Although many people love driving trucks, these vehicles can potentially have a lot of problems. Trucks are equipped to handle towing heavy loads, but the ride quality might suffer as a result. Some trucks also have terrible handling due to the massive curb weights.
For 2020, Consumer Reports gave the Ford F-250 pickup truck the lowest score in its class. However, two other models actually scored lower for 2021: the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. What makes these trucks worse than the Ford F-250?
The 2020 Ford F-250’s weak spots
While the Ford F-250 is noted to be a staff favorite, testers still weren’t shy about critiquing this truck. They said that steering requires continuous and heavy turning to get it to go in any given direction. While it exhibited decent performance in the avoidance maneuver test, the brakes require a lot of stopping distance.
Consumer Reports also wasn’t pleased with the fuel economy of the Ford F-250. Even with the aid of the diesel engine, it’s only rated for 15 mpg combined city/highway. Still, Consumer Reports did report that this diesel engine is quieter than other trucks previously tested.
Predictably, the Ford F-250’s size also proves to be a hassle. It’s tough to maneuver such a large car and it has an equally huge step-in height. Without anything occupying the cargo bed, Consumer Reports says to expect a harsh ride.
Shortcomings of the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500
Despite having a low overall score, Consumer Reports says that this model is an improvement compared to the last generation. Testers appreciated the bigger cargo box, increased towing capacity, and harmonious operation of the new eight-speed transmission with the Silverado’s V8. This new powertrain gives the truck better acceleration and improves its handling.
However, the Chevy Silverado 1500 also shares a few of the Ford F-250’s flaws. Reviewers noted that the turbodiesel engine can’t perform quick stops as well as the other powertrains on tap. Despite being a smaller truck, testers found its tall stature makes it difficult to get into the driver’s seat.
The turbodiesel engine is more efficient than the Ford F-250’s, rated for 23 mpg overall. While not exactly sporty, testers were impressed with the Chevy Silverado’s cornering and maneuverability. It can also avoid sudden obstacles surprisingly quickly, but only with the V8 engine.
The interior isn’t very impressive, mostly decorated with hard plastic. The seats themselves also aren’t the most supportive, especially for the front-seat riders. However, Consumer Reports says that ride quality has been greatly improved thanks to the retuned suspension.
How the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 compares to the Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado
The GMC Sierra 1500 shares the same powertrain options as the Chevy Silverado, so its performance is mostly the same. In terms of fuel economy, its diesel engine scores 1 mpg higher than the Silverado. However, the GMC Sierra can only tow a maximum of 11,800 pounds, while the Silverado can pull 13,300 pounds.
Consumer Reports also recommends upgrading to a higher trim to get the best interior, like the Denali model. This one comes with comfortable heated leather seats and more safety tech options.
Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the Chevy Colorado 1500 also have a slightly more functional cargo bed than the F-250. The Multi-Flex tailgate lets drivers deepen the cargo box or expand the gate at the push of a button. It also has a carbon fiber floor, which can withstand scuffs and corrosion without the need of a bed liner.
While all three of these trucks have significant brawn, Consumer Reports appreciated the well-balanced 2021 Ram 1500 the most. Unlike other competitors, it has a smoother ride and a better interior.