It’s one of the longest standing rivalries in America, and it shows no sign of letting up in 2017. No, stemming from the days when Ford and Chevy went head to head with the muscle-car Mustang and Camaro, the car makers have battled it out across the automotive playing field and nowhere is this more prevalent today than in their truck lineup. With both manufacturers offering extremely popular truck models – specifically the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado, it begs the question: which truck reigns supreme?
Let’s get the bragging rights out of the way. Here is a current list of accolades just from 2017 for the 2017 Ford F-150 as listed on Ford’s website:
Pickup Truck Best Buy – 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards
Best Full-Size Pickup – Car and Driver 2017 10Best Awards
Best Full-Size Truck – U.S. News 2017 Best Cars for the Money Awards
Best Truck Brand – U.S. News 2017 Best Vehicle Brand Awards
Best Truck of the Year – Autobytel.com 2017 Buyer’s Choice Awards
Most Wanted Large Truck – 2017 Edmunds Most Wanted Awards
And here are the 2017 Chevy Silverado’s:
Most Dependable Large Heavy Duty Pickup, Three Years in a Row – J.D. Power
5-Year Cost to Own (Full-Size Pickup) Regular Cab – Kelley Blue Book
Best Resale Value: Full-Size Pick Up – Kelley Blue Book
On the face of it (and from the experts) it seems like the Ford F-150 issued a serious smack down on the Silverado in 2017. So, what makes the F-150 a better choice than the Silverado?
Performance & Fuel Economy
If you’re looking for engine options, you’re looking for Ford. The F-150 has five available engines available, starting with the standard V6 that offers up to 282 horsepower. The Silverado has three engine options and its base-engine V6 cranks out 285 horses. If you’re looking for brute power, either the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8 with its 420 horsepower or the F-150’s V6, 450 horsepower engine (found on the off-roading Raptor model), is your best bet.
If you’re trying to save a little cash, the base model Silverado is going to stretch your dollar, but only slightly. The V6 Silverado gets an EPA-estimated 18 miles to the gallon in the city and 24
on the highway, while the Ford’s base model V6 gets 17 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. Of course, varying engines will offer varying fuel economy, so in this case, we think it’s a tie between the F-150 and the Silverado, although we think the F-150 slightly edges out the Silverado as it offers additional engine options.
The competition wages on when it comes to towing and hauling, as the Silverado tows a best-in-class maximum of 12,500 pounds when properly equipped, while the F-150 tows 12,200. However, that three-hundred-pound difference is overshadowed by the marked difference in hauling: The F-150 can haul a max payload of 3,270 pounds while the Silverado tops out at 2,250 pounds. When it comes to towing and hauling, the F-150 more than makes up for a little less towing ability by adding one thousand pounds of hauling capability.
To keep all things equal in this comparison, we are only going to look at the base model interior options of each truck. So, if you were to buy a base-model F-150, you’d be driving off the lot with a 4.2-inch display screen, air conditioning, a four-speaker radio, an auxiliary jack, 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, and manual mirrors and windows.
The Silverado offers almost the same package with the exception of the automatic headlights. The Silverado does include tinted glass, power door locks and LED daytime running lights, however, it still loses when it comes to the F-150’s interior amenities. Why? Because Ford has included the extremely useful Dynamic Hitch Assist and Trailer Backup Assist on its standard F-150. For a pickup truck, that’s some seriously useful tech.
As far as comfort goes, you might prefer to go the long-haul in a Ford, as the cloth seats that come standard on the F-150 are sure to be more lounge-worthy than the vinyl seats on the Silverado.
When it comes to which car we want to spend more time sitting in, the Ford F-150 offers just that little bit of extra appeal.
The competition is stiff here, but the F-150 manages to edge out the Silverado when it comes to safety. While both the Chevy and Ford trucks boast five-star overall safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was a little more discerning and gave the F-150 its highest rating of “Good” across its five categories, while the Silverado was only “Good” in four out of the five categories. It was named “Marginal” when it came to the small overlap front test.
Standard safety features in both trucks are extremely basic, but both manufacturers offer plenty of available safety options, such back-up cameras, rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring. Ford offers MyKey technology, which allows the truck to be governed by preset speed and volume limits and is comparable to Chevy’s Teen Driver System.
While the trucks are neck-and-neck in this competition, when it comes to safety, every star matters, and in this case, Ford ekes out just ahead of Chevy.
The Silverado pulls ahead when it comes to reliability. J.D. Power and Associates give the Silverado a best-in-class rating of 4 out of 5 while the F-150 just misses the mark at 3.5. Chevy racks up a win when it comes to which car you’re going to want to depend on.
In the end, it all comes down to price and in this case, Ford undercuts Chevy by a mere $675. The starting MSRP of the F-150 is $27,711 and the Silverado is $27,785. It’s almost too close to count, but we all know that when it comes to car shopping, every penny does actually count. In this case, we have to give another check to Ford’s list.
Ultimately, there is no one compelling reason why the 2017 Ford F-150 is a better truck than the Chevy Silverado. There are just a lot of little, tiny reasons that F-150 is a slightly stronger contender when it comes to the ongoing Ford vs. Chevy feud.