The whole Chevy versus Ford competition issue has been going on for decades, with many die-hard fans swearing by each brand. It’s honestly easy to see why this is when looking at the 2021 Ford F-150 vs the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. They’re both tough and appealing American-made vehicles, so of course, there’s going to be some rivalry.
Historically, the Ford F-150 has been around since 1948, with the Chevy Silverado not debuting until 1999. With so many years of experience compared to its competition, the F-150 ought to have the upper hand. As far as aesthetic appeal goes, it looks like it does. Yes, while the competition lies in both performance and looks, we’re going to focus on aesthetic appeal today. Pretty much everyone who drives a truck wants to have one that looks as tough as it performs, and the 2021 Ford F-150 has quite a bit of leverage when it comes to aesthetics.
Trims and Special Editions
Let’s take a minute to talk about trim and special edition options for both of these trucks. The Ford F-150 doesn’t offer users any particular special edition models because it doesn’t need to. Visually, you can find anything you want through one of the trims levels. On the other hand, the Chevy Silverado 1500 does offer a few special editions to complement their line. While this may seem like a bonus at first, the truth is Chevy offers these special editions to make up for a lack of visual changes between trims.
The Ford F-150 offers drivers the choice between seven trims while the Chevy Silverado 1500 has eight available trims. Again, it may seem like you are getting more choice with the Silverado, but in actuality, there is not much of a visual difference between trim levels. It seems that Chevy focused more on mechanical changes rather than aesthetic ones. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at what you can expect to see when you buy a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado trim.
Ford F-150 XL
We’re going to start with the base-level trim for the Ford F-150, which is the XL. This trim comes in ten different colors, including Race Red, Stone Gray, Carbonized Gray, Velocity Blue, Antimatter Blue, Agate Black, Iconic Silver, Lead Foot, Space White, and Oxford White. This base trim comes with standard 17-inch silver steel wheels, but drivers may also choose painted aluminum wheels instead.
You can really sport up your F-150 XL by adding a tonneau cover, bed liner, a bed divider, or a toolbox. The tonneau covers come in several different styles, including a soft-folding cover, a retractable cover, and a hard-folding cover. Black platform running boards will also spice up this trim for an extra $250.
Most importantly, this trim comes in either Regular, SuperCab, or SuperCrew Cab. You can also choose your bed length, with three different available options: 5-1/2’, 6-1/2’, and 8’. If you prefer the chromed-out look over paint, you can add the XL Chrome Appearance Package for $775.
Ford F-150 XLT
The XLT trim comes in a few extra colors. It includes all the aforementioned shades except for Space White, plus Guard and Rapid Red. Guard looks like a deep Forest green color, and Rapid Red is a deeper red that costs an extra $395. You can also add Carbonized Gray as a secondary color, accenting whatever color you choose. Otherwise, the XLT comes with everything else that the XL comes with, minus the extra wheel option. The XLT only comes with standard 17-inch painted aluminum wheels. It also doesn’t come with the available Chrome Appearance Package. However, its option for two-toned paint does give it an advantage.
Ford F-150 Lariat
Now we’re getting into the good stuff. The Lariat trim comes with 15 color options! These include the colors of the previous trims, along with Kodiak Brown. You can also select Smoked Quarts for an additional $510 or Star White for an extra $595. You can also add a secondary color to this one, and in this case, you get Stone Gray in place of Carbonized Gray, a slightly lighter shade.
The Lariat comes with 5 different wheel options, with the standard wheels being 18-inches with Machine-Aluminum wash and magnetic painted pockets. Optional wheels include 18-inch 6-spoke machine-aluminum wheels with gloss black painted pockets, 18-inch chrome wheels, and larger 20-inch chrome or 20-inch 6-spoke dark alloy painted aluminum wheels. There are plenty of ways to change the look of this trim.
The Lariat comes with standard LED fog lamps with LED cornering lamps and LED side-mirror spotlights. You can even opt for a power tailgate. It also includes several running boards and step options too. This trim is definitely the sportiest yet, but we still have 3 more trims to go. As far as customization is concerned, though, the Lariat is one of the best of all 6 trims.
