Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F150
When it comes to full-sized pickup trucks in the United States, the Chevy Silverado and Ford F150 year after year vie for the best-made and best-selling truck. Each has won numerous awards and accolades, including the highly coveted “Truck of the Year” designation from the top automotive publications.
That may make the two trucks roughly equal when it comes to capabilities – whether it’s hauling a load to the dump or going out on a date with the apple of your eye – but there are significant differences.
Tried and True vs. New and Unproven
Every pickup truck needs a strong motor to move it down the road and, in many instances, pull a heavy load as well. To do so, the Chevy Silverado uses a time-tested and proven pushrod V-8 that is very similar to the small-block powerhouse Chevrolet introduced six decades ago. Naturally, the modern engine is much more powerful, efficient and easier to maintain than its decades-old predecessors, yet it still retains the same basic mechanical design that makes it simple to work on and maintain.
The F150, by contrast, features a new, smaller motor that may need to have some bugs worked out before proving itself reliable. Instead of the 4.6-liter or 5.4-liter Triton V-8 that powered most of F150’s prior models, the 2015 model utilizes a V-6 with a turbocharged boost.
Sturdy Steel or Aluminum Body Construction
To save weight and boost fuel economy, the F150 uses lightweight aluminum panels everywhere except for the firewall, which remains steel. The Chevy Silverado is made from 100 percent steel construction, which improves rigidity, carrying capacity, and towing rating. A leaf spring-assisted suspension eliminates costly struts and makes suspension maintenance much easier for home mechanics.
In addition to a base 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the F150 also is available with optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, and a 6.0-liter V-8. Depending on the engine chosen, the F150 can tow up to 12,200 pounds and has a maximum payload of 3,300 pounds with a six-speed automatic transmission taking care of gear changes.
The Chevy Silverado has two optional V-8 engine configurations with 5.3-liter and 6.2 liter V-8 engines available. The standard 4.3-liter V-6 that comes in the base model generates 305 pounds feet of torque and ensures even the smaller, more fuel efficient power plant is perfectly capable of hauling the same loads as its bigger V-8 brothers. When equipped with the 6.2-liter engine, the Silverado produces 460 pounds feet of torque and generates up to 420 horsepower that make it a great towing and hauling truck.
At $27,850 for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the base model Chevy Silverado and $27,510 for the base model Ford F150, the trucks are competitively priced. Prices rise to $56,500 for the top F150 model and a lower suggested retail of $53,000 for the top Silverado model.
With the multitude of options available for a Chevy Silverado or Ford F150, it’s best to carefully assess the strengths and weaknesses of each. Some online comparison shopping can help you make an informed buying decision and choose the truck that most closely fits your needs and budget.
For those who appreciate reliable, time-proven engines and a first-rate fit and finish, the Silverado will work wonderfully. The F150 also has its strengths, but its new, unproven engine configuration lacks the time-tested durability of its Chevrolet counterpart.