Comparing Towing, Payload, Prices, Power and More

There’s no arguing it, pickups are popular. So much so, in fact, that the best-selling vehicle in America for more than four decades has been a pickup. Impressively, the half-ton class alone sells more than 1 million vehicles each year. With so many options and choices, it can be a daunting task deciding which is the right truck to buy. To help make things a big easier, we’ve broken down all the important details from trims and prices to towing and hauling for the three bestselling trucks in the class.

Let’s dive into the key differences between the popular Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and Chevy Silverado 1500.

002 2025 ram 1500

Trims And Price

No one can complain that there isn’t enough choice in the half-ton pickup class. With as many as nine available trims, six engines, three cab configurations, and three bed lengths per truck, there are literally thousands of potential combinations. When you add in available options that number increases exponentially. And that story holds true whether you’re looking at a Ford F-150, Ram 1500, or Chevy Silverado 1500. From base work trucks with vinyl flooring and manual crank windows to exotic leather interiors and high-end technology, these trucks run the gamut. While this does ensure there’s a truck for every buyer, sorting out the trim walk and pricing structure to find the right truck for you can prove tricky.

003 2024 Ford F 150 XLT

2024 Ford F-150 Prices and Trim Levels 

For 2024 Ford offers the lowest-priced entry-level half-ton pickup in the class with its regular-cab, two-wheel-drive XL model. (We’re not counting Ram’s 1500 Classic, the last-gen 1500 it still sells as a sort of odd budget alternative to the newer DT-generation truck that directly competes with the F-150 and Silverado.) It also has the highest priced half-ton in the Raptor R, which starts at more than $112,000. Options are nearly limitless on most trims with some dramatically increasing the MSRP. On an XLT, for example, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost is the standard engine with either the 5.0-liter V-8 or 3.5-liter EcoBoost adding about $1,600. The PowerBoost Hybrid is a $3,600 upcharge. BlueCruise is available for $2,100, while the XLT High Equipment Group can add $9,240.

004 2025 ram 1500 tungsten

2025 Ram 1500 Prices and Trim Levels

The 2025 Ram 1500 comes with a slightly higher base price than its competition simply because the company does not offer a regular-cab configuration. (It used to reserve that body style to the cheaper 1500 Classic, but even that model is now four-door-only.) Instead, the four-door Quad Cab is the smallest pickup of the lineup, with Tradesman models offering the best value. A new Tungsten trim has been added at the top of the trim walk for 2025 and starts at an eye-watering $89,070. However, for this sum buyers get nearly every option the company offers on a truck that is arguably the most luxurious of the half-ton class.

005 2024 chevrolet silverado 1500

2024 Chevy Silverado Prices and Trim Levels 

Chevy offers its 2024 Silverado in three cab configurations and nine trims ranging from the base WT up to the hardcore off-road ZR2. The company also offers the only turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the only diesel engine, and it’s the only duo of V-8 engines. Options tend to be a bit more limited than with Ram and Ford trucks, as Chevy offers a more siloed approach to how its trims are outfit. In most cases, either the 2.7-liter I-4 or 3.0-liter Duramax engine are standard, with the V-8s carrying an upcharge.

006 2024 Ford F 150 Pro Access Tailgate

Cabs And Beds

Sorting out cab and bed configurations in the half-ton class can feel like the most difficult game of Tetris, as everything smaller than the largest crew-cab configuration is fairly limited. Currently, only Ford and Chevy offer a two-door, regular-cab pickup, and these are confined only to the most basic trim levels. All three offer an extended cab: Ford’s Super Cab, Ram’s Quad Cab, and Chevy’s Double Cab. Ford and Ram offer an extended cab on three trims while Chevy has four. Crew-cab trucks rule the space and are available from base trim all the way up.

When it comes to bed lengths, Ford and Chevy offer three lengths, while Ram has a pair of beds. Ford and Chevy offer an 8-foot-long bed with the regular-cab models, along with a shorter 6-foot, 6-inch bed. Extended-cab trucks from Ford and Chevy are available with a 6-foot, 6-inch bed, and Ram offers either a 6-foot, 4-inch or 5-foot, 7-inch bed. When it comes to the most popular crew-cab trucks, Ram offers a single 5-foot, 7-inch bed, but Ford offers both a 6-foot, 6-inch and a 5-foot, 6-inch bed, and Chevy offers 6-foot, 6-inch and 5-foot, 8-inch beds. 

