A clash of popular full-size pickup trucks from reputable brands, but, which one will come out on top? In the fight of the 2020 Ford F-150 vs 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500, it all comes down to the specs, and probably some personal reason you like one brand over the other. So, even if you’ve already decided which one is better — we’re still going to compare them.
If you didn’t know, trucks are the most popular vehicle in the United States (and it’s been that way for quite some time). And leading the way are the Ford F-Series and Chevy Silverado, which obviously includes the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado 1500. This may come as a shock to car and SUV drivers out there, but trucks are the most popular vehicles in America, and these are two of the top dogs. The SUVs are making their move, but it’ll take a lot more for them to displace these known competitors.
History and Pricing
Let’s start with a brief intro for this American classic. Coming from Ford’s F-Series, which started in 1948, the first F-150 model was introduced in 1976. Needless to say, it’s been around a while and has definitely earned its status.
Now, the 2020 model is a far cry from what you’d see on a 1976 version. Today, we’re looking at a vehicle that ranges in price from $28,495 to $67,485. What may have originally been built as a work vehicle that could be taken offroad now has a lot of options and convenience features available. It’s more than capable of a family road trip, while still able to haul a load of lumber down to the workshop.
The Silverado may not have as much of a history as the F-150 (the first generation models were 1999), but it’s definitely a proven name these days as hundreds of thousands are purchased every year. You’ll find the starting price range (across trim levels) to be $28,300 – $53,300.
Engine and Powertrain
Your standard F-150 comes equipped with a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 Engine, which will produce 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with Normal, Tow/Haul, and Sport modes. With certain configurations, the F-150 can reach a conventional tow rating of 13,200 lbs. Also, with certain configurations, you’ll have the F-150’s best-in-class payload rating.
Additional engine options include the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 Engine, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine, and 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 Engine. Each one of these available options would be considered an upgrade in overall power over the standard offering.
- 2.7L EcoBoost V6: 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque
- 3.5L EcoBoost V6: 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque
- 5.0L Ti-VCT V8: 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque
They all come with a 10-speed automatic transmission with two additional modes: Snow/Wet and EcoSelect.
As you increase in engine power, you’ll also see an increase in the maximum conventional towing capabilities. Your regular cab with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 will see a range of 7,600 lbs – 8,500 lbs. The same setup with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 will see a range of 10,700 lbs – 12,100 lbs. And, ultimately, your 5.0L V8 will see a range of 8,300 lbs – 11,100 lbs.
Your standard Silverado comes equipped with a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine, which will produce 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. With certain configurations, the Silverado has an available maximum towing capacity of up to 13,400 lbs.
Additional engine options include the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine, 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with DFM (Dynamic Fuel Management), and 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine.
- 5.3L EcoTec3 V8: 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque
- 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 w/ DFM: 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque
- 6.2L EcoTec3 V8: 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque
The 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The DFM version is paired with either an 8- or 10-speed automatic transmission. The 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and it should be noted this engine also has the DFM technology.
You’ll find a range in towing capacity for the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine of 9,500 – 11,000 lbs; with DFM, that capacity changes to 9,200 – 11,500 lbs. As for the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine, it gets between 9,100 – 13,400 lbs.
Some of the standard model F-150 features are Automatic High Beams, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi Hotspot, Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist, and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.
Moving up trim levels, you can find additional standard features, such as Leather-Trimmed Front Seats (Lariat), a Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage (Lariat), Heated Steering Wheel (Limited), and Lane-Keeping System (Limited). Of course, the increased features are reflected in the increased prices.
Standard features on the Silverado 1500 include a Rear Vision Camera, StabiliTrak, and Teen Driver (a nice feature for parents with kids that are learning to drive).
Moving up trim levels, some of the additional features include 6-speaker audio system (Custom Trail Boss), Rear Seat Reminder (Custom Trail Boss), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (High Country), and Remote Start (High Country).
There are a lot of similarities between the two full-size pickups, including their large selection of trim levels. The F-150 has the XL ($28,495), XLT ($34,510), Lariat ($42,500), King Ranch ($52,740), Platinum ($55,270), and Limited ($67,485). Their special off-road trim is the Raptor ($53,205).
The Silverado 1500 has the WT ($29,895), Custom ($36,195), LT ($38,495), RST ($40,395), LTZ ($44,595), and High Country ($54,895). Their special off-road trim is the Custom Trail Boss ($43,795).
Overall, the Ford F-150 options start becoming more expensive at the higher trim levels, including their offroad trim, the Raptor. However, the additional features you can find may seal the deal for some, even with the higher price points. The Raptor is particularly quite a bit more expensive than the Custom Trail Boss, but that may have been intentional when Chevy introduced their off-road-ready trim. They may be appealing to a customer base that doesn’t want to spend as much, but still wants a full-size pickup that can go offroad. The Raptor has proven its capability for a while now, and it seems Chevy isn’t trying to approach the competition head-on by comparing specs.
It’s hard to go wrong with either choice, and because of brand loyalty, you’ve probably already made yours. But, we’ll throw in our opinion anyway. At the lower trim levels, the options seem pretty similar, but as you keep going up, the F-150 stretches away simply because it has more options (with a higher price, as well). Also, if you’re looking at the offroad trims, the Raptor would be a clear winner. It’s not just some extra features thrown together — it actually thrives when it’s having an adventure. The Custom Trail Boss, while reliable, won’t have the same capability.