Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Rick asks: I found out yesterday that my 2008 Ford F150 is pretty much done for. I was informed by my mechanic that it’s going to start ” nickel and diming me” so I need a new truck. A truck is essential to where I live and my lifestyle. I really like the new Rams but I am torn between a V6 and V8. I would like to possibly put a plow on it and it needs to be able to tow an enclosed trailer. What are your thoughts on these two engine options?
My reply: Before you act, are you sure about the ’08 F150? A new half-ton with 4WD is going to cost you more than $30k – even for a base “work truck” with the standard (and not very tow-haul/suited engine). Add a V8 and a few options and you’ll be looking at close to $40k.
I would weight that against what you might spend maintaining your ’08, which I assume is paid for. If it costs you say $2k per year in repairs vs. $5k per year in monthly payments (plus the taxes/insurance)… well, that’s the math!
Even putting in a new engine/transmission can be well worth the expense if the truck itself is still basically in a good shape.
That said, if your old truck is too tired to keep – a new Ram is a great choice. I do not like the new F-150’s aluminum body and overly complex systems. The Chevy is a good truck in terms of its mechanicals but also overdone in my opinion. Ram has done a good job of keeping the Ram 1500 a truck.
Unfortunately, the Classic version is fading away after this year – but you might still have time to get it. Which you may want to do if you want a regular cab as the ’21 isn’t available in two-door configuration.
If not and you go for a 2021, I would advise two things: Avoid the V6 – for two reasons. One, while it makes plenty of horsepower, it is light on torque for a truck – and hauling and towing. It is also basically a car engine and while probably okay for general transportation duties, it’s not a truck engine – built to long-haul handle heavy duty loading and use.
Two, it is paired with a “mild hybrid” 48V electrical system, which is very complicated and so very likely to cost you money down the road when its components begin to fail.
The V8 is available without the 48V mess and it has plenty of torque. Plus it’s a burly/rumbly engine perfect for a truck.
Ram also offers a diesel with tremendous torque -and towing/hauling capacity, along with better mileage than the V8. It’s not cheap but it might be worth considering.
Hope this helps!
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