Beds

007 2025 ram 1500 rho

Engines

There is no class of vehicle that offers a more diverse lineup of engine options than half-ton pickups. Between Ford, Ram, and Chevy, buyers can choose from a turbocharged four-cylinder, five V-6 engines (including twin-turbocharged and naturally aspirated variants), a trio of 3.0-liter inline-sixes, two electrified options (including a full hybrid), three standard V-8 engines, a supercharged V-8, and a turbodiesel I-6. Power ranges from 305 hp to 720 hp with torque spanning 271 lb-ft to 650 lb-ft. Transmissions include a mix to eight- and 10-speed automatics.

008 2024 Ford F 150 Platinum PowerBoost

2024 Ford F-150 Engines

Ford offers by far the largest selection of engines in the half-ton class. The base engine is a potent 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 that churns out 325 hp. Both the 5.0-liter V-8 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (also twin-turbo) make 400 hp; however, the smaller engine offers 90 additional lb-ft of torque. Ford is the only pickup manufacturer to offer a full-blown hybrid powertrain with its 3.5-liter PowerBoost V-6, which also offers the most horsepower and torque of any non-Raptor engine. (Ram’s eTorque setup on the entry-level V-6 is a mild hybrid system.) Speaking of Raptors, the off-road flagship can be had with either a high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or, in Raptor R trim, the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8. All engines are backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission.

009 2025 ram 1500 hurricane

2025 Ram 1500 Engines

For 2025 Ram has dropped its legendary line of Hemi V-8 engines in favor of company’s family of 3.0-liter Hurricane inline-six engines. Tradesman and Big Horn models still come standard with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with eTorque mild hybrid tech. The standard 3.0-liter Hurricane I-6 is available on Tradesman and Big Horn trims, and it's standard on the Laramie and Rebel. The High-Output 3.0-liter Hurricane produces an amazing 540 hp and is standard on Long Horn, Limited, Tungsten, and RHO models. All Ram 1500s are fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

010 2024 Chevrolet Silverado Diesel

2024 Chevy Silverado Engines 

Chevrolet offers the Silverado pickup with a choice of four engines, and it’s the only half-ton manufacturer (aside from stablemate GMC) to offer a diesel. The 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine is available on Custom Trail Boss and higher trims. Chevy is also the only manufacturer (GMC not withstanding) to also offer an inline-four engine in a half-ton pickup with the 2.7-liter TurboMax I-4. The TurboMax engine is available from the base WT all the way up to the LT Trail Boss and comes backed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. (All other engines get a 10-speed.) A 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8 are also available.

011 2024 chevy silverado 1500 regular cab

Size Does Matter

Unsurprisingly, there’s very little difference when it comes to exterior dimensions within the half-ton pickup class. The shortest wheelbase belongs to the regular-cab, short-bed Ford F-150 at just 122.8 inches. Chevy’s smallest truck offers a similar 126.5-inch wheelbase. Ram’s shortest wheelbase belongs to its Quad Cab, short-bed and measures 140.6 inches. On the long side, crew-cab, long-bed wheelbases range from 153.5 for the Ram 1500 to 157.2 inches for Ford’s F-150. Ram also offers the shortest overall length at 241.3 inches. Chevy and Ford follow at 242.4 and 243.5 inches, respectively. All three trucks are about 80 inches wide, with Ford’s F-150 Raptor checking in at 86.6 inches and Ram’s new RHO at 88.0 inches.

012 2024 Chevrolet Silverado HighCountry

Fuel Economy

Pickups have never been known for their outstanding fuel economy. These beasts of burden are large and heavy, and they often feature aerodynamics similar to that of a barn. That hasn’t stopped manufacturers from trying, however. Today, Ford offers a 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid V-6 that does an EPA-rated 22 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The company’s 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines are both capable of 25 mpg on the highway, as well. Ram has dropped its legendary Hemi V-8 from the lineup for 2025 and instead offers a 3.0-liter I-6 engine that offers up to 25 mpg on the highway. Chevy tops the class with its 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine, which is rated as high as 29 mpg on the highway.

013 2024 Ford F 150 Platinum

2024 Ford F-150 Fuel Economy 

Ford offers the only true hybrid drivetrain in a half-ton pickup with the 3.5-liter PowerBoost engine. The PowerBoost hybrid is only available in Super Crew cab configurations and higher trim models. The drivetrain offers the best city and combined fuel economy of the F-150 lineup at 22 mpg (city) and 23 mpg (combined). However, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 provides the greatest highway economy at 25 mpg, as it is available in smaller and lighter configurations. Raptor R has the distinction of being the worst half-ton when it comes to fuel economy at 10 mpg in the city. A worthy trade for 720 horsepower, however.

