Ford F-150 Tremor Vs Ram Express: Battle Of The Standard Cabs

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
ford f 150 tremor vs ram express battle of the standard cabs

The standard cab, short bed pickup is a rare breed these days. Most trucks that leave the dealer lot tend to be an extended cab, if not a four-door crew cab, with a longer bed and all the bells and whistles typically seen on a luxury vehicle. For a couple years, Ram has had the monopoly on a hot version of the standard cab with the Ram Express, a Hemi powered no-frills Ram, which starts at just $23,400. Not anymore.

Today, Ford announced the introduction of the F-150 Tremor. Silly moniker aside, the Tremor is a standard cab short bed truck that is explicitly aimed at “sport truck” enthusiasts. I always thought that crowd died away with the mini-truck era, but the combination of a 3.5L Ecoboost motor and a 4.10 rear axle ratio is an enticing one – don’t expect it to get anywhere near the vaunted fuel economy numbers that the taller-ratio equipped cars are apparently capable of. Power for the EcoBoost remains unchanged at 360 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, while the car gets FX4-style black alloy wheels, Boss 302-esque graphics and some loud paint hues.

The Express is pretty much as different as it gets. Rather than the newfangled EcoBoost, there’s an old-fashioned Hemi V8 breathing through dual exhausts. The fancy 8-speed ZF auto available on other Ram models is not available, nor is the big UConnect touch screen or any sort of “soft touch” interior. It’s all black plastic and the most basic head unit, with a 6-speed automatic as the sole gearbox. Outside, it’s indistinguishable from any other mid-grade Ram. No badges, no stripes, no alloys. You can even get it in a crew cab if you want, though this pushes the price up another $10,000.

What would you take?

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2 of 89 comments
  • George B George B on Jun 29, 2013

    I'd be more likely to buy the Ram Express with my own money. It retains most of the regular cab pickup truck virtues with great V8 engine sound. However, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of low-profile tires on a pickup truck. Gives up too much of the bad road/mild off-road capability on a vehicle that will never take advantage of a short sidewall. People who only drive on smooth paved roads will probably never understand why so many pickup trucks are sold.

  • Jftjr1982 Jftjr1982 on Jan 13, 2014

    I'd take the Ram over the Ecoboost any day. The F-150 Tremor is a cool truck but I'm passed the point in my life where I want something that sporty. I want something reliable that I can do some light to moderate hauling, has a V8, gets decent gas mileage, 4 wheel drive, and can handle itself off road from time to time. I have no use for something with 4.10 gears. The gas mileage with that gear ratio is horrendous. I also would never trust a turbo charged gas engine and would never buy one. They don't last. I know it's not a Ford, but my Fiance has a turbo charged Volkswagen Beetle and we've had nothing but problems with it, (mainly with the cooling system) and every where we've taken from the dealer to different mechanics have said the same thing, "That's a turbo engine for ya." and no one wants to work on it unless you pay them an arm and a leg. The bottom line is unless you're buying a diesel, turbo charged engines are unreliable.

  • Tassos ask me if I care.
  • ToolGuy • Nice vehicle, reasonable price, good writeup. I like your ALL CAPS. 🙂"my mid-trim EX tester is saddled with dummy buttons for a function that’s not there"• If you press the Dummy button, does a narcissist show up spouting grandiose comments? Lol.
  • MaintenanceCosts These are everywhere around here. I'm not sure the extra power over a CR-V hybrid is worth the fragile interior materials and the Kia dealership experience.
  • MaintenanceCosts It's such a shame about the unusable ergonomics. I kind of like the looks of this Camaro and by all accounts it's the best-driving of the current generation of ponycars. A manual 2SS would be a really fun toy if only I could see out of it enough to drive safely.
  • ToolGuy Gut feel: It won't sell all that well as a new vehicle, but will be wildly popular in the used market 12.5 years from now.(See FJ Cruiser)