There is, perhaps, no better rivalry than that of the American auto manufacturers Ford and Chevrolet. What you see when these manufacturers try to outdo each other in the market is nothing new. The battle is ages long, having begun in 1912. Ford was already an established company by then. The founder, Henry Ford, had unleashed his inventions to the world, allowing masses like us to affordably consume a car.
Before his invention of the Ford Model T, people didn’t know how to travel without horses. But with the Model T, anyone could afford a car, and that meant travel became a comfort, not just for the rich, but all, as these cars were cheaply priced. It’s similar to what computers have done for us—no more going to the libraries to search for that journal or article, as things are just one click away.
Since Ford was already established well before the Chevy was, the entire game was lopsided at first. Figures like Ford, 89,455 vs Chevy, 2,999, was a reality for both sides, a reality that Ford liked but Chevy, of course, didn’t. It wasn't until 1931 that Chevy gained a foothold in the game. After that, it was Chevy sometimes and sometimes Ford.
I intentionally don’t name a winner in this article. I have, however, highlighted some key points and some top marques from each producer, and the rest is up to you. All are 2018 models unless stated otherwise.
20 Ford Expedition
The replacement of the Ford Bronco, the Expedition, is the full-size SUV from Ford, an SUV in production since 1997. Beginning 2007, an extended-length version has been offered. The specialty of this beast is towing; it’s a class-leader in towing, easily accommodating horse trailers, boats, and any other behemoth items that you have.
There are a couple of trims, with the XLT costing $51K at the low-end and the Platinum 4WD costing as much as $76K on the high end.
The Platinum has a high-end interior; it’s laden with luxuries found in names like Bentley, meaning, a massaging seat is at your fingertips. This one sports a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Your horses can be easily towed—9,200 lb being the maximum—with 400 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque pushing this car.
19 Ford Fiesta
This is one of those famous lineups from Ford that’s marketed globally—Europe, Brazil, Argentina, China, India, Thailand, and South Africa. The design of the sports car is a subcompact, so you can expect a posh cabin and a front-row seat, although the back seats are a bit tighter on space.
The cabin is also technologically advanced, equipped with the SYNC infotainment system, loudspeakers, and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel.
Engine options are plenty, staying near I3 and I4, and although you might not think I4 is that powerful, let’s not forget that the curb weight of this beauty is only around 2,500 lb—the acceleration is bound to be beat-skipping and the cornering, jaw-dropping. With 31 mpg in city and 41 on highway and a base price of $14K, this is a steal.
18 Ford Fusion
Often confused for an Aston Martin, the Fusion looks all exotic and fancy, just like the Aston Martin from the front. It’s not a coincidence that the grille and the hood look similar to those found in an Aston Martin. It’s not the same person who did the designing, though. Ian Callum designed the DB7 and the DB9, and Moray Callum designed the Fusion—just two brothers. The Fusion is a relatively new endeavor, having only been launched in 2006. The mid-size car has five trims: the S, the SE, the Titanium, the Sport, and the Platinum. The S trim costs $22K, and if you continue climbing the ladder, you'll reach the Platinum at $36K. The car is roomy front to back, and the tech features are plenty. The NHTSA also gave the Fusion a top-notch safety rating.
17 Ford Escape
In production since 2000, the Escape hasn’t escaped the public’s mind. 2013 introduced the third generation, which meant an even more intense look. If you look at the numbers, you won’t be disappointed—in the last nine years, sales have only increased. Much like Ford’s other marques, the Escape was marketed in Europe as the Ford Kuga. The base trim, the S, costs only $24K, while the Titanium is still not bad with a price tag of $33K. Since the upper trims aren't that expensive, it might be worth your while to focus on the upper levels, as they provide a reasonable accommodation for the price of a small dent in your wallet. The compact SUV can also tow up to 3,500 lbs when needed.
16 Ford EcoSport
This subcompact SUV was originally produced in Brazil by Ford Brazil. Personally, it looks a bit squished horizontally, giving the bulky appearance of the hood. It’s like it was squished from the front and the back at once, causing the middle part to bulge up. But besides the hood, this car looks great.
This car has been for sale in various other countries, including India and Japan (in addition to Brazil, of course). The US has yet to witness the glory of the EcoSport.
Two different engines will be offered. A 1-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I3 and a naturally aspirated 2-liter V4 with AWD. Paired to both will be a six-speed automatic. The power is expected to be at around 120 hp with a similar amount of lb-ft torque in the I3.
