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Keeping the letters and numbers we use to name our cars and trucks can confuse newcomers in the automotive world. Hell, these names and numbers can be confusing for car nerds too. The Ford F-150 needs no introduction, but for many, the Ford F-250 might not be as familiar a nameplate, despite its massive popularity in the pickup truck world. What is the difference between the Ford F-150 and the Ford F-250? 

The 2022 Ford F-150 is a full-size truck that is available in a variety of trim levels. Including a cheaper base model.
Ford F-150 | Ford

Which is the better pickup truck, the Ford F-150 or the Ford F-250? 

As with most pickup truck questions, the answer to which is better is whichever one does what you need it to do. For most people, the Ford F-150, a half-ton, full-size pickup truck, is plenty of truck to haul and tow. But if you need something with some extra heft and power, the Ford F-250, a ¾ ton, heavy-duty pickup truck, might be the one for you. 

No matter which way you go, you can rest assured that you are buying one of the most popular and preferred pickup trucks ever made. 

What are the benefits of a light-duty pickup truck? 

Hybrid pickup truck buyer's guide
The Ford F-150 Powerboost hybrid pickup truck driving on a farm | Ford

The Ford F-150 is a light-duty pickup truck designed for light to medium workloads. Although buying an F-150 means you are sacrificing towing and hauling capacity, it also means you’re getting a friendlier, more efficient pickup truck. These days, better gas mileage is no small prize. In 2021 Ford F-150 comes in a hybrid version that can yield up to 25 mpg. Meanwhile, the F-250, with its tremendous V8s and smoking diesel engines, is far less interested in such things.

According to MotorTrend, there is a laundry list of differences between the two pickups. Price, size, and power are some of the more obvious differences that most buyers will compare when shopping between the two models.

The 2022 Ford F-150 starts just a hair under $30k. The heavy-duty F-250 demands at least $37k to get into a base model. The F-150 is cheaper because it’s smaller and less powerful than the F-250. Even still, the 2022 F-150 can tow up to 11,300. It’s weaker than the F-250, but that doesn’t make it weak. 

These power sacrifices allow for a more comfortable, easy-to-drive, efficient, and affordable pickup truck than the heavy-duty boys, with all that power.

What are the benefits of a heavy-duty pickup truck? 

Red heavy-duty Ford truck towing a tractor on a trailer.
2021 F-Series Super Duty | Ford Motor Company

There is really only one benefit, but there’s no way around it if it’s what you need. Heavy-duty trucks are meant for one thing only, work. The bigger, more expensive F-250 can tow up to 15,000 lbs and can haul 4,323 lbs in the bed. 

This is what HD trucks are all about. They are clumsier, less efficient, often less comfortable, and worse to drive, but owners of these trucks are happy to trade all of it for a better towing experience. 

One of the other major differences is that the Ford F-250 comes with multiple V8 options, one of them being diesel-powered. This is one of the biggest benefits to HD trucks. Some people prefer diesel trucks over gas-powered pickups. Stepping up to the HD line is how you get a diesel. 

Which Ford pickup truck makes the most sense for you? 

the ford f-250 pulling a huge trailer
2021 F-Series Super Duty | Ford

This isn’t a question for a journalist to answer for you. Buying the right pickup truck all depends on what you need your truck to do for you. If you want a truck for driving around town, running errands, and maybe some light work or off-roading, the Ford F-150 is probably the best choice. 

However, if towing is a regular occurrence, and you need something strong and beefy to hold you down on the highway, then the Ford F-250 could be a better choice. Either way, you need to look at your needs and pick accordingly. 


Thousands of 2021 Ford Super Duty Trucks Waiting for Chips Can Be Seen From Space