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2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Silverado: Which Is Better?

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author photo by Eric Brandt October 2018
  • The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is all-new, and the 2019 Ford F-150 has been in its current generation since 2015.

  • The high-output EcoBoost V6 in the Raptor is now standard in the F-150 Limited for 2019.

  • A thorough update to the Silverado makes it modern on the outside, inside and under the hood.

The full-size pickup truck segment is one of the most competitive automotive segments in the U.S. It seems like no matter what happens economically or with gas prices, America's pickup truck obsession appears to be permanent. Two of the biggest players in this segment are the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado.

The Ford consistently outsells the Chevy, but does that automatically make it the better truck? With a big update for 2019, the Silverado is all-new, and the F-150 is on the second year of a mid-cycle refresh since its current generation began in 2015. The Chevy is newer, but the F-150 is the better seller. Now let's find out which one is better.

Exterior

One of the biggest changes to the Silverado for 2019 is its size and exterior styling. The Silverado got a little bigger for 2019 while also dropping some weight. The result is more room on the inside and a wider box in the back in all configurations.

The Chevy truck has taken on some softer edges compared to its more boxy predecessor, creating a bit more of a curvy look while still having pretty traditional pickup truck proportions. The Silverado's new face has been a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it affair, which is fine as long as you're on the "love it" side of the debate. The new Silverado has a nice variety among its many trim levels, offering several different looks for the same truck from sporty to luxurious to utilitarian and everything in between.

The Ford F-150 has looked about the same for a while now with a few exterior revisions along the way. The 2019 model is instantly recognizable as a Ford truck. The familiarity is nice, but it's a look that's starting to get a little stale. That said, the F-150 benefits similarly from a variety of different appearances within its model range.

Speaking of variety, both trucks have several different cab and box configurations available. They're both available as a regular cab (two doors, two seats), extended cab (four doors, small back seat) or crew cab (four doors, big back seat). They also all have short, standard and long boxes that you can option depending on how much cargo you're planning on carrying. Thanks to its new bigger size and some clever, space-efficient engineering, the Silverado's boxes can carry more volume than similarly sized boxes on the F-150.

A lot of personal taste plays into deciding which truck is right for you, especially when it comes to exterior styling. In our opinion, neither truck necessarily looks better than the other, but the Chevy looks more modern, and the F-150 looks more traditional.

Interior

The aforementioned bigger size of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is a plus for the interior space of the cabin. Occupants get more room than they did in the 2018 model and about the same amount of space you'll get in a 2019 Ford F-150.

Clever packaging in the Silverado's new interior includes two big storage bins in the back seat of crew cab models, along with storage space underneath the back seats. This is nice for keeping essentials like jumper cables in the cabin where they won't slide around like they would in the bed of the truck.

Design-wise, the changes to the interior of the Silverado aren't as significant as the changes to the exterior. The 2019 Silverado continues to have a rather simple and functional interior design that looks nice and can get very comfortable in the higher trims with features like two-tone heated and ventilated leather seats.

The interior of the F-150 is actually kind of similar to the simple, boxy design of the Chevy's interior. Like the exterior of the Ford, this interior is starting to show its age a bit, but that doesn't mean it's a bad interior. Also similarly to the Chevy, it can get ultra luxurious when you get up into the higher, more expensive trims.

These two truck interiors are similar in their simplicity, roominess and potential luxury. Now that the back seat of a crew cab Silverado is about the same as the one in the F-150, and with the addition of those big storage compartments and under-seat storage, we like the Chevy's interior a little more than the Ford's.

Mechanicals and Capability

If you're in the market for a full-size pickup truck, there's a good chance that capability is something that's important to you. Both of these trucks have a pretty decent variety of powertrain options that should satisfy just about any truck shopper.

The base engine in the Ford F-150 is a 3.3-liter V6. A V6 in a truck this size used to be a compromise, but this one delivers strong performance numbers of 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, making it good enough to tow between 5,000 and 7,700 pounds depending on how it's equipped.

