A few decades ago, people would have scoffed at the idea of a pickup being the preferred off-road vehicle, especially over, say, a Jeep. Even today, there are individuals who will argue over the best vehicle to go off-roading in and never even consider comparing trucks like the 2023 Ford F-150 vs 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500. However, pickups have been building a fanbase of off-roaders for a while now, with the result of a competitive, creative rise in features that benefit all those who like to wander off into the wild for a little fun. Haven’t had this experience yet? You’re in for a treat.
The Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 are now considered great off-road vehicle options, though people will have their preferences. If you’re looking for something nimble and quick that retains the comfort and up-to-date technology you’re used to, you might want to take a closer look at these two trucks. They both come with some standard off-road equipment and have available packages and trims that can take your off-road experience to a higher level. Which of these trucks has better off-road features, and are there enough differences to make that determination?
Trim Levels and Packages
Both the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado are available in a variety of trim levels, and a few of the options were specifically created to trick out your very own personalized off-roader. The 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 has the Z71 Off-Road Package and the two Trail Boss trim levels. Unfortunately, they don’t stand out as exceptional off-roader vehicles, simply hawking the usual wares that off-road enthusiasts have come to appreciate: shocks, suspension, a locking rear differential, all-terrain tires, etc. The 2023 Ford F-150 FX4 and Rattler packages are a similar story. However, the F-150 Tremor is another matter altogether.
If you want an off-road truck without shelling out the big bucks for something like the F-150 Raptor or Silverado ZR2, then the Tremor is the way to go. It has everything you need for off-road adventure: 33-inch all-terrain tires, an upgraded suspension system, an automatic two-speed transfer case, skid plates, and even a front Torsen limited-slip differential. The Tremor also shares some handy off-road driver-assist tools with the Ford Bronco. These cool features include Trail 1-Pedal Drive and Trail Turn Assist, which make navigating obstacles a lot easier.
Possibly the best feature is that the Tremor isn’t even the top trim level, slotting in between the Lariat and the King Ranch, meaning you won’t have to shell out as much money to get everything you want for your outdoor adventures. You also won’t have to wait for anything to be installed, taken off, or otherwise modified––you’ll be able to drive it right off the lot and into the sunset without a care in the world. Making this off-road truck available, ready to use, and affordable has given Ford a leg up on the other vehicles in this arena. There are other perks, of course, to going with the Ford F-150 instead of the Chevy Silverado, but the biggest selling point is the difference in the options offered to drivers who like to live on the wild side.
When you’re off-roading, you will meet a variety of terrain and weather conditions. You may be traversing mud, water, snow, gravel, or dirt, and you might have to do so while there’s a thunderstorm, a blizzard, a flood, or sleet. What all of this means is that you better have an off-road pickup capable of handling these things, with enough power to get you out and take you somewhere safer to wait out the weather, or to get you back to the main road before something collapses, cracks, or pulls you down.
This is why the engine in your off-road vehicle is so important, and while Chevy does have a seemingly long list of choices, they are all traditional gas or diesel engines. Choice is where the Ford F-150 excels, not only giving you the option for regular V6 and V8 engines but also offering a revolutionary new hybrid powertrain. The hybrid option includes a turbocharged V6 gas engine and an electric motor, giving you 570 lb-ft of torque and an estimated 700 miles of range per tank of gas.
The other great thing about Ford’s powertrain options is that you’ll have access to the available Pro Power Onboard built-in generator. Having up to 7.2 kW of electricity available through 120V and 240V power outlets will definitely come in handy when you need more lighting, want to power your cooking equipment, or have to charge your electronics. You can do a lot with this onboard generator, especially if you get caught in a weather situation where you need to hunker down.
Interior Comfort and Quality
Not every pickup has to serve the same purpose, but if you’re looking for an off-roader that you can use to escape the stress of everyday life, you don’t want to do so in an uncomfortable, squished space designed only for riding short distances. The Ford F-150 excels in this area, while the Chevy Silverado remains like many of its rivals, unable to provide much in the way of creature comforts.
When you look at the Ford F-150, you’ll see that it is purposefully suited for those who like to spend a night or three away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only is there a way to fold down the shift lever to create a flat workspace (perfect for those who like to play cards, dry out clothes wet from the nearby stream, or create fishing lures on the go), but at night, you can fold the front seats flat to create a bed. If you’re interested in a truck that the whole family can enjoy, the four-door crew cab will provide plenty of comfortable space for everyone, along with storage space for phones, snacks, books, and other necessities.
Of course, if you wanted to, you could also bring along a mattress to put in the truck bed, which allows you to enjoy sky-gazing, take a nap in the afternoon sun, or have a picnic in the middle of a meadow full of flowers. The wealth of space means you can pack up everything you could ever want or need, bring along a few family members or friends, and know that you can rest comfortably after a long day of fun.
The Ford F-150 Forges Ahead to Blaze New Trails
Overall, the 2023 Ford F-150 promises a fantastic experience every time you go off the beaten trail to forge your own path. It remains a versatile vehicle and a comfortable ride but also manages to cover new territory with the bevy of off-road accessories available. You can customize it, trick it out, and still use it as a daily commuter, knowing that another adventure is just around the corner.
You can also feel good about taking care of your environment with its hybrid option, knowing that you’re doing what you can to protect the world around you that you’re so eager to explore. The Ford F-150’s off-road capabilities simply can’t be matched by its competitors. Ford’s reputation for classic, reliable vehicles remains accurate, so if you’re looking for a new or used off-roader to start exploring with, put the Silverado 1500 out of your head and take the Ford F-150 for a test drive. You won’t regret it.