• Which Off-Roader is Right For You? 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 vs 2017 Ram Power Wagon


    When it comes to the big boys battling for off road supremacy, the 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 vs 2017 Ram Power Wagon represent a great matchup. Both vehicles have gone through updates, but – while the 2017 Ram Power Wagon has mostly received cosmetic and interior upgrades, the 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 has gone through a comprehensive update throughout.

    The 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 is, for the most part, a new truck.

    Ford is hitting the segment with an updated power-plant. The 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 in this video has a 440 horsepower, 6.7-liter Powerstroke V8 diesel that makes 925 lb-feet of torque. It’s hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 6.2-liter gas V8 is also available. Our tester came with manual locking front hubs.

    The 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon is a different beast. There is only one engine choice and it’s a 410 horsepower 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that makes 429 lb-ft of torque. It also has a 6-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the big Ford, the Power Wagon comes with automatic front locking hubs.

    Obviously, with serious off-roading in mind, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon is an excellent choice, but it can’t compete with the 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4’s torque, range, hauling and towing abilities. Both trucks have their good and bad points. Watch as Andre walks us through the differences of both trucks in this informative video.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    80 thoughts on “Which Off-Roader is Right For You? 2017 Ford F-250 Diesel FX4 vs 2017 Ram Power Wagon

    1. “WHICH OFF-ROADER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?”

      Depends.
      If large hauling/towing were a real priority, then I’d choose this F-250 of maybe a Ram 2500 with off-road package and Cummins (not shown here).
      If serious off-roading were a continual a demanding priority, then I’d choose the Power Wagon without a doubt.
      But they are both very good trucks, so need, use, and purpose would dominate my choice.

      ======================

    2. Andre, what is your address out there? I want to send you a Fat Max tape measure. You were killing me with that flimsy tape measure.

    3. It almost seems both the F250 and the Ram were the same height. Maybe the F250 slightly taller. After watching the video made me wonder if you took off the chin spoiler on the F250 how much clearance you would gain. It almost lols the same as a power wagon. For any long term off roading I would not want a modern diesel though. To much expensive exhaust system to worry about getting damaged or run into regen issues. For me, gas all the way. For serious rock crawling I would not use any of these vehicles anyways. I would choose a modified Jeep, Bronco, Suzuki Sidekick, something that has a shorter wheel base. These trucks could get hung up on the rocks so easy and damage something.

    4. One question I’ve had is what is Ram measuring to get ground clearance. Obviously the differentials are not over 14″ off the ground…

      1. They measure at the highest point under the chassis. However if you measure At the lowest point,the front it is 9.1″ and the rear 8.25″.

    5. Yaw $!$!
      The question should be which one can you afford ?

      I love to have a king ranch , but man about 68,000$ is really a tough pill to swallow.

    6. The FX4’s suspension is too stiff to be called an Off Road Truck in the HD model and the air dam is too low to be a proper work truck. So fail and fail. The Power Wagon makes more sense. Softer suspension and it can still work but the bumper is still unprotected even from minor rubs.

      Ford, if they are offering an FX4 package; would be better off with removing the air dam or consider another bumper design that copies the Raptors front bumper, at least for the FX4 package. Then your free to get your work done without that debilitating front end and if you need to Off Road to get work done than it’s capable. But you will never do well with an Off Road tire if you plan to haul weight so your tire choice is limited in the HD model.

      You can’t do heavy work and Off Road, it’s like trying to mix peanut butter with kraft dinner. Just doesn’t work. But you can at least give the FX4 the body clearance it needs to work better in all situations. Even steep driveway transitions will make work difficult for this FX4 package let alone going off pavement for any work related tasks. Buyers are forced to modify their trucks which in my opinion is a fail on the manufacturers part. Too ignorant to sell a proper setup from the start.

      1. I don’t consider it a fail but would be nice if tgey offered a leveled option. Just 2.5″ in the front would change everything. Your statement about tires is completely wrong though. You can absolutely get a good hauling tire that works well off road. Matbe not drom the factory but slap some Toyo MT or RT tires or even Nitto’s new 12 ply ridge grapplers on and your in good shape

        1. The tires won’t last long and your control on the highway with heavy loads is poor regardless that they say they are load rated the pattern has terrible control on the highway when heavily loaded

          1. I’ve got 28k and change on a set of Toyo 35x13r20 MT’s with 50% tread life left. On a 15 CCLB F350 that pulls a 12k fiver around all summer long and a 28ft gooseneck usually in the 16k range in the last two years. Truck handles great and tires are wearing awesome. Don’t make ignorant comments about things you apparently don’t know much about.

