The fueled competition between the renowned automotive brands, Chevy and Ford, is no secret. For over a century now, Chevy and Ford have been battling to exceed one another in every way. From price and popularity to sales and innovations, drivers around the world have benefited from these two brands continuously trying to outdo the other. Now, two of America’s most popular truck models are taking their rivalry off the pavement in a new head-to-head matchup: the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs. the 2022 Ford F-150. Who wins? Those looking for the best off-road capabilities.
For the first time ever, the off-road-ready ZR2 trim package is available with drivers’ favorite full-size Chevy pickup. Although it isn’t the first time we’ve seen the capabilities of the ZR2 package, since it has been available with other Chevy models like the Colorado in the past, 2022 is the first model year drivers will be able to finally experience everyday off-roading at its finest in the Silverado 1500. Some may say that Chevy was following in the footsteps of its rival, since Ford introduced its trail-ready Tremor trim to their beloved F-150 for the 2021 model year, but it can be argued that Chevy was saving the best off-road warrior for last.
If you have found yourself caught up in the off-road rivalry between the 2022 Chevy Silverado ZR2 and the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor, take a minute to look at how these trail-ready daily drivers compare to one another. I’m breaking down their best features to help you decide which is more suitable for your next adventure.
While some people prefer to blend into a crowd, others want to stand out. The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 appears as aggressive as its capabilities are, so you always stand out from the masses. The Silverado ZR2 sits wide and tall with the help of its 33” Goodyear Wrangler Territory Mud Terrain tires on 18” rims. Plus, the massive black chrome front grille with a hollowed-out “flow-tie” emblem looks as though it could swallow more than just air, but anything in its path. A steel off-road cut front bumper with red recovery hooks and plastic end caps is designed for easy replacement if you happen to come into contact with any obstacles along the trail. Meanwhile, the bumper looks as good as it is functional, providing a better angle of clearance on and off the trail.
As for the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor, it too sits on 18” wheels with 33” tires, but it lacks a rugged appearance when parked beside the Silverado ZR2. However, the F-150 Tremor looks subdued and simple, which is good for those who want a more streamlined truck. The General Grabber all-terrain tires that come with the F-150 Tremor also have their pros and cons. While they may provide a quieter and smoother ride on the pavement than the mud-terrain tires of the ZR2, they won’t hold up quite as well on the trail. Although, Ford does get a little credit for the Active Orange accents found in the grille and the recovery hooks.
Overall, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 appears more gnarly than its competitor. But, as you know, what really matters is how these models perform and what they are capable of when adventure calls you.
Performance and Capabilities
Let’s compare what can be found under the hoods of these two off-road pickups. While both the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 and the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor are standard with four-wheel drive and 10-speed automatic transmissions, the Silverado ZR2 packs a 6.2-L V8 engine under the hood, which produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This allows the Silverado to maneuver off-road with ease, while still towing up to 8,900 lbs and hauling up to 1,440 lbs when needed.
Unfortunately, it does come up short in terms of fuel economy and towing when compared to Ford’s 3.5-L EcoBoost V6 F-150 Tremor. The F-150 can earn a combined rating of 20 mpg vs. the Silverado’s 17 mpg combined, tows up to 10,900 lbs, and hauls up to 1,885 lbs. Its maximum 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque make it slightly more beneficial for those looking for a working truck or commuter vehicle.
When diving deeper than just what’s under the hood, you’ll find that both models are equipped with specific off-road suspensions to allow for a comfortable off-road experience. However, the Silverado takes the lead with its Multimatic DSSV dampers—for the smoothest performance on the road or even in extreme terrain. The 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 model also earned its place as the first in its class to come standard with both front and rear electronic locking differentials; this feature increases its ability to blaze through anything in its way. The Ford F-150 Tremor comes in at a close second to the Silverado ZR2. It includes an electronic rear locking differential and offers an available limited-slip Torsen front differential.
Even when comparing the approach angle of the Silverado ZR2 and the F-150 Tremor, the Silverado takes the lead. Where the ZR2 model can get a 31.8-degree approach angle with the help of its high-approach front bumper and other off-road specific modifications, the F-150 Tremor only gets a 27.6-degree approach angle—meaning it’s less capable against steep terrains and obstacles.
While the mechanics of the trucks are essential to their performances both on and off the trail, there are technologies available today that can also enhance performance, wherever you decide to venture. From selectable drive modes for any weather or road conditions to driver assistance features, each plays a key role in your truck’s performance. You’ll find all of these in the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 and the 2022 Ford F-150 Tremor. They also offer one-pedal driving for off-road use.
Chevy calls their one-pedal driving option “Terrain Mode”. This mode allows you to crawl over any terrain or obstacle with the use of a single pedal, so you can focus more on steering around the obstacles on the trail, versus worrying about needing to brake as well. By letting off of the accelerator in Terrain mode, the truck will automatically apply light braking for you. Ford calls their option Trail One Pedal Drive.
Where the Ford F-150 Tremor stands out from the Silverado ZR2 is with its Trail Turn Assist feature, which allows for a tighter turning radius at slow speeds. It also offers a 360-degree camera which allows you to see everything around your truck while driving. Plus, with the available Trail Control, you can set a certain speed while on the trail.
Time to Find Your Next Adventure
Although each distinctively stands apart from one another, both the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2022 Ford F-150 are extremely capable trucks—even before adding their off-road trim packages. While each off-road specific model offers versatile performance across the board, where one triumphs over the other on the road, the other is victorious off the pavement. The Ford Tremor improves the already versatile F-150 daily driver, making it capable of venturing farther off the beaten path than it previously could.
Meanwhile, the Chevy ZR2 package makes the family-favorite Silverado 1500 an off-road warrior with daily driver capabilities straight off of the factory line. The level of adventure you are looking for will help you determine which model is more suitable for you. So when it comes to the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs. the 2022 Ford F-150, which truck will you choose?