2019 Ram HD vs. 2019 GMC Sierra HD

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Ram HD offers optional crash mitigation brakes, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sierra HD offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Ram HD offers optional Reverse Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Ram HD offers an optional 360 degree parking monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sierra HD only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Ram HD’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Ram HD and the Sierra HD have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.


The Ram HD’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sierra HD’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 38 percent more Ram dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the HD’s warranty.


The Ram HD has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the Sierra HD 4x4’s independent front suspension and exposed front driveshafts don’t offer.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Ram HD has a standard 180-amp alternator. The Sierra HD’s standard 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Ram HD offers larger standard and optional batteries than the Sierra HD:



Sierra HD

Standard Battery

730 amps

720 amps

Optional Battery

1460 amps

1450 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ram vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ram 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.


The Ram HD’s 6.4 V8 produces 50 more horsepower (410 vs. 360) and 49 lbs.-ft. more torque (429 vs. 380) than the Sierra HD’s 6.0 V8.

The Ram HD 3500’s optional 6.7 turbo diesel produces 90 lbs.-ft. more torque (1000 vs. 910) than the Sierra HD’s 6.6 turbo V8 diesel.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Ram HD Gas’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sierra HD doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Ram HD, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Sierra HD.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Ram HD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sierra HD:



Sierra HD

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.98 inches

Rear Rotors

14.1 inches

13.98 inches

Suspension and Handling

The Ram HD has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ram HD flat and controlled during cornering. The Sierra HD’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Ram HD Power Wagon has an active front sway bar, which helps keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnects at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front suspension of the Ram HD uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Sierra HD, which uses torsion bars in front. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Ram HD 2500 has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ram HD 2500 Long Box Crew Cab’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Sierra 2500 Long Box Crew Cab (169 inches vs. 167.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Ram HD’s turning circle is tighter than the Sierra HD’s:


Ram HD

Sierra HD

Regular Cab Long Bed

45.4 feet


Crew Cab Long Bed

53.5 feet

56.1 feet

Crew Cab Standard Bed 4x4

47.9 feet

51.5 feet


The Ram HD may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 700 pounds less than the GMC Sierra HD.

The Ram HD offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Ram HD Mega Cab has 2.2 inches more front hip room, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra HD Crew Cab.

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the GMC Sierra HD is limited to 23100 pounds. The Ram HD 3500 Long Box Regular Cab offers up to a 35100 lbs. towing capacity.

The Ram HD has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Sierra HD:


Ram HD

Sierra HD

Crew Cab 2500

3650 lbs.

3233 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500

4300 lbs.

4052 lbs.

Regular Cab 2500 4x4

3680 lbs.


Regular Cab 3500 4x4

4600 lbs.


Crew Cab 2500 4x4

3380 lbs.

2943 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500 4x4

4270 lbs.

4058 lbs.

The Ram HD has much higher optional payload capacities than the Sierra HD:


Ram HD

Sierra HD

Regular Cab 3500

7680 lbs.


Crew Cab 2500

3650 lbs.

3233 lbs.

Regular Cab 3500 4x4

7280 lbs.


Crew Cab 2500 4x4

4170 lbs.

3186 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500 4x4

6680 lbs.

5761 lbs.


The Ram HD’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Sierra HD’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

Keyless Go standard on the Ram HD allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse (optional Keyless Enter ‘n Go will also allow unlocking the driver’s door and tailgate without taking your keys out). The GMC Sierra HD doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Ram HD’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sierra HD’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Ram HD detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Ram HD Limited/Laramie Longhorn has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Ram HD has standard power remote mirrors. The Sierra HD only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Ram HD’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. GMC charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sierra HD.

Both the Ram HD and the Sierra HD offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ram HD has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Ram HD offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Ram HD comes in regular cab and crew cab bodystyles; the GMC Sierra HD isn’t available as a regular cab.


The Ram Pickup outsold the GMC Sierra by over two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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