When it comes to full-size pickup trucks with outsized capabilities, there are only two main competitors to consider. Going head-to-head in a battle for supremacy, the competition between the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is one that you can’t miss. While both vehicles offer high towing and payload ratings, legendary reliability, and impressive high-tech features, there can be only one winner. While Chevy has made a credible effort updating its fourth-generation Silverado 2021 model year, the 2021 Ford F-150 is the first year of the all-new fourteenth generation and brings unmatched innovation and capability to the table.
All of the 2021 Ford F-150 models come with the brand new SYNC 4 infotainment system, which is designed for over-the-air updates. Gone are the days of being stuck with increasingly dated software that cannot keep up with the latest features. Now, with the over-the-air updates, your infotainment system can stay up-to-date over the entire life of your truck. However, SYNC 4 is already filled with cutting edge features out of the box. Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling is also a given, as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and cloud-based connectivity. Also, the higher trim levels will have a navigation system with integrated real-time traffic updates. You won’t have to worry about being late again!
The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers the solid but not outstanding Chevy Infotainment 3 System. This software has been around for a while now, but it does offer all the major features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Still, this system is already well into its lifespan, while the Ford SYNC 4 is brand-new. The Chevy system also only offers an 8″ central touchscreen when the new Ford F-150 can be equipped with an expansive 12″ central touchscreen to view your apps, maps, and camera angles with incredible clarity.
One of the main reasons people buy a full-size pickup truck is to haul things. Pulling a trailer or RV doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. Both the 2021 Ford F-150 and the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 have new features in place to make hitching a trailer a one-person job. However, the two trucks take slightly different approaches, with Ford offering more innovative technology.
The 2021 F-150 comes with blind spot monitoring with trailer coverage. This system not only alerts you if there is a vehicle in your truck’s blind spot, but it also takes into account the length of the trailer that you are pulling to ensure completely safe lane changes. In the past, it has been very dangerous to change lanes while pulling a trailer. Other drivers might not even realize that you have a trailer attached to your vehicle. So, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are safely changing lanes. This advanced system will let you know how much space you need to switch lanes while you’re towing a trailer.
The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 also comes with trailering enhancements, including the similar Trailer Length Indicator and Chevy’s best in class 15 available camera views. But only Ford offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist – an innovative system that makes reversing with a trailer a breeze no matter how little experience you have. Simply indicate the direction that you need to go using the dial on the dash, and the truck will make all the necessary steering inputs to safely place you where you need to go.
2021 F-150 Powertrains
Both trucks offer powerful lineups in the engine department. However, they are very different from one another, and the 2021 Ford F-150 brings several game-changing upgrades to the table. Let’s pop the hoods of these vehicles to see just how different these two trucks truly are.
There are six powertrain options on the new 2021 Ford F-150, and all of them are paired with a modern 10-speed automatic transmission. The first is a 3.3-liter V6 motor that pumps out 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It has a towing range of 5,000 to 8,200 lbs, making it remarkably capable for a base engine. However, this is just the beginning of what this truck can offer.
The twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine makes 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, with a towing range between 7,600 and 8,600 lbs. After that, we have the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 motor. This powerful unit generates 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, giving it a towing range of between 8,200 and 10,500 lbs. The fourth powertrain in the 2021 F-150 is a diesel 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6. Producing 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain provides both excellent fuel economy and a maximum towing capacity of up to 10,500 lbs.
The best towing rating is found on the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. This powertrain makes an impressive 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to pull an incredible 14,000 lbs. With this engine, the new F-150 is venturing into the territory of a three-quarter-ton truck. However, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is not actually the most powerful engine in the 2021 F-150.
The most powerful engine is also the coolest in the bunch – a brand-new twin-turbo 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 hybrid! Thanks to the addition of electric motors, this engine produces 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. And because of its hybrid battery pack, you can easily travel for up to 700 miles before needing to refuel. However, while this is the most powerful F-150 available, the added weight of the hybrid system means that its tow rating maxes out at 12,700 lbs.
2021 Silverado 1500 Powertrains
Now let’s look at the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 engine offerings. Keep in mind that in this truck, the transmission changes depending on the engine and trim, with some configurations still offering old 6-speed units. First is the 4.3-liter V6 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Producing 285 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque, this engine can haul up to 7,900 lbs – that’s 300 lbs less than the base engine in the F-150.
The second powertrain is a turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It makes 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque and has a maximum towing limit capped at 9,300 lbs. The next option is centered around a 5.3-liter V8 that can be equipped with a 6-, 8-, or 10-speed automatic transmission. Pumping out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, it can tow up to 11,500 lbs.
Then, we have the 6.2-liter V8 options with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, this is the most capable powertrain offered in the 2021 Silverado 1500, but it can only tow up to 13,300 lbs (a full 700 lbs less than the most capable F-150 engine). Finally, the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V6 engine is coupled with the 10-speed as well. Generating 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, it gets up to 33 MPG on the highway. However, the towing capacity is capped at only 9,500 lbs (that’s 1,000 lbs less than the F-150 diesel).
Which One Is Better?
While the two trucks have similar price points, the 2021 Ford F-150 is a far more capable vehicle across the board. Not only does it offer more power and more capability (including the only hybrid option in the segment), it also includes a variety of more advanced technologies from towing to infotainment. So, in the battle of the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, it is clear that the F-150 comes out on top.