2020 Ram 1500 vs. 2020 GMC Sierra

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ram 1500 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The GMC Sierra doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking optional in the Ram 1500 as “Superior.” The Sierra scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Ram 1500 (except Tradesman/HFE) offers optional Reverse Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Sierra doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Ram 1500 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sierra was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

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The Ram 1500’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sierra’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 1500’s warranty.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Ram 1500 has more powerful engines than the Sierra:

Horsepower

Ram 1500 3.6 DOHC V6 hybrid

305 HP

Ram 1500 5.7 V8

395 HP

Sierra 4.3 V6

285 HP

Sierra 2.7 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

Sierra 5.3 V8

355 HP

The Ram 1500’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 460) than the Sierra’s 3.0 turbo diesel.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Ram 1500 gets better highway diesel fuel mileage than the Sierra:

1500

Sierra

RWD

3.0 V6 turbo diesel/8-spd. Auto

22 city/32 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

3.0 6 cyl. turbo diesel/Auto

4x4

3.0 V6 turbo diesel/8-spd. Auto

21 city/29 hwy

22 city/26 hwy

3.0 6 cyl. turbo diesel/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the Ram 1500 eTORQUE’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Sierra doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ram 1500 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The Sierra with the 6.2 V8 engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The Ram 1500’s optional fuel tank has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sierra Double/Crew Cab’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 24 gallons). The Ram 1500’s optional fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sierra Regular Cab’s standard fuel tank (33 vs. 28 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Ram 1500’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sierra:

1500

Sierra

Front Rotors

14.9 inches

13.5 inches

Rear Rotors

14.8 inches

14.1 inches

The Ram 1500 stops shorter than the Sierra:

Ram 1500

Sierra

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Ram 1500 has larger standard tires than the Sierra (275/65R18 vs. 255/70R17). The Ram 1500’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sierra (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

The Ram 1500’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sierra’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Ram 1500 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Sierra.

Suspension and Handling

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The Ram 1500 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ram 1500 flat and controlled during cornering. The Sierra’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The front and rear suspension of the Ram 1500 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Sierra, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Ram 1500 has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Sierra doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Ram 1500’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions that would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sierra doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Ram 1500’s turning circle is tighter than the Sierra’s:

Ram 1500

Sierra

Extended Cab Standard Bed

46.2 feet

46.3 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed

46.2 feet

46.3 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

46.2 feet

46.3 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4

46.2 feet

46.3 feet

Crew Cab Standard Bed 4x4

48.7 feet

49.5 feet

For greater off-road capability the Ram 1500 standard bed Crew Cab Pickup has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Crew Cab (8.6 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Ram 1500 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Ram 1500 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sierra doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Ram 1500 offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sierra doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Ram 1500 Quad Cab has 2.2 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Double Cab.

The Ram 1500 Crew Cab Pickup has 2.2 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Crew Cab.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Ram 1500 Crew Cab’s available rear seats recline. The Sierra’s optional rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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Both the Ram 1500 and Sierra have bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading, but the Ram 1500 also has indentations to separate the cargo box into three different sections length-wise.

Payload and Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the GMC Sierra is limited to 12100 pounds. The Ram 1500 standard bed Quad Cab offers up to a 12750 lbs. towing capacity.

The Ram 1500 standard bed Quad Cab has a higher optional payload capacity than the Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Double Cab (2300 vs. 2160 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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The Ram 1500’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the Sierra.

The Ram 1500’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’s basic optional power windows’ front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The Ram 1500’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over. Power locks cost extra on the Sierra.

The Ram 1500’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Sierra’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Ram 1500’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Ram 1500’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Sierra’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn/Limited has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sierra doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Ram 1500 has standard power remote mirrors. The Sierra 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 1500’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. GMC charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sierra.

The Ram 1500 Laramie/Longhorn/Limited has standard front air conditioned seats and the Ram 1500 Longhorn/Limited offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Sierra doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Ram 1500 Laramie/Longhorn/Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Sierra doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Ram 1500 is less expensive to operate than the Sierra because it costs $618 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Ram 1500 than the Sierra, including $368 less for a muffler, $100 less for front brake pads, $148 less for a starter, $253 less for fuel injection, $208 less for a fuel pump, $727 less for a timing belt/chain and $315 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Four Wheeler performed a comparison test in its June 2019 issue and the Ram 1500 standard bed Rebel Quad Cab 4x4 won out over the GMC Sierra 1500 Short Bed AT4 Crew Cab.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ram 1500 second among large light duty pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Sierra was rated third.

The Ram 1500 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Sierra has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Ram 1500 as their 2019 Truck of the Year. The Sierra has never been chosen.

The Ram 1500 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 10 years. The Sierra has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Ram 1500 as the 2013 North American Truck of the Year. The Sierra has never been chosen.

The Ram Pickup outsold the GMC Sierra by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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