|Starting at 310||Horsepower||Starting at 290|
|Starting at 348 lb-ft||Torque||Starting at 265 lb-ft|
|Starting at 7-in||Infotainment Screen||Starting at 4.2-in|
The truck wars are as hot as they’ve ever been. There are currently plenty of models and brands to choose from, with Ford and Jeep adding two more models to the list later this year. While the choices facing a truck buyer could be overwhelming, past sales suggest that many buyers’ final decision will come down to the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 Ford F-150. These trucks are proven entities that seem to get better with every generation. While the current F-150 has been out since the 2015 model year, the Sierra received a full redesign for 2019. In a classic GMC vs Ford match-up, who takes the crown?
Florida vs Georgia, Coke vs Pepsi, UPS vs FedEx. There are some rivalries that leave their respective realms and become a part of pop culture. You don’t have to be a college basketball fan to know that Duke vs North Carolina is a big deal or a tech enthusiast to see the bad blood that existed between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
While there are many great rivalries in the auto world, Ferrari vs Lamborghini and Toyota Camry vs Honda Accord come to mind, none top Ford vs General Motors (GM). The two have been fighting it out for 110 years, and there’s no end in sight. Various models have stood in for the rivalry over time, like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Year after year, however, the rivalry centers on one market in particular – pickup trucks. Ford is represented by the storied F-Series while GM has the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra in its corner.
Although the battle between these trucks has played out well beyond the showroom floor (a certain Calvin and Hobbes bumper sticker comes to mind), the main event has always been on dealer lots. As the market has shifted away from sedans and more towards SUVs and pickup trucks, these vehicles have become even more important – the F-Series trucks make up about 37% of total Ford sales and the GM trucks account for about 31% of all GM products sold. For GMC specifically, the Sierra represents about 36% of the manufacturer’s 550,000 models sold in 2018.
The intense competition between manufacturers has undoubtedly led to the innovation that makes today’s trucks some of the most forward-thinking and technologically-advanced vehicles on the road. The F-150 and Sierra are two of the best vehicles on the market before even thinking about their capability and off-road ability. But when it comes to power, fuel economy, technology, price and warranty, who wins? Let’s run the numbers to find a winner.
The Sierra and its Chery Silverado twin were introduced in August 1998 as 1999 models. Since then, the Sierra has gone through three full redesigns, with the latest coming for the 2019 model year. The Sierra, for the time being, comes in three configurations:
When it comes to seating, the Sierra can fit five or six, depending on trim choice. The Sierra has been a wide commercial success – sales numbers have exceeded 100,000 every year since 2010 and 200,000 from 2014 forward.
The Ford F-Series has been around the block a few times – these trucks have been roaming the streets since 1948. The 2015 full redesign represents the 13th generation of F-Series pickups. The F-150 offers 3 cab selections with different bed options:
The F-150 can seat three, five, or six depending on cab and trim selection. As mentioned before, the F-series pickups truly are Ford’s cash cows. Sales have surpassed 500,000 units in every year since 1997, with the lone exception being about 400,000 units in 2009.
Although the customer base for trucks has expanded in recent years, there is a reason every pickup commercial prominently features payload and towing capacity. Power still matters to truck drivers.
The Sierra comes with a whopping five engine choices:
The 6.2-liter V8 will haul an incredible 12,200 pounds. For highway cruisers, the 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management will fit the bill. Payload across the spectrum ranges from 1,500 to 2,543 pounds.
The F-150 comes with five engine choices, six if you include the Raptor’s specific engine, but doesn’t offer a 4-cylinder at this time. All engines are equipped with automatic start/stop technology, which turns the engine off when stopped at a red light. Prospective F-150 customers can choose from the following:
The 3.5-liter V6 will tow 13,200 pounds with the add-on max trailer tow package. The Diesel engine will tow a class-leading 11,400 pounds. Payload differs between trims and bed lengths from 1,326 pounds to 2,309 pounds.
Although the F-150 may be able to tow more, the Sierra’s wider range of engines takes the prize here. Ford simply doesn’t offer the versatility of the 4-cylinder engine of the 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management. The Sierra also benefits from a higher base payload.
The days of trucks getting horrible gas mileage are pretty much over. With the exception of those who tow heavy objects multiple times a week, most pickup drivers should be flirting with 20 mpg instead of 10.
For the Sierra, those who don’t plan on towing or hauling heavy objects regularly should look to the 4-cylinder, which achieves a commendable 20 highway and 23 city miles per gallon. Dynamic fuel management technology constantly monitors accelerator input (up to 80 times per second) to decide which of the 17 different cylinder patterns will optimize power delivery and efficiency. The result is an engine that acts like a V8 for hard acceleration and towing but can use a few at two cylinders when all eight aren’t needed.
The best engine for fuel economy in the F-150 lineup is the 2.7-liter V6, which uses EcoBoost technology to hit 20 highway and 25 city miles per gallon. The diesel gets a remarkable 22 highway and 30 city miles per gallon.
For now, this round needs to be marked as ‘to be determined’. Although the F-150’s V6 beats out the Sierra’s 4-cylinder, we’ll have to wait for the latest GM diesel to make its way into the Sierra before making a final judgment.
Inside, both vehicles offer the best in modern tech. Both come with award-winning infotainment systems and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Both also include trailer tech that helps drivers keep tabs of what they’re hauling at all time. GMC gets an upper hand with the myGMC app that enables drivers to locate, lock/unlock, alarm, and start the car from their smartphone. The GMC also offers one of the most advanced features on the market, a 15-inch diagonal HUD (head-up display). The Sierra’s HUD includes four views featuring speed, audio/phone, navigation, and performance. You can also configure the display to show a tachometer, collision alert information, cruise control status, lane departure warnings, and low fuel information. HUDs have been shown to decrease the time drivers spend looking away from the road, making every journey just a little bit safer. This round goes to the Sierra.
The older F-150 starts with the edge when it comes to pricing. The single cab XL starts at $28,155. Although the 2019 Sierra 1500 has not received as single cab configuration yet, 2018 Sierra single cabs started just above $30,000. Onwards and upwards, a fully loaded Sierra 1500 Denali will set you back a cool $70,000. A top-of-the-line F-150 Limited comes in at around $72,000. While the Limited is very luxurious, it doesn’t have the same reputation as the revered Denali line. It’s best to save the extra $2,000 and go with the Denali.
When it comes to warranties, it’s a straight wash. New Sierra 1500 and F-150 owners would get 3 years/36,000 miles basic and 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain.
We don’t necessarily believe that it is up to us to push you towards either truck. Both are quality vehicles made by respected manufacturers. Both have attractive combinations of features that appeal to slightly different buyers. What we covered here is by no means the exhaustive list of standard or available features for either vehicle. However, based on the attributes examined here, the Sierra 1500 is the better truck. It’s combination of power, fuel efficiency, technology and price make it the clear winner. So when you’re ready to purchase your new 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 swing into Rick Hendrick Build GMC in Duluth and be met with our professional and courteous salespeople who can get you behind the wheel of this truck and get you on your way.