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2015 Ford F-150 vs. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2015

There are many reasons that the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-Series are the two most popular trucks, not to mention the two most popular vehicles overall, on sale today. They're versatile, powerful and reasonably priced. They also come in a wide array of configurations and offer a seemingly unending supply of engines and body styles. If you're trying to decide between the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and the 2015 Ford F-150, which one is better? It's the age-old question that truck shoppers are always asking, so we've created a close comparison between the vehicles to find out the answer. First, let's see what's new with the Silverado and F-150 for the 2015 model year.

2015 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is fully redesigned for the 2015 model year. In addition to new styling, a new interior and a series of new safety and convenience features, the 2015 F-150 boasts a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and aluminum construction designed to save weight and boost gas mileage.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

After a full redesign for 2014, which included new powertrains, new styling, a new interior and more standard and optional equipment, the Silverado is mostly unchanged for 2015. The only revisions are a newly optional 8-speed automatic transmission for the 6.2-liter V8 engine and a newly renamed LS trim level.

Reliability

Although the recently redesigned F-150 is too new for reliability experts at J.D. Power to rate, the Silverado earned a reassuring 4-circle score, indicating better-than-average reliability in the firm's Power Circle Ratings. The outgoing F-150 also earned four circles, and we hope the latest model performs just as well.

As for warranty length, the Silverado and F-150 offer the same bumper-to-bumper terms, 3 years or 36,000 miles, though the Chevy boasts a slightly stronger 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to the F-150's 5-year/60,000 mile plan. Still, reliability is too close to call, and we expect impressive long-term dependability from both trucks.

Fuel Economy

Both the F-150 and the Silverado use a wide array of powertrains designed to fill every possible pickup-truck need. In both trucks, the base-level engine is a V6. It's a 283-horsepower 3.5-liter unit in the F-150, capable of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, while the Silverado's 285-hp 4.3-liter V6 returns up to 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy. The F-150 also offers an optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that offers 325 hp and yields up to 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.

If you want a larger engine, the Silverado and F-150 each offer two. The Silverado's 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 boasts up to 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy, while its more powerful 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 returns 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy. Meanwhile, the F-150's optional powerplants are a V8 and another turbocharged V6. The V8 makes 385 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque and returns 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy; the V6 puts out 365 hp and 420 lb-ft and returns an impressive 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.

The overall theme is that, from entry-level models to the top of the line, the F-150 boasts slightly higher fuel economy ratings than the Silverado does with virtually every engine. As a result, the F-150 is our pick if fuel economy is important to you.

Safety

Although the F-150 has not yet been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it will be hard to be beat the Silverado's perfect 5-star rating. We think the F-150 will earn high scores, though, because its predecessor managed a near-perfect 4-star rating.

In terms of safety features, the F-150 and the Silverado offer the same level of standard items: anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and side-curtain airbags. The F-150 boasts more overall features, including a 360-degree camera, forward-collision warning with brake priming, a blind spot monitoring system and inflatable seat belts. None of these extras are offered in the Silverado. As a result, safety is a draw: The Silverado boasts excellent crash-test ratings, but the F-150 offers more features.

Technology

If technology is your thing, you'll find a surprisingly high level of the latest gadgets in both trucks. The Silverado, for example, offers remote starting, a rear-seat Blu-ray player, an 8-inch touchscreen for the truck's MyLink infotainment system and off-road-friendly hill-descent control.

It's the F-150 that really has the last word in high-tech equipment. Ford's full-size truck offers automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control, automatic parallel parking assist, power retractable running boards, and LED headlights and taillights. Again, none of these features are offered in the Silverado. As a result, we suspect that technophiles will prefer the Ford to the Chevy.

Value

From a value standpoint, you'd be hard-pressed to find serious differences between the F-150 and the Silverado. The F-150 can tow a little more, and its payload capacity is a little higher than the Silverado's. Mileage is a little better, too, but the Silverado tends to be slightly cheaper. Most importantly, none of these differences are so severe that we suspect buyers would vastly prefer one truck to another as a result. In the end, a victory in the value category goes to the truck that offers the most stuff for the best price, and that may simply come down to negotiating the best possible price at the dealer.

AutoTrader's Advice

We really like the all-new Chevrolet Silverado, but we like the slightly newer 2015 Ford F-150 even more. No, the Ford doesn't dramatically stand out over the Chevy in any one area: Fuel economy is just a little better, as are gas mileage, hp, safety features and technology. The same goes for payload capacity and towing capacity. When you add all those up, the F-150 emerges as the clear winner. We wouldn't completely turn our back on the Silverado, but if we were writing the check, our money would go to the Ford dealer.

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2015 Ford F-150 vs. 2015 Chevrolet Silverado: Which Is Better? - Autotrader