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2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

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  • 2021 Ford F-150

    A grey 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat is shown facing left.

    Starting at

    $29,290*

    2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

    A grey 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 Limited is facing right.

    Starting at

    $29,300

    290-430Horsepower (hp)285-420
    14,000Towing (lbs)13,300
    12Screen Size (in)8

    Full-size trucks are incredibly popular, which means it is one of the most competitive markets in the auto industry–every company works hard to put their best models out there. This is good news for you because it means you have a lot of options available, though not every full-size pickup is quite on the same level. Looking at the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, for example, we can quickly see that while Chevy has certainly worked hard to make its truck impressive, it simply cannot keep up with the incredible power, capability, and technology we find in Ford’s legendary pickup.

    For example, both of these trucks have six different engines available–though, for the Silverado, this includes two versions of the same engine. Once you start looking at what these engines are capable of, the Ford clearly comes out on top: its powerful hybrid engine delivers 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, while the most powerful engine in the Silverado tops out at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Similarly, every Ford F-150 engine comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, while many of the Chevy engines offer only 6-speed or 8-speed automatics that provide a much-less satisfying driving experience.

    These differences in performance might not be a huge deal if both trucks had the same level of capability, but the Ford F-150 once again comes out ahead. The F-150 offers up to 14,000 lbs of maximum towing capacity and up to 3,325 lbs of maximum payload; by comparison, the best the Chevy Silverado 1500 can manage is up to 13,300 lbs of towing and up to 2,280 lbs of payload capacity. When you look inside these two trucks, the differences continue, and Ford’s designers have pushed it beyond the Silverado time and again. For example, while the Silverado starts with a 7-inch infotainment display and has an 8-inch screen available, the Ford F-150 starts with an 8-inch screen and has a 12-inch infotainment display on offer.

  • Engines and Performance

    A black 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat is shown parked on a dirt lot during a 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado competition.

    2021 F-150 Engine Options

    No matter what you plan on doing with your truck, you should always take a look at the engine in it to see what kind of driving experience it has to offer. Since both the 2021 Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 have numerous engines available, comparing them can become a bit overwhelming. To keep things simple, let us take a look at the specs on the engines available with both of these trucks and then discuss how those numbers stack up.

    There are six engines available for the Ford F-150, and the level of performance each one has to offer can vary quite a bit from one to the next. This makes it easy for you to choose the engine that offers the perfect combination of power and performance for what you are looking for. The engines offered on the F-150 and their horsepower and torque include:

    • 3.3L V6: 290 hp and 265 lb-ft
    • 2.7L Turbo V6: 325 hp and 400 lb-ft
    • 5.0L V8: 400 hp and 410 lb-ft
    • 3.0L Turbo Diesel V6: 250 hp and 440 lb-ft
    • 3.5L Turbo V6: 400 hp and 500 lb-ft
    • 3.5L Turbo Hybrid: 430 hp and 570 lb-ft

    2021 Silverado Engine Options

    At first glance, it seems like the Chevy Silverado also has six engines available, but two of them are simply two versions of the same engine: one with active fuel management and the other with dynamic fuel management. While this impacts daily driving, it does not directly change the power of the engine, so we will look at it as a single option to keep things simple. With that in mind, here are the five overall engines on the Silverado:

    • 4.3L V6: 285 hp and 305 lb-ft
    • 2.7L Turbo I-4: 310 hp and 348 lb-ft
    • 5.3L V8: 355 hp and 383 lb-ft
    • 6.2L V8: 420 hp and 460 lb-ft
    • 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I-6: 277 hp and 460 lb-ft

    You can see that while some of the numbers are pretty similar between these two pickups, the Ford F-150 comes out on top time and again. The Silverado’s standard engine has impressive torque, but looking at its available 2.7L Turbo I-4 against Ford’s 2.7L Turbo V6 clearly gives Ford the advantage in terms of both horsepower and torque. What is especially impressive is the Ford F-150’s 3.5L Turbo Hybrid engine, which surpasses anything the Silverado has to offer in terms of both horsepower and torque; plus, its hybrid design offers the best fuel economy of any of the non-diesel engines from both companies.

  • Towing and Payload

    A silver 2021 Ford F-150 XLT is shown at a construction site.

    Incredible Work Potential

    One of the biggest reasons most of our customers choose a pickup over something like an SUV is the incredible amount of work you can get done using a truck. Whether you are primarily interested in towing a trailer behind you, loading up the bed with everything you need for your job, or both, you need to choose a pickup that can handle everything you throw at it. In this regard, the 2021 Ford F-150 clearly comes out on top over the Chevy Silverado 1500 as it offers superior towing and payload capability.

    The most important thing to remember when looking at towing and payload is that the actual amount of weight your truck can handle will depend on a wide range of different factors. In general, the engine is the single most important factor, but there at plenty of other things that can impact capability, so always look at the specs of any particular truck you are interested in. That being said, it still helps to consider the overall specs on different models to see what they are capable of and compare them when looking for the perfect truck.

    By the Numbers

    Both of these trucks start off pretty similarly: the Ford F-150 with its standard engine can handle up to 8,200 lbs of towing, while the Silverado with its starting engine can manage up to 7,900 lbs of towing. As you start looking at different configurations and engine options, however, things become quite different in favor of the Ford truck. For example, if you are interested in a diesel engine, then the F-150 with its available turbo-diesel can handle up to 12,100 lbs of towing while the Silverado with its diesel engine tops out at just 9,500 lbs. That is a huge difference that can really come into play if you do a lot of heavy towing with a diesel truck.

    In terms of payload, the differences are once again pretty minor at first, with the starting engines on both trucks offering very similar amounts of payload capacity. As you look at the best configuration for payload, remember that any weight added to the truck will reduce its capacity, which makes the Ford F-150 really come out on top. With its lightweight 3.5L EcoBoost Turbo V6 engine, the F-150 can handle up to 3,250 lbs of payload, while the best overall option for the Chevy Silverado tops out at 2,280 lbs. An extra 1,000 lbs of weight on your truck is huge and can mean the difference between making one trip and having to make two or three trips to a jobsite.

  • Exciting Technology

    A silver 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum is shown parked outside of a cabin.

    Impressive Modern Features

    The days of stripped-down, barebones pickups are long behind us, and modern trucks combine the best power and capability we have ever seen with impressive technology and surprising comfort. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable in your truck, even if you primarily use it as a workhorse–you work hard enough without suffering through an unpleasant drive to a jobsite. While both of these trucks offer some impressive features and tech, the Ford F-150 undeniably comes out on top.

    The 2021 Chevy Silverado starts with a 7-inch infotainment display and a 3.5-inch monochromatic driver information center. Other starting features on the Silverado include a standard steering wheel and instrument cluster, a pair of USB ports, and single-zone climate control. Fortunately, these are improved when going up to the highest trim, the High Country, which features an 8-inch infotainment display, an 8-inch driver information center, and a 7-speaker sound system. The High Country has heated seats, a wireless charging pad, and also features dual-zone automatic climate control.

    Although those features are pretty good, they still fall short of what the 2021 Ford F-150 has to offer. The starting features on the F-150 include an 8-inch infotainment display, as big as the best screen on the Silverado, a 4-inch screen in the instrument cluster, and a 6-speaker sound system with wireless phone connection. Looking at the highest trim, the Limited, the F-150 includes a stunning 12-inch infotainment display, a matching 12-inch digital instrument cluster screen, and an 18-speaker B&O Unleashed sound system with a subwoofer. A wireless charging pad is standard on the Limited, along with heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and power-adjustable pedals with memory settings so that your truck always feels the way it should when you get into it.

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