Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado: Battle for Pickup Truck Supremacy | Edmunds Video


NARRATOR: This is Edmunds exclusive three-way comparison

of America's most popular pickups.

We'll drive them on the road, take them to our track,

tow an airstream trailer, and even put a quad in the bed.

After all that, we'll tell you which one is the best.


DAN EDMUNDS: This is the all new Ram 1500 pickup.

We've been big fans of the Ram for a long time

because last time around, they added coil spring

rear suspension, which made the ride just so supple,

and it made really good towing stability.

This particular example is a Laramie.

It's a nicely equipped truck, it's not too expensive,

and from here, you can add all sorts of interesting options.


TRAVIS LANGNESS: And this is the all new Chevy Silverado.

It's redesigned from the ground up with different body

and frame materials.

It's longer, taller, and wider than the previous model.

And what we've got here is the LTZ trim level.

Now, this one's got the 5.3 liter V8,

but it's also mated with the new 8-speed automatic.

We picked it because we like it right in the middle of Chevy's



ELANA SCHERR: The Ford F-150 is one of the top selling

vehicles in America.

It's well-known for its lightweight aluminum

construction and a wide variety of trim and engine options.

For our test, we have the mid-level lariat

with a 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost.


DAN EDMUNDS: We're going to put these trucks

through their paces to see which one

is the best one you can buy.

Let's get to it.


ELANA SCHERR: Getting into the F-150

is more like walking into an apartment

than it is getting into a truck.

For me, the truck is actually almost too big.

I feel like I'm floating around in here,

and I can't reach all of the soft spots.

But I can reach all of the controls

very easily with the exception of the trailer brake

adjustment, which makes Dan really angry.

The interior looks really nice from a distance,

but as you get closer, the materials

aren't as nice as they look.

They're plasticky and hard.

Two things I really like about this truck

that I think are very unique are the way that the doors or cut.

It gives a lot of visibility and it also looks interesting.

I also like where the door handles are placed.

They're tucked away in here, and you hit them from the top

rather than pulling them from the side.

It's pretty cool and they're really easy to use.

Overall, I think that the interior

is nice, but not exceptional.

It's really something that's best viewed from far away.

I bet it looks great in photos.


TRAVIS LANGNESS: So this is the inside

of the all-new Silverado.

There are some small changes, some things that are nicer.

For instance, this touch screen is new.

It's got new graphics that looks pretty good.

And also this giant center console is new.

And one of the things I like about this is it

feels very at home for a truck.

It's simple and everything is at an arm's reach.

One of the things I'm not a huge fan of

is how far out this dash feels like it sticks.

Feels like it intrudes in the cabin a little bit,

and also intrudes on this center console space.

And also this little bin here, there's

not much to organize it.

Your things are just going to slide around.

For instance, if your phone is mounted up here--

you hit a curb, it's just going to fall over.

But basically, this is the Silverado's new interior

and I'm a fan, but it doesn't wow me

as much as some of the other competitors do.


DAN EDMUNDS: This new Ram is really impressive,

and you see it the moment you get inside.

One of the things I really like about this,

and I'm surprised to hear myself say it,

is this center console is amazing.

All the actions here--

I mean, this is big.

You could put a couple of purses and a laptop in here

at the same time.

You can put your drinks here.

Look at this, my phone's plugged in,

but it snaps in there with the cord attached.

The other thing I like is the Uconnect system.

Now, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto--

the 8.4 inch Uconnect and this one both have it.

It's all really easy to use.

There's swiping, and pinch zoom, and all of that stuff.

Another unique feature is the sunroof.

I'm not a huge fan though, because it's $1,300.

It's quiet when it's open, but it does let in a lot of heat.

Overall, the Ram 1500's interior is on another level.

The other two trucks feel like they're catering

to their existing buyers.

This one looks like it's trying to win over new converts,

and I think it will.

All of these trucks are crew cabs.

Ram used to be third place out of these three.

But this year they've added four inches

to the wheelbase, four inches to the length of the cabin--

they put all of it back here.

But what's really good about the Ram is the seat back

angle is much more pleasing, and they do this.

Ah-- the others can't match this right now.

But also, if that wasn't enough, we've

got a center console-- a pretty big one.

The whole center of the seat folds down,

and there's a couple of cup holders here.

