If you need a full-size pickup truck, there are a lot of good options on the current market. Last year, more pickups were sold than any other type of car, and this trend is likely to continue now that different types of customers are interested in trucks. The best-selling ones belong to the Big Three: the Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, and Ford F-150.
Which truck is right for you? Car and Driver put all three of the latest popular models to the test. There was one that came up noticeably short compared to the competition: the Chevy Silverado. Here’s why this truck came dead last in Car and Driver’s comparison test.
The reviewers noted that the Chevrolet has a lower driving placement than the other two trucks. Because of this, it’s easier for drivers who are used to driving in smaller cars to transition to a bigger model. For 2019, the Silverado was redesigned to have a much larger cabin, and there’s more room in the second row for tall passengers.
Cloth upholstery is standard, with the option to upgrade to leather. Drivers can also have heated or ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and even heated rear seats. However, since the seats themselves are too firm and don’t offer enough support, these options offer only a slight improvement.
To make the truck more agile, Chevy cut out some of the weight from its newest Silverado. While the F-150 is made with more steel components, the Silverado used more aluminum. It still has powerful, 22-inch wheels plus a steel body and cargo box.
This contrast makes a ride in the Silverado feel more unstable than its rivals. The reviewers felt many more vibrations throughout the truck while driving. Driving with a trailer attached also proved to be a challenge, but this was somewhat mitigated by the trailer safety features inside the truck. Still, the sensation of the wobbling trailer could be nerve-wracking for some drivers.
Overpriced for its offerings
Fully loaded with every feature and upgrade package, the Silverado costs close to $70,000. The F-150 Limited, the highest trim available, costs $5k more but comes with many more upgrades compared to the Silverado. This is particularly evident when it comes to performance.
With the optional towing package, the Silverado can tow up to 12,500 pounds. The F-150 can tow 13,200 pounds. Even the Ram 1500 offers more tech upgrades than the Silverado, including a bigger sound system and infotainment touchscreen. Compared to its competitors, the reviewers felt that the exterior design was nothing special and the interior was filled with cheaper materials.
Weaker towing performance
In the High Country trim, the Silverado comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. This engine also has automatic cylinder deactivation technology to give drivers better gas mileage.
It can also brake much faster than the Ram or Ford truck. In terms of speed, the Silverado ranked second place. However, it can’t tow as well as the F-150’s turbocharged V6, the most powerful engine in Ford’s arsenal.
Room for improvement
Ultimately, the Ford F-150 came out on top in this test. In the most expensive trim, its interior was more comfortable than either of the other trucks and it had the most powerful engine. The Ram’s interior was more upscale than the Chevy’s, but it had weak performance overall. With a little more attention to interior detail and a few structural modifications, the Silverado could better match up to the F-150.