Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A man and a woman are shown loading a silver 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71 during a 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Ford F-150 comparison.

The 2023 Chevy Silverado vs 2023 Ford F-150: Which Offers More Capability?

When considering a powerful and rugged truck with exceptional capabilities, two brands often come to mind; Chevrolet and Ford. This is typically narrowed down to two distinct models, the Silverado and F-150. When looking at the current lineups, the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Ford F-150 are the trucks drivers frequently compare and contrast. Chevy and Ford have staked their claims on the pickup truck market as one of their primary vehicles for success, and both have the sales and customer loyalty to back up that decision.

Big pickups are raking in the profits for their respective brands, so it’s no surprise they’re keeping innovation and tech at the forefront to keep those numbers growing. As an example of that focus, the latest models come outfitted with serious infotainment tech plus plenty of impressive features so customers can truly customize their trucks to their unique driving needs. Variety is indeed a vital component when selecting a pickup truck these days.

However, it’s important to remember why so many drivers gravitate to these two pickups in the first place: towing and payload capacity. Are you looking for a full-size pickup to easily tow your equipment and provide plenty of engine power? Let’s explore the strengths of both the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150, each delivering impressive performance specs to help get tough jobs done. While these two trusted workhorses offer plenty of power to help you on the job site and beyond, you’ll see that the Silverado 1500 offers an edge that makes it an ideal choice for potential drivers needing a hefty amount of strength with their pickup.

A Closer Look at Engine Options

Power and performance are what it’s all about when it comes to towing and payload capability. The 2023 Ford F-150’s base engine is a 3.3-liter V6 that generates 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The F-150 also offers a wide range of optional engine choices to fit any driver’s needs, with options including a 325 hp 2.7-liter V6 and even a 400 hp twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 as the most powerful option. All options are paired with an agile 10-speed automatic transmission for optimal performance.

While that seems like an impressive set of engine options for the F-150, don’t count the Silverado 1500 out just yet. When it comes to base-level engine strength, the Silverado is the clear winner, offering a standard 2.7-liter high-output turbocharged engine that produces an impressive 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Although the F-150 has five engines at its disposal, including the hybrid option, the Silverado 1500 has more horsepower in its engine arsenal in regards to traditional engines, with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 giving you 420 hp, when compared to the F-150’s 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, which only produces 400 hp. But it doesn’t end there for the Silverado 1500; for fuel efficiency-conscious drivers, Chevy offers a 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine, allowing you to get a notable 24 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. Unfortunately, the F-150 does not have a diesel engine option.

A white 2023 Ford F-150 is shown towing a white camper along a highway.

Cab and Bed Sizes

Both trucks offer three cab options: regular, extended, and crew. The 2023 Ford F-150 offers three different bed sizes, the compact 5.5-ft. bed, an intermediate 6.5-ft. bed, and the generous 8-ft. long bed. You can mix and match any of these cab sizes with any bed length you want, up to a crew cab with an eight-foot bed. The Silverado 1500 offers similar bed lengths, with the longest bed being 8 ft. 2 in., followed by the 6 ft. 7 in. standard bed and the 5 ft. 10 in. short bed.

If you want simple access to the cargo bed, all models have LED lighting and corner steps; however, if you are looking for the ultimate convenience in regards to getting in and out of your bed with ease, the Silverado 1500 has you covered with its innovative Multi-Flex Tailgate. This unique tailgate design allows it to be configured into six different configurations, which include an inner gate load stop to prevent cargo from sliding out of the bed to a work surface, perfectly designed for working on the job site. It’s unique design choices like this that give the Silverado 1500 an edge over its Ford rival.

Towing Packages

The Ford F-150 comes equipped for towing, with standard features including a four-pin trailer wiring harness, an intuitive Tow/Haul Mode that adjusts shift points and gear selection depending on load weight, Trailer Sway Control which allows smoother braking when pulling heavy loads over uneven roads and terrain, plus Engine Oil Cooler technology designed to keep your engine running at a consistent, safe temperature whatever you’re taking along. Ford also offers a Max Trailer Tow Package.

The Silverado 1500 also comes with a standard towing package; drivers can enjoy enhanced control with an automatic locking rear differential and a two-inch receiver. You can hitch up the trailer quickly, then hook up to any vehicle or trailer connection utilizing its seven-wire harness, sealed connector, or four-pin connectors. Chevy also offers optional towing mirrors that eliminate the blind spots a trailer creates, optimizing safety and comfort on long hauls.

The 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 also offers a Max Trailering Package, which changes the rear axle ratio to 3.42 instead of the standard 3.32. This package also integrates with the antilock brake system to provide measured brake force signals to electronically-controlled trailer brakes. You can view trailer gain and output figures in the Driver Information Center. Other additions include a 220-amp alternator instead of the standard 200-amp unit and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating upgrade from 7,100 lbs to 7,300. This package is only available on the LT, LTZ, RST, or High Country packages. If towing is a crucial factor when choosing the right truck, the Silverado is worth considering with its larger array of innovative towing features and enhancements.

Towing Capacity

With the standard 3.3L V6 engine, the 2023 Ford F-150 can tow a maximum of 8,200 lbs. This can be increased up to 14,000 lbs in either the SuperCab with the eight-foot bed or SuperCrew cab, rear-wheel drive, the 3.5L twin-turbo V6, and the Max Trailer Tow Package. This package is standard equipment for the Limited model and optional for models from the XLT through the Platinum to unlock this pickup’s towing potential.

The 2023 Silverado 1500 beats the F-150’s minimum towing capacity, with an 8,900-pound limit in the regular cab, standard bed, and four-wheel drive with the 2.7L turbo I-4. Larger models and engines increase this capacity up to an impressive 13,300 lbs. This requires either the Crew Cab and short bed, or the Double Cab and standard bed, with the 3.0L turbo-diesel I-6, or the Double Cab and standard bed with the 6.2L V8. Chevy’s Max Trailering Package is also required for this maximum capacity, which takes your ride to the next level with increased cooling, enhanced rear springs and shock absorbers, and a rugged rear axle in one convenient bundle.

A white 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 is shown towing a skid steer at a dusty work site.

Payload Capacity

The 2023 Ford F-150 is an impressive pickup truck, able to haul up to 3,315 lbs of cargo when equipped with the 3.5L twin-turbo V6. It’s popular for those looking for a rugged vehicle with top-notch hauling and pulling capabilities. While not as extensive as the F-150, the Silverado 1500 can still carry a considerable payload of up to 2,260 lbs. This requires the 2.7L turbo I-4, as the larger engines weigh more and take away from the truck’s payload potential.

The 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500’s Innovative Features Enhance Its Strength

While both iconic trucks have stood the test of time throughout the decades by offering exceptional strength coupled with a host of innovative technology, the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 offers better value to the discerning consumer when factoring in the sheer abundance of features and customization, making it ideal for the challenges of the job site, as well as home. Whether you’re looking to save money at the pump or are concerned about easy access to the truck bed and payload, the Silverado has seemingly thought of everything to make the day’s challenges easier. While power is certainly a crucial factor for truck buyers, the Silverado offers just enough choice and capability-enhancing innovation to give it the necessary lead over the F-150.