If you’re in the market for a new full-size pickup truck, the Chevrolet Silverado or the Ford F-150 are both great choices. And when you start making comparisons, they seem pretty evenly matched in many ways. But does one of these capable trucks have an advantage over the other?
The folks at U.S. News and World Report have taken a close look at both and here’s what they came up with.
A tale of two trucks
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 got a redesign for 2019. It has a bigger bed and cabin and it’s lighter than the previous incarnation. The latest Silverado has a bigger payload, new standard features, and a brand new turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The Ford F-150 is part of Ford’s best-selling F-Series stable of trucks in the U.S. No truck currently outsells the F-150 and that’s been true for several years. There hasn’t been a redesign of the F-150 since 2015 but it was freshened up for 2018. That year it got improved fuel-efficiency and more powerful engine choices along with an increase in its towing capacity.
Who does it better?
Cargo space: Winner 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
The Silverado got deeper and wider beds as part of the 2019 redesign. According to Chevrolet, they’re the biggest beds in the class. You can choose from the 5-foot-8-inch short box with 62.9 cubic feet, the 6-foot-6-inch standard box with 71.7 cubic feet, and the 8-foot long box with 89.1 cubic feet.
The F-150 falls just short of what the Silverado offers. Its short box is a 5-foot-6-inch bed with 52.8 cubic feet, the standard box is a 6-foot-6-inch bed with 62.3 cubic feet, and the 8-foot long box bed offers 77.4 cubic feet.
The F-150’s bed comes in 5-foot-6-inch, 6-foot-6-inch, and 8-foot lengths. In terms of cargo volume, the F-150 falls short of the Silverado, with 52.8 cubic feet of overall space with the 5-foot-6-inch bed, 62.3 cubic feet with the 6-foot-6-inch bed, and 77.4 cubic feet with the 8-foot bed.
With either truck, you get lockable bins, tie-down points, and a power tailgate.
Engines: Winner 2019 Ford F-150
If you want a selection of great engines, these two trucks have them. The Silverado offers four engine choices, the F-150 features six.
The Chevrolet Silverado has a base 285-horsepower V6 base engine. There’s also a 310-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, a 355-horsepower V8, and a 420-horsepower V8 to choose from. Originally, Chevy planned to offer a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine after the release of the 2019 model but it appears that it may not be offered until 2020.
When it comes to options for the F-150, there’s a 290-horsepower V6 base engine. Other options include a 395-horsepower V8, a 250-horsepower turbodiesel, and three turbocharged V6 engines with 325, 375 and 450 horses respectively. You can only get the 450-horsepower engine standard with the Limited and Raptor models.
Fuel economy: Winner 2019 Ford F-150
When it comes to fuel economy, Ford F-150 wins this easily.
One of the reasons the F-150 is a top-seller is its impressive fuel economy. And that’s no small fete for a full-size pickup truck. The base V6 gets 19/25 mpg city/highway per EPA estimates. Its more powerful engines aren’t as fuel-efficient as you would expect. The 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 does manage 20/26 mpg city/highway and the diesel gets 22/30 mpg city/highway.
The Silverado isn’t quite the same level when it comes to fuel economy. The turbocharged four-cylinder is your best bet with 20/23 mpg. The forthcoming turbodiesel will exceed that when it arrives. The base Silverado engine, according to the EPA, will get 16/21 mpg.
Price: Winner 2019 Ford F-150
The 2019 Ford F-150 starts at $28,000 which is only $300 less than the Silverado’s starting price of $28,300.
There are eight available trims for Silverado along with a choice of bed lengths, cab styles, engines, and other packages. The top-level trim is the High Country trim which begins at $53,000. If you take everything they have to offer, you’ll be closing in on $70,000.
The 2019 F-150 has seven trims along with a choice of engines, bed lengths, cab styles, and other packages. The dynamic Raptor begins at $52,855 and the top-shelf Limited model starts at $67,135. Go with a loaded Limit and you’ll be closing in on $80,000.
The Ford F-150 wins this one but not by much.
Reliability: Winner 2019 Chevrolet Silverado
J.D. Power gave a predicted reliability rating of four out of five to the Silverado or above average. The F-150 only earned three of five on predicted reliability. With either truck, you get a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain.
Towing and Hauling: Winner 2019 Ford F-150
The Silverado is one of the most capable trucks in its class when it comes to towing and hauling. But it’s not the Ford F-150. With the Silverado, you get 12,500 pounds for towing and 2,590 pounds for the payload.
The Ford F-150 leads its class with 13,200 pounds for its payload and hauls just below 3,300 pounds.
No one can deny the Chevy Silverado is an outstanding truck. But it falls short when compared to the Ford F-150 with its slightly lower price, better fuel economy, and more powerful engines. It’s also a bit more capable across the board than the Silverado.
Silverado does have a better predicted reliability rating and more cargo space.
At the end of the day, which one you choose depends on what is important to you.