014 2025 ram 1500 towing

2025 Ram 1500 Fuel Economy

For the 2025 Ram 1500, the best fuel economy offered comes from the Tradesman HFE (high fuel efficiency) model fit with the 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Non-HFE models drop 1 mpg, while four-wheel-drive trucks shed another. Trucks equipped with the 3.0-liter also drop 1 mpg when fit with four-wheel drive. All high-output 3.0-liter-equipped trucks feature four-wheel drive and carry the same economy rating.

015 2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

2024 Chevy Silverado Fuel Economy 

Chevy is the last manufacturer to offer a diesel engine in its light-duty pickups, and it is paying dividends in the area of fuel economy with two-wheel-drive Silverado fitted with the 3.0-liter Duramax offering as high as 29 mpg on the highway. Even in its biggest and heaviest configuration, the ZR2 trim, the Duramax is rated at up to 22 mpg on the highway. On the flip side, when the ZR2 is equipped with the 6.2-liter V-8, it arrives with a 14-mpg city and 17-mpg highway rating, the lowest of the bunch. 

016 2024 Chevy Hands Free Towing Front Three Quarter Motion

Towing

Pickups are built for towing. Over the years, the capability of half-ton trucks has been inching higher and higher and has quickly gotten close to three-quarter-ton territory. Today, the highest available tow rating for a half-ton is 13,500 pounds, with an EcoBoost-powered Ford F-150 Super Cab. Chevy follows with a maximum of 13,300 pounds with a 3.0-liter Duramax-powered two-wheel-drive crew cab. Ram trails with 11,570 pounds with its new 3.0-liter Hurricane I-6. 

Maximum towing is always a tricky figure to calculate. Manufacturers love to advertise the maximum rating despite those trucks being few and far between. Everything from truck configuration and option package weight to drive system and axle ratios effect the tow rating. Actual tow ratings are calculated by subtracting the truck’s fully loaded curb weight from its gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVWR). Today, only Chevy offers tow capacity information specific to each pickup on a door jamb sticker.

017 2024 Ford F 150 XLT Towing

2024 Ford F-150 Maximum Towing

Ford’s 2024 F-150 offers best-in-class towing with a maximum trailer weight of 13,500 pounds. To achieve this, you’ll need a 3.5-liter EcoBoost-powered Super Crew long-bed with a 3.55:1 axle ratio. The lowest tow rating of 7,400 pounds belongs to a 2.7-liter EcoBoost-powered regular-cab, short-bed truck with 3.55:1 axle gears. Trucks with the 5.0-liter V-8 can tow a max of 12,900 pounds in Super Crew, short-bed configuration with 3.73:1 axle gears. The off-road-focused Tremor is rated for a max of 10,300 pounds, while the Raptor and Raptor R can tow 8,200 and 8,700 pounds, respectively.

018 2025 ram 1500 towing

2025 Ram 1500 Maximum Towing

As of now, Ram has only offered maximum tow ratings for its 2025 lineup of pickups. The highest tow rating goes to the standard-output 3.0-liter Hurricane-powered trucks with a maximum of 11,570 pounds. High-output 3.0-liter Hurricane-powered trucks offer a maximum of 8,110 pounds, due to these trucks being heavier configurations. The 3.6-liter V-6-powered trucks land in the middle with a max of 9,920 pounds. Ram’s RHO comes with a rating of 8,380 pounds, which is higher Ford’s Raptor but still below the Raptor R and Chevy’s Silverado ZR2.

019 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 Towing

2024 Chevy Silverado Maximum Towing

Chevy offers the best trailering information of all the manufacturers with its door jamb stickers, which are specific to each vehicle. Looking at maximum ratings, the best regular-cab tow rating is 9,900 pounds when equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 and 8-foot bed. Double Cab trucks can tow up to 13,300 pounds when fitted with the 3.0-liter Duramax engine and 11,300 pounds with a 5.3-liter V-8. Crew-cab trucks with the 2.7-liter TurboMax engine can tow up to 9,200 pounds, while 6.2-liter-powered trucks are rated at 13,200 pounds. The off-road-focused ZR2 can tow up to 8,800 pounds with the 6.2-liter V-8 or 8,700 pounds with the 3.0-liter Duramax. Trucks equipped with the company’s Super Cruise system are also able to tow hands-free on approved roads.

