There’s great news for folks who are in the market for a pickup truck: there is an astonishing number of distinctive trucks on the market. That can also be bad news if you’re indecisive by nature. It may be difficult to wade through the variety of new trucks on the market, but one piece of advice is to narrow your search down to just two models at a time, for example, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 vs 2020 Ram 1500.
Both are extremely capable trucks that enjoy quite a few serious updates in the new model year. If you’re looking for a powerful truck that is equally comfortable hauling, towing, and driving the crew or family around town, either truck is a great choice. But for the discerning driver, both the Silverado and Ram 1500 are equipped with a variety of features and options that can make or break their suitability for your particular needs. Taking a look at both of these capable trucks side by side and comparing features like engine size and power, towing capacity, and even interior comfort and technology features will help you determine which truck best fits your needs, not to mention your budget. Once you’ve fully examined each truck in detail, you’ll feel far more confident making your selection (after a thorough test drive, of course)!
Side By Side: The Basics
Both the Chevy Silverado and the Ram 1500 were fully redesigned and re-styled in 2019. The Silverado celebrated its fourth generation, while the Ram entered its fifth generation. Even though they’re both fresh off a major make-over, both Silverado and Ram were given exterior facelifts and a new engine for the new model year.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is offered in a variety of trims, including the base WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country. It’s also available as a two-door regular cab, four-door double cab, and crew cab, which features four full-sized doors. Three-bed sizes are also available, though bed size depends on the cab and trim. These options include 8-foot, 6.5-foot, and 5.8-foot bed lengths.
The 2020 Ram 1500 is also offered in a variety of trims, cab sizes, and bed lengths. Choose from the base level Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Long Horn, and Limited. Cab and bed configurations include a quad cab with a long bed, which measures in at 6.4-feet, or crew cab with a shorter bed, which measures 5.7-feet.
The Power to Do Anything
In the early days of pickup trucks, the “one size fits all” model was standard. Today, each truck and trim comes with a choice of engines.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado offers a truly mind-blowing variety of engines, and for a good reason. Each offers a different level of capability and is paired with a different transmission. As a result, you can choose a very basic Silverado that will get the job done, or a very powerful Silverado, that can take on nearly anything.
Chevy Silverado Engines
Your first engine option is a 4.3L V6 engine, offering 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and includes an EPA fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway for rear-wheel drive options, and 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway for all-wheel