There are infinite reasons why one might want to take a pickup truck off-road. From muddy job sites and unbuilt roads to the pure thrill of twisting through the trails without a care in the world, you may have very practical or very personal reasons for jumping off the pavement. And in one of the most exciting automotive trends of the decade, more and more mainstream truck manufacturers are decking out their vehicles in off-road-ready equipment. The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150 are two excellent examples of this phenomenon.
But surely not every pickup truck driver needs or wants a tighter suspension, all-terrain tires, and a complete set of skid plates, right? Good news–there are still several trucks in the Silverado and F-150 lineups that don’t require several inches of mud to have a good time. However, Chevy and Ford have cleverly provided drivers with the ability to choose the right level of ruggedness for their needs. A driver can choose a complete beast with one of the specifically designed off-road trims, or they can select a tamer model and pile on the options until they’ve configured the best truck for their liking. From wild to mild, here are several ways to outfit the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150 for adventure beyond the pavement.
All Wheels on the Wild Side: The Off-Road Trims of the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150
Chevy and Ford are veterans in the automotive industry, so it’s fair to say that they’re experienced in providing drivers with what they need. While off-road features and flair have been staples in both fleets for years, 2022 marks the first year both manufacturers developed trucks with this level of off-road intensity. Meet the Silverado ZR2, the Ford Tremor, and the Ford Raptor.
Chevy’s offering in this segment is the Silverado ZR2, which bills itself as “An Off-Road First.” Building off the Z71 off-road package offered since 1988, the all-new ZR2 includes more power and capability in all the right places. Let’s take a closer look.
Under the hood is a 6.2L V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that 6.2L V8. As one of Chevy’s most sought-after and appreciated engines, the added torque and included 10-speed transmission with the Electronic Transmission Range Selector give drivers the performance and response they need regardless of where the 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory M/T tires tread.
Also on board the Silverado ZR2 are rock-ready skid plates, a newly-designed high approach front bumper that allows for a 31.8-degree approach angle, Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, and a 2-speed transfer case with selectable terrain modes, including one pedal crawl mode. Decked out in these accouterments, the ZR2 is still very much a capable pickup truck with a 1,440-pound payload rating and a towing maximum of 8,900 pounds.
Ford offers two levels of off-road-ready excitement with the F-150 Tremor and the F-150 Raptor. The Tremor is powered by a 3.5L V6 engine that offers 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. A high-output version of the 3.5L powers the Raptor and delivers 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost features a port-fuel and direct injection system that allows the engine to run cooler and provide greater power on demand, which can be essential when the going gets rocky–literally. Both trucks also feature an electronic locking rear differential for maximum capability, a SelectShift automatic transmission with Progressive Range Select, an independent front suspension, and front coil springs. These components work together to make the Raptor and Tremor ruggedly capable off-road warriors.
But, the similarities end there. The Tremor features control arms and front knuckles with exclusive front monotube shocks and twin-tube shocks at the rear while the Raptor includes a 5-link rear suspension with a Panhard rod and exclusive front upper and lower control arms and tie rods. In addition, the sport-tuned FOX Racing Shox with live valve technology are exclusive to the Raptor.
While both the Tremor and the Raptor are comfortable on any playground, the Raptor is a high-performance, heavy-duty action kind of truck. The Tremor is more suited to an all-purpose lifestyle. It features a 10,900-pound towing capacity in addition to its ability to take on low-speed, high-fun trails.
(Not) Stuck in the Middle: The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150 Off-Road Packages
Perhaps you don’t need all these features. Maybe you’ll be doing more pavement driving than off-road driving, but it’s still important to have a few select features around when those days come. Perhaps an off-road prep package is better for your driving style.
Chevy has been somewhat coy regarding the 2022 Silverado 1500 but, drawing off the success of previous years, it is reasonable to expect the ZR1 package in the new model year. Traditionally, this package has been offered on nearly every trim level, providing drivers with a specialized Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, automatic locking rear differential, hill descent control, wheel liners, and all-weather floor liners.
Likewise, the Ford F-150 trims can be outfitted in the FX4 Off-Road package. The package includes an electronic-locking rear differential, specialized shock absorbers, skid plates, and hill descent control. Drivers can also add the available 360-degree camera, which provides a complete view around the truck and is especially helpful when tight maneuvers are required.
For the DIY-er: Off-Road Accessories for the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150
Neither Chevy nor Ford has excluded drivers who prefer to add just the right finishing touches to their pickup trucks. Both manufacturers offer a variety of aftermarket accessories that give you the freedom to design your truck with the power, performance, and guts you need for your daily driving and off-road adventures. So, what do they have to offer?
Chevy offers just about everything a conscientious off-roader might want to add to their existing Silverado 1500. The automaker offers multiple versions of many favorites that give drivers the chance to showcase their unique style in their truck. For example, over a dozen all-weather interlocking floor mats are available, allowing drivers to select the perfect texture, configuration, and color for their truck.
The Silverado’s exterior isn’t forgotten, either. Drivers can add fog lamps and light bars to increase visibility when navigating deep, dim forests or nocturnal mud runs. Splash guards and wheel liners keep things tidy, as well. Chevy also gives drivers the option to upgrade the rear brakes for additional control.
Like Chevy, Ford provides drivers with plenty of after-market options. These options range from those that increase the F-150’s ruggedness at any trim level to others that give off-roaders increased comfort and convenience. For example, not only can F-150 drivers select typical accessories like splash guards and floor mats, but they can also purchase wheel locks and a Fox-tuned Ford Performance off-road suspension leveling kit. Also available are all-weather seat covers for the front and rear seats, a rooftop mount for a recovery track, and an infrared dashcam to help with nighttime situations.
Whether you need just one, or an array of accessories, there’s peace of mind that comes with purchasing equipment specifically engineered for your exact truck. Ford and Chevy engineer peace of mind and confidence while also giving you plenty of opportunities to design the truck to your needs. With multiple design options and many add-ons, it’s even easy to add style to your off-road rig.
Selecting the Right Off-Roader for You
Buying a new off-road capable truck is a highly personal choice. Only you know the terrain you navigate every day and what adventurers you anticipate for the future. Plus, we all have unique preferences when it comes to engines, handling, and even exterior paint colors.
Chevy and Ford embrace the needs of their drivers by offering several levels of off-road preparedness with their vehicles. Some drivers may select a complete off-road tested mud beast like the ZR2, Tremor, or Raptor. Others may prefer one of Chevy or Ford’s ready-and-somewhat rugged off-road packages that incorporate certain off-road capable features into various trims. And, others will be most comfortable purchasing just the right accessories to tweak their truck at home. But regardless of how wild or mild your off-roading efforts might be, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150 are prepared for every level of thrill you might consider.