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A brown 2023 Ford F-250 Tremor is shown descending a hill after winning a 2023 Ford F-250 vs 2023 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD contest.

Working-Class Heroes: The 2023 Ford F-250 Versus the 2023 Chevy 2500 HD

Today’s pickups come in all shapes and sizes, from nimble, efficient models like the Ford Maverick and the well-rounded midsize Ranger all the way up to Ford’s flagship truck — and America’s best-selling vehicle — the full-size F-150. These three models might be perfect for the average driver, but for those looking for unparalleled performance and power, there’s no substitute for heavy-duty models when comparing pickups like the 2023 Ford F-250 vs 2023 Chevy 2500 HD. Drivers who have logged their fair share of days on the job site know that a heavy-duty truck carries a number of advantages over its smaller brethren.

Designed for the rigors of the working world, heavy-duty pickups excel in the towing and hauling department thanks to their large diesel engines, beefy suspensions, and rugged transmissions. Case in point: The 2023 Ford F-150 maxes out at 14,000 lbs for towing capacity, whereas the 2023 Ford F-250 Super Duty offers up to 18,200 lbs when properly equipped. In truth, the F-150’s 14,000-pound towing capacity should be more than enough for most personal applications, but when there’s work to be done, that extra 4,000-plus lbs can make all the difference.

In the heavy-duty pickup segment, two familiar names rise to the top. The Ford F-Series has been a mainstay at construction sites and lumber yards since the lineup was first introduced in 1948. Over the last 75 years, F-Series trucks have earned a reputation for performance and reliability that’s hard to beat, making them the go-to choice of hard-working tradespeople across the country.

Debuting in 1998, the Chevy Silverado might have been a little later to the scene, but it’s a continuation of the C/K pickup line that ran from 1960 to 2002. Both brands have found considerable success with their marquee half-ton models in the Silverado 1500 and F-150, but it’s the 3/4-ton models that have cemented the brands’ dominance amongst demanding professionals. So, how do Ford and Chevy’s 2023 heavy-duty models compare? Let’s take a closer look as we put the 2023 Ford F-250 against the 2023 Chevy 2500 HD.

Gas Engines

When it comes to their standard gas engines, the 2023 Ford F-250 and 2023 Chevy 2500 HD are remarkably similar. The Ford’s is slightly larger — a 6.8-liter V8 versus the Chevy’s 6.6-liter V8 — with a commensurate bump in power. The F-250’s standard engine is good for 405 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly better than the Silverado 2500 at 401 hp and, although the Silverado edges out the F-250 in torque with 464 lb-ft.

The two trucks might be pretty evenly matched as far as the base engines are concerned, but that’s sort of the highlight for the Silverado. Chevy is only offering a single gas engine option for 2023, limiting drivers to the 6.6-liter V8 or an optional Duramax diesel. On the other hand, Ford has spoiled us with options for the new model year, rolling out an additional gas-powered V8s to make the F-250 one of the most customizable 3/4-ton on the market. Its 7.3-liter V8 delivers 430 hp and 485 lb-ft of torque.

Diesel Engines

Then there are the diesels. Diesel engines have long been the go-to choice of the heavy-duty segment for one simple reason: they simply produce more torque than any other design. This is because diesel is more energy-dense than gas, packing up to 15 percent more power by volume. When a diesel engine is set in motion, this translates into increased energy transfer through the piston, resulting in more torque fed through the crankshaft. It’s torque, not horsepower, that is the end-all, be-all in the towing department, which is why diesel setups are so popular in the working-class segment.

Ford offers two diesel options in 2023: a turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel and a high-output version that ups the all-important torque figure to a mountain-moving 1,200 lb-ft. The turbocharged version produces an impressive 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque, but the high-output design is hard to pass up, given its considerable torque and 500 hp. Chevy has again opted for a pared-down approach to its diesel offerings, with just a 6.6-liter Duramax V8. The diesel holds its own with 445 hp but is comparably a little underpowered at just 910 lb-ft of torque.

A black 2023 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD High Country Midnight is shown parked in a driveway.


In many ways, towing and payload capacity are the two most important considerations in the heavy-duty segment. If you’re looking for a reliable daily driver that can put in a little work, the half-ton segment is replete with popular options, but if you’re looking for the sort of power it takes to get the job done right, it’s the heavy-duty segment or bust. Ford hasn’t lost sight of this in crafting the 2023 F-250, gracing the 6.8-liter V8 version of the pickup with a 4,302-lb payload capacity and 14,800-lb towing capacity.

The 7.3-liter V8 provides drivers with 17,200 lbs of towing capacity, while the turbocharged and high-output diesel options max out at 22,900 lbs and 23,000 lbs, respectively. Payloads for both options hover over the 4,000-lb mark. The F-250 also includes an array of trailer-assist features, from onboard scales and Smart Hitch technology to a Trailer Navigation function that suggests an ideal route based on trailer dimensions and weight.

