- Both vehicles offer available diesel engines.
- Chevrolet offers no competitor for the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The 2020 Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado are the number one and two bestselling vehicle nameplates in the United States. Both are available in loads of configurations with a variety of powertrains and options. While the Silverado was new for 2019, the F-150 has been around since 2015 in its current design but did receive an update for the 2018 model year. While these trucks are in large part evenly matched, we’ll compare the two in a number of categories below in an attempt to help you determine which is the better truck for you.
The redesigned Silverado is a little more angular than its predecessor, adopting more curves and an overall more sculpted look while still maintaining its rugged aesthetic. In redesigning the Silverado for last year, the Chevrolet design team gave the vehicle a lot of variety between its different trim levels, offering different appearances for utilitarian, sporty, off-road-oriented and luxury models. See the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado models for sale near you
The F-150’s design is by now quite familiar given that it’s entering its sixth model year on sale. Easily recognizable as a Ford product, the F-150 has a large oval-shaped grille up front, bisected on most trim levels by two bars, often finished in chrome and bracketed by the vehicle’s large headlights. A dip in the front window line — for added visibility — is the vehicle’s most notable feature when looking at its side profile. See the 2020 Ford F-150 models for sale near you
Both trucks are available in a variety of different cab configurations. Regular, extended and crew cab configurations are available, as are short, standard and long bed options. After its recent redesign, the Silverado’s boxes are overall slightly more voluminous than those of the F-150. Overall, both vehicles look like tough American trucks, but the Silverado wears the riskier, more modern design, while the F-150 is more subdued and traditional.
Since it’s the newer truck, you’d probably expect the Silverado to come with a modern, refined interior with some upscale aspirations. You’d be wrong, though, as the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado‘s interior is largely a carryover from the previous generation and is dominated by large swaths of hard plastic, even on upper trim levels. Don’t get us wrong — the Silverado’s interior is extremely functional and loaded with clever storage solutions, but it’s really no nicer than the interior you get in the F-150, despite that design being six years old at this point.
While neither vehicle offers a luxury-caliber interior like the 2020 Ram 1500, both are functional and come with a variety of upscale features on upper trim levels like high-end leather, heated steering wheels, ventilated seats and upscale trim pieces. As the Silverado’s cabin has grown with its recent redesign, it’s now on par with that of the F-150 in terms of size, and both vehicles offer loads of space in the back seat of their crew cab models.
Mechanicals and Capability
Relative capability is obviously a major motivator for anyone choosing between these two trucks. Both offer a wide variety of powertrain options that will satisfy just about any need.
The F-150’s base engine is a 3.3-liter V6. While this would’ve been something to laugh at a decade or two ago, modern engine technology allows this V6 to perform quite well, delivering performance numbers of 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, good enough for a tow rating of between 5,000 and 7,700 pounds depending on how it’s equipped.
The next step up in the F-150 is a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that puts out 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. More power means more towing capacity, and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 can pull between 7,600 and 9,100 lbs.
Despite its adoption of turbocharged V6 engines in recent years, Ford still has something for buyers looking for that old-school truck feel, offering a battle-tested 5.0-liter V8 putting out 395 hp and 400 lb-ft, good for a towing capacity of between 8,400 and 11,600 lbs.
At the top of the pile is Ford’s flagship turbocharged engine, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, which puts out 375 hp and 470 lb-ft. F-150s with this version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost can pull between 10,700 and a whopping 13,200 lbs.
F-150 Limited and Raptor models get a High Output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost that puts out an impressive 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. While this makes the Raptor absolutely insane to drive off-road, it also helps with on-road acceleration, which should be appreciated in both trim levels.
Finally, the F-150’s available diesel engine is a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, allowing for a tow rating of 10,100 and 11,400 lbs and a highway fuel economy of up to 30 miles per gallon, although of course these figures will dip significantly if you’re pulling a trailer.
Chevrolet took an unorthodox route with the new Silverado, opting to offer a turbocharged 4-cylinder as the vehicle’s base engine. The new 2.7-liter turbo offers impressive figures, though, putting out 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, figures that best those of the F-150’s entry-level V6. Four-cylinder Silverados can tow between 6,700 and 7,000 lbs.
Also available for the Silverado is a 4.3-liter V6 that puts out 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers a max towing capacity of between 7,400 and 7,900 lbs.
The Silverado is offered with two different diesel engines. The first is a 5.3-liter putting out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and is capable of pulling between 9,400 and 11,600 lbs. The Silverado’s top engine is the 6.2-liter V8. Putting out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft, the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8 enables it to pull between 9,200 and 12,200 lbs.
Finally, like the 2020 Ford F-150, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado offers a diesel option. In this case, it’s an inline 6-cylinder that makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and can pull up to 9,300 lbs, significantly less than the Ford.
Both trucks come standard with rear-wheel drive and offer four- or all-wheel drive as an option except for their most powerful gas engines, which offer four-wheel drive as standard. Keep in mind that adding four-wheel drive means a higher price and slightly diminished fuel economy.
Altogether, if you can get comfortable with driving a full-size pickup truck with a four-cylinder under the hood, the Silverado’s base engine is arguably a better engine than the F-150’s base V6. The Silverado also offers more choice for buyers who want a V8. Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8 is plenty competent, but some buyers may scoff at the idea of a turbocharged V6 being the company’s most potent truck engine, even though Ford’s EcoBoost technology is quite impressive. We like Ford’s turbocharged options, though, given the sheer power they deliver, and we also like the F-150’s diesel, as it’s more capable.
As they’re incredibly close competitors, the F-150’s and Silverado’s pricing aligns closely across the board. Basic work truck variants of either one start out at right around $30,000, while top-of-the-line Silverado High Country and F-150 Platinum and Limited models top out at between $60,000 and $70,000. The F-150 Raptor, for which Chevrolet has no competitor, starts in the high $50,000 range and tops out in the mid-$70,000s.
Altogether, these trucks offer great value, even in their upper trim levels, which offer things like parking assist, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, upscale leather and interior trim, and more.
It’s altogether very difficult to name one of these trucks the winner in this comparison. Both offer similar trim levels with similar feature content. Ford excels when it comes to more niche models like the desert-conquering Raptor and high-end Limited trim, not to mention its diesel powertrain, which is more capable than that found in the Silverado. But for more mainstream, middle-of-the-pack offerings, it’s really too close to call thanks to both automakers’ offerings of competent powertrains and spacious cabins. On the inside, the F-150’s interior is starting to feel a little dated, while the Silverado’s feels just plain mailed-in. When it comes down to it, you may have already made up your mind on which of these trucks you prefer given your past experiences with either manufacturer. Either one offers great capability. Which one is right for you should probably come down to your individual preference, your towing and hualing needs and which one you can get a better deal on from your local dealer. Find a Ford F-150 for sale or Find a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for sale