020 2024 Ford F 150 STX

Payload

Much like towing capacity, payload is another figure that is as tough to calculate as it is to understand. Payload is the total weight of all passengers and cargo hauled by a pickup. How much payload a pickup can safely haul is calculated by subtracting the full curb weight of the truck from its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The gross vehicle weight rating can be affected by many factors, including a truck’s cooling package, brake size, options packages, suspension, and more. It’s also important to note that a trailer’s tongue weight must also be factored into the truck’s payload, reducing additional cargo capacity by as much.

021 2024 Ford F 150

2024 Ford F-150 Maximum Payload

Ford offers best-in-class maximum payload with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6-powered F-150. Both the 3.5-liter PowerBoost Hybrid and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6-powered trucks offer a maximum of 1,755 pounds of payload capacity. Trucks with the 5.0-liter V-8 can haul a max of 2,230 pounds. Raptor offers the lowest payload capacity, just 1,405 pounds, due to its supple suspension. The Raptor R bumps up to 1,410.

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2025 Ram 1500 Maximum Payload

Like with its towing figures, Ram has yet to release the full payload specs for its new 2025 Ram 1500. However, maximum payload ranges between 1,520 pounds for 3.0-liter High-Output Hurricane-powered trucks and extends up to 2,370 pounds for V-6 models. The off-road-focused Ram RHO offers a max of 1,520 pounds, which bests Ford’s F-150 Raptor and matches the Silverado ZR2. 

023 2024 Chevrolet Silverado LT

2024 Chevy Silverado Maximum Payload 

Chevy’s Silverado 1500 regular cab offers a maximum payload rating of 2,260 pounds when fitted with a 2.7-liter TurboMax engine and either bed. The lowest is 2,000 pounds for a four-wheel-drive with a 5.3-liter V-8. Double Cab trucks range from 1,730 pounds for four-wheel-drive 6.2-liter trucks to 2,130 pounds for a two-wheel-drive and 5.3-liter V-8. Crew-cab trucks range from 1,720 pounds with a 3.0-liter Duamax diesel to 2,030 pounds with either the 2.7-liter TurboMax or 5.3-liter V-8.

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Tailgate Wars

The tailgate wars have seriously heated up in recent years. And that’s a phrase we never expected to utter. Ford first entered the space with the introduction of its “man step” back in 2009. This revolutionary assist step slides into the tailgate and out of sight. Now, 15 years later, Ford still offers this feature.

Now, for 2024 Ford is also offering the Pro Access Tailgate for its F-150 pickups. This new tailgate lowers like standard but also offers a smaller 37-inch-wide mid-span door that can be opened independently. The Pro Access Tailgate appeared to be the answer to Ram’s Multifunction tailgate, which was first offered in 2019. This tailgate offers a secondary 60/40 split, allowing the gate to open wide like a pair of barn doors.

The most complex of the gates is Chevy’s MultiFlex Tailgate. First offered on Silverado in 2021, the MultiFlex tailgate is a dual-action unit that offers six positions. The MultiFlex tailgate can transform into a work surface or a load stop, it offers a bed step, and of course it can still function as a normal tailgate. There are also optional audio and lighting packages that can be installed into the unit.

025 2025 ram 1500 rebel

Trucks Are For Getting Dirty

Off-road packages are hot these days. And customers aren’t pleased with just a sticker and shock package anymore. As a result, each pickup manufacturer has brought out more rugged and capable vehicles. For 2024 Ford offers its F-150 Tremor with 33-inch all-terrain tires, a slightly taller ride height, a widened track width, and specially tuned dampers. The Tremor also comes with a locking rear differential, the option of a front limited-slip differential, and a host of skidplating and armor. The Tremor can be had with either a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or 5.0-liter V-8 engine.

Ram’s answer to the off-road hunger is its Rebel. The Rebel comes with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, Bilstein monotube shocks, a 1-inch-taller ride height, along with an electronic locking rear differential and a host of skidplates. The Rebel is the only off-road truck in the class with an optional four-corner air suspension. The Rebel is offered with only the standard-output 3.0-liter Hurricane I-6.

Introduced in 2019, Chevy’s Custom Trail Boss and LT Trail Boss family of off-road pickups are for those wanting more than the simple Z71 package offers. The Trail Boss includes 32-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, a 2-inch suspension lift, Rancho monotube dampers, skidplates, and a high-clearance steel front bumper. The Trail Boss also comes fit with an automatic locking rear differential. Naturally, the Custom Trail Boss comes fit with fewer interior comforts than the LT Trail Boss.

