Doesn’t it always seem as though Chevy and Ford are trying to outdo one another with each model year that passes? It’s especially apparent when you take each brand’s lineup of trucks into consideration, but when you have two of the most popular trucks in the nation, there’s no harm in a little friendly competition, right? It’s not really news anymore that the Chevy Silverado can now be armed with ZR2 capabilities, and as you pass by the local Chevy Silverado Dealership, you may just see a ZR2 peering down at you from its perch. Over the years, Ford has added the Tremor package to a number of its models, the F-150 being one of them, making for some steep competition between the Bowtie and Blue Oval brands. So, when it comes to the ZR2 vs. Tremor, are these models virtually the same or can one overpower the other to be the alpha dog of the pack?
Chevy did not miss any details when it came to arming its legendary Silverado with ZR2 capabilities, and when the terrain beneath its tires becomes treacherous, the ZR2 is ready for it. With Multimatic DSSV dampers, the Silverado ZR2 exhibits exceptional performance, which comes in handy while traveling in challenging environments. These specialized spool valve dampers showcase continuous damping control and are highly flexible, making them responsive to several changing conditions. This damping system works in tandem with a number of other features, including front and rear electronically locking differentials to heighten every adventure. This allows the Silverado ZR2 to provide the most controlled and stable ride quality possible, even when the terrain is rough and virtually unmanageable.
The ZR2 was made for off-roading, so it is no surprise that it is armed with sophisticated four-wheel drive capabilities that blow its rivals right off the trails. With a two-speed transfer case and a dedicated Terrain Mode, the Silverado ZR2 makes quick work out of some of the most dangerous situations imaginable. Not to be outdone, the Ford F-150 Tremor showcases its fair share of features designed to take off-roading to the next level. With specialized monotube shocks, softer damping to add stability to low-speed travel, and impeccable 4×4 performance, the F-150 Tremor is a beast on the trails.
However, you will find some differences between the two trucks, and one is quite a dealbreaker. The F-150 Tremor only has an electronic-locking rear differential, whereas the ZR2 has front and rear e-lockers. This makes the Silverado ZR2 more agile and controlled when navigating treacherous environments. The F-150 Tremor’s ride quality is also reported to be a bit stiff and rough, which can make for a less enjoyable experience on board.
Durable Design Elements
Let’s face it—if your truck has legendary off-road capabilities but is not durable enough to withstand the elements, is it worth owning? Definitely not, which is why the Silverado ZR2 has been equipped with durable elements designed to handle the heat. The ZR2 features a strong off-road chassis, an off-road cut front bumper for a 31-degree approach angle, and massive 33-inch mud-terrain tires to help it propel off course with agility. It also features reinforced underbody skid plates to protect its important components, as well as steel front and rear bumpers, a raised hood, and high-intensity LED lighting elements to provide ample clarity when the woods beyond become thick and dense.
Although the F-150 Tremor looks like a baddie out on the trails, many of its components are strictly cosmetic. This is Ford’s way of getting serious off-roaders behind the wheel of the much more expensive Raptor model. The Tremor is more for those who want to act like an adventurer but don’t want to spend the money on the more functional parts that go into being a true off-roader. That being said, the Tremor has various helpful features among the exclusive Tremor badging and flashy color schemes.
Like the ZR2, it features 33-inch all-terrain tires and specialized 18-inch wheels. The Tremor exhibits a higher and wider stance to help clear more obstacles while delivering more solid ride quality on the trails. The Tremor is a viable option for drivers searching for a truck that can off-road better than standard trucks without the hulking price tag of a true off-roader.
There will come a time when the ZR2 and the Tremor will venture out of the wilderness and back onto the pavement, and for drivers who need their trucks to exhibit both on and off-road qualities, these trucks are not equal. Let’s focus on ride quality because the last thing drivers want is a truck that can’t take them to work efficiently each day after their weekend excursions in the woods have ended. Fortunately, the Silverado ZR2 is armed with the iconic 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, which offers not only superior power but also impressive fuel economy. Getting up to 29 mpg on the highway and with a towing capacity of 13,300 lbs, the ZR2 can effortlessly coast from off-road warrior to dedicated commuter or skilled workmate instantly.
The F-150 Tremor is not quite as lucky. It is equipped with a 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, which offers a different fuel efficiency number than its rivals, only able to get up to 22 mpg on the highway. It also tows less than the Silverado ZR2, topping out at 13,000 lbs, and when it comes to ride quality, the Tremor models are known to be rougher around the edges, making for more vibrations on the road. This can put a damper on everyday drives to work when you want to sit back and relax.
Every adventurer knows that their off-roader must be loaded with the right tech to enjoy the journey to the fullest. In today’s world, our vehicles are armed with tech to make the most of our experiences behind the wheel. The ZR2 takes tech very seriously, equipped with a massive 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, providing access to wireless smartphone integration, Alexa, and more to make time behind the wheel, even off the grid, more connected. In addition, with the Silverado’s impressive trailering and camera tech, traveling anywhere with any haul is made easier and safer on board. With up to 14 available camera views, a dedicated Trailering App, and more, the Silverado ZR2 is watching out for everyone, whether cascading through unfamiliar territory or heading to the campsite for a weekend unplugged.
The F-150 Tremor has its own set of helpful tech features to assist drivers during the adventure. Few trucks, however, can offer the available camera views that the Silverado can, including four hitch views, six driving views, and four parking views. The F-150 Tremor offers rear hitch assistance and a Trailer Tow Package, which includes helpful features like a trailer brake controller, backup assistance, and more. For those who want more tech in their truck, the ZR2 is the pick here.
ZR2 vs. Tremor
So, which rugged warrior comes out on top? There is no denying that both trucks are absolute legends in the industry, especially regarding off-road adventuring potential. For those who want a car that exhibits true off-road capabilities and the durability it takes to withstand the elements, the ZR2 is the obvious winner. This truck can also transition seamlessly from the trails to the pavement, offering superior ride quality and remarkable efficiency.
The F-150 Tremor is still a fantastic truck, but for those who want to get off-road and enhance thrill levels to new heights, the Raptor models may be better suited to these needs. This means spending more money, which makes the Tremor the happy medium for many drivers who want to travel off-road and look intimidating without overpaying for too many off-road-ready features. Either way you look at it: both trucks outperform their rivals, and when it comes to off-road explorations, the ZR2 and Tremor bring something to the adventure that other trucks simply can’t.