Prospective buyers of the 2011 Ford Super Duty and the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado have some hard choices to make. There is much to consider because the Super Duty and the Silverado come in a variety of configurations across their respective model lines. However, optional comfort, luxury and cab/box dimensions aside, there are some basic components that are important to consider when purchasing a truck.
Both vehicles offer a choice in engines. Purchasers can choose between a gasoline-burning engine or a turbo-diesel. Ford offers a gasoline burning 6.2-liter V8 that is capable of producing 385 horsepower and delivering 405 ft-lbs. of torque. Chevrolet provides as standard equipment a 5.3-liter Vortec V8 that yields 315 horsepower and 335 ft-lbs. of torque. This can be upgraded to a 6.2-liter Vortec V8 engine, which can produce 403 horsepower and will deliver 417 ft-lbs. of torque. If a diesel engine is selected, Ford purchasers will be offered a 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 that produces 400 horsepower and delivers 800 ft-lbs. of torque. Chevrolet buyers will be offered a 6.6-liter Duramax V8 engine capable of 397 horsepower and 765 ft-lbs. of torque. Both gasoline engines are E85 compatible, and the diesel engines are cleaner burning (lowered NOx and CO) and are compatible with B20 Biodiesel fuel.
Basic Silverado vehicles incorporate hydro-formed frames for strength and durability, coil-over-shock configuration in front, gas charged shocks, GM segment-exclusive automatic locking rear differential to prevent wheel slippage and can tow or haul from 10,600 pounds to 17,800 pounds (diesel version). The HD versions feature fully-boxed steel frames, wide leaf springs to prevent wheel hop and aid in handling heavy payloads and can carry up to 4,192 pounds. Ford’s trucks are built on a 6.7mm thick steel frame that uses both rivets and welds on its cross-members, incorporates front and rear stabilizer bars, I-beam style axel with coil spring suspension, gas-charged shocks, can tow or haul up to 16,000 pounds, and can carry up to 6,520-pound payloads.
The Silverado line includes Hill Start Assist, which prevents back-roll during acceleration, Trailer Sway Control that applies brakes automatically to assist in maintaining control and incorporates over-sized rotors and calipers to improve braking while towing and hauling. Ford also has Trailer Sway Control that automatically applies "selective" brakes in order to prevent sway, Traction Control that uses the engine to limit wheel spin, integrated trailer brake control, electronic locking differential to prevent wheel slip and 4-wheel power disk brakes with anti-lock and vacuum-boost systems.
Basic Ford Super Duty trucks start at $28,505, without options. The price for Ford’s top of the line Super Duty, without options, is $63,330. Basic Chevrolet Silverado trucks start much lower at $20,850, without options. Chevrolet’s top of the line Silverado, without options, costs $43,145.
Silverado trucks are made of four model variations that have many options that will affect pricing. However, the Ford lineup has 12 variants within four classes of Super Duty. Like the Silverado, options and packages will affect the price. With so many choices, one should list what features are necessary before heading out to the dealership.