The Ford vs Chevy competition has been fierce for more than a century.
However, the conflict really began as a conflict between General Motors and Ford.
History of Ford and Chevrolet
William C. Durant, founded General Motors Car Company in 1908, and served as its first president. Within one year of incorporating the car company, he proposed to the company’s board of directors that they purchase Ford Motor Company. The board agreed, but banks wouldn’t lend the money necessary to purchase the company. So, the board kicked out Durant, and banks ran the company.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company was expanding into Canada and Europe and released the Model T car. At this time, the company was embroiled in an eight-year patent legal battle against George B. Selden and the Electric Vehicle Company (EVC). Selden held a patent for a gas-powered engine and tried to claim responsibility for all gas-powered vehicles. Henry Ford positioned himself as the small businessman fighting for the average person against the establishment.
Durant brought together a few people to begin his own car company, including Swiss race car driver, Louis Chevrolet. In 1911, the two of them founded Chevrolet Motor Car Company. The company released the Classic Six.
The same year Durant founded Chevrolet, the judge presiding over Ford’s case agreed with Ford; Ford’s Otto engine doesn’t infringe on Selden’s Selden engine patent.
Meanwhile, Durant and a few associates began buying stocks in General Motors Car Company and eventually owned a controlling stake in the company. Durant leveraged this to take back the presidency of the General Motors Car Company and made Chevrolet Motor Car Company a division of General Motors Car Company.
Ford vs Chevy by Vehicle Categories
Ford and Chevy have been competing in the same markets for more than a century, and there is a lot to love about each brand. Each have produced some amazing vehicles over the decades. Below is a direct comparison of some of the vehicle categories in which the two manufacturers compete.
Chevy versus Ford: large sedans
This category of vehicles used to be the flagship product for numerous car manufacturers. But, sales of cars in this category have dropped significantly. Ford has announced they will stop producing large sedans, such as their Taurus model. Chevy didn’t produce an Impala for 2021. As sedan sales decrease, car companies are investing more into electric vehicles, trucks and SUVs.
Chevy started production of the Impala in 1958 and they’ve produced it regularly until 1985 and then intermittently until the year 2000. The Ford Taurus has been in production since 1985 and they produced the car regularly until 2019.
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The Ford Taurus is inches bigger than the Impala in every direction and offers more cargo room (20.1 cubic feet versus 18.8 cubic feet), however the Impala offers greater passenger volume (105 cubic feet versus 102 cubic feet).
Size: Ford and Chevy tied.
Fuel economy and horsepower
Again, the Chevy offers better fuel mileage (18 city/28 highway MPG versus 16 city/24 highway MPG) and it even has higher horsepower (305 versus 288).
Fuel economy and horsepower: Chevy wins.
Comfort and infotainment system
Buyers of large sedans often want a lot of creature comforts. On the Taurus, standard and optional features include leather upholstery; heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats; heated rear seats; a heated steering; a 4.2-inch display; Bluetooth; a USB port; push-button start; proximity keyless entry; remote start; dual-zone automatic climate control.
On the Impala, standard and optional features include an HD Radio, satellite radio, a 12-speaker Sony premium sound system, a second USB port, navigation, the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, push-button start, and proximity keyless entry.
Comfort: Ford wins.
Infotainment system: Chevy wins.
On both the Taurus and Impala the safety features include a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors.
Safety features: Chevy and Ford tied.
Chevy versus Ford: sport coupes
A lot of the history of Chevy is following in the footsteps of Ford. Ford manufactured the first car, truck, luxury vehicle, sport coupe, and SUV. Often, Ford sets the standard, and Chevy tries to exceed it.
Chevy built some of their greatest vehicles in reaction to vehicles produced by Ford, and the Chevy Camaro is no exception. Released in 1967 to compete with Ford’s Mustang, which was released in 1964.
Sport cars are about performance and appearance. The Camaro’s top performing trim is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and features a supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 engine capable 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. The ZL1-inspired dual-mode exhaust allows for peak performance at high engine speeds. Recaro performance seats, red seat belts, and a microfiber sueded steering wheel and shifter add to the car’s strong, sporty aesthetic. Fuzzy dice not included.
The Camaro appeared in the 2007 movie, Transformers, as the vehicle mode to the Autobot, Bumblebee. And, in 2010, World Car Awards named the Camaro World Car of the Year.
