Ford versus Chevy; two rivals as old as the auto industry itself. While many more challengers have risen through the ranks over the past century or so, these two heavy hitters continue to duke it out in terms of automotive superiority. Of all the areas in which Ford and Chevy dominate, the pickup truck is a serious focus for both automakers. While Ford spearheaded the pickup truck form with the first release of a pickup model in the 1920s, Chevy has a legacy almost equally as long, going back as far as 1930. So, it only makes sense that today we’d be facing off the 2020 Chevy Silverado vs 2020 Ford F-150. While both pickup trucks deliver in power and value, only one can be the all-around better option. If you’re still on the fence between these two vehicles, we’ll help you explore, which is more likely to provide you the best possible driving experience.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
On the outside, the 2020 Chevy Silverado and the 2020 Ford F-150 are lookalikes. While they may pull from opposite ends of the same spectrum, stylistically, they attempt to break away from past designs, offering an exterior look that is both charming and polarizing. And both ‘future-centric’ trucks offer plenty to love, beyond the shape of their headlights and front grille designs.
Before getting into specifics, let’s start with the basics – and no characteristic is as basic as price. That said, pricing for these two pickup trucks should not be taken purely at face value. The 2020 Ford F-150 is similarly-priced to its competitor, coming in at an MSRP of around $28,495. Meanwhile, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 clocks in at an MSRP of $28,300.
If the two sticker prices didn’t seem close enough, the level of variation for both models is pretty consistent, too. The Chevy Silverado 1500 can be purchased in one of eight dazzling trim options: the Work Truck, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country. So, yes, the Chevy pickup is quite diverse. On the other hand, the 2020 Ford F-150 offers a similar level of variety, but not to the extent as it’s Chevy counterpart. Still, with the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited, the Ford F-150 certainly has plenty of options to choose from.
While on the surface, Ford and Chevy pickup trucks seem quite similar, there is a lot going on beneath the surface that deserves further inspection.
An Engine for Every Kind of Driver
There’s no doubt that both the 2020 Ford F-150 and the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 offer plenty of engine diversity in their lineups. Both automakers cater to a variety of drivers from business owners and construction workers, to luxury pick up enthusiasts who value performance as well as five-star amenities. That said, engine variation in the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is a lot more colorful than what Ford has to offer.
The 2020 Ford F-150 starts strong with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that promises about 290 horsepower and an EPA-rated 22 mpg combined. A 6-speed automatic transmission acts as a sidekick to this V6 engine, and solid low-end torque makes the Ford F-150 a pretty capable work truck. But that isn’t the end of the line for powertrains in the Ford F-150.
The base six-cylinder engine can be upgraded to a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that tops out at 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. A 5.0-liter V8 engine is also available in the Ford F-150, with a power rating of 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque; but this is as high as the powertrains go. You’ll certainly find more V6 engines in the mix, one even going as high as 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, but we’d have liked to see more high-end power from the available engine builds.
In contrast, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 rolls off of the factory floor offering 4, 6, and even 8-cylinder engines. In the base model, drivers will find a work-capable 4.3-liter V6 engine purring beneath the hood. This engine is well-paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which in the end makes for about 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft worth of torque. This is a pretty good start, and you have the option of swapping out the V6 to a 2.7-liter turbo-4 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission offering about 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque.
Next up is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder with a 10-speed automatic transmission; this powerhouse gets up to 277 horsepower and a remarkable 460 lb-ft of torque. And beyond that turbodiesel V6 is a whole slew of V8 engines, ranging from a 5.3-liter V8 with three different transmission options, as well as a 6.2-liter and a turbodiesel option, as well.
So, while the Ford F-150 delivers a considerable amount of power, it falls short of what Chevy has to offer – especially if you’re looking for robust torque specs. And what about towing capability? When properly equipped, the Chevy Silverado 1500 can tow up to 13,400 lbs while the F-150 can get up to 13,200 lbs.
Going Beyond the Engine
While base models for both the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 sport similar engine choices, the interior is where their differences become clear. Sure, you’ll get a good engine in the Ford F-150, but you’ll get bare basics on the inside; great for a work truck, but less than ideal if you’re looking for more. The base model 2020 Ford F-150 comes with features that are a couple of decades too late, including manual windows, AM/FM radio, manual door locks, and vinyl floors. While you can get a bit more with the XLT, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto infotainment system, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll have to put a lot more cash in to get it all included.
Here is where the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 far exceeds its competition, offering basic upholstery, 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a teen driver system that allows you to customize vehicle settings for newer drivers. And things only increase from there, with additional features like a bigger infotainment screen, keyless ignition, remote start, and leather upholstery.
The Superior Pickup Truck
Both Chevy and Ford host true classics in their lineups, but the Chevy pickup far exceeds the value of its long-time rival. While the Ford F-150 provides plenty of value between its variety of trim options, it falls short of what’s offered in the Chevy Silverado 1500. If you’re looking for a pickup truck that does more than just the basics like towing capability while retaining comfort and convenience, with numerous modern amenities, the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is certainly the superior option.