The Silverado once again lags behind the F-250, with its own base engine providing a 14,500-lb towing capacity and just over 4,000 lbs of payload. Selecting the sole diesel option produces mixed results, offering just 18,510 lbs of towing power and a slightly more powerful 4,673 lbs of payload capacity. Chevy keeps pace regarding trailering tech, with a multi-view camera system being the pickup’s crown jewel. With the ability to monitor 14 different camera angles, a bird’s-eye-view mode that makes backing up easier than ever, and a Transparent Trailer View that effectively erases the trailer from the video feed to allow for a better view of the vehicles behind you. The Silverado 2500 HD does have a few novel tricks up its sleeve.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy has never really been the strong suit of the heavy-duty segment. In fact, the EPA actually excludes 3/4-ton pickups like the F-250 Super Duty and Silverado 2500 HD from testing based on their weight, leaving us with only third-party testing to go by. Power is often prioritized well above efficiency in the heavy-duty segment, and while few drivers will pass up on a promising pickup just because it’s a little thirsty, fuel economy can be an important consideration for those businesses and individuals looking to reduce their overhead.

The Silverado 2500 HD is pretty middle-of-the-road regarding fuel economy, with its sole 6.6-liter V8 posting an underwhelming 12 MPG in the city and 14 MPG on the highway. The diesel provides the pickup with a much-needed boost, upping the fuel economy to 15 MPG in the city and 19 MPG on the highway and putting it more in line with the Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel at 17 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway. We’re still waiting for the final assessment when it comes to the full lineup of the F-250’s gas engines, but for now, we do know that the 7.3-liter V8 delivers an impressive 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway.

The Ford pickup also has the edge as far as the transmission is concerned, with a 10-speed automatic setup that bests the six-speed, non-diesel Silverado by a considerable margin. These additional gears allow the F-250 to offer smoother performance and improved fuel economy over the Silverado 2500, which is an important consideration when you’re dealing with a 34-gallon fuel tank that costs a good $130-plus to top off.

The black interior of a 2023 Ford F-250 is shown, including a large dashboard screen.


Today, even the most hard-working trucks are packed with every gizmo and gadget under the sun. Both the Ford F-250 and Silverado 2500 come with a full suite of infotainment tech, touchscreen displays, available premium audio systems, and the like, but it’s the unique, work-focused features that really caught our attention this time around.

We’ll start with the F-250, which conducts most of its digital business through an 8-inch touchscreen display or an available 12-inch version. A 640-watt, eight-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system comes standard, but it’s the truck’s 5G Wi-Fi hotspot that will be of the most interest to pickup professionals. The lightning-fast internet connection has allowed Ford to integrate the latest in fleet management software and onboard telematics into the F-250, which can be vital when it comes to GPS tracking, monitoring the truck’s vitals, and heading off any maintenance tasks before they can balloon into larger mechanical issues. It might seem a little Big Brother-y to the average driver, but for business owners looking to keep tabs on their fleet, it can be a crucial tool.

Compared to the Ford, the Silverado 2500 is a little lacking on the tech front. The pickup runs Chevy’s Infotainment 3 software but forces drivers to navigate a cramped 7-inch screen or upgrade to a still-modest 8-inch version. A seven-speaker Bose audio system is available for an additional markup, along with the Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charger, and satellite radio.

While largely outshined by the F-250, the Silverado 2500 does have one neat, work-related trick up its sleeve with a function that allows drivers to store different trailer profiles, monitor maintenance tasks, and even control various trailer functions through a connected smartphone app. Ideal for any driver hauling a new piece of equipment on every shift, the trailer profile function goes a long way in buoying the Chevy’s functionality.

The 2023 Ford F-250 Offers Power, Capability, and Innovation in a Heavy-Duty Package

When it comes to comparing the 2023 Ford F-250 vs the 2023 Chevy 2500 HD, it’s really no contest at all. The F-250 takes the cake regarding several important metrics, from engine selection and fuel economy to towing prowess, technology, and more. That’s not to say the Silverado 2500 HD is a bad pickup by any means: it fulfills all the requirements we’d expect from the 3/4-ton segment, offering drivers a well-rounded option that makes for the perfect fleet vehicle; it’s just that the F-250 tends to one-up it in almost every department.

There’s a reason Ford’s F-150 has been America’s best-selling pickup — or vehicle of any kind — for over 40 years, and many of those qualities are reflected in its big brother, the F-250. If you’re looking for the type of power, performance, and reliability it takes to get the job done right the first time, it’s hard to pass up on everything the 2023 Ford F-250 has to offer.