This year’s latest pickup truck battle has brought us the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Ford F-150, sparking debate amongst millions of fans between two favorites. Both manufacturers have added a plethora of new features to the latest of each lineup, and both the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2021 Ford F-150 are the best they’ve ever been. If you’re looking to get a new pickup truck, these two options are likely to be at the top of the list for both their performance and value. Chevy and Ford have been key players in the automotive industry for well over a hundred years, so there’s certainly no shortage of contention between these two manufacturers. However, you may be asking yourself, which of these two pickup trucks should you purchase, and why? To answer that question, we’ll take a closer look at each truck’s strengths and weaknesses to declare a winner.
On the surface, both lineups have a lot in common in regards to general performance and price. In practice, each vehicle manages to separate from one another in a few distinctive ways that could sway the opinions of aspiring shoppers. With both vehicles, you’ll have three cab sizes to select from, along with a trio of available bed sizes. For the 2021 Ford F-150, you may opt for a Regular Cab, Super Cab, or a SuperCrew Cab with the three available bed lengths measuring in at 5.5, 6.5, and 8-feet long. Compared to the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, there is a vast amount of similarities with an available Regular Cab, Crew Cab, and Double Cab. However, the Chevy Silverado just barely gets the edge, with its available bed sizes of 5.8, 6.6, and 8.1-feet.
Many Trims To Choose From
Each vehicle ensures you’ll not have any shortage of options as both lineups feature a robust selection of available trims to further enhance your ride. The base trim for each model is the Work Truck (WT) for the Silverado 1500 and XL for the F-150. Both base models come with powerful V6 engines and come standard with a feature-rich infotainment center; however, the Silverado 1500 starts at a lower MSRP of $28,600. This price tag isn’t too far off from the Ford F-150’s starting MSRP of $28,940; however, that small price margin can mean a lot in the grand scheme of things considering drivers will likely go for the cheaper option if it contains many or all of the same features. Each following trim adds to the Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150’s feature-set.
The next available trims for the Silverado 1500 is Custom and Custom Trail Boss, the latter of which integrates the perfect amenities for off-roading with an included package. This is then followed by the LT, RST, and LT Trail Boss, which also includes the aforementioned off-roading package, but also includes a powerful V8 engine paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The LTZ and High Country then make up the top of the list, with the High Country vastly enhancing the cabin’s luxury features, namely the inclusion of a premium audio system, amongst others.
After the previously mentioned LX trim that serves as the base F-150 model, there is the XLT, which adds a few notable features, such as a safety package, for example. The Lariat is next, swapping out the base model’s 17-inch wheels for an 18-inch set, along with a slew of interior enhancements such as leather seats with power-adjustable controls. The King Ranch is a trim that sports both style and substance and is truly a luxurious trim with a highly performant engine and both a stylistic cabin and exterior to match. Lastly, the Platinum and Limited are the two highest-tier trims, with Limited allowing for a hybrid powertrain, a massive set of 22-inch wheels, and a large and immersive moonroof for natural lighting, to name a few. Overall, both lineups present plenty of strengths that are shown through such a wide range of trims. However, we suspect many drivers to opt for the Silverado 1500 for its more value-oriented trim arrangement.
Performance and Towing
Of course, pickup trucks are best known for their towing capabilities, vastly outperforming the towing performance of any SUV. Chevy and Ford both offer a large range of powertrains to select from, with the Silverado 1500 featuring five different engines while the F-150 has six. Should you opt for the base Silverado 1500, you’ll get a 4.3L V6 that produces 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This torque output outperforms the F-150’s base model that includes a 3.3L V6 with 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, albeit with a better 10-speed automatic transmission and slightly higher horsepower. Opting for the available 5.3L V8 will allow you to choose between a 6, 8, or 10-speed automatic transmission.
The most powerful engine that you can fit your Silverado 1500 with is a 6.2L V8 that creates 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipping your Silverado 1500 will allow for a maximum towing capacity of 13,300 lbs. Although this is slightly outpaced by the F-150’s maximum towing capacity of 14,000 lbs, the difference is rather negligible. Both lineups also feature diesel-powered engines, with the Silverado’s offering producing 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, while the F-150’s engine produces 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the Silverado 1500’s diesel-powered engine is more fuel-efficient than Ford’s offering with EPA-estimated ratings of 23 MPG city and 33 MPG highway, promptly outpacing the F-150’s ratings of 21 MPG city and 29 MPG highway.
An Exclusive Tailgate
One of the most notable ways that the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 differs from the competition, including the Ford F-150, is a new Multi-Flex liftgate. It had been speculated for several years that Chevy was soon introducing a multi-function tailgate to the Silverado lineup after the feature had been a successful addition in other lineups. With a Multi-Flex liftgate, you’ll have more ways to utilize your truck’s bed with a variety of different positions for your liftgate to cater to a wide range of hobbyist or work-related activities. Whether you’re working from the back of your truck, or maybe you need a more reliable and easier way to load various amounts of cargo, your Multi-Flex liftgate will be a perfect choice. Unfortunately, there is no similar feature for the F-150 lineup currently, and it could be a while until we see its inclusion.
Tech Feature Highlights
The Chevy Silverado certainly isn’t skimping out on the available technology. The Silverado 1500 provides drivers with 15 available camera views designed to help with towing, parking, and much more. See around every angle of your truck and trailer, or even “see-through” your trailer at what’s behind you. An available Head-Up display makes seeing all your important driving information easy, and the infotainment system can provide drivers with access to the desirable Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatibility. Chevy is also making work easier with built-in tailgate lights to illuminate the back of your truck and a Wi-Fi hotspot to make working on the go a breeze.
Chevy isn’t the only brand offering some cool tech features, though. The F-150 has 360 exterior lighting to illuminate the areas all around your truck. Also, Ford’s available 12-inch infotainment screen is powered by Sync 4 that allows you to stay in touch with all of your car’s tech and receive Over-the-Air updates when new features are available. Also, stay connected through Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.
The Perfect Choice
There’s no question that these two pickup trucks are well equipped for an array of tasks as both are suited with capable powertrains. However, when it comes to the overall versatility that these trucks offer, we find the 2021 Silverado 1500 to be the better option. This is especially the case if you opt for the base model of either truck as the Silverado 1500’s engine has a greater torque output and a very slightly decreased horsepower output. However, this is easily rectified by the lower price tag of the Silverado 1500 without even mentioning the wide range of possibilities that Chevy’s multi-flex liftgate offers. This omission on the Ford F-150 is sorely missed, and we speculate that Ford knows this too. Although the enhancements that Ford has made to the F-150 lineup this year are certainly well warranted, the Chevy Silverado 1500 remains one step ahead of the curve.