Dodge Ram 1500's 3.7-liter example was the strongest of the big three V6 offerings. Any theoretical fuel economy benefits these engines offered was wasted as they struggled to keep their trucks moving.
As recently as last year, the Ram's 3.7-liter V6, 4.7-liter V8 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 shared identical EPA ratings. What, then, was the point of the V6 engine?
It came down to economics mostly. The V6 models appealed to frugal fleet buyers who were more concerned with the bottom line than bottom-end torque. But now that fuel economy has become a higher priority, V6s are making a comeback.
Ford may have dropped its V6 in 2009, but it came right back with an all-new six-cylinder in 2011. It was largely overshadowed by the revolutionary 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and fan-favorite 5.0-liter V8, but the V6's impressive 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque made it a solid option.
A modern six-speed automatic was standard, and rated fuel economy was 17 city/23 highway and 19 mpg combined. And for the first time the base V6 was available with the SuperCab (4x2, 4x4) or Super Crew (4x2).