The back seat area of the Ram has the other ones covered.


TRAVIS LANGNESS: One of the main reasons people

buy full-sized trucks is so they can carry around their toys.

We've got this 750 pound Honda Rubicon.

I'm going to load it into all three trucks

and see how it goes.

All right, so let's open up the Chevy power up,

power down tailgate.




ELANA SCHERR: Well done, Trav.


So are you putting all the ratchets in the front, Dan?

DAN EDMUNDS: I'm going to put one on each side in the front.

And I'm going to go for the lowest hook

down here just because that seems to be

when I get the best angle.


A lot of guys, if they get this further forward,

they're going to bend it up halfway and strap it down,

or a lot of people will just roll with it like this.

DAN EDMUNDS: You could buy a longer truck.


This crew cab-- if you get the quad cab,

you're going to get a longer bed.

ELANA SCHERR: I never realized that that

was what quad cab meant.

You can put a quad in it.

DAN EDMUNDS: Well, I guess that's it.



Well, let's take it out of the bed

here and put it in the other trucks.

DAN EDMUNDS: Going to need this.


Safety first.

DAN EDMUNDS: All right.

ELANA SCHERR: Well done.

All right, Dan, let's get the quad in the back of this one.


TRAVIS LANGNESS: So it's damped, but it's not a power tail gate.

DAN EDMUNDS: Not power, this is just dampened.

ELANA SCHERR: Also (GRUNTING) no step on this.


DAN EDMUNDS: All right, there we go.

All clear.



TRAVIS LANGNESS: That was a little fast, man.

ELANA SCHERR: You were right earlier, Dan.

You said this bed was a lot shorter,

and it really is-- like, you have almost the entire tire


TRAVIS LANGNESS: These tires are completely on the tailgate.

Which one has a better system in the back, you think?

DAN EDMUNDS: The Chevy's lower tie downs,

I like that a little better.

But it's also got a slightly longer bed.

Although neither one of them was long enough for this ramp

to fit in with the tailgate closed

without putting it in sideways.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: Let's take it out of the Ford

and put it in the Ram.

DAN EDMUNDS: There you go.

ELANA SCHERR: Oh, beautiful.

DAN EDMUNDS: Like butter.

ELANA SCHERR: Show off for me, Dan.



DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, right?

If I had my hands full from Home Depot,

I wouldn't have to put anything down.

ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, but I still don't have a step.

At least I have a little handhold on this one.


DAN EDMUNDS: We're good.



DAN EDMUNDS: All right, that was a little better.

You only got a little bit of air.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: The tie downs-- how well would you compare them

to Ford?

DAN EDMUNDS: Well, the thing about the tie downs

is they're nice and low, so I like that.

And they're really big.


Those are much larger than--

DAN EDMUNDS: Even the Chevy's

TRAVIS LANGNESS: --Ford ones, especially in the rear.

And this is sitting almost completely on the tailgate,


ELANA SCHERR: I think it's right in between.

I think the Chevy had the most room,

and the Ford was the shortest.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: Well, let's take the quad out of the back

here and move on to the next test.


ELANA SCHERR: Expert level unlocked.


So we successfully loaded the quad in all three trucks.

Any of them would work.

Do you guys feel like there was one that was a clear winner?


I know it's the truck I brought, but I like the Chevy.

The multiple tie downs, and the fact

that you had that side-step on the tailgate to get in and out.

I felt like that made it the easiest.

ELANA SCHERR: I definitely liked the step.

What about you, Dan?

DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I agree.

But I do like the Ram's hooks because they're really low

and they're really big.

I was able to put two straps on them with ease.

So, not bad, but yeah, the Chevy's a little better.

ELANA SCHERR: Sounds like the Chevy wins this one.


To do a full-on tow test on any one of these trucks

would take the whole episode.

But we wanted to illustrate some of the tow tech

and how easy it is to use.

To do that, we've got this Airstream 25FB--

it's the Flying Cloud.

And it's about 25 feet long, about 6,500 pounds,

and it'll be great to showcase what these trucks can do.



DAN EDMUNDS: I wonder where Travis and Elana are?

They're leaving me to do all the hard work.

Want a soda back there?



DAN EDMUNDS: Good to go.

The Ford works pretty well.

