If you’re in the market for a new full-size pickup truck and you haven’t already sworn your allegiance to one brand, there’s a good chance the Ram 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado have shown up on your shopping list. Both of these trucks are at the top of their game in 2020, and you can’t go wrong with buying either, but which truck is right for you depends on your priorities.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the Silverado and the Ram and see which is better.
One of the biggest differences between these two trucks is in cabin variety. The Ram 1500 has ditched the old-fashioned single-cab configuration, which means every single Ram 1500 has four doors in the form of an extended cab or a crew cab. That also means the Ram isn’t available with a long bed — only a short box or a standard box. In terms of cargo box length and volume, the short and standard boxes on the Chevy are both bigger than those on their Ram counterpart. You can still get a single-cab Silverado with a long bed if you prioritize cargo space over passenger space. See the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado models for sale near you
As for styling, these two trucks look pretty different despite having a similar overall shape and size. They both try to hit a sweet spot between rugged and classy, and they both do a pretty nice job. The looks of both trucks can change pretty significantly based on which trim you go with. For example, for a rugged-looking off-roader, there’s the Ram Rebel and the Silverado Trail Boss, but if you want something with a high-end premium look, there’s the Ram Limited and the Silverado High Country. Both model ranges have something for every taste and every budget, but the Silverado offers more variety with its single-cab offering. See the 2020 Ram 1500 models for sale near you
Much like the exterior of these trucks, the interior can change a lot based on the trim. If you want a bare-bones, no-nonsense work truck, a high-end luxurious truck or anything in-between, you’ll find what you’re looking for in both of these diverse model ranges.
Both of these trucks have very roomy cabins, especially in the bigger crew cab configurations. They’re both perfectly suita
ble as family vehicles when you opt for a crew cab, but they’re a bit cramped in the back with the extended cab, as you might expect.
As for interior design, the Ram looks much more modern on the inside than the Chevy does. The Silverado really doesn’t look that different on the inside compared to the truck’s previous generation, while the Ram has made a big leap forward in interior design and quality. Both interiors are roomy and practical, but we prefer the more modern interior of the Ram.
2020 Chevrolet Silverado Engines
4.3-liter V6 making 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque; 16 miles per gallon in the city/21 mpg on the highway
2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four making 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque; up to 20 mpg city/23 mpg hwy
5.3-liter V8 making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque; 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy
6.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque; 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy
3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six making 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque; up to 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy
2020 Ram 1500 Engines
3.6-liter V6 making 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque; up to 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy
5.7-liter V8 making 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque; up to 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy
3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six making 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque; up to 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy
If you want great fuel economy without springing for a pricey diesel engine, then we highly recommend the V6 in the Ram. This engine’s eTorque "mild hybrid" system returns excellent fuel economy plus respectable performance with over 300 hp. Even the 4-cylinder in the Chevy can’t beat the efficiency of the Ram’s eTorque V6.
If you compare the diesel engines, the one in the Chevy is slightly more efficient, but the diesel available in the Ram has a higher maximum towing capacity by about 3,000 lbs. One thing to keep in mind is that the diesel is available in every trim of the Ram and only available in select trims of the Silverado.
When it comes to old-fashioned V8 engines, you have two options in the Chevy and one option in the Ram — which you can get with or without eTorque to improve fuel economy. In terms of performance, the Hemi V8 in the Ram kind of sits between the 5.3-liter V8 and the 6.2-liter V8 in the Chevy. The V8 in the Ram is arguably the best value of the three because of its impressive balance of performance, capability and fuel economy.
Both of these trucks are available with some pretty impressive technology. The Silverado is available with a 15-view towing camera, which is new for 2020. This allows you to see pretty much everything going on around your trailer (including what’s behind it), making the trailer virtually "invisible." This is a big deal for both convenience and safety.
Speaking of safety tech, both trucks come with a lot of optional safety tech, but not much of it comes standard on the base work truck trims. The Silverado is available with forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a head-up display, a rearview mirror camera, a surround-view camera system, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Ram has a similar list of available safety tech that includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
As for infotainment technology, every Silverado comes with one of two versions of a 7-in touchscreen, while the Ram has three different systems available. In the Ram, the base screen is five inches and can be upgraded to an 8.4-in system. On the high end, you can get a vertically oriented, tablet-style 12-in display that provides tons of information in an accessible way. In the Ram, these all come with a version of Uconnect, which is very user-friendly. Chevy’s infotainment software is also quite easy to use, and every Silverado comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which can’t be had with the base 5-in screen in the Ram.
The Chevy has a lower starting price than the Ram because of its single-cab availability, but when they’re similarly equipped, these trucks are similarly priced. The Silverado 1500 has a starting MSRP of $28,300, and the Ram 1500 starts at $32,145. On the high end, both of these trucks can cross the $60k mark with options in their respective top trims.
If you’re looking for the most affordable full-size work truck you can find and need to haul a lot of cargo, then you’ll find what you’re looking for in a base Silverado in a single-cab/long-box configuration. For most truck buyers, however, a 4-door Ram has more to offer than its Chevy rival.
We love the Ram’s eTorque engines, and the efficient base V6 is excellent for the everyday driving that most pickup drivers do. We also prefer the more modern interior and the sharper exterior of the Ram. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference, but for our money, the Ram beats the Chevy. Find a Chevrolet Silverado 1500 for sale or Find a Ram 1500 for sale