America might be widely regarded as the Land of the Car, but the truth is that pickup trucks rule the market here. Specifically, full-size pickup trucks — vehicles that occupy a vast and lucrative segment between smaller, midsize trucks and the hulking, heavy-duty haulers that are required for towing big boats and horse trailers.
For decades, the King of Trucks in the USA has been the Ford F-150. The F-Series was introduced right after World War II ended and ever since the Reagan administration, the F-Series full-sizer has been been the bestselling vehicle in America.
Close behind — Avis to Ford's Hertz, Pepsi to Ford's Coke — is the Chevy Silverado. (And in point of fact, when sales of the Silverado and its mechanical sibling, the GMC Sierra, as combined, the General Motors' products sometimes beat out the F-150.) Brand loyalty is important; there are longtime Ford owners who wouldn't cross a gully to clamber into a Chevy cab, and vice versa.
But that doesn't mean the segment isn't ferociously competitive. Ford and Chevy have to contend not just with each other, but with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' RAM 1500, as well as backfielders such as the Toyota Tundra an Nissan Titan.
The point is that Ford and Chevy must keep their full-size pickups competitive, if they want to capture the millions of vehicle sales that are up for grabs every year in the US. In 2014, Ford took a big risk by revamping the F-150 to use more lightweight aluminum in its construction, to boost fuel economy. For the 2019 model year, Chevy followed with its own update to the Silverado.
I drove the new Ford back when its was rolled out, and I was impressed. For the 2018 model year, Ford refreshed the design, so although I had sampled the high-performance Raptor, I was overdue to revisit out the F-150. Ford was kind enough to loan me a well-equipped, 2019 $74,180 F-150 Limited. Meanwhile, I'd already tested a 2019 $57,000 Chevy Silverado.
So who came out on top in this battle of giants? Read on to find out.