Trucks are a funny thing. Unless you are extremely familiar with the different brands and styles, it’s pretty easy to feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. However, if you’re actually in the market for a new truck and you start researching trucks for sale, you quickly realize that trucks are actually extremely unique vehicles that are easily customized to fit a variety of wants and needs, which is why it’s so critical that you do the research to find out which truck is right for you. We thought we’d give you a jump on the research and offer up a comparison between two of the most popular trucks on the market – the 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2017 Dodge Ram 1500.
To simplify our comparison and give you the best launching off point, we’re going to focus our comparison only on the base models. The 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 comes with a 4.3-liter V6 engine that generates 285 horsepower and 305 pounds-feet of torque. The 2017 Dodge Ram base model engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 305 horsepower and 269 pounds-feet of torque. So, while you may be picking up a little speed in the Ram, you’re going to lose to out on towing ability – when equipped with the V6 engine, the Ram maxes out at 7,600 pounds of towing and 1,930 pounds of hauling ability, which is more on par with the compact truck class than the full-size truck class.
However, it is important to note that both truck models come with available V8 engines that increase the overall power of both models. Of course, you’ll pay for it at the pump, but if you need maximum towing and hauling abilities, it’s worth it to check out the upgraded engine options. Fully equipped with the right gear and the right engine, the Silverado is going to be able to tow up to 12,500 pounds and haul 2,250 pounds. The Ram is going to max out at 11,000 pounds of towing and just about 2,000 pounds of payload. If your truck needs to be able to double as a work vehicle or has to have the ability to really get some heavy lifting done, you’re probably better off going with the Silverado for its best-in-class towing numbers.
If you aren’t terribly concerned about the strength of the trucks and are more focused on fuel economy, you’re not going to see much of a difference between the Silverado and the Ram, as the Silverado gets an EPA estimated 18 miles to the gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while the Ram gets an estimated 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Not a substantial enough difference to sway even the most discerning consumer.
The similarities don’t stop there – both the base models are pretty equal in terms of styling and amenities. The Silverado and the Ram are offered as three or six seaters, depending on which cab model you choose. Both Chevy and Dodge offer a variety of trims and packages to customize your truck, but if you get the base model Silverado 1500, the truck will sit on 17-inch steel wheels and have manually adjustable mirrors, tinted glass, air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, xenon headlights, active grille shutters, power door locks, cruise control, vinyl seating, a 40/30/40-split front bench seat, a 4.2-inch color audio display, an auxiliary jack, and a USB port.
The base model Ram also rides on 17-inch steel wheels and comes equipped with automatic headlights, a locking tailgate, air conditioning, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, cruise control, a spray-in bed liner, a rear backlight, a Class IV receiver hitch, black bumpers, a black grille and black door handles. It also has an auxiliary jack, USB port and a six-speaker sound system. You’ll have to start moving up the trim levels to really notice a difference, but with all of the available packages and options, you really do have the flexibility to design the truck that’s got just want you need and want.
Up until now, the 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 were pretty much neck and neck in competition, but unfortunately for Ram, it can’t keep up with the Silverado where it really counts. When it comes to safety, Silverado’s got it in the bag.
The Chevy Silverado has a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while the Dodge Ram only has four stars. Not necessarily the biggest deal, but it’s certainly worth noting. However, the Ram did receive the highest rating of Good from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but only in its Crew and Extended Cab models – the Regular Cab has yet to be tested. The Chevy Silverado also has been rated as Good by the IIHS.
So maybe it’s unfair to say that the Silverado is that much better than the Ram when it comes to safety; however, a lower safety score is certainly something you want to consider as you move forward with your truck purchase. Perhaps you can negate the lower score by adding in advanced safety features – Dodge offers a slew of them (as does Chevy, for that matter).
Thus far, there really hasn’t been much that sets the two trucks apart, at least at the base level. Dodge does have leg up when it comes to its starting MSRP though, retailing at $26,495 as opposed to the Silverado, which has a starting MSRP of $27,785. Again, not enough to truly tip the scales in either direction, but certainly gives the Ram a little edge over the Silverado.
Which Truck is Right for You?
Remember at the beginning when I said “trucks are extremely unique vehicles?” Well, what this research has shown me is that it’s actually not that trucks are very unique – it’s the people who drive them that give them character and style. Both Dodge and Chevy are smart to offer very similar base model trucks that lend themselves to creative customization. So, whether you’re looking for a luxury commute or want to go barreling through the off-roads, you can’t go wrong with either the 2017 Chevy Silverado or the 2017 Dodge Ram as your base.