Meanwhile, the Mustang is easily recognizable and one of the most iconic cars. Strong. Running free. American. It’s Ford’s fifth top selling car of all time.
Chevy versus Ford: trucks
The trucks category is a fierce battleground for the market and for fans of Ford and Chevy.
In 1917, Ford Motor Company made its official entry into the truck market with the company’s introduction a one-ton chassis for commercial trucks, called the Model TT (based of the company’s Model T car).
The following year, Chevrolet Motor Car Company released its first truck—the Model 490. They called it the 490 because the truck’s sales price was $490—more than $100 less than the retail price of a new Ford Model TT.
F-series vs Silverado
After World War II, Ford introduced the first generation of their F Series trucks. The trucks included three models: F1 (half-ton), F2 (three-quarter ton) and F3 (full ton). For the next generation, the company renamed the trucks the F-150, F-250 and F-350.
The F Series trucks has become Ford’s longest running truck line and it has been America’s best-selling truck since 1976.
Chevrolet redesigned their postwar truck line, which included three trucks available in the same tonnages sold by Ford. Called the Advance Design, these pickups featured a third seat, an in-dash radio, fresh-air heater and defroster system, and corner windows.
Chevrolet dropped the Advance Design line and created new lines throughout the decades. Some were more successful than others. Then, in 1999, Chevy introduced the Silverado.
Chevy versus Ford: statistics
Every manufacturer wants to claim top truck. Both trucks are industry-leading in one metric or another, but how do you add up all the data? The devil’s in the details.
Top considerations for trucks include jobsite features, capacity, durability and comfort.
First, here are some specifications.
Towing and payload
Depending on the engine option, the F150 can tow between 8,200 pounds (290-hp 3.3-liter V-6) and 14,000 pounds (400-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6). Payload capacity ranges from 1,840 to 3,250 pounds.
The Silverado tops out at 13,300 pounds towing and 2,250 pounds payload. However, the Silverado offers more bed space (89 cubic feet versus the F150’s 77 cubic feet.)
The Silverado also just edges out the F150 when it comes to fuel efficiency as well (26 city mpg and 33 highway mpg) compared to the F150’s 24 mpg and 26 mpg. (Although Ford’s F-150 hybrid is reported to provide 25 city mpg.)
Horsepower and torque
The 2021 Ford F-150 comes equipped with either a 2.7-liter V-6 that provides 395 hp at 5,750 rpm and 400 lbs.-ft. at 4500 rpm of torque or a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 290 hp at 6,500 rpm and 265 lbs.-ft. at 4,000 rpm of torque. The truck car takes 6.2 seconds to reach 60 MPH from a standstill while it is able to run a quarter-mile in 15.45 seconds.
Chevy offers a choice between a V-6 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, two V-8 engines, and a Duramax diesel 3.0-liter inline-six engine.
Both trucks offer a great infotainment system with eight-inch screens that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile hotspot, and an optional navigation system. But Ford allows you to upgrade to a 12-inch display.
The Silverado also has several great on-the-jobsite features, including a multifunction tailgate that opens and folds six different ways, an array of trailer-assist technologies and a camera display within the rear-view mirror.
Job-enhancing features on the F150 include a 10-speed automatic shift lever hat can fold flat with the center console to create a large flat workspace, a 7.2-kW power supply, and onboard telematics for tracking vehicle location and usage.
Ford vs Chevy: branding
Besides the vehicles they manufacture, there are many reasons to love these companies. And, these companies use a lot of resources to make their customers feel good about owning these brands.
Just compare some of the most popular slogans from both companies:
- If you haven’t looked at Ford lately, look again.
- Built for the road ahead.
- Have you driven a Ford lately?
- There is a Ford in your future.
- Everything We Do is Driven By You.
- Better Ideas Driven By You.
- Ford. Designed for living. Engineered to last.
- Built Ford Tough!
- Go Further.
Ford takes either a performance angle (numbers 2, 6, 7, 8, 9) or the consumer perspective (numbers 1, 3, 4, 5) in their slogans. Although Chevy sometimes uses these perspectives, their slogans are dominated by Americanism.
- See the USA… in your Chevrolet.
- Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.
- Like a Rock.
- Building a better way. To see the USA.
- The heartbeat of America.
- An American Revolution.
- The more you know, the better it looks… Cavalier. We’ll be there.
- Find New Roads.
- Excellence for Everyone.
Whichever brand you choose to love and drive, drive safe.