Buying a new pickup truck should not be taken lightly. A great pickup truck is more than just a form of transportation, it is a workhorse designed to lug cargo as well as passengers with ease. As a result, drivers and potential buyers should expect a lot out of their pickup models. Rather than just having great features or a decent safety rating, your pickup truck ought to be able to do it all and then some. There are many pickup truck models out there, but two clear standouts for us are the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Ford F-150. Ford and Chevy have been in the industry since the very beginning as competitors, and that long-held rivalry is just as strong today. Both the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F-150 are certainly capable pickup trucks, but in order to determine which is the better purchase, we’ll have to delve a bit deeper into the details.
How do They Look?
No matter how you spin it, both the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado are good looking trucks. On the one hand, you have the strikingly modern Ford F-150, a pickup truck that bares the Ford logo right on the front grille, and depending on which model you buy, you’ll get that Ford name in big, bold, and unforgiving lettering. A pair of chunky headlights adorn the front face, and the exterior styling can range anywhere from rugged off-roading champion to minimalistic work truck.
The Chevy Silverado, on the other hand, stays true to classic designs, with its large silver or black-toned front grille and boxy design. Like the Ford F-150, the look of the Chevy Silverado will change depending on which model you buy, and it can vary from conservative to rather flashy. So, yes, both of these pickup trucks are neck and neck when it comes to style, but what about the price?
Well, as it turns out, even the pricing is remarkably similar, with the Ford F-150 starting at $28,495 MSRP and the baseline Chevy Silverado costing a bottom line of $28,300 MSRP. While the Chevy Silverado is marginally cheaper, it isn’t a price difference that’ll be as apparent in the final paperwork. Strangely enough, both trucks offer a bountiful assortment of trim options. When it comes to Ford’s pickup, you’ll get to choose between the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Raptor, and Limited. Alternatively, the Chevy Silverado expands on Ford’s options providing the Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, LT Trail Boss, RST, LTZ, and High Country trim. While the Chevy truck does provide more room for configuration, the offerings of the Ford model are still pretty substantial and worth checking out.
As can be expected for both the Chevy and Ford trucks, the number of engine options available to you is absolutely staggering. Both automakers attempt to provide drivers with a true pick of the litter, giving them the ability to craft nearly any kind of pickup truck for nearly any kind of occasion.
For the sake of brevity, we’ll cover the highlights of what either truck has to offer in terms of engine performance, as covering them all would lead to an overload of information. At the start, the Ford F-150 is powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine that makes use of a 6-speed automatic transmission to make about 290 horsepower; which isn’t half bad for a low-entry pickup. Mid-range models, on the other hand, utilize a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that easily pumps out 325 horsepower, 400 lb-ft of torque. This middle of the road option uses a 10-speed automatic transmission to seamlessly send power down through the wheels.
And if you’re wondering whether the Ford F-150 has a V8 or not, don’t worry, you’ll find it in the form of a 5.0-liter V8. This 8-cylinder engine may not drastically outperform the turbocharged V6 engines, the offering of 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque is certainly worthwhile. And with the ability to tow 11,600 pounds, depending on configuration, drivers should make short work of any long road-trips or demanding tasks.
While the Ford F-150 certainly delivers a wealth of power in its powertrain lineup, it lacks the kind of diversity that can be found in the various options of the Chevy Silverado. When you pay for the base trim, you’ll get a 4.3-liter V-6 engine coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission which churns out 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. Settled alongside that V6 is a turbocharged four-cylinder that outperforms even the Ford truck’s basic engine. This 2.7-liter turbocharged engine is rated for a staggering 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque, specs that are more appropriate on an engine twice its size.
Following these two smaller engines is an as diverse assortment of turbo-6s and V8 engines that bring performance to tremendous levels. At its best, the Chevy Silverado can utilize the raw force of a 6.2-liter V-8 that is rated for 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and with a 4WD the drivetrain can haul up to 13,400 pounds. Both trucks also feature a diesel option. The 2020 Silverado provides a 3.0-liter Turbo-Diesel Duramax with 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 3.0-liter Power Stroke is offered on the F-150, sizing up at 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft, not quite enough to edge past the Silverado.
As you can see, the Chevy Silverado can vastly outperform the Ford F-150, and it can do it all with engines that are much smaller than their competitors. However, it isn’t just engine power that a driver should keep an eye out for when purchasing a pickup, as there are plenty of modern amenities that can either make or break your driving experience.
When it comes to modernity, the base model of both the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F-150 isn’t winning any awards. Both models are pretty bare-bones at the start. However, either vehicle can be upgraded to a sport near luxury-level features should you pay the hefty sales price. For the sake of consistency, we’ll focus primarily on the baseline models of both pickup trucks.
Step into the baseline model of the Ford F-150, and you’ll realize right away why they consider it to be a ‘work truck.’ Nothing is particularly luxurious about the base model, as entry-level features include features that would have been considered high-end decades ago. For that low-entry price, you’ll get manual windows, an AM/FM radio, vinyl floors, and manual door locks. Yes, you can find a whole lot more in higher trims, like a Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible infotainment system and heated power-adjustable seats, but you’ll have to pay a whole lot more to get it.
The Chevy Silverado walks a similar path, however, isn’t quite as outdated as the Ford F-150. Features include similar vinyl seats and flooring, manual features, and some solid 17-inch wheels. However, you’ll also find a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen in the center dash that, yes, is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. That’s not to mention the standard Teen Driver system, which allows you to adjust the settings of your ride based on who’s sat behind the wheel. Like the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado does offer a whole lot more in higher trims, but it is the base model that can really set the tone for the rest of the trim options.
So, Which is Better?
Needless to say, you’ll find plenty to love in both pickup trucks, but if you’re looking to make the purchase that has the most value, the Chevy Silverado is the way to go. With greater engine variety, more standard onboard features, and a slightly lower entry price point, you’ll get far more bang for your buck if you decide to sign the dotted line for one of these Chevy pickup trucks.