What’s the Best New American Truck? Watch Our In-Depth Review

There are so many aspects to half-ton trucks these days, that it is becoming harder to compare and contrast these tech-laden vehicles.

The 2019 Ram 1500, Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 are packed with technology inside and out that make them all capable, comfortable cruisers that can handle towing as easily as commuting duty. In this comparison test, we decided to hone in on towing, covering every aspect of what the big three offer for those who regularly pull trailers.

We hooked up identical 7,000-lb trailers to all three of the American pickups, to go over which has the most useful technology, which feels the best while towing, and ultimately, which one we would spend our money on?

Ford F-150 Lariat FX4 4×4 – As tested: $67,550 USD – $81,249 CAD

The Ford F-150 in our comparison test is a Lariat trim 4×4 FX4 model, fit with the 3.0-liter Powerstroke diesel engine.

  • Ride & Handling

The F-150 has a comfortable ride over rough roads with 7K hitched to the rear end, and stays nicely planted through pot holes and divots. Driving around empty it’s also a comfortable riding pickup truck, with little of the typical truck stiffness coming through to the occupants. The steering is one of the weaker points on the F-150 in our opinion, with a numb dead zone while on center, providing little of the feedback that inspires confidence while towing.

  • Engine & Transmission

The new 3.0-liter Powerstroke diesel in the F-150 goes about it’s business quietly, almost too quietly for anyone who appreciates a deep diesel rumble, though it is certainly nice to not have a droning engine note while cruising down the highway. With 440 lb-ft of torque, the number on paper suggests more than what you feel in the real world, with the low-end torque not kicking in quite as hard as you might expect from a diesel engine. Overall, it moved the load with little drama, we just would appreciate a bit more low-end grunt.

  • Towing Tech

The F-150 offers a full suite of camera angles, including a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the truck, a wide view out the back to help see approaching traffic, and a zoomed-in view on the hitch ball to help with hooking up, among others. This truck has trailer blind spot monitoring that can be programmed to different lengths, and Ford’s pro trailer backup assist system is still the only one like it in the industry.

Chevy Silverado LTZ 4×4 – As Tested: $63,240 USD – $75,295 CAD

The 2019 Chevy Silverado offers a full suite of towing technology that was newly developed for the truck, along with a tried and tested lineup of V8 engines. Our test truck was fitted with a 6.2-liter V8.

  • Ride & Handling

The Silverado’s suspension felt the roughest of the three, transmitting the most road to the occupants, but not in a settling way. Over rough roads and potholes, the back end of the Silverado remained the stiffest, liking to step out slightly and needing more steering input than the others to keep things moving in a straight line. Over a long period of time towing with this rig, the drive can be fatiguing as it feels like it needs the most input of the three to track straight. On the handling side, the Silverado offers some of the most communicative steering, with a solid on-center feel and good weighting through the corners.

  • Engine & Transmission

The 6.2-liter V8 makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque along with a throaty exhaust note rich in bass tones. The power from the big V8 is undeniably strong, pulling the hardest and fastest of the three in our competition. Throttle response is immediate and the low-end grunt pulls for though for a long while before quitting.  The same 10-speed automatic that’s under the hood of the F-150 can also be found hooked up to the Silverado, where it helps you access this gas engine’s full potential. Shifts are fast and non-sequential, so the transmission can jump from the top overdrive gears down to the power band in a single jump.

  • Towing Tech

New for 2019, the Silverado offers a new towing app, accessed from the center stack touchscreen, which is full of useful features. A multitude of camera angles, including angles with a 3D animated Silverado in the middle of the screen, offering a very good sense of where you truck is in relation to obstacles around it. A zoomed-in view of the hitchball makes hooking up a one-person job, while this camera will allow you to access it while the truck is in motion for about eight seconds, just enough time to check your connections through the camera. Other towing features include tire pressure monitors for the trailer tires, a camera that can be mounted at the rear of the trailer and even a connection checklist with custom slots so you can add in simple reminders for yourself that will appear before you tow. The technology on the Silverado might must be the most helpful of the bunch when it comes to towing.

2019 Ram 1500 Limited 4×4 – As Tested: $64,205 USD – $85,264 CAD

Our Ram 1500 tester is a top-trim Limited model fit with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

  • Ride & Handling

The Ram can be had with coil spring suspension the rear, making for a fairly supple ride, but our test unit was fit with air suspension, really smoothing out the ride of the Ram. Down rough roads, this truck seems to absorb things the best, offering a calm and relaxed ride despite the potholes and chop. Little input is needed to keep this truck on the straight and narrow. Steering in the Ram is also quite good, offering a little less overall weight than the Silverado, though the on-center feel and feedback is still quite communicative.

  • Engine & Transmission

Fit with the big 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the Ram is a strong pulling truck with a full 410 lb-ft of torque and 395 horsepower on tap. Fit with a 7K-pound trailer, the HEMI moves the load with a fair amount of authority, emitting a growl akin to the Chevy’s deep bass filled note. Power remains strong throughout the rev-range and the 8-speed automatic transmission may have two less gears than the competition, but this unit is every bit as smooth and refined as the 10-speed from the competition.

  • Towing Tech

The Ram 1500 Limited offers a 12-inch touchscreen in the center console which is an impressive bit of technology, although when using the screen for viewing the multiple cameras on the Ram, it actually doesn’t offer any larger of a view than the competition. Multiple camera angles are available with the Ram, which will also allow you to view a single camera angle for a short period of timing while the truck is moving, to be able to view your load. In the info cluster, the Ram offers more towing specifics, such as pre-set trailer brake controller setting for specific trailers, and blind spot monitoring for your trailer. Unlike the competition, on the Ram, once you’ve take one left and one right hand turn, the truck automatically senses the length of your trailer and takes that into account. The air suspension is also very helpful when towing thanks to its ability to change the ride height of the truck. It is auto-load leveling once the trailer is on, and if you’re struggling to hook up because of a height issue, you can lift or lower the truck to make things easier.

So what is the best new American truck? The truth is, it’s hard to go wrong these days if you’re looking to buy an American pickup truck. It truly is a game of inches separating these rigs, and each excels in its own area.

If it was our money, we would drive home the 2019 Ram 1500, thanks mostly to its unmatched ride and handling, though the strong HEMI and impressive interior don’t hurt.

Watch the video embedded above to see all of these features in action.