The problem I found there is they've

got this Pro Trailer Backup Assist

system that they talk about, which sounds great,

but it's theoretical because I can't use it on this trailer.

This sticker is supposed to go somewhere in this area.

And you can see the propane tanks are in the way,

so I can't install this on the trailer, which

means I can't use Pro Trailer Backup Assist.

The Silverado, it's got a lot of power,

but the camera wasn't my favorite.

To me, the Ram is golden because it's

got a much better camera that's easier to use.

Time to roll.


We then hit the highway and headed for the nearest hill.

All three were able to pull it up the grade easily,

but the F-150 felt more willing, while the Ram

was the most stable in corners and cross winds.


ELANA SCHERR: Well, the F-150, or the F-series trucks,

are the best selling trucks, right.

We talked about that.

And I can see why people like them.

It's a really predictable truck, it does everything

that you need it to do, it's quite quick.

They have a ton of different options

for engines and interiors, so you can find one that you like.

The engine in this truck it is never working hard,

which is not something I normally say about turbo V6s.

Even if they have a lot of power,

you're way on the throttle to make that happen.

That is not how I feel here.

I feel like you can use just a very small throttle application

and be right up to cruising speed.

There's a little bit of delay-- a little lag, mostly

if you surprise it, and that might be in the transmission.

DAN EDMUNDS: Now, that 10-speed here is really clever.

I mean, you don't know that it has 10 gears to choose from,

because it's really nice at picking the right gear

at the right time.

So you don't feel like it's shifting all over the place.

So this is a really nicely sorted 10-speed.

ELANA SCHERR: This is an extremely comfortable truck.

You get a little bit of road feel, but not a lot.

In fact, I think Chevrolet was a little more road feel,

and definitely more road noise.

One of the things that really stood out to me in this truck

is how quiet it is in the cab.

I think it's a good looking truck,

and they also did a pretty nice redesign on the nose.

And so, it's very striking.

The lights in the grill are integrated really beautifully,

and there's a lot of small details

that you'll appreciate if you spend a lot of time looking

at the truck.

DAN EDMUNDS: They've got these huge mirrors, though.

They're a little too huge.

ELANA SCHERR: Yeah, the mirrors are ugly,

and I already hit a bush with them,

and not even on a small street.

If you put this truck against the Silverado

and asked me which one was more recently redesigned,

I would think this was the newer truck

and that was the older one.


ELANA SCHERR: I am a little bit proud

that the truck that I brought has

the best numbers at the track, and it also

has the highest torque.

So it's a 375 horse, but it is-- you ready for this?

470 torque.

That has all the torques, and I win.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: [LAUGHING] It's all the torques.

DAN EDMUNDS: Wow, you do win.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: That has a lot to do with the fact

that this one is turbocharged while the other trucks are

naturally aspirated.

And one of the other things that's

interesting about the track performance in these trucks

is all of them stopped from 60 to zero in our panic braking

test within feet of each other.

DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, that's pretty good.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: That's pretty remarkable.

DAN EDMUNDS: Those numbers were about five or six feet better

than they were the last time these trucks were new.

So there's been improvement over time.

And that's good to see because trucks have always had

the longest stopping distances.

And they still do, but now, the gap isn't so big.


I feel like all the manufacturers are really

recognizing that people use trucks

for a lot of different reasons.

I mean, towing toys, towing horses,

but also just as daily drivers.

And they're really working on making

them safer, and more comfortable, and more

pleasurable to drive.

So that's nice.

It's good to know that the audience is being heard.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: I know this sounds weird,

but the Ford is the most fun to drive for me.

The handling and the steering, for me, are the best.

But those may not be things that people that want a track

are concerned with.

DAN EDMUNDS: I like the Ford's powertrain--

it's really powerful.

And the 10-speed automatic is just

so nicely calibrated when you're towing, when you're not towing.

I really like that.


ELANA SCHERR: Travis, you've spent the most time

of any of us in this truck.

But to me, just getting in it, it doesn't look new.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: That's the impression

I not only got when I first saw the truck, but after 1,400

miles in the truck from Wyoming to Los Angeles.

It doesn't feel completely redesigned.

And also, under the hood it feels the same.

So the 5.3 liter V8 gets a new fuel management system.

