2021 Ford F-150 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500: How the Big Three Compare

2021 Ford F-150 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500: How the Big Three Compare

Each new truck debut unleashes a war of numbers, with fans feverishly comparing power, torque, carrying capacity and, who knows, the number of cup holders. Ford introduced the new 2021 F-150 this week, and even though it hasn’t released full specifications for the truck, it promises to blow competitors out of the water when it comes to road parameters like the towing, power, etc. This is an ambitious claim, given that since the last F-150 went on sale, competitors have not sat still, instead pushing the envelopes of their trucks further and setting the bar high.

So how will the 2021 Ford F-150 compare to the Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado? We have calculated the numbers so that you can prepare for the truck debate course:

F-150 against Silverado against Ram 1500: engines

Ford is already beating Ram and Chevrolet in terms of maximum power and torque (with the 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor). The Blue Oval hasn’t released any numbers for the new F-150, but it does make big claims. A new hybrid variant, which combines a V6 engine with a 47-horsepower electric motor, aims to deliver the most horsepower and torque of any large light pickup truck on the market – at least until the Supercharged Ram , 700- hp-plus TRX, its competitor Raptor, lands later this year.

Compared to Ram and Chevy, the 2021 Ford F-150 has the most diverse range of engines. In addition to the hybrid, the other powertrains include three regular gasoline V6s, including a 3.3 liter basic naturally aspirated V6, a 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost and a 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost liters. The release of these engines has not yet been announced, but we can consult the 2020 F-150 for information. On the outgoing model, the entry-level 3.3-liter produced 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, and the 2.7-liter produced 325 ponies and 400 lb-ft of torque. The 3.5-liter was available in two versions, one developing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and the other delivering 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.


Like its predecessor, the Ford F-150 2021 will also offer a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. In the old model, the diesel developed 250 horsepower and a huge torque of 440 lb-ft. A 5.0-liter V8 powered by gas will again be available; the old version developed 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. All new F-150s will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission; disappears all the vestiges of the six-speed automatic transmission of the old truck.

So how does Ram compete? Instead of a full-fledged hybrid, Ram offers a light hybrid technology of 48 volts eTorque in its range. The 3.5-liter V6 with eTorque delivers 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft. A 3.0-liter diesel V6 develops 260 horsepower and an impressive 480 lb-ft of torque. A 5.7-liter V8, also available with eTorque technology increasing efficiency, develops 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. All these Ram engines are combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet doesn’t have hybrid technology on the Silverado 1500, period. It offers a relatively efficient and very soft 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel, which develops 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and is unique in that it offers a four-cylinder engine. Yes, you read that right: the Silverado 1500 is available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. Chevy also sells a 4.3-liter V6 (285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft), a 5.3-liter V8 (355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft) and a 6.2-liter V8 (420 horsepower and 460 lb. -pi). Depending on the model, the Silverado comes with a six-, eight-, or ten-speed automatic transmission, and the V-8s offer a new smart cylinder deactivation protocol to save additional fuel without impacting fluidity.

Ford F-150 2021

  • 3.3 liter V6: TBD hp, TBD lb-ft
  • 2.7-liter V6: to be determined, to be determined
  • 5.0-liter V8: TBD, TBD
  • 3.5-liter V6: to be determined, to be determined
  • 3.0-liter diesel V6: TBD, TBD
  • 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid: TBD, TBD

2020 Ram 1500

  • 3.6-liter V6 with eTorque: 305 hp, 269 lb-ft
  • 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine: 260 hp, 480 lb-ft
  • 5.7-liter V8 with or without torque: 395 hp, 410 lb-ft

2020 Chevrolet Silverado

  • 4.3-liter V6: 285 hp, 305 lb-ft
  • 5.3-liter V8: 355 hp, 383 lb-ft
  • 2.7 liters I-4: 310 hp, 348 lb-ft
  • 6.2-liter V8: 420 hp, 460 lb-ft
  • 3.0 liter diesel I-6: 277 hp, 460 lb-ft

F-150 against Silverado against Ram 1500: towing

Ford says it is on the verge of providing the highest maximum towing capacity of any large, light pickup. Currently, Chevrolet dominates Ford and Ram with a maximum towing capacity of 13,400 pounds. The Silverado 1500 achieves this rating when paired with the 6.2-liter V8.

The outgoing 2020 F-150 could tow up to 13,200 pounds with the 3.5-liter V6. Meanwhile, Ram exceeds 12,750 pounds when paired with the 5.7-liter V8. In case you miss the big picture here, the modern lightweight large microphones can carry a huge weight, so much so that the few hundred pounds separating the capacities of the Big Three platforms are almost negligible.

Okay, we understand, no advantage is “negligible” in truck wars. So while Ford hasn’t released a tow specification for most models in the 2021 F-150 lineup beyond its vague claim to ultimate tow supremacy, we know that even the new hybrid will be able to tow at least 12,000 pounds. Attach yourself to the final tally of the non-hybrid F-150.

F-150 against Silverado against Ram 1500: payload

Just like Ford plans to cream rivals with tow, it also aims to get better payloads than any other large, light truck. (Do you feel a theme in the Ford braggadocio?) Ford is already doing well with payload, with a maximum capacity of 3,270 pounds on the outgoing 2020 F-150. This is significantly better than the Ram 1500’s maximum payload of 2,300 pounds, achieved when combined with the 3.6-liter V6. Chevrolet isn’t far behind Ram at 2,250 pounds with the 4.3-liter V6.

F-150 vs. Silverado vs. Ram 1500: Pickup Bed

Point, Chevrolet. The Silverado 1500 offers more pickup space than the new Ford and the Ram, whether you choose the short, standard or long gearbox.

The 2021 Ford F-150 follows competitors with 53 cubic feet available in its 5.5-foot short bed. Compare that to Ram’s 54 cubic feet and Chevy’s 63 cubic feet. With the 6.5-foot bed, the Ford offers 62 cubic feet of space, on par with the Ram’s standard bed, but falling behind Chevy’s 72 cubic feet. With the 8-foot bed, the F-150 offers 77 cubic feet of space, well behind Chevy’s 89 cubic feet. The new Ram does not offer a long box.

So who is the winner? It almost doesn’t matter, both because we haven’t yet assessed how the specifications of the Ford F-150 2021 translate into truck macho in the real world and we know that fans of Ford, GM and Ram will choose which data points will help hit their friends who drive competitive trucks. Oh, and stay tuned while Ford releases more details on the 2021 F-150 – these specs are just the beginning.

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