|89||Bed Volume (cu.ft.)||77|
|277||Diesel Horsepower (HP)||250|
|460||Diesel Torque (lb-ft)||440|
Fans of Chevy, Ford, and Ram are highly unlikely to change allegiances as each manufacturer continues to build their arsenal. Technological advances, improved capabilities, and a smorgasbord of functional and stylistic options keep the big three neck and neck year after year, a trend that continues as Ford unveils an all-new F-150 for 2021. However, Chevy has a few tricks up its sleeve as well, and the battle between the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Ford F-150 is as close as ever.
The latest Silverado only hit the market in 2019, so the 2021 model only needed some minor updates to keep it fresh. The output and capabilities of its most and least expensive engine options have been improved. Its fifteen-view camera system provides an unprecedented level of visibility that includes a unique "invisible trailer" view for the highest visibility trailering experience on the market, and last but not least, the 2021 model introduces a six-function Multi-Flex Tailgate that makes the Silverado 1500 the most user-friendly cargo-hauler in the segment.
The Ford F-150 is immensely popular for a reason, and the 2021 redesign is a step forward in terms of capability and technology. It's closely matched with the Silverado's price points, and the towing capabilities of the various engines are all competitive with each other. We think the 2021 Silverado 1500 has an edge on the Ford thanks to its recent updates. After all, we want your truck-buying experience to be as stress-free as possible both before and after purchase, and that includes recommending the truck with the most stress-reducing features––the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500.
The heart and soul of every pickup truck is the powertrain. Before trucks were popular daily drivers, they were strictly workhorses, and the need for power remains today. The Silverado 1500 and F-150 both offer a diverse array of engine options for drivers to consider against their needs.
The Silverado's entry-level engine is a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6, while the new F-150 sports a smaller 3.3L V6. The Ford makes 290 hp versus the Chevy's 285 hp, but the Silverado produces 305 lb-ft of torque – a significant step up from the F-150's 265 lb-ft. And while the Silverado's base build provides a minimum towing capacity of 7,200 lbs, the base F-150 is only rated to tow 5,000 lbs––a number easily beaten by many mid-size pickups.
Both the Silverado 1500 and F-150 offer diesel engines for 2021. The F-150's diesel is a carryover from 2020 and delivers a respectable 250 hp and a mighty 440 lb-ft of torque. The Silverado's 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel is updated for 2021 and beats Ford on both counts with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Further, it gets an impressive 33 MPG on the highway. With both the Chevy and Ford diesel options carrying roughly the same price tag, the better choice is clearly the one with the superior performance – in this case, the Silverado 1500.
Both trucks offer V8 engines to deliver that big-truck sound and feel – Ford has a 5.0L, while Chevy offers 5.3L and 6.2L models. Ford's V8 produces big-time power and torque, getting up to 400 hp and 410 lb-ft, but the Chevy 6.2L tops even those impressive numbers with its best in class 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. And if you want a V8 but do not need all of that capacity (and expense), then the Chevy 5.3L is not that far behind at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.
Trucks are no longer spartan workhorses – with competition so tight, all manufacturers have added the best conveniences and technologies to their full-size pickups. With touch-screen infotainment systems, advanced camera-based visibility systems, and cutting-edge trailering tech to take all the stress and guesswork out of towing, these trucks are comfortable technological marvels.
Chevy's popular Infotainment 3 system carries forward into 2021. One of the few systems on the market to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standard alongside a 4G WiFi hotspot, it's frequently praised for being supremely intuitive and user-friendly. Owners can take even advantage of in-vehicle apps, including the state-of-the-art trailering app, to control trailer systems and check trailer systems status remotely.
Ford's brand-new SYNC 4 system is standard on the 2021 F-150. This also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity plus a WiFi hotspot. However, it's too new to be widely reviewed at this point, and it's unknown whether it will live up to Ford's promises. Given the two systems' similar features, it is probably better to stick with the tried and true Chevy system.
As technology advances, trailering gets easier. Nothing demonstrates this better than Chevy's Advanced Trailering System. Integrated with a mobile app to deliver information and controls to your smartphone, this system provides checklists, maintenance reminders, diagnostics assistance, and more to reduce the stress of towing. Build trailer profiles to save settings for all of your trailers, and take advantage of the integrated brake controller's brake gain memory feature so that you only need to set up your trailer from scratch once. Industry-first technologies like electric parking brake hookup assist help to prevent mishaps like unintentional rolling when hitching a trailer.
When it comes to visibility, the new F-150 enhances driver awareness with its five high-resolution cameras positioned around the truck. These provide multiple angles, including a 360-degree overhead view, so drivers won't feel blinded by their bulky truck and trailer. However, the 2021 Silverado 1500 blows its competition out of the water in this arena. A whopping fifteen camera views allow drivers to see everything, everywhere, including inside or even through the trailer with the unique "transparent trailer" display.
As technologies advance, more and more of the details that make trailering so much more than hooking up and driving off are being addressed by manufacturers. But while Ford is certainly keeping its trucks up to date with modern features, it is difficult to say that Chevy isn't in the lead. With its integrated trailering app and incredible fifteen camera views that can make your trailer "disappear," pulling a trailer in a 2021 Silverado 1500 is easier than ever before.
With all the emphasis on high-tech features, it's easy to forget how important the humble cargo bed is. But for many drivers, the simple utility of a large bed to transport tall and bulky items is the primary reason they're driving a truck in the first place. These are the drivers that GM's designers are thinking of year after year as they introduce features to make the Silverado's cargo bed the best in the business.
The 2021 Silverado 1500 has the biggest bed in the full-size segment. The 5', 6', and 8' boxes are all bigger by volume than the same-length Ford beds. If you are looking for a crew cab with a compact bed, the Silverado will give you 63 cu.ft. of cargo space against the 53 cu.ft. in the F-150. With a standard bed, Chevy offers 72 cu.ft. against Ford's 62 cu.ft. And if you want a serious work truck with a long bed, then the 2021 Silverado 1500 provides no less than 89 cu.ft. - over 15% more than the 77 cu.ft. of the 2021 Ford F-150.
Both trucks offer more than raw space in those beds. Features to make the loading and use of the beds easier are always being developed and introduced. The 2021 Ford F-150 offers LED zone lighting for improved visibility during operations all around the truck. Clamp pockets and mounted cleats on the tailgate allow users to secure objects more effectively. Available stowable loading ramps and a tailgate step make the often-daunting task of transporting heavy objects, or simply getting in and out of the bed, significantly easier.
Then the Silverado 1500 rolls up and makes the F-150's bed look like nothing more than a simple box with sides. Chevy's been offering trucks with the CornerStep bumpers for years, providing a simple and sturdy mechanism for getting in and out of the bed. The Silverado also includes bed lighting, as well as a dozen standard tie-down locations. But the highlight of the 2021 Silverado 1500 cargo bed is the tailgate.
In 2019 Chevy offered the industry's first power-operable tailgate. In 2021 this excellent convenience can be augmented by the addition of the new Multi-Flex Tailgate that reinvents what a tailgate can be. There are a half dozen ways to configure the gate to achieve whichever function you can imagine for it - these range from a fold-down step for easy access to a pop-up flap to keep oversized loads secure.