15 Ford Focus
Here’s a compact car offered by Ford. With the Focus, Ford had the vision of selling one compact vehicle worldwide. In fact, this car was designed by Ford of Europe (by the German and British teams). The beauty of the car lies in the various options available, including a base, a high-performance hatchback, and even an EV. From the outset, the car looks fabulous, and that’s because it's a fantastic car. Take a peek inside, and you'll like the well-appointed interior and the quiet and technology-friendly cabin. The basic model doesn’t have the most competent engine, but go up the ladder, and you’re bound to find the 2-liter engine that’s going to satisfy your needs. All in all, it’s a good choice. Go, Ford!
14 Ford Edge
Here’s a mid-size SUV. The first generation was built on the same platform that the Fusion and the Mazda CX-9 were, and production started in 2007 in the US. 2015 brought on the second generation, which meant revamped and a couple more engine options. This one hasn’t been the best marque of Ford compared to some of the others listed here, but that’s not to say it’s been a flop with the public. The sales numbers of the 2017 are decent (142K units), and combine that with the fact that the number had been climbing for the past three years, and it becomes a moderately good candidate. It’s just that it wasn’t as flashy as the Focus or Fusion. But in 2019, the Edge is expected to become edgier.
13 Ford Mustang
Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourself for the legendary Mustang. It was America’s first sports car, a car that won the hearts of millions of Americans. While not necessarily true now, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to state that it was the car of America when it came out in mid-1964. Ford has tried hard to infuse the car with ingredients that made it successful at the inception, one of them being a reasonable price.
Even in today’s economy, the base Mustang costs a paltry sum of $25,185. And by no standards is it sub-standard for that price, unless, of course, you consider a 300 hp 3.7-liter V6 enveloped in a sporty frame subpar.
But the adrenaline junkie need not stop there. Get the GT350R, and scare the crap out of yourself and everyone else on the road.
12 Ford F-150
As popular as the Mustang is, I think Ford just found its new flagship lineup with the F-Series. The F-series seems to have taken on a new meaning, evolving into a whole other beast over its 70 years of production. These behemoth trucks are tumultuous, scary, and not meant for people with heart conditions—as simple as that. But you don’t have to take my word for it. It’s ranked number one in full-size pickup trucks.
The trim levels are ubiquitous, the safety scores are through the roof, the interior is roomy enough for anyone, and better yet, the starting price is only at $26K.
The base model is equipped with a 3.3-liter Cyclone V6 that produces 290 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. At higher levels, expect the horses and the torque to be doubled.
11 Ford Taurus
Serving as Ford’s full-size sedan, the Taurus is placed above the subcompact Fiesta, the compact Focus, and the mid-size Fusion. It’s the successor to the Ford Crown Victoria, the car that many of you have seen in police livery—hopefully not right behind you with the lights on. Taurus, in the original days, was a milestone for Ford, as it unraveled innovative features and even became the best-selling car in its category during the ‘90s. The base price is low, and it has respectable technology options. One qualm a couple of critics have is its exterior; the body hasn’t had a full redesign since 2010. But the price stays reasonable at $27K. There’re a couple of trims, with the Taurus SHO offering top-notch exterior, interior, and cabin.
10 Chevrolet Cruze
The compact sedan wasn't devised from thin air. A similar-looking car by Suzuki called the "Suzuki Ignis" had been in the Japanese market. It was derived from that. Currently in its second generation, the car, particularly the sedan, looks dashing, although the hatchback—yes, a hatchback is also offered—doesn’t look that bad. All trim levels offer a list of standard features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Some upper levels (the LT and the Premier) offer something called the “RS Sports Package,” consisting of alloy wheels and a remote start, amongst a host of other features. If you go for the diesel engine, you get a whopping 52 mpg on highway. While heart-pounding performance isn't in its DNA, providing a comfortable ride in those comfy seats and the quiet interior is the blueprint of the Cruze.
9 Chevrolet Volt
The plug-in hybrid is a rather recent endeavor by Chevy and parent company GM. If you were clueless, to be considered a hybrid, a vehicle needs to have “two or more energy storage systems, both of which must provide propulsion power, either together or independently,” per Wikipedia. The energy storage system is generally either an electric motor or your regular internal combustion engine. A hybrid has both. A plug-in hybrid is similar to a hybrid, except that the main energy storage in the plug-in is the electric motor; the internal combustion engine is there just to extend the range and provide support. Consequently, the energy saving is much, much more than that of a hybrid. And don’t let the hybrid status fool you—although it’s a hybrid, the acceleration is respectable.
8 Chevrolet Sonic
Before it became known as the Sonic, the subcompact car was called the "Aveo." It was rather famous, having been marketed in 120 countries under seven brands. That’s more than half of the countries of the world. Being a hit in other countries just adds to the credibility of the car. There are so many editions and so many variations in so many countries that it’s difficult to choose exactly what to talk about.
The engine is within the 1- to 2-liter zone, with horses being around 120 and torque being around 140 lb-ft.