For stronger performance without sacrificing fuel economy, you can upgrade to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 which generates 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The significant torque upgrade makes it better for towing than the base V6 with its towing capacity ranging from 7,600-9,100 pounds.

For an old-fashioned trucking experience, a tried-and-true 5.0-liter V8 is available under the hood of the F-150. This V8 delivers 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, giving it enough muscle to tow between 8,400 and 11,600 pounds.

For even more torque than the V8, you can get a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. With all of that torque, it has a very impressive towing rating of between 10,700 and 13,200 pounds.

A high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 lies under the hood of the Raptor and Limited variants of the 2019 F-150. This V6 cranks out 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, which makes the Raptor an absolute beast on-road and off, and now that amazing performance can be enjoyed in the more luxurious, more road-friendly F-150 Limited.

If you want a diesel in a full-size truck, you can get a 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel in the F-150, which makes 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, giving it an impressive towing rating of between 10,100 and 11,400 pounds and equally impressive fuel economy returning up to 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Since the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado hasn't arrived in dealerships yet, we don't have as much information as we'd like about its engines. What we do know is that a turbocharged 2.7-liter gas-powered inline-four engine will be available, which is an industry exclusive. This 4-cylinder makes 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, which impressively beats the base V6 in the F-150 by a fair margin.

We also know that two tried-and-true GM V8s will be available in the new Silverado. There's the 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and the bigger 6.2-liter V8 that upgrades those numbers to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It's worth noting that the fuel economy rating of the 5.3 V8 in the Silverado is identical to that of the 5.0 V8 in the F-150.

We know that a 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six turbodiesel will be available in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, but unfortunately, Chevy hasn't revealed any power, torque, fuel economy or towing capacity specs on this engine quite yet. Since it will be competing directly with the Power Stroke in the Ford, we imagine the numbers being fairly similar.

Both trucks have 4-wheel drive available with all engines and come standard in rear-wheel drive in most trims. 4WD is a great way to add more versatility to your truck, but it also makes the truck a little more expensive and less efficient.

Until we know more about the powertrain options in the Silverado, it's hard to make a call as to which of these trucks is better from a mechanical standpoint. However, the strong variety of engines in the F-150, and the high-output EcoBoost V6 becoming the only engine in the F-150 Limited for 2019 means Ford has an engine for anyone looking for a full-size truck.

Pricing

Pickup trucks have gotten a lot fancier and a lot more expensive than they used to be, but both of these trucks still start at just under the $30,000 mark. Prices go up as you go through the expansive model ranges, and the Silverado peaks with the High Country trim, which starts in the mid $50,000 range. The range-topping F-150 Limited, however, starts in mid $60k territory and can get even higher with options.

The Ford and the Chevy are similarly priced when similarly equipped, and if you can afford the really high-end models, they're actually worth it despite what might seem like crazy prices for something as utilitarian as a pickup truck.

Conclusion

With similar capability, similar fuel economy, similar pricing and a wide variety of trims in both trucks, it's tough to pick a clear winner between the Ford and the Chevy. As we said before, a lot of your truck-buying decision is based on personal preference. There's a lot of brand loyalty in trucks, which means if you already drive a Silverado, you're likely to replace it with another Silverado.

Based on what we know, however, the upgrades to the Silverado, such as more interior space, more cargo volume, an excellent base engine and new styling, make it an attractive new offering. The F-150 is both familiar and modern in a way that's sure to satisfy anyone shopping for their first pickup truck or their tenth.

We like the idea of the base turbocharged 4-cylinder in the new Silverado, which we think makes the Chevy the better truck on the low end. When you get into the higher trims with comparable V8s, it gets a little harder to discern which is better. Also, the Silverado doesn't have anything quite like the insane high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which makes the Ford the more desirable, but more expensive, truck on the high end.

So if you're looking to spend around $30k on your next truck, the Chevy might be a better choice. If you have a much higher budget going into the $60k range, however, then something like an F-150 Limited is hard to beat in luxury and capability.

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2019 Ford F-150 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Silverado: Which Is Better? - Autotrader