Ford F-150 King Ranch
The King Ranch trim only comes in 10 colors, which include Stone Grey, Agate Black, Iconic Silver, Antimatter Blue, and Oxford White, along with Guard, Rapid Red, Kodiak Brown, Star White, and Smoked Quartz. Like the Lariat, its secondary color is also Stone Gray. The King Ranch includes standard 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with magnetic painted pockets and King Ranch ornaments to help you rep your favorite trim. You also get to choose from 20-inch chrome wheels and 20-inch aluminum wheels, which also include King Ranch stamping. Otherwise, it’s not much different from the Lariat, aside from its standard Stone-Gray step bars. In regard to aesthetics, the Lariat is actually a better deal with more customization variety.
Ford F-150 Platinum
Surprisingly, the Platinum trim only comes with 8 color options, including Antimatter Blue, Carbonized Gray, Rapid Red, Kodiak Brown, Smoked Quartz, Star White, Iconic Silver, and Agate Black. Additionally, it only comes with standard 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. Like all the other trims, you can add on tonneau covers and the likes, but that’s about all for this one. It’s definitely still appealing, but the Lariat is still in the lead here.
Ford F-150 Limited
Even though it’s the highest trim, the Limited F-150 actually has the least amount of color options than any other trim. It really lives up to its Limited name when it comes to visual customization. Its 6 color options include Agate Black, Iconic Silver, Antimatter Blue, Carbonized Gray, Smoked Quartz, and Star White. It does have the largest wheels, landing at 22-inches, but they are only available in polished aluminum facing. If aluminum wheels are cool to you, and these color options suffice, it’s still a sharp-looking truck. Overall though, it has nothing on the Lariat trim.
How Does the Chevy Silverado 1500 Compare?
While the 2021 Chevy Silverado is available in eight trims, aside from the front badging and some color choices, the design of Silverado 1500 stays relatively the same. If you choose the Custom trim or higher, you can select one of the eight color options or add on the Cherry Red Tintcoat for an extra $495. Likewise, if you select the LT trim or higher, you can also choose to add the Iridescent Pearl Tricoat for an extra $995. All in all, if you want any form of aesthetic customizable freedom in the 2021 Silverado 1500, you are going to want to opt for the LT trim.
Chevy Silverado 1500 LT
Similar to the Ford F-150 lineup, the Silverado’s most customizable trim lands in the middle of the pack with the LT trim. This trim comes in 10 different colors, including Red Hot, Satin Steel Metallic, Northsky Blue Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Black, Shadow Gray Metallic, and Oxford Brown Metallic. Its premium coats include the aforementioned Cherry Red Tintcoat and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat. While these more expensive paint options are available on some of the higher trims, the upper trims also tend to lose a different color option from the list.
The LT does come with 10 different wheel options, ranging from 17-inch silver wheels all the way to 22-inch high gloss black wheels. This makes it appear to have an advantage over the F-150 Lariat, but the truth is that the Silverado’s wheel options lack detail when compared to the F-150’s. Furthermore, the LT’s chrome package only includes chrome recovery hooks and a polished exhaust tip, versus the F-150 Chrome Appearance Package’s 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels, chrome bumpers, chrome fog lamps, and body-colored front fascia.
Why The F-150 Wins
If aesthetic appeal is what you want, the 2021 Ford F-150 is what you should get. Each trim is visually appealing in its own way, but in general, the Lariat trim is your best option if looks are your main concern. It’s definitely the sportiest option, and the mid-trim Chevy Silverado doesn’t stand a chance against it. Even the most customizable Chevy Silverado pales in comparison to the aesthetic appeal of the 2021 F-150 Lariat.
With the most available colors, a secondary shade option, LED lighting, and optional chrome or accent-colored running boards and step bars, the F-150 is decked out and ready to make a flashy appearance. While the Silverado’s body style is nice, it offers far fewer color choices, and its wheels aren’t nearly as detailed as the F-150’s wheel options are. These trucks are meant for strength, but we all know that looking good is tied for first on the list of priorities. So, when it comes to aesthetics, the Ford F-150 is the truck for you.