And now, it's paired to the 8-speed automatic instead

of the 6-speed, which has a little bit faster shifts

and it's a little quieter on the highway.

I like that it doesn't rev as high.

ELANA SCHERR: Dan is going to hate me for this because there

is no scientific way to measure it,

but Travis how do you feel the truck

jealousy is on this truck?

And you know what I'm talking about.

It's like, who's looking at it?


I do.

This one I feel like is particularly

polarizing-- just the new Chevy look in general.

It's got a lot of chrome on the front end.

Some people love it, some people hate it.

From the back on the sides, some people

can't really tell the difference.

And then, of course, the power tailgate in the back.

You load all your stuff and you press the button,

and they've got to push it up.

There's a little bit of truck jealousy

there, just a small amount.

ELANA SCHERR: You nailed it when you said

the front end is polarizing.

I mean, it's got these weird origami folds,

and like slots and tabs, which I guess are for aero,

but they are unusual looking.

DAN EDMUNDS: I mean, I like the new Silverado,

but it doesn't feel like a brand new Silverado.

It feels very evolutionary, not revolutionary.

ELANA SCHERR: I'd be happy to drive it

but I don't want to look at it.



One of the things that I noticed about the Ram when I got in it

was that the steering felt a little heavier,

but in a good way.

DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it has really good feedback.

You really know which way the tires are pointed at all times.

You get a really good sense of straight

ahead when you're driving straight.

You don't have to make a lot of corrections,

you don't have to think about it.

It goes where you want to go.

And in corners it feels nice, when driving straight it

feels nice.

This is the best steering of the bunch by far.

Whatever they've done, it works, and I like it.

The ride comfort is nicely damped.

It's quiet, there isn't a lot of road noise.

The engine makes a noise you like

to hear when you lay into it.

But when you just cruise, it just

fades into the background-- there's not

a lot of wind noise.

This thing is really nice riding.

I mean, what you see is what you get.

This truck has coil spring suspension

which is really good.

There's less friction when it hits a bump.

The other thing I really like, the fenders

are cut down real tight to the headlights,

and it's really easy to see the corners of the truck.

It feels like I could see it right

in front of it, which is something I

can't say for the other trucks.

ELANA SCHERR: Is this the biggest

engine you can get in a Ram?


The 507 HEMI is the top of the range.

There's two versions of it, though.

They both make it 395 horsepower,

which is more than the other to trucks,

and 410 pound feet of torque.

The 507 HEMI that we have here does not have the new eTorque

system-- that's coming soon.

And that system is a mild hybrid system that basically

improves fuel economy.

This one is good for 17 MPG combined,

but the eTorque version will be good for 19 MPG combined,

which is the same as the 3.5 EcoBoost.

This is the 8-speed that Ram introduced in 2014

in the last generation truck about halfway through.

And we really liked it then when it first came out.

We had a long-term EcoDiesel with that transmission,

and it was perfect.

ELANA SCHERR: I can easily imagine the Ram engineers

sitting together in a room and really saying

what do truck buyers want, what do they need,

and how do we give it to them, because that's

what this truck feels like.

DAN EDMUNDS: To me, the Ram is the best truck to drive.

I really like the steering, the 8-speed transmission

does everything I need it to do.

There's plenty of power, and the link coil suspension not only

rides nice, it's also really stable when you're towing.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: It's definitely a classy look that I enjoy,

not only parked in my driveway, but driving it on the highway.


DAN EDMUNDS: All three of these are solid trucks,

and fans of each brand won't have any trouble

if they buy a new one.

But we've got to pick a winner.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: In third place, we had the Chevy Silverado.

It's completely redesigned and more capable than ever.

But in our tests, it doesn't have

quite what it takes to edge out the Ford and the Ram.

ELANA SCHERR: We really liked all three trucks.

But from the very beginning one stood out,

and it wasn't the Ford.

The F-150 might be the number one selling truck in America,

but it turned out number two in our test.

DAN EDMUNDS: That leaves the Ram 1500 as the winner of our test.

It's Edmunds top-rated truck.

The others may satisfy brand loyalists,

but this one could win some converts.

Well, that was fun.

TRAVIS LANGNESS: I had a great time.

We got to do it again, but first, dinner.

GROUP: Tacos.


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