2020 Ford F-150 vs. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado: Compare Trucks

2020 Ford F-150

2020 Ford F-150

Pickup trucks move more metal at Chevy and Ford in any given year than any other vehicle on the road. The 2020 F-150 and 2020 Silverado regularly top sales charts—and in their latest versions, they can tow and haul more than any full-size light-duty pickups in history.

Which one’s better to configure, buy, own, and drive? On the TCC Rating scale, the F-150 handily outpoints the Silverado, but the performance differences aren’t the reason.

Both trucks offer more variety under the hood than in the past. Ford sells a gas V-6, a turbodiesel-6, two twin-turbo V-6s, and a massively powerful V-8. Of the bunch, the turbo-6s rise to the top; paired with a 10-speed automatic, they range from strong to explosive in straight-line power, though fuel economy rates just 22 mpg on the EPA combined scale with the smaller engine, and falls into the high teens with the 450-hp turbo-6. F-150 handling isn’t magical—it’s still a massive truck with a bounding ride when not weighed down with cargo—but the same holds true for the Silverado, which also offers turbodiesel power along with a base V-6, a turbo-4 (!), and a pair of rorty, delicious-sounding V-8s. We’d pick the stalwart 5.3-liter V-8 for its energetic performance in moderately equipped trucks, but the 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 makes for a marvelous tow appliance.

On that scale, the Chevy’s top tow rating of 13,000 pounds outpoints the Ford’s 12,750-pound max, but only in the optimum configuration.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel

Chevy claims a better pickup bed than Ford, extracting a bit more space from similar bed lengths. It also sells camera systems so drivers can keep an eye on cargo by remote and a six-way tailgate, while Ford sells an in-tailgate step and handrail. Utility isn’t an issue for either truck; both come in regular-, extended- and crew-cab styles, with seating for as many as six passengers. 

Of course, both come in off-road-ready editions, but it’s safe to say Ford’s exceptional Baja-style Raptor outpaces the Silverado’s High Country models, if only for its twin-turbo power alone.

Styling isn’t what trucks do best, but the F-150’s crisper lines and more jazzy interior goes far upscale in Limited and King Ranch editions—farther than the Silverado’s nice interior, we think. Safety rings up in the same fashion; neither truck comes with standard automatic emergency braking and offers the feature only on expensive trims, but Ford’s crash-test results from the NHTSA and the IIHS have beaten Chevrolet’s results soundly.

Given a pretty big budget, we’d pay for an F-150 Crew Cab optioned with the 2.7-liter turbo-6 and automatic emergency braking. We’d have to pay substantially more for a Silverado LTZ to get the braking feature, which we consider essential—but a Silverado LT comes with LED headlights and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. In either truck, a base price of about $30,000 for non-work-trim trucks soars to $70,000 or more in the lushest Limited or High Country editions.

In the final tally, the 2020 F-150 merits a TCC Rating of 6.2, while the 2020 Silverado checks in at 5.2, mostly due to a low safety score. The Silverado fares better in towing technology, for now, but the F-150 remains a perennial favorite and an all-around performer that lets every driver pick and choose, according to their priorities. It’s the American way, after all.

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