When looking for used vehicles for sale, thinking about a company’s history doesn’t often come to mind. However, understanding a corporation’s history can be a good way to understand their values, which is especially important if you’re thinking about creating a long-lasting relationship or lease. Ram, Ford, and Chevy are all pickup truck companies that have a very long and diverse history, which holds up even today. These differing histories are responsible for their very different styles and approaches towards designing a pickup truck.
All of these corporations have a connection to one of the three biggest car manufacturers in the United States. Naturally, they are also their biggest competitors, being the sole creator of pickup trucks in their brand. As they are always competing with each other, it can get to a point where each company looks similar, yet their differences are far greater than they seem. This may be due to the fact that, while each has very similar products, their products are developed from a very different perspective.
Notably, the oldest of the three, Ford, is derived from the original Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford himself in 1903. Although not the largest, only ranking second in the American market, the Ford Corporation has been among the most innovative of automotive companies. The Ford Corporation began truck production as early as 1946, this early time showing the strength of Ford’s innovative spirit.
As such, Ford’s pickup trucks are defined by innovation, being the base for all European pickup trucks for a very long time. Ford’s models tend to not have a singular notable shape or feature, largely because their company is founded on being original and unique. The Model-T was a very unique automobile that jump started the industry, and that standard was introduced in every car and model after. From the aerodynamic shape of the Lincoln, which defined the shape of cars today, to the 2015 F-150’s usage of an all-aluminum body.
Ram is not necessarily a corporation of their own, rather a subset division of pickup truck designers under the Dodge Corporation. Starting in 1981, Ram is notably newer than Ford, during a time when the pickup truck industry has already been established for a long time. Noting this, it’s rather understandable why Ram would focus less on innovation in design, when they are competing for strict, detailed results.
Rather, Ram didn’t need to establish a new type of pickup truck but enhance designs with better performance. This would become the primary concern for Ram, developing technology to enhance their vehicles’ performance like the infamous HEMI engine in the Ram 1500 model. These types of technology made for a truck that could drive faster, stronger, and in far more difficult conditions than its competitors.
Chevrolet, like Ram, is not a corporation on its own but a subset of General Motors, the largest automotive brand in the United States. Being founded in 1911, Chevrolet largely had to compete with Ford in its early days, developing a long history of competition. Unlike Ford and Ram, Chevrolet was headed by a former race-car designer, and so the company has made a reputation not as a truck or working man’s car developer, but rather as a luxury car and racing-car designer. As one can assume, Chevrolet is defined by comfort and speed.
In a way, this largely makes a lot of sense considering the company’s time period. Competing with Ford, the company would fare better from targeting a different audience, rather than working in the same market as the Ford Motor Corporation. While Ford focused on selling to a middle-class market, Chevrolet chose to sell more luxury cars to the upper-class by featuring more comfortability.
While all three of these corporations produce pickup trucks, they have evolved to offer very different experiences within their own brand models. This is understandable seeing that each grew as a company during different eras, for different markets, and towards different parts of the United States and the world. As all three evolved over time, their consumers began to recognize different specialties in each brand, which made choosing between brands a little easier when preference came into play.
In terms of performance, no one model in any of the three is necessarily better than the other. In a very interesting fashion, each truck seems to approach performance in a different manner, bringing each brand to nearly equal standing. Ford’s 2020 F-150 offers the strongest motor of the three, making for the highest overall torque. While this does make it the most powerful of the three, the 2020 Ram 1500’s usage of coil-spring suspension, light steering, and high torque makes it a far more versatile truck than Ford’s F-150 model. Chevrolet’s 2020 Silverado, on the other hand, fares the worst in performance. While offering a variety of different engine systems for better performance in different conditions, the Silverado’s fuel economy is notably worse than Ford and Ram’s.
In terms of safety, IIHS has largely rated all three companies very well. The Ram 1500 rated good in nearly every category, with a large selection of optional features. The Ford F-150 was under the standard of Ram, receiving a poor rating in the headlight testing. Chevrolet perhaps fared the worst with safety, with the Chevrolet Silverado receiving a poor rating in the headlight evaluation, as well as marginal ratings in child seat anchoring and the passenger-side crashing testing. That said, the rest of the tests in the report were of good quality, making the vehicle of the same standard as Ram and Ford.
Comfort is also a very important factor when purchasing a used pickup truck. Nowadays, pickup trucks are very recreational vehicles in addition to being a vehicle for those in heavy-lifting occupations. It’s important that a truck’s drive is enjoyable more than ever, and a bumpy ride can break a truck’s ability to sell. In other words, we want a truck that’s fun to drive, not just reliable.
Despite the Ram 1500’s large size, the truck is very mobile and versatile. In a way, this makes it more comfortable to drive due to its ease of movement, as well as its enhanced capabilities in more difficult terrain. In other words, Ram trucks are ideally comfortable for the off-road environment. However, its large size does make narrow spaces harder to maneuver, so its off-road comfort is at the cost of a less comfortable drive in the city. Its overall drive is rather comfortable due to its usage of coil-spring suspension to account for less than consistent roads.
Ford makes up for Ram’s coil-spring suspension with interior comfort in the F-150. The F-150 is filled to the brim with comfort technology, from massaging seats to new information centers that help make driving easier. That’s not all; the F-150 offers a very large amount of storage space, making long term journeys less crowded.
Chevrolet is largely a brand defined by offering a luxurious amount of comfort for all people in the truck. Unlike the other two brands in this article, the Chevrolet Silverado enhances comfort with sheer customization rather than outright comfort. Granted, the Silverado is a comfortable drive, with storage pockets being just one example of its strength in comfortability. However, what makes the Silverado interesting is that it is ultimately up to the driver what makes it comfortable, with head-up display, wireless phone charging capabilities, and ventilated seating being optional features. Ultimately, Chevrolet has made the Silverado a good balance between affordability and comfort: those willing to pay more for comfort can pay a little more, and those who wouldn’t normally be able to pay for this type of vehicle now can at the expense of fewer comfort features.
Personal Taste: Is There a Best Pickup Truck?
Ultimately, the answer is no. Each pickup truck has its own strengths and disadvantages. Just like a company’s history, each truck offers something very distinct in their pickup trucks, which can be enjoyed in very different ways. In this way, the person enjoying the pickup truck can have their own preferences and choose whichever suits their tastes: whether that be the innovation of Ford, the reliability of Ram, or the comfort of Chevy.
The story that each brand brings to the table does, however, show their values. Ford’s need for innovation is ideal for the driver that wants a truly unique drive, different from its competitors in nearly every way. Ram, on the other hand, grew because of its reliability and performance, making it ideal for those who need a pickup truck for their occupation, or for those who find themselves looking for more rugged terrain on the off-road. Chevy is ultimately a more luxury brand for those looking for a smooth drive in comfort. Ultimately, picking a pickup truck is more than just picking a truck, but rather it’s picking a brand history that suits you in addition to the vehicle itself.