Face-Off: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 vs. Ram 1500

Two redesigned pickup trucks vie for supremacy in a highly competitive segment

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 pickup trucks have long, storied histories as workhorses that have evolved into capable, all-purpose vehicles for family and commercial uses. Each has been redesigned for the 2019 model year.

These two pickups—along with the Ford F-150 and GMC Sierra (a mechanical twin of the Silverado)—are consistently among the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. More than 2.25 million of these four models combined were sold in 2018. They’re a big portion of each manufacturer’s sales—and very profitable—so redesigns aren’t rushed and are typically very significant. That’s why it’s worth digging into how these popular models compare.

Our tested trucks are built the way each manufacturer says a majority of buyers configure theirs, with a V8 engine, crew cab body style, 5-foot-long bed, and the ability to tow more than 12,000 pounds when properly equipped. As a result, these two trucks match up closely in the battle of specifications.

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But there are questions to be answered: Does the Chevy or the Ram perform better? Which one has more interior space? Which one is easier to live with?

For the answers, we take an in-depth look at these two pickups to compare how they fare in CR’s testing and which comes out on top.

This comparison applies just to the redesigned 2019 trucks; both Chevrolet and Ram are also selling previous-generation versions of the trucks as 2019 models, as the Silverado LD and Ram 1500 Classic.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The Case for It
Chevrolet addressed a number of the previous-generation’s shortcomings with its all-new 2019 Silverado. It improved the powertrain, fuel economy, and braking performance.

The updated 5.3-liter V8 engine and optional eight-speed automatic transmission work well together and deliver plenty of power when drivers ask for it, something that wasn’t true of the previous generation. Now there’s ready power to pass at highway speeds.

The Silverado’s just a bit quicker than the Ram in our acceleration tests. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds vs. 7.1 for the Ram. The trucks tied in our fuel-economy tests, returning 17 mpg overall. That’s a 1 mpg improvement for the Silverado and 2 mpg better for the Ram over the previous generations.

The Silverado stops as well as it accelerates. It beats the Ram by only by a few feet in stopping distance, but the Chevy’s brake-pedal feel is firm and the brakes engage quickly. We also like the LED headlights that are standard on the LT trim that we tested. They’re bright and do a very good job lighting the road far ahead of the truck.