            1. I do know about. I drove big rigs for a living for Northern companies and I’ve talked to many mechanics along the way and those guys in the shops know. You can’t have those types of tires on a truck without that loss of control. They have poor pavement manners and are a softer rubber. Your anger really tells me your pushing BS and hoping to be ignored with your stupid comment.

            2. No anger here, all I’m commenting on here is personal experience. I’m commenting on what I’ve owned and currently run on my truck which handle everything extremely well. I’m not grossing out ar 80k and want a do everything tire and I’ve found a VERY good one. Plus I AM a mechanic and have been for a long time so I’m not basing my opinions on somebody elses experience like you sound to be.

            3. Well brew maybe you should tell Ford how great these tires are so they can put them on the whole fleet since they are good at everything.

            4. Actually they were supposedly putting Toyo AT2’s on their kimg ranch models, also a very capable tire

            5. And for the record OEMs dont put more aggresive tires on their vehicles stock because of price, noise level and fuel mileage. NOT because the more aghressive tires can’t handle loads

            6. Off Road tires are typically soft rubber. A hard rubber won’t do well Off Road. The softer rubber wears out faster. Also, you need more psi for heavy loads which means your tires are like a brick when Off roading. When you add weight to soft rubber they don’t work well for both situations

              You are correct. Road noise and fuel mileage will play a role in manufacturers selection but you also lose control which is the underlying reason the manufacturers will keep a Road tire on an HD truck. And that tire will not be suitable for Off Road compared to a true Off Road tire.

      2. You obviously know here I stand on the front air dam with GM owning the worst of the roster title BUT I think he one on the Ford is at least flexible whereas he GM will literally rip you front end off before it gives. I could not despise these things any more than I do. I think Bernie was the first poster here and I share his exact thoughts – it depends on your needs. He should average just dropped the mic 🎤 after he posted.

        1. Both trucks have a terrible 4×4 for on road demanding conditions. I know the Tundra comes with ATrac front and back. So any wheel will grab traction. One of the front wheels on the PW and the Ford will be useless and without limited slip in the back your 4×4 would be the worst on the market for traction. Park on a soft shoulder and both wheels front and back will spin in the gravel while the tires on the pavement do nothing for you. I would prefer a Tundra Pro with front bumper skid plate protection and superior 4×4 for on the road driving conditions.

          1. If your pulling loads upwards of 9000lbs or less in snowy conditions or ice with equal tires on the highway the Tundra will have superior traction over the Ford and the Ram to get up steep hills

            I tried the PW and the lock only works in bull low gears and I found it gimmicky.

          2. Wrong a Rambro,

            All Ford 4×4’s have traction control front and rear in 2WD & 4WD high range.
            So just like Toyota’s A-Trac in 4WD high range and 2WD you have traction control that works off of the brakes.

            However FX4 has a real locker in the rear that works in both high range and low range which is far superior to traction control only, especially in really biased conditions and low range that multiples torque.

            Think about how strong an axle has to be to handle this feature???

            Let’s look at the Ford with diesel:

            925ftlbs X axle ratio X First gear ratio x transfer case low range ratio which is usually 2.73 times lower.

            So it would look like this:
            925(engine torque)3.73(axle ratio)4.1(1st gear)2.73(transfer case low ratio)=38,618ftlbs of torque going to the axles. That’s 9654ftlbs to each!

            Or in certain extreme conditions like rock crawling where only one wheel may have traction then that one axle would get all 38,618ftlbs!!!

            Now you can see why A-Trac/traction control will never hold or equal a true locker.

            This formula doesn’t take into account the torque multiple of the auto torque converter either, but it is most likely offset by the internal drag of friction from all of these components as a whole.

            1. It won’t that that torque to that axle, or one tire, because tire would simply slipped long time before reaching 1/10 of that torque.
              Especially offroad.

            2. Ya Drifter you may be correct. But the 4×4 ATrac and Ford system will act differently. I would really like to see all the brands go head to head on a roller ramp. Even the ATrac may have limitations. Some disengage at certain rpm level. Which one is best may only be discovered in real world conditions. But a roller ramp would help a lot in discerning which works best. If it works too well you lose power from the braking and your brakes can overheat. So over a certain rpm they are said to disengage. The only way to have a true all wheel drive with 4 wheel lock is to put a motor on each wheel like what Tesla did. Electric vehicles will give us the best traction and versatility.

