When many people across the globe think of pickup trucks, they think of Ford and Ford only. Despite its reputation for its “Ford tough” builds and massive brand name, the truck giant has some viable competition from other automakers. With so much emphasis placed on what it means to be a pickup truck, is Ford beginning to lose ground? U.S. News decided to compare Ford with Chevrolet in several areas to determine the king of pickup trucks.
What makes a truck better?
Comparing four of the companies’ pickup trucks — Ford’s F-150, the world’s best-selling truck, and Ranger; and the Chevy Silverado and Colorado — U.S. News put the automakers’ trucks head-to-head. Rather than arbitrarily pinning them to a rating system, however, the magazine broke its analysis into small but all-encompassing sections that should interest anyone looking to make a choice.
Chevrolet offers a well-ranked line of trucks ranging from standard full-size pickups to more compact ones. Typically with a lower MSRP, Chevy fills a need for people who can’t afford the fancier Ford trucks, although the price difference might not be a big enough factor. That’s why U.S. News compared the two automakers.
From exterior features to interior comfort, U.S. News wanted to give the simplest but most thorough analysis of these pickups so potential buyers on the fence could make a decision relatively easily. The result was a fascinating look at why one automaker is still considered the best in the world when it comes to pickup trucks.
Comparing Ford and Chevy
Both companies offer several trucks to fit consumers’ needs, but U.S. News based its ratings on a simple method that covered everything necessary.
First up was performance. With 290 hp, which can be revved up to 450 with Limited and Raptor trims, the F-150 started with a strong lead over the Chevrolet pickups. Despite snagging positive reviews, Chevy’s trucks have less maximum horsepower, with the Silverado topping out at 435 hp on its V8. Ford also won when it came to interior comfort and design, something for which the Colorado and Silverado received lukewarm reviews.
Where Chevrolet can justify these differences, however, is in price. Though not every potential car buyer has $21,000 lying around, the Colorado is a significant deal compared with the cheapest F-150 model, which starts at $28,000. Even the smaller Ford Ranger starts at $24,820, nearly $4,000 more than the Colorado.
Chevrolet earned excellent safety ratings, with an 8/10 review, but still paled to the 9.4 that Ford received for its marquee truck. The same can be said for the F-150’s fuel economy, which adjusts better to situational driving than its Chevy counterparts. Ford also took the top spot in the full-size and compact pickup brackets.
With all of those things considered, the winner seems clear.
All in all, Ford still reigns supreme when it comes to pickup trucks. Though Chevrolet offers two solid options, no other automaker can touch the company that started the revolution. Ford bests Chevy in every category but price, and because the F-150 offers so many advantages, users might be willing to fork over a few thousand more for a truck that’s built to last.
Chevrolet has carved its niche in the market, but it also has a ways to go before it usurps Ford as the king of the pickup truck.
[Correction, 12/14/20: This post has been updated to include information about the Ford Ranger. A link to Consumer Reports has also been added to verify Chevy trucks’ reliability.]