026 2024 Ford F 150 Raptor

Taking Off-Road To The Extreme

For those looking to take their off-road adventures to the next level, all three manufacturers offer a flagship extreme off-road model. For Ford this is the famed F-150 Raptor. Raptor created the wide-body, long-travel factory full-size pickup class with the Raptor’s introduction in 2010. Now in its third generation, the Raptor boasts 14 inches of wheel travel, up to 37-inch-diameter tires, massive 3.1-inch Fox Live Valve internal bypass dampers, and a 450-hp high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Raptor R models add a 720-hp 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 to the mix.

Ram took aim at the Raptor’s dominance in 2020 with its TRX model. Now, for 2025, the company continues this assault with the new Ram 1500 RHO. The RHO shares most of its underpinnings with the extinct TRX, including 35-inch Goodyear tires, 13 inches of wheel travel, and high-tech Bilstein Blackhawk E2 damper, but trades that mighty pickup’s supercharged V-8 for the new 540-hp high-output 3.0-liter Hurricane I-6 engine. 

Chevy has opted to take a slightly different path with its flagship off-road pickup, the Silverado ZR2. With a more rock-oriented focus, the Silverado ZR2 receives 33-inch Goodyear tires, front and rear locking differentials, high-clearance bumpers, and copious skidplating. The Silverado ZR2 can be had with either the company’s 3.0-liter Duramax diesel I-6 or its 6.2-liter V-8 engine.

027 2025 ram 1500 rev

Electric Half-Ton Pickups

While traditional half-ton pickups aren’t going away anytime soon, the transition to electrification has already begun. Ford was the first to introduce a battery electric half-ton pickup with its F-150 Lightning offering up to 580 hp with 775 lb-ft of torque, an EPA-rated range of 240 to 320 miles, and a towing capacity of up to 10,000 pounds. Heading to dealers now is the Silverado EV boasting a range of up to 450 miles with up to 754 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque. The Silverado EV will also tow up to 10,000 pounds. Ram will join the electric revolution soon with its new 2025 Ram REV. Ram says the REV will go between 350 to 500 miles on a charge, offer up to 654 hp, and tow up to 14,000 pounds; a range-extender version dubbed the Ramcharger also will be in the mix.

028 ram 1500 classic

What About The Ram 1500 Classic?

Alongside the introduction of Ram’s new fifth-generation pickup in 2019, the company prolonged the life of the previous generation by selling it alongside the new model as the Ram 1500 Classic. What was supposed to be a limited run has now entered its sixth year of production with the 2024 model. The Ram 1500 Classic is offered in two trims, Tradesman and Warlock, and in both Quad Cab and crew-cab configurations. The trucks can also be had with either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The Ram 1500 Classic starts at just $40,700. However, its time on this planet may be limited as Ram continues to threaten the model’s demise, so act fast if you’d like one.

029 2024 Ford F 150 Tremor

2024 Ford F-150 Pros and Cons

Pros

Gas, hybrid, and EV powertrainsThoughtful, high-tech interiorThe ludicrous Raptor RV-8 option remainsBest-in-class towing and payloadRegular cab remains

Cons

Minor cosmetic update at bestHybrid’s touchy brake pedalRaptor R’s abysmal fuel economyLimited PowerBoost availabilityTop trim pricing is nuttyStill missing the diesel option030 2025 ram 1500 rebel x

2025 Ram 1500 Pros and Cons

Pros

New Hurricane straight-six engineRamcharger PHEV joins lineupMore tech than everMost luxurious Tungsten modelLower-priced RHO replaces TRXOnly half-ton with four-corner air suspension

Cons

Hemi V-8 discontinuedRHO isn’t as powerful as TRXMost active safety tech isn’t standardNo regular-cab optionLowest maximum towing of the bunchHigh-output engine only available on select top trims031 2024 Chevrolet Silverado ZR2

2024 Chevy Silverado 1500 Pros and Cons

Pros

Impressive powertrain optionsBeastly ZR2 off-road modelAvailable big-screen techStraight-up V-8 powerRecently refreshed interiorTrail Boss package boosts off-road performance

Cons

Garish stylingBasic models stuck with old interiorSome clumsy driving traitsDoor mounted mirrorsSuper Cruise only available on High CountryZR2 not as burly as Raptor or TRX032 2024 ram 1500

Half-Ton Trucks Ranked

2. 2024 Chevy Silverado 1500

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