|10-speed Automatic||Transmission||8-speed Automatic|
|23/33 MPG||Fuel Economy (city/highway)||22/32 MPG|
There is no question that Chevrolet and Ram are two of the most popular brands in the automotive industry. Just a quick look around at the vehicles on the road, and you’ll see it’s true. Why? Both manufacturers are known for producing a healthy competition between their two reliable midsize trucks: the 2021 Chevy 1500 diesel vs 2021 Ram 1500 diesel. These two models are among the most popular, with the diesel powertrain a favorite among drivers who travel long distances and want exceptional performance, fuel efficiency, and the capability of hauling large loads.
If you’re in the market for a reliable diesel truck, it’s important to consider all your options, from pricing and performance to safety, technology, and capability. When looking at these features between the Chevrolet 1500 diesel and the Ram 1500 diesel, the Chevrolet undeniably comes out ahead. But just how much of an advantage does the Chevrolet have over the Ram?
For this comparison, we looked at a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and a 2021 Ram 1500 Laramie. Both models feature a crew cab with a standard bed, a 3.0-liter diesel engine, and four-wheel drive. The Chevrolet 1500 includes the Diesel Off-Road Package as well as the Advanced Trailering Package since most diesel drivers haul heavy loads across a variety of terrains. The Ram 1500 is comparable with its Off-Road Package and Trailer Tow Group. So, what are the biggest differences between the models? Let’s learn more about why the Chevrolet 1500 diesel is the hardest working truck on the road.
Chevrolet introduced the new 3.0-liter Duramax V6 turbo-diesel engine to the Silverado 1500 lineup in 2020. Over the last year, the diesel engine hasn’t disappointed thanks to the exceptional power it delivers when paired with GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission. This power translates to an impressive 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque that delivers an outstanding driving experience marked by smooth acceleration, responsive braking, and exceptional handling.
Chevrolet’s Duramax diesel engine is also highly efficient. It features active thermal management that ensures the engine temperature is consistently maintained by distributing coolant throughout the engine utilizing a three-actuator rotary valve system. The engine’s stop-start technology also enhances efficiency by turning off the engine when the brake is engaged and the vehicle is fully stopped. When the brake is disengaged, the engine automatically restarts and delivers a smooth acceleration. This contributes to the Silverado’s reputation as the most fuel-efficient full-size truck on the road averaging 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway with rear-wheel drive.
In comparison, the Ram 1500 features a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which differs from the Chevrolet’s 10-speed transmission. This combination delivers 17 less horsepower than the Chevrolet at 260 horsepower. It also contributes to the Ram 1500s slightly lower fuel efficiency since the wider ratio of the 10-speed transmission delivers more optimal efficiency when compared to the 8-speed. The Ram’s diesel engine yields an average fuel economy of 22 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway on rear-wheel drive models. However, we do have to give a nod to the Ram 1500s slightly better 480 lb-ft of torque.
Comparing the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 diesel with the 2021 Ram 1500 Laramie diesel reveals a few key differences in capabilities and value. The Silverado 1500 with the Diesel Off-Road Package and the Advanced Trailering Package includes a long list of features and advanced technology that make hauling heavy loads efficient and easy without breaking the bank. While the 2021 Ram 1500 Laramie diesel does have a comparable Off-Road Package and the Trailer Tow Group, it lacks in comparison to Chevy, and it costs more too.
Chevrolet’s Diesel Off-Road Package offers more advanced features than the Ram’s Off-Road Package. The Chevrolet bundle features the Z71 Off-Road Package as well as Hill Descent Control, the latter of which senses when the vehicle picks up speed when descending a hill and automatically applies the brakes in certain conditions to help the driver better control the vehicle’s speed. The package also includes a dual-outlet exhaust, skid plates, a heavy-duty air filter, and wheel assist steps. The Ram Off-Road Package features various skid plates, all-terrain tires with a spare, and Hill Descent Control but focuses more on aesthetics by adding off-road decals to the package. The Ram does not offer wheel assist steps, a heavy-duty air filter, or a two-speed transfer case as included on the Chevrolet.
Chevrolet’s Advanced Trailer Package also outshines Ram’s Trailer Tow Group by offering advanced technology to make towing large loads more efficient. It also features the Chevrolet Convenience II package, which includes an HD Rear Vision Camera that displays on the 8-in high-definition color touchscreen. Additionally, the Advanced Trailering System, Hitch Guidance with Hitch View, and an integrated trailer brake controller give drivers more control over the trailer’s performance.
Ram’s Trailer Tow Group also features a trailer brake controller but focuses more on basic monitoring technology to aid drivers in towing large loads. The Tow Group includes a trailer tire pressure monitoring system, trailer reverse steering control, and a trailer light check. Additional features include black exterior mirrors and fold-away power trailer mirrors that enhance visibility on the Ram.
Another area that truly sets the Chevrolet 1500 diesel apart from the Ram 1500 is technology. Both the Chevrolet and Ram offer the most advanced technology on the market, from high-definition touchscreens to smartphone integration and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, Chevrolet takes its technology a step further by adding a full suite of in-vehicle trailering technology that helps the Chevrolet 1500 diesel do what it was designed to do—haul heavy loads with ease.
Chevrolet’s Advanced Trailering Package includes the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System with the high-definition touchscreen and a trial subscription to SiriusXM. Chevrolet adds an In-Vehicle Trailering System that enhances the 1500’s performance by offering drivers a unique app in which they can customize different trailer profiles and monitor trailer diagnostics such as lighting and tire pressure. The app also allows drivers to utilize pre-departure checklists, all of which can be synced with the myChevrolet mobile app.
Fortunately, Chevrolet’s features don’t stop there! The 1500 includes Trailer Sway Control that enhances the stability of the trailer in dicey traveling conditions. The 1500 also features Hill Start Assist that makes accelerating on a hill easier by employing the antilock brakes to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when accelerating on a hill. Additional options include Trailer Theft Alert, Brake Gain Memory, and Electric Parking Brake Hookup Assist.
The Ram 1500 diesel includes a fewer number of towing technology features. Many of the standard and available safety features that are part of the Ram 1500 are considered part of the truck’s towing technology. Chevrolet’s safety suite is an entirely different set of standard and available upgrades, which marks another significant difference between the brands.
The Ram 1500 includes a Class-Exclusive Active-Level Four-Corner Air Suspension that automatically detects and lowers the truck at highway speeds to reduce drag and increase efficiency, and can also be used to help with hitching a trailer. The second most notable trailering feature is the Ram 1500s Automatic Trailer Detection, which is part of the Blind Spot Monitoring feature. The trailer detection feature scans blind spot zones behind the 1500 to ensure safe maneuvering when hauling a trailer. Its advanced technology takes into account the length of the trailer to provide more accurate readings to the driver.