              These diff locks and transfer cases with a debilitating power delivery governed by rpm ranges is really barbaric in comparison. Bollinger may release the real thing this summer.

        1. Zviera,

          Yes, it would be almost impossible for that much torque to get to just one axle, but you would be amazed at actually how much gets put towards just one axle with a locker, in extreme off road situations.

          Let’s look at the Super Duty F250 Diesel FX4:

          Let’s say your off road in Moab on slickrock – a very, very high traction surface, and you have a 4000lb payload.

          Now you go and get extremely crossed up in a ditch going up a steep incline and the right front tire and left rear tire are completely airborne. The contact pressure on that right rear tire is tremendous and therefore will force an amazing amount of traction to just that one tire.

          Now without a front locker and only a rear locker the front left axle isn’t forced to carry part of the load/torque but the right rear is!

          Yes it will eventually slip once that tire reaches it limit of traction, but man on man the torque forces on just that right rear axle in this example will be tremendous!

          This is a perfect example of why most manufacturers choose the traction control route as the don’t have to over engineer for the extreme forces a true locker will create. The braking system in traction control will never come close to holding these kind of forces.

          I applaud those tremendously that offer a real locker (FCA, Ford, Toyota, Nissan) and especially those that let the driver/owner have full use in both high and low range (Ford).

          Toyota gets a one handed clap for at least having traction control that works in low range (crawl control).

          Making the lockers useless in high range 2WD & high 4WD really bothers me!

          Probably more than the low front air dams bother Rambro – which is saying alot.

            1. It would do just fine or about as good as you could expect for something so big.

              Take off the front air dam and it would be about equal to the power wagon with just the rear locker on and no sway bar disconnect engaged.

              It would have the advantage if someone needed to make an off road tour truck out of it and needed the payload capacity to carry say 12-14 off road.

            2. For once we agree. That power wagon is junk compared to the F250. Thanks for pointing that out!

            3. You are constantly bashing RAM and posting just rantings. F250 is not dedicated off-road machine, like Power Wagon is. You are troll.

            4. Putc ram, post where I am constantly bashing ram. Back up your mouth. You can because you are a antiford troll here from putc because you got banned twice there.

    7. What’s with on slapping on rancho shocks and stickers then calling it an ‘off road’ package? 20” wheels and street tires are pretty ridiculous on a truck with off road stickers on it.

    8. Both trucks have front automatic locking hubs. The Power Wagon has a front locking differential is what I think you meant to say.

      1. The Ford’s front hubs are vacuum auto locking, but you can manually lock them on the front hubs too. The two settings on the Ford are Auto and Lock. Not the same as a front diff lock.

    9. Your beating this one to death tfl. Raptor vs PW. It’s all been discussed already and this is just becoming a repeat of previous posts.

    10. Anybody who’d take a 70or80 thousand dollar pickup out and tear it up off roading isn’t overly intelligent anyway. Who cares who’s better

          1. Not exactly. 63k MSRP means you pay about 55k after discounts plus tax and misc fees and you’re still out the door for under $60k.

    11. I used to haul rv’s for couple years and tires was a big disguision. Generally the off rd tires like the ram has just don’t last long and is generally more expensive. Them Michelin’s wear very little , but you do pay for them. I don’t know how good they are off rd. My thinking they might be better in the snow than ram tires has on.
      I used contenatels got about 70+ out of them. Not off rd tires, but very good in the rain. I’ve used coopers got about 65+ out of them. Lot more aggressive tire. I didn’t do well in the snow when about half way worn.
      Got coopers on my truck.

    12. I think it’s pretty clear how this works: Rambro likes Toyota, Zviera likes RAMs, and Jimmy Johns likes Ford.

            1. I didn’t mean Dpatch he does seem good from what I remember. I’m meant to put down Mike only.

      1. Actually I like most brands after owning a few of them. They all have their strong suites. However I dont like fiat products. So they are dead last in my book and reliability.

        1. You’ve never driven​ a Fiat.
          I did. Many models. 127, 128, Croma ,Brava, Stilo, Alfa 156…
          and also Ford. Capri, Mondeo, Escape, Scorpio..

        2. Don’t confuse Fiat with FCA. FCA is just a holding company which owns several brands inclusing Fiat and Ram. They also owned Ferrari until last year and I think we can agree a Ferrari is not the same as a Fiat, even though both were owned by FCA.

