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2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 Chevy Silverado: Which Is Better?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Chris O'Neill July 2018

2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 Chevrolet Silverado. If you're having trouble deciding between the two, you're not alone. Choosing a full-size truck can be challenging -- sometimes it seems as if they're the same vehicle, and sometimes they seem so different that you don't even know where to start. Each offers a wide variety of engines ranging from fuel-efficient to powerful and is available in a number of configurations optimized for hauling people, things or both. And when you factor in all of the available trim levels, things seem to get even more complicated. If you're on the fence, we're here to help you determine which truck is right for you.

Basic Specs

The top-selling vehicle in the U.S., the Ford F-150 was last fully redesigned for the 2015 model year. In addition to an all-new interior and exterior, the big news with this redesign was the move to an all-aluminum body, which helped it shed 700 pounds from its previous-generation design. While the aluminum body was both praised and criticized by many, it hasn't had much effect on the F-150's overall utility, so it shouldn't factor heavily into your purchase decision. Ford's engine lineup is diverse, given the availability of diesel and high-output Raptor variants.

The 2018 Ford F-150 engines:

A 3.3-liter V6 making 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque

  • Rear-wheel drive: 19 miles per gallon in the city/25 mpg on the highway/22 mpg in combined driving
  • 4-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined

A 2.7-liter turbo V6 making 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined

A 5.0-liter V8 making 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined

A 3.5-liter turbo V6 making 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined

A 3.5-liter high-output turbo V6 making 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque

  • 4WD: 15 mpg city/18 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined

A 3.0-liter turbodiesel making 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 20 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined

The Silverado was last redesigned for the 2014 model year and will be all-new again for the 2019 model year. While the 2018 Silverado uses an aluminum hood, the rest of the body, including the bed, is steel. Three engines are offered; the midrange 5.3-liter V8 is also available with an electric-assist mild hybrid option that offers a slight boost in fuel economy. New turbocharged 4-cylinder and diesel options are on their way for the 2019 redesign.

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado engines:

A 4.3-liter V6 making 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 17 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined

A 5.3-liter V8 making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined
  • 4WD: 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined
  • eRWD: 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined
  • e4WD: 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined

A 6.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque

  • RWD: 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined; 4WD: 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined

Both trucks are available in regular, extended and full 4-door cab configurations and with 5.5-, 6.5- and 8-ft. bed lengths.

Ford offers the high-performance, off-road-ready Raptor; Chevrolet has yet to introduce a proper competitor.

Capability

Equipped with the most potent engine, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2018 F-150 can tow up to 13,200 pounds and also has a payload capacity of 3,230 pounds. With the base engine, the 3.3-liter V6, the F-150 can tow up to 7,700 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,990 pounds.

The 2018 Silverado can tow up to 12,500 pounds with its most potent engine, which is its 6.2-liter V8. Equipped with this engine, the Silverado has a payload capacity of up to 2,250 pounds. With the entry-level 4.3-liter V6, the Silverado can tow 7,600 pounds. and has a payload capacity of 2,108 pounds.

Overall, the F-150 bests the Silverado in towing capacity, while also being slightly more fuel-efficient.

Reliability

Both the F-150 and the Silverado should have average reliability. Because these are the two best-selling vehicles in the U.S., parts and service should both be easy and relatively inexpensive to come by.

According to a recent JD Power Dependability Study, which compared a 2015 Silverado to a 2015 F-150 over 3 years of use, the Silverado was awarded 5 out of 5 stars, while the F-150 received 4 out of 5 stars, mainly due to a low score in the body and interior dependability category.

Interior Design & Quality

Both the Silverado and the F-150 are available in a number of trim levels, ranging from work trucks all the way up to the top-grade F-150 Platinum and the Silverado High Country. Therefore, interior quality ranges from utilitarian to luxurious. With that said, the F-150 seems to reach a higher level of luxury inside, offering such upscale features as a cab-length panoramic sunroof on crew cab models.

Space

The Silverado offers a bit more front-seat passenger space than the F-150. Silverado drivers get just under 43 inches of front-seat headroom and just over 45 inches of legroom. In the F-150, these figures just under 41 and 44 inches, respectively.

Back seat passengers get an almost identical amount of headroom in both trucks, with both ringing in at around 40.5 inches, while the F-150 offers more rear-seat legroom, with 43.6 inches compared to the Silverado's 40.9 inches.

Now onto the beds. In short-bed configuration, the F-150 offers 53 cu ft. of cargo room, while in long-bed form it offers 77 cu ft. The Silverado offers an identical 53 cu ft. of space in its shortest available bed configuration, and 76 cu ft. with its longest bed.

It should also be noted that the F-150 offers slightly more interior storage space with regard to cubbies and compartments.

Tech

The 2018 F-150 offers an optional 8-in touchscreen with Ford's Sync 3.0 infotainment system, which is regarded as being highly intuitive. It offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, along with 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. The F-150 is also available with a panoramic moonroof, and new for 2018 is an available 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

With the Silverado, even work trucks come standard with a 7-in infotainment screen offering Chevy's excellent MyLink infotainment system, noted for having a slightly faster response time than Ford's system during testing. As with the F-150, the Silverado comes complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but again, this is standard in even base-model Silverados, which isn't the case with the F-150. A rear-seat entertainment system is optional in the Silverado, but a panoramic roof is not.

Overall, it's difficult to hand either of these trucks a victory in this category, as both offer about as much as anyone could ask for on a modern vehicle with regard to infotainment.

Safety

The 2018 F-150 received good scores across the board in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) third-party crash-test ratings, earning it an IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. The 2018 Silverado 1500 received generally good marks, except in the new driver's-side small front-overlap test, where it earned a score of Marginal, the second worst out of four available scores.

In terms of driver-assistance features, the F-150 offers adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and parking assisting. The F-150 also offers a unique self-parking feature, as well as trailer-backup assist, which helps a driver maneuver in reverse with a trailer attached.

The Silverado offers autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.

While each offers features the other doesn't, the 2018 F-150 is ahead of the 2018 Silverado in regard to driver-assistance features.

Autotrader's Advice

Both of these trucks are highly competent machines that offer massive utility with regard to hauling people, stuff and trailers, perhaps even all at once. Given that they're both about the same age, offer a range of competent engines and are available in trim levels to meet anyone's needs, all the way from work truck to luxury grade, it's difficult to say that one is objectively better than the other. Overall, though, the 2018 F-150 makes for a marginally better package. The full-size truck segment is so competitive that each automaker has to be at the top of their game every model year or risk falling behind the pack, and as a result, both the F-150 and Silverado have been updated consistently over the years. That said, given its range of more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, better crash-performance and driver-assistance features and an overall more upscale cabin, the 2018 F-150 gets the slight edge in our book.

Keep in mind, though, that the 2019 Silverado is all-new. In addition to a redesigned interior and exterior, it will offer a new turbocharged 4-cylinder base-model engine, a diesel-powered variant and a new off-road trim-level. All of this should serve to close the gap with the F-150, and we suspect this comparison will be even more difficult come 2019.

Find a Ford F-150 for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Ford F-150 vs. 2018 Chevy Silverado: Which Is Better? - Autotrader