Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor vs. Ram 2500 Power Wagon: Off-Roading, Price, Specs & More

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor vs. Ram 2500 Power Wagon: Off-Roading, Price, Specs & More

The Ram 2500 Power Wagon has long gone unchallenged as the king of heavy-duty off-road trucks. True, there's the F-150 Raptor, but it's different in class as well as purpose. But now the 2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon has a fight on its hands. And it's once again coming from Ford. Its name? The 2020 Ford F-250 Tremor.

Technically, the Tremor is an off-road package rather than a distinct trim level like the Power Wagon. But that means you can add it to any one of several trims on the revised 2020 Super Duty. Yet both provide a unique set of off-road features and are built to tackle obstacles and haul heavy loads in the process. Is there a right way to go about this mission? Here's what we found.

Jump to compare: Off-Road Performance | Price | Horsepower & Specs | 0-60 & Towing | Ride & Handling | Interior | The Verdict: Edmunds Says

Off-Road Performance: Ford F-250 Tremor vs. Ram 2500 Power Wagon

These are big heavy-duty trucks that have to employ a bit of cleverness to overcome their size on tight or rocky trails. Here's how they do it.

The Power Wagon is a traditional off-roader's dream come true. It has locking front and rear differentials and an electronically disconnecting front stabilizer bar. You can activate these features from inside the cab. Locking diffs help maximize traction, while a disconnected
stabilizer bar gives you more wheel articulation to further help with off-road traction.

Combined, we found these features give the Power Wagon a huge advantage over other trucks when the terrain is rocky and rutted. It also comes standard with 33-inch tall tires, a factory-installed Warn winch and hill descent control — a dash of electronic trickery that helps the Power Wagon stay in control on hilly descents.

The F-250 Tremor is longer and, with the turbodiesel engine, substantially heavier than the Power Wagon. These are characteristics that should limit its maneuverability off-road. The Tremor lacks some of the Power Wagon's trick off-road equipment too. There's a locking rear differential but a less capable limited-slip front differential and no disconnecting front stabilizer bar.

And yet the Tremor surprised us with its athleticism. Larger 35-inch tires and a special suspension give the Tremor a 2-inch front suspension lift compared to a regular F-250. The Tremor also has Crawl Control, which helps the truck march up and down steep terrain. In the end, the Tremor had no problem overcoming the same obstacles as the Power Wagon.

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Price Comparison: Ford F-250 Tremor vs. Ram Power Wagon

Taking into account the impressive off-road performance that both these trucks offer, the Power Wagon and the Tremor give you pretty good value. Their base prices are similar: $50,040 for the Ram and $53,820 for the Ford in their most basic versions. Both prices include destination.

The most cost-effective way to build a Power Wagon is to choose a base-level Ram 2500 Crew Cab Tradesman (with 4WD and the short bed) and add the Power Wagon package to it at a $7,995 premium. This brings the total price to $50,040. If you're looking for more than the most basic version, though, the Power Wagon is usually sold with the equivalent equipment of a Laramie trim level. Its starting price is $55,045, and includes a power-adjustable driver's seat, 8.4-inch touchscreen and more features that don't come on the Tradesman.

Our Power Wagon test vehicle included options that brought the total price to $69,890. Pricing is a big feather in the Power Wagon's cap. It has serious off-road hardware that comes at no extra cost, and options are reasonably priced.

The Tremor is a different beast. It is actually a $4,000 package that you can add to any trim level except the base XL. So, yes, even your luxed-out F-250 Platinum can have the Tremor package. You just need to select the Tremor package on F-250 or F-350 models that are 4WD crew cabs. Unfortunately, you cannot add it to trucks with the long 8-foot bed or with dual rear wheels — but there's still a lot more choice compared with the Power Wagon. An F-250 XLT Tremor starts at $53,820, but our F-250 Platinum Tremor with the available 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine, itself a $10,000-plus option, came to a whopping $87,630.

We found the diesel engine to be stellar, but the standard 7.3-liter V8 is upgraded for 2020 and saves you a lot of money. A sensible trim level with the standard V8 and Tremor package is excellent value. Its most affordable versions don't come with as much equipment as the Power Wagon — you'll still need to pay $3,000 for the optional winch, which comes standard on the Ram — and fully loaded versions are outrageously expensive. But if the price doesn't scare you away, the Tremor is an impressive truck.

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Horsepower and Specs: Ford F-250 Tremor vs. Ram 2500 Power Wagon

It should come as no surprise that both the F-250 Tremor and the Ram 2500 Power Wagon pack a lot of brawn under their hoods. Both come standard with powerful V8 engines. But the Ford also offers a turbodiesel that the Ram does not.

