2021 Chevy Silverado 1500
2021 Ram 1500
|277 - 420||Horsepower (hp)||260 - 395|
|13,300||Max Towing (lbs)||12,750|
|89.1||Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||61.5|
The full-size pickup truck wars are heating up again, which means buyers are the big winners. Why? Automakers are competing hard to win market share by building trucks with incredible capability - like huge payload and towing capacities - that also double as weekend family vehicles. Take the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Ram 1500, for example. These two contenders fiercely compete against one another to win over buyers with beauty and brawn.
Are you in the market for a work truck to take to the job site? Maybe you need a plush, roving office with plenty of connected services and comfortable seats to take you to your work appointments. Whatever you’re seeking in a full-size pickup truck, you’re likely to find it on the Silverado or the Ram. Even with two great options, there’s always a winner; a truck that bests the competition with performance and capability that go above-and-beyond, edging out the other guys and earning the title of best-in-class. It used to be that pickup truck buyers were steadfast fans of a particular manufacturer, but not anymore. These buyers simply want the best-performing option for the greatest value.
Is it asking too much for a truck to deliver value and capability? We don’t think so. In fact, we believe the best full-size trucks incorporate plenty of comfort, luxury, and technology features too. We also expect this newest crop of pickups to deliver on safety. The latest driver-assist safety technology is important to new truck buyers, so which of these two trucks offers the most?
We take a closer look at the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs the 2021 Ram 1500 to see which truck sits at the sweet spot of value, capability, and available features. Is one the clear victor, or will they both be somewhat equal? We dive deep into each truck’s characteristics, including price, to determine which one best personifies the ideal full-size pickup for any job.
At the heart of any full-size pickup truck is its ability to haul, tow, and get the job done. That’s why knowing a few key numbers is critical to understanding which pickup truck is just a little more hardworking than the rest. When looking at the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs the 2021 Ram 1500, the differences are pretty substantial.
For starters, take towing capacity. The Silverado 1500 delivers a mighty max towing capacity of 13,300 pounds, while the Ram 1500 comes in at a less dynamic 12,750 pounds. It sounds like a small difference, but when it comes to towing, most buyers want the most heft for the dollar spent. In this contest, the Silverado wins hands down.
Towing capacity is one thing, but how about onboard systems that make the job a little easier and safer? Chevy’s 15 available camera views and in-vehicle trailering system, along with a suite of technologies that make towing safer, add a lot of benefits to the mix. The Ram 1500’s trailer monitoring technology offers just five cameras, a comprehensive system for sure, but one that falls short of Chevy’s expansive 15-view array.
What about cargo capacity? After all, a lot of full-size pickup trucks are destined for work truck status, so their ability to store and haul large cargo is critically important. It may not surprise you to learn that the 2021 Silverado wins again, offering a max cargo capacity of 89.1 cubic feet. The Ram offers a disappointing max of 61.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, falling far short of its competitor.
Let’s talk about tailgates. The industry is focusing a lot of engineering time on refining these once singularly-focused bed access doors. Today, adjustable tailgates with multiple functions are in demand. Both Chevy and Ram offer dynamic tailgates with a range of functions designed to make work and bed access easier. Chevy’s Multi-Flex tailgate offers six different functions. Ram offers an innovative 60/40 swing door tailgate, but in total, there are only three functions.
After capability, truck buyers want to know how their truck can achieve the most torque and top-end power. They need enough power to pull heavy trailers but also want a smooth, fuel-efficient ride at highway speeds and during normal driving conditions. How do the Chevy Silverado and the Ram 1500 stack up?
The Silverado 1500's Engines
Chevy offers five different and distinct engines, each designed for a different purpose. The Duramax 3.0-liter turbo diesel offers class-leading fuel economy - at 33 MPG on the highway - along with a hearty 277 horsepower. Opt for the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management, and you’ll get 460 lb-ft of torque.
The Ram 1500's Engines
Ram offers five engines, including a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. Unfortunately, horsepower falls just a little short, at 260. The available 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with eTorque can’t quite match Chevy’s most powerful V8. The Ram’s V8 delivers 410 lb-ft of torque, 50 lb-ft less than the comparable Chevy V8. Ram buyers that want more power can move up to the specialty 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, but be prepared to fork over nearly $70,000.
If your truck doubles as a moving office, you’ll be wanting comfortable interior space that you can spread out in. Which truck delivers the best interior cabin space and amenities? Both the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500 offer upper-end luxury finishes on their higher trim levels, but the Silverado has just a little bit more interior space to move around in.
For 2021, the Silverado offers best-in-class front head and legroom. The front headroom comes in at 43.0 inches (43.1 inches in the Regular Cab), and the front legroom is a spacious 44.5 inches in the Crew Cab body style. The Ram 1500 offers quite a bit less, at 40.9 inches of front headroom and 40.9 inches of front legroom. That makes a big difference if you’re spending most of your day in your truck: the more space, the better.
People aren’t the only beneficiaries of the Silverado’s roomy interior: cargo capacity gets a boost with clever, industry-first available storage cubbies hidden in the rear seatbacks. They take advantage of previously ‘dead’ space and allow out-of-sight storage. Chevy’s Silverado also has rear under-seat storage for a little extra space and to keep your stuff from rolling around the back seat.
Speaking of the back seat, what about rear passengers? Would they prefer to ride in a Silverado 1500 or a Ram 1500? The Ram Crew Cab offers 39.8 inches of rear headroom, but Silverado passengers will be less likely to knock their head on the ceiling when going over rough terrain because the rear headroom is a bit more spacious, at 40.12 inches.
Overall, both these trucks offer tremendous capabilities and a wide range of trims that allow buyers to zero in on exactly what they need. Work trucks are stripped down and basic but affordable, while the upper-level trims are plush, luxurious, and loaded with the latest tech and comfort features.