Which truck has got the best engines to offer?

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Pickup trucks play a very important part of the American automotive culture. Companies like Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram have capitalized on it and offer their products in various combinations. Ford and Chevrolet offer six engine options each and their spread clashes with each other, but while maintaining exclusivity over the other. For instance, the Ford F-150 is offered with a hybrid engine, but the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 isn’t. The Silverado is offered with three transmissions, but the F-150 only with one. All-in-all, it boils down to your requirement at the end of the day and what fits your bill the best.

We’ve compiled a list of all the engine options offered on the 2021 models of the F-150 and the Silverado, and what trim levels they are offered on.

How Do The Engines Go Up Against Their Counterparts?

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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For the 2021 F-150, Ford has retained some of the engines from the preceding models, given some a slight power boost, and even introduced a new hybrid mill. That said, it still comes with six different engine options to choose from. Another major update for the 2021 model is that the company has dropped the six-speed gearbox from the previous model altogether.

All the engine options are now paired to the ten-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

All the engines and trims can be had in either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layouts and different body styles.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain Interior Exterior
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As for the engine options on the Chevy Silverado, the spread is equally impressive. In fact, Chevy offers three transmission options on the five engines. If you absolutely want a V-8 under the hood, the Silverado comes with two big engines in three iterations. In fact, you can even have it with a turbocharged four-cylinder mill. All said and done, it will be a tough pick between the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 if you look at it purely based on the powertrain options. All the engines and trims in Silverado also can be had in either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layouts and different body styles. The only major advantage that Ford has over the Bowtie is the new hybrid engine.

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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The engine for the lower trims is the same old 3.3-liter, V-6 workhorse that makes 290 horses and 265 pound-feet of torque. The 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill is also carried over with the same power output figures - 325 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. But, if you’re coming from the previous-gen F-150, you might still feel a difference in the ride quality, thanks to the new 10-speed automatic transmission in place.

The 3.0-liter, V-6 PowerStroke Turbodiesel engine is next in line that churns out 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of twist. Earlier, there used to be two iterations of the 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine – one making 375 horses and 470 pound-feet of twist, and the other churning out 450 horses and 510 pound-feet of torque (one seen in the Raptor). With the addition of the Hybrid, Ford is now offering just one iteration of the 3.5-liter engine - 400 ponies and 500 pound-feet of twist, and it sits right between the two engine options it replaces in terms of power output.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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Despite the rumors of it being phased out, Ford has carried over the mighty 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine. It still remains the highest-displacement engine in the company’s lineup. It receives a small power bump from last year, making 400 horses and 410 pound-feet of twist in the 2021 F-150.

Finally, there’s the new 3.5-liter, V-6 PowerBoost engine that churns out 430 ponies and 570 pound-feet of torque. This is the only hybrid engine in the segment at the moment. The Ram 1500 comes with an eTorque mild hybrid system that cannot be considered here because it just adds more torque and cranks the engine in a start/stop event. This one, too, is mated to a 10-speed auto gearbox, but it is a different modular hybrid transmission that was designed, engineered, and assembled for it.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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This system includes a 35-kilowatt electric motor (47 horsepower) in the transmission housing.

This electric motor works in tandem with the engine, utilizes regenerative braking, and also supports the Pro Power Onboard generator. It is powered by a liquid-cooled, 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Ford has said that it has equipped a belt-driven starter for the water pump and belt-starter motor. It is said to offer up to 700 miles from its 30.6-gallon fuel tank. Mind you, this isn’t a plug-in hybrid system and the batteries recuperate on the go. As Ford has mentioned, this mill makes the ‘best-in-class power and torque’, churning out 10 horses more than the 6.2-liter, V-8 seen in the Chevy Silverado.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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2021 Ford F-150 Engine Options
Engine  2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost 
Horsepower 325
Torque (lb-ft) 400
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  3.3-liter, V-6 
Horsepower 290
Torque (lb-ft) 265
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  3.0-liter, PowerStroke Diesel
Horsepower 250
Torque (lb-ft) 440
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost
Horsepower 400
Torque (lb-ft) 500
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  5.0-liter, V-8 
Horsepower 400
Torque (lb-ft) 410
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid 
Horsepower 430
Torque (lb-ft) 570
Transmission 10-speed automatic

2021 Chevrolet Silverado

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain Interior Exterior
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The Chevy Silverado comes with a 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 as the base engine that doles out 285 horses and 305 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Then comes the 2.7-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is the smallest engine that either Chevy or Ford has to offer on their respective trucks. It makes 310 horses and 348 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic

You can even have a V-8 in the base trim, which is the 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 mill that produces 355 horses and 383 pound-feet of torque. The 5.3-liter, V-8 is offered with two fuel management technologies – Active and Dynamic. This is the former and mated to a six-speed transmission.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
- image 950442

Next in line is the other 5.3-liter V-8 with the Dynamic Fuel Management System. It also makes 355 ponies and 383 pound-feet of twist, but can be had with either an eight-speed automatic gearbox or a ten-speed auto transmission.

Finally, there’s the most powerful engine that the automaker has to offer – a 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine that dishes out 420 ponies and 460 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed auto gearbox.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Engine  2.7-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged 
Horsepower 310
Torque (lb-ft) 348
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Engine  3.0-liter, Duramax Turbo-Diesel six-cylinder 
Horsepower 277
Torque (lb-ft) 460
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine  4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 
Horsepower 285
Torque (lb-ft) 305
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Engine  5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 (with AFM)
Horsepower 355
Torque (lb-ft) 383
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Engine  5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 (with DFM)
Horsepower 355
Torque (lb-ft) 383
Transmission Eight- or 10-speed automatic 
Engine  6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 
Horsepower 420
Torque (lb-ft) 460
Transmission 10-speed automatic

Which Engine Can You Have On The Trims?

Now, this is where things generally get tricky. Although there are six engine options to choose from, you can’t have any trim with any option. Here’s what both the automakers offer on every trim:

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
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XL:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.3-liter, V-6 engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

XLT:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.3-liter, V-6 engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

Lariat:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

King Ranch:

  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid

Platinum:

  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid

Limited:

  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Powertrain
- image 785432

Work Truck:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 engine with a six-speed gearbox
  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a six-speed gearbox

Custom:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 engine with a six-speed gearbox
  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a six-speed gearbox

Custom Trail Boss:

  • 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 engine with a six-speed gearbox
  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a six-speed gearbox
  • 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a ten-speed transmission

LT:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 3.0-liter, Duramax Turbo-Diesel six-cylinder engine with a ten-speed transmission

RST:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a ten-speed transmission
  • 3.0-liter, Duramax Turbo-Diesel six-cylinder engine with a ten-speed transmission

LT Trail Boss:

  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a ten-speed gearbox
  • 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a ten-speed transmission

LTZ:

  • 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with an eight-speed gearbox
  • 6.2-liter, EcoTec3 V-8 engine with a ten-speed transmission
  • 3.0-liter, Duramax Turbo-Diesel six-cylinder engine with a ten-speed transmission
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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