Ram equips every Power Wagon with its 6.4-liter V8 engine. It makes 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is a very capable combination. In the dirt, an impressive crawl ratio of 51:1 helped the Power Wagon make the most of its power at low speed to scratch and claw over obstacles. In total, the Ram handled steep desert inclines without issue and offered plenty of punch on the highway for long road trips. Smooth, reliable strength is this powertrain's calling card.

If you find yourself tempted by the additional power compared with the Power Wagon, you're not alone. The standard V8 engine on the Tremor is a 7.3-liter rated at 430 hp and 475 lb-ft. It's matched to a 10-speed automatic. We have noticed this transmission's tendency to hunt for gears and deliver jarring shifts from time to time. But we don't consider it a deal-breaker. The gearing crawl ratio with this engine is 53:1.

The big difference with the Tremor, engine-wise, is its available 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that offers 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft. It delivers all of the ground-shaking muscle you'd imagine by looking at those numbers and offers a big advantage if you intend to tow or haul heavy loads. This powertrain's crawl ratio is only 44:1. But with all that torque, does it really matter?

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

0-60 and Towing: Ford Tremor vs. Ram Power Wagon

In our testing, the 2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. That's brisk for a heavy-duty truck, especially one lugging around so much hefty off-road equipment. Maximum towing capacity is 10,620 pounds. We find these figures paint an overall portrait of a very capable all-around pickup, especially one with a coil-spring rear suspension that provides a more comfortable ride than other trucks with a traditional leaf-spring rear suspension.

We haven't had the chance to test the F-250 Tremor with its standard 7.3-liter V8 engine, but with an advantage in both horsepower and torque over the Power Wagon, we expect it will accelerate more quickly as well. With the 6.7-liter turbodiesel, our test truck hustled to 60 mph in just 7.0 seconds. Maximum towing capacity is 15,000 pounds with either engine, besting the Ram easily. Its basic leaf-spring rear suspension comes in handy here, saving weight and making the Tremor an all-star tower. If you add the diesel engine, it also comes with a high-capacity trailer tow package for added strength.

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Ride and Handling: Ford Tremor vs. Ram Power Wagon

As noted in the previous section, the Ram 2500 Power Wagon uses a coil-spring rear suspension that is unique among full-size pickup trucks. The result is a serene highway ride that is a world of difference from what traditional heavy-duty truck owners may expect — even considering the truck has knobby all-terrain tires. Its steering is also easy to whirl around and tracks straight without issue. In our testing, the Power Wagon needed 162 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. This is a little longer than average for a modern heavy-duty truck, but the result is understandable considering the extra equipment. Our test truck weighed 7,460 pounds.

The Tremor is not as forgiving. Its leaf-spring rear suspension is ideal for towing and hauling, but bumps and imperfections in the road are easily felt through the cabin. At times, it can be jarring. The steering does not feel as sharp or accurate as the Ram's, and the standard 35-inch tires on the Tremor are loud and contribute to sluggish handling on the highway. For the most part, the Tremor's cabin is a quiet and comfortable place. But this combination of factors often adds up to increased noise inside. Our test truck came to a stop from 60 mph in 154 feet, which is about average for a three-quarter-ton truck. Our test truck weighed 8,000 pounds.

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Ford F-250 Super Duty Tremor

Interior Comparison: Ford Tremor vs. Ram Power Wagon

The interiors of both the Tremor and the Power Wagon are much nicer than the utilitarian ones of heavy-duty trucks in the past. Frankly, we liked them both. But the Power Wagon has plush materials and an available 12-inch touchscreen. The Ram also has clever storage cubbies throughout the cabin that outmatch what the Tremor offers.

The Tremor, particularly in its most luxurious trims, brings a lot to the table as well. Our test vehicle also came with heated and ventilated seats and added a massage function. It's hard to turn down a massage function. The Tremor can also be optioned to include a lot of camera angles, driver assist features, and other electronic doo-dads including a rotary knob for backing up a trailer. We also like its configurable rear under-seat storage that easily fit a pop-up canopy and several backpacks. However, the price of these options quickly runs up the cost. And the Ram simply packs more basic necessities for heavy-duty shoppers.

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Edmunds Says

If this were a comparison of the maximum capabilities between these two trucks, the Ford F-250 Tremor would be the clear winner. It comes standard with bigger tires, more power and more towing capacity. However, the Ram offers impressive figures in those areas too, plus a laundry list of equipment that will cost you an arm and a leg in the Ford, if they're available at all. Want a winch on your Tremor? That'll be $3,000, please. Front locker? Sorry. Disconnecting sway bar? Not here.

The Ram offers more for your money, and considering the amount of money involved, this is no small matter. Shoppers who dream of buying an F-250 Tremor should do so — it's an excellent truck, particularly if you're towing. But the Power Wagon remains the choice pick for out-of-the-box capability in a heavy-duty truck when the terrain gets rough.

Ram 2500 Power Wagon

Ram 2500 Power Wagon