For the past seven decades, the Ford F-150 has been one of the most prominent light-duty trucks on the automotive market. However, the need for heavier trucks was evident enough for Ford to introduce the super-duty lineup in 1999. This lineup included the F250 through F450 models for drivers that needed trucks with larger towing capacities and overall power and performance capabilities. Yet, even in 2022, many truck drivers find the F150 and F250 substantial enough to accomplish most of their needs. The popularity of the F150 alone has sustained easily regardless of the introduction of many other light-duty trucks into the American automotive market throughout the past few decades.
As of 2021, the F150 is classified as a light-duty half-ton class truck. In comparison, the F250 is a three-quarter-ton heavy-duty truck. Throughout this guide, we will describe and examine the impacts that those size differences create for drivers. This means detailing towing capacity, fuel mileage, overall reliability, and further differing values of the Ford F150 compared to the F250.
With that said, let’s jump into some of the current configurations and prices of each model in the following section below. After that we will dive further into some of the more technical differentiations between the Ford F150 vs F250 model.
Ford F150 & F250 Configurations and Price
As of 2021 the Ford F150 is available in six different models and three different cab configurations listed below:
- XL – starting at $28,940 MSRP
- XLT – starting at $35,050 MSRP
- Lariat – starting at $44,695 MSRP
- King Ranch – starting at $56,330 MSRP
- Platinum – starting at $59,110 MSRP
- Limited – starting at $70,825 MSRP
Three different cab configurations for the F150 include the Regular (5.5 ft. box), Super-Cab (6.5 ft. box), and Crew Cab (8 ft. box). The following trims, cab configurations, and prices below were offered for the 2022 F250:
- XL – starting at $30,495
- XLT – starting at $38,130
- Lariat – starting at $48,065
- King Ranch – starting at $59,290
- Platinum – starting at $62,070
- Limited – starting at $76,595
- Tremor – starting at $53,085
- Raptor – starting at $69,525
Just like the F150, the F250 is also offered in 3 different cab configurations including the Regular, Super-Cab, and Crew-Cab. Yet, what do these different packages include in terms of capabilities such as horsepower and towing capacity? Let’s answer these questions by examining the differences in size and towing capacity in the following sections.
F150 vs F250 Size Comparison
One of the most direct differences between the Ford F150 and the F250 is the overall size. The length of the F150 maxes out at 250.5 inches, while the length of the F250 maxes out at 266.2 inches. This may not seem like much, but when examining larger truck trims, an extra foot or two can mean a substantial difference in power and towing capabilities. Additionally, the cab height for the F150 reaches a maximum of 77.3 inches as the F250’s cab height maxes out at 81.5 inches.
As we stated earlier, the F150 is categorized as a half-ton light-duty class truck; while the F250 is a quarter-ton heavy-duty truck. Regardless of the size differences, both trucks utilize a similar design from the A-pillar leading to the rear of the truck. However, variations in box length and other specifications are where the F150 and F250 differ.
These differences in size can attribute to the fact that each model has different priorities. The F150 aims to satisfy drivers with smaller towing projects, cruising more efficiently at highway speeds, while offering some of the luxuries associated with modern applications such as a quieter overall ride. The F250 hauls more, is more difficult to park in everyday spots or urban neighborhoods, yet aims to satisfy those who need a heftier engine and overall truck application for serious towing projects. That leads us into examining the overall towing capacity of each model below.
F150 vs. F250 Towing Capacity
When examining differences between towing capabilities, the F250 is the obvious winner in terms of strength. However, this doesn’t mean that the F150 cannot accomplish many of the everyday needs that drivers with towing projects require. Ford lists the F150’s towing capacity to range from 5,000 pounds to 11,300 pounds. The F250 has a substantially higher range of towing capacities starting at 12,300 pounds up to 15,000 pounds. These varying weights are due to the different sized trims and engine options that allow for higher towing capacities. These listed weights also do not include aftermarket parts or dealership additions that can substantially increase both models’ towing capacity.
For example, as of 2020 the smallest towing capacity for the F250 came with the 6.2L 4×4 listed at 12,500 pounds. Yet, in the same year, the F150 with a 3.3L V6 two-wheel drive package had a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that the towing capacity can vary greatly depending on different packages.
Payload ratings can also vary, with the F250 again leading over the F150 due to its larger size. As of 2022, the F150 has a payload rating ranging from 1,745 to 2,238 lbs. The heftier F250 has a 2022 payload rating ranging from 2,462 to 4,323 lbs. Hopefully, with these differences explained, drivers can have a better understanding of how each of these trucks might meet their needs.
Ford F150 and F250 Engine Options
We’ve lightly discussed some of the impacts that different engine options have on the Ford F150 vs F250. Yet, let’s gather a better understanding of the different options that Ford currently offers for both models including their price and basic power specs. In 2022 the F150 will be offered with a total of 5 different engine options:
- 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 (290 hp, 265 lb-ft of torque)
- 2.7L EcoBoost® Twin-Turbocharged V6 (325 hp, 400 lb-ft of torque)
- 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 (400 hp, 410 lb-ft of torque)
- 3.5L EcoBoost® Twin-Turbocharged V6 (400 hp, and 500 lb-ft of torque)
- 3.5L PowerBoost™ Full Hybrid V6 (430 hp, 570 lb-ft of torque)
These engine configurations range from having a fuel mileage of 17-25 mpg city, and 24-26 mpg highway. The Ford F250 is offered in three different engine sizes with gradually increasing power output:
- 6.2L SOHC 2-Valve Flex Fuel V8 (385 hp, 430 lb-ft of torque)
- 6.7L Powerstroke V8 Turbo Diesel (475 hp, 1,050 lb-ft of torque)
- 7.3L 2V DEVCT NA PFI V8 (430, 475 lb-ft of torque)
In comparison, the heftier F250 has an estimated fuel mileage ranging between 14 and 16 MPG. Yet, this should be expected due to the larger engines and overall curb weight. Considering the power associated with the F250’s engine options, this can be considered an average fuel mileage for a heavy-duty truck. It’s difficult to find approximate fuel mileage for these larger trucks due to the varying packages as well as driving conditions. Yet, the F250 and Ford’s larger super duty models are often sought out for their power rather than their fuel economy.
F150 versus F250 Overall Reliability
Generally speaking, the F150 has better reliability ratings in its modern applications compared to the F250. However, these reliability ratings vary greatly from each source. For example, one reputable source places the F150’s reliability rating at 3.5 out of 5 placings it as 7th of 17 full-sized trucks produced in 2022. In contrast, from the same source, the F250 is rated as 2 out of 5 placings it 15th out of 17 full-sized trucks produced in 2022.
Many of the problems experienced by F150 and F250 drivers will vary depending on the quality of maintenance, timely repairs, and usage of high-quality oil. However, certain engine packages in both trucks have a preference amongst drivers for reliability and durability. For example, some of the older 4-cylinder engines in the F150 are known to be the apex of reliability. Additionally, drivers love the older 7.3L V8 engines that came with the F250 in the early 2000s. Regardless of some of the varying degrees of respect for certain Ford truck engine applications, Ford has aimed to maintain a high standard of overall reliability.
Common Problems Associated with the F150 and F250
However, many drivers reported various problems with the 2021 F150 applications ranging from brake issues, faulty electronic components, and even faulty seat belt systems. Furthermore, many F250 drivers also reported issues surrounding coolant leaks, oil pump failure, and faulty electronic components as well. Yet, it’s important to note that these problems may not occur for most drivers and drivers can deter many issues with proper maintenance and upkeep.
For more information on different F150 applications and their problems and reliability, check out our previous article comparing the 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 Ecoboost options.
Also, for more insight into various problems that may occur for the base F250 engine, take a look at our last write-up on the 4 most common problems for the Ford Boss 6.2L V8.
Ford F150 vs F250 Guide Summary
Aside from the direct differences in size, The Ford F150 and F250 have large variations in terms of power and towing capacity. The F150 is not a dud by any means, yet when compared to its bigger brother the F250, drivers can start to truly see the increase in power. Most casual truck drivers may not need the increase in power that the F250 offers. However, drivers with larger towing applications or construction projects for example may definitively require the heftier potential that comes along with the F250.
With larger engine options, bigger bed sizes, and certain performance trims, Ford truck enthusiasts can have a plentiful amount of options to choose from. With such a range in performance and price, Ford drivers can find their sweet spot while hopefully maintaining their budget. The F150 is one of the longest-lasting trucks on the automotive market. Its heavy-duty associate, the F250 has done an exceptional job of maintaining the standards connected to the Ford brand.
In conclusion, the Ford F150 vs F250 are dynamically different trucks. The F150 is a much more casual option with lower performance and towing capabilities, aligning itself with the “light duty” label it has received. The F250 and its super-duty capabilities are much more hefty and substantial for those needing more muscle in their truck. With more power comes a higher price tag, bigger sizing, and less fuel efficiency.
The F150 aims to maintain some of the modern comforts of smaller applications in Ford’s lineup while not losing a large amount of performance value associated with the Ford trucking brand. These trucks were built for two different drivers with different lifestyles. Regardless, both the F150 and F250 are great options for those seeking out performance trucks. Yet, it’s essential to know how substantial the difference in power is between the F150 and F250.
Let us know in the comments below your experiences with the Ford F150 vs F250! Do you have a strong opinion on which truck has a higher value compared to the other?