        1. These guys are so brand-loyal they probably really prefer whatever their favorite manufacturer installs from the factory, lol. No, I really have no idea.

          1. LOL, I do like Michelin tires. Not sure what that means but they seem to be ok. A buddy of mine had thornburgs on his Toyota truck. Loud but they were a great looking tire and seemed to do off road really good. But that was a long time ago.

            1. I like Michelin tires too, which come on a lot of Fords. I really hated the Nexen tires that come on the RAM duallys. Talk about an off-brand on a big-dollar truck. Not sure what GM uses.

            2. I think GM uses decent brands too. I don’t recall any off brand tires on our Suburbans. I may have to go out and take a look now. I do remember that off brand used by RAM. I think they use Firestone tires too.

            3. RAM does use Firestones, that is correct. I don’t love Firestone, but the Nexens on the duallys (still what they use) is pretty inexcusable…

      2. In fairness, I like Fords the best and have been hit pretty hard about that, which is fine. I actually wouldn’t mind a brand new RAM Laramie Cummins 6-speed and a GMC 2500 Duramax Denali in my driveway right now to compliment my 2017 F-350 Lariat Ultimate Powerstroke dually, but that’s not the way it works. Next vehicle purchase is for my business; it will be a 2017 Ford F-550 V10 4×4 dump truck, lol. Not glamorous, for sure…need the payload, so GM is out. RAM does make a 5500, but I’m looking for a gas engine in this application…and the 6.4L Hemi seems not remotely as durable and proven as the 6.8L V10…not to mention the current RAM design is getting a bit dated and the current Ford design is brand-new.

        1. I still wish Ford would offer the V10 in the Superduty line and not just the chassis cab. That is a rock solid engine. Not to take anything away from the 6.2L but the V10 is just a work horse. Almost like the old 460. Not fast but just worked.

          1. Yep you are not the only one on the v-10. V-10 is just plain grunts it way to where it is going and keeps asking for more. Jimmy that is one reason I’ve been holding back from getting a new truck. 6.2 just isn’t a v-10. Plus hard to give up that manual. If the ten SPD Automatic gets to the SD(I believe they will) I might really start looking at them a little harder at the SD. I doubt we will see v-10 back in the SD pick Up’s. I red that the 6.2 is going to grow to 6.4 so will see happens.

            1. There has been a lot of talk about the V10 and the 6.2L. It has been mentioned that the V10 cannot meet certain emission targets. There has been a lot of talk about the 6.2L being replaced with a 7.0L or larger V8. The 6.2L is a very good engine and has a good reputation, but it is a revver and not a grunter. The current-gen 6.2L is a little better than the first gen 6.2L (25lb-ft more torque and at 700RPMs fewer) but it still is not the V10.

            2. I guess that makes sense about the emissions. That engine has been unchanged since 2006. There was some change to it last year where the HP dropped. Not sure what was involved in that special feature but the V10 is a good old low compression work horse.

            3. Last I heard or red that the 6.2 will grow to 6.4. I think fairly soon(maybe 2 or 3 yrs) I don’t know anything about 7.0, but I suspect ford probably will not go that big. Emissions is one reason Ford couldn’t use the v-10 in the f-250/350. So I don’t see know reason why Ford would go bigger 7.0 with having bigger cylinders than v-10. One of the big reason why v-8 engines are going smaller is the cylinder size. The bigger the cylinder is the harder it is to burn all that fuel. When you look at that way the v-10 cylinders are much smaller than a 7.0 v-8. So i just don’t think it will get that big.

              when I get f-250 serviced I’ll get to test the 2nd gen 6.2. tho I was disappointed in the 1st Gen.
              300+ lbs lighter helps.

              I think the rating I red in v-10 chassis cab is 340hp 440lb TQ. My guess they lowered it for durability.

        2. Troverman
          Just curious as to why you wouldn’t get the 6.7 in that f550 instead of the v10. I’m not knocking your choice of a v10. I myself owned a 96 dodge v10 for 17 years; best vehicle I ever owned. Also my son had a 2006 f450 v10 dump truck for 10 trouble free years. I just thought you liked diesels. Good luck with that truck in advance.

    13. We all have brands that we may prefer. I like many brands of cars and trucks, some more than others. I have owned a bit of everything from econo to luxury to sports cars but some brands stand out more than others.

    14. The F250 PSD like this probably doesnt have much more payload than a Powerwagon so I would probably go powerwagon. If it was a 350 then that would be a different story.

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