The exterior is compact and cozy, much like it looks. So, if you’re looking for practicality, efficiency, and looks in a subcompact car, this would be your choice. The 2018 model was revamped subtly.
7 Chevrolet Malibu
The mid-size car was named after the coastal area of Malibu in California. Unlike a few of the Chevy cars we've been talking about, this one was produced mainly for the North American population; only recently was it marketed and sold globally. It’s in its ninth generation currently, and the car looks beautiful with its horizontally split grille—and even from a general glance, it looks attractive. The front wheels drive the car, providing you with a fuel economy of 36 on highway in the base engine. Peek inside the cabin, and you’ll be surprised by the rather posh cabin. It has plenty of widgets and gadgets for your liking—despite not specializing in the sector—in addition to a user-friendly infotainment system. The Teen Driver system is a plus.
6 Chevrolet SS
They discontinued this beauty in 2017. The full-size sedan was powered by a V8 engine. And while 415 horses were plenty enough, the beauty was driven by the rear wheels. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a success, as you now have the proper platform available to wield the V8. Even from the exterior, it looked powerful yet docile. The SS was derived from the Holden Commodore, the Australia-based GM vehicle. Since GM had been thinking of shutting down Holden since 2013, the SS, which was built in Australia, was bound to go. And, indeed, both did go out in 2017. It was liked by us, but the matter of fact is, the car was slow-selling or at least had begun going that route. Well, we’ll miss it.
5 Chevrolet Corvette
The beauty of the American car lies in the Corvette. If the base price of $55K seems high, think again. How many other cars do you know that can do about the same as the Ferrari and, the Aston Martin, and the likes for a half—or maybe even a third—of the price? The performance sported by this beauty is top-notch.
The base starts at 455 hp, with the Z06 eventually giving you the desired 650 hp.
But power isn't everything. In fact, even the new Camaro offers 650 hp. But the same can't be said for the Camaro despite its sleek appearance. It’s because the Corvette is aerodynamically friendly and occupies less space on Earth. Sadly though, Ford doesn’t have a Corvette equivalent in its lineup. Mustang competes with the Camaro; no one competes with the Corvette.
4 Chevrolet Silverado
Competing with the Ford F-150 is the Chevy Silverado. While the F-Series truck has been in production since 1948 and the Silverado, only since 1998, I wouldn’t dismiss the power of the Silverado. It’s a full-size/heavy-duty pickup truck, with various body styles and layout options available. While I've left the overall winner to your judgment, the F-150 wins in many categories when compared to the Silverado. Take interior features, for example. Both trucks offer the basic toys like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adjustable pedals, and the likes, but it’s only Ford who takes matters to another level with its F-150 Limited. With this, you get heated and ventilated seats. And you don’t have to own a Bentley to get massages—the F-150 can give you that.
3 Chevrolet Traverse
The full-size SUV is built on the GM Lambda platform that's shared by the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave. This marque is relatively new, as production started only in 2008. It looks full of force and life, and it's long—yes, the full-length body weighs 4,700 lb. The current generation has five trim levels offered and, overall, has a sleek design. It seems low-slung because of its elongated structure front to back. It can easily seat seven to eight people, a couple of dogs, and some grocery bags in the back.
There are two engine options: a 3.6-liter V6 and a prospective 2-liter turbocharged I4.
While the interior is respectable in the base trim level, get the High Country if you identify with that name, as that’s pure luxury.
2 Chevrolet Camaro
Arguably the best lineup offered from Chevy, the Camaro is a fierce competitor of the Ford Mustang. The two have been rivals since forever. In fact, that’s why the Camaro was developed and launched—to compete with the Mustang. When asked what the name “Camaro” meant, Chevy replied with “[It’s a] small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” So, there you have it. The car looks gorgeous, and regardless of the heavy full-body frame, it doesn’t drive heavy at all.
The powertrain options are variable and meant to satisfy you, regardless of your position in life: 275 hp, 455 hp, and 655 are all a reality.
Some of the trims, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, are also wallet-pleasing—the LT model gives 31 mpg on highway with the automatic transmission.
1 Chevrolet Bolt EV
This is a year-old car, which means it's developing in front of us. The car is meant to be driven in the city. With a top speed 93 mph, you probably don’t want to go on highways, although that’s still doable in most of the freeways. And the 6.5-second acceleration time isn't bad either. It’s an all-electric car, meaning you need not worry about gas at all. Unlike some of the other cars in this category, the Bolt EV looks decent and cutely ferocious. And the ride is fun, with a respectable amount of space in the front. Car and Driver says it gives the Tesla a run for its money. I think that just might be true, as Motor Trend gave it the Car of the Year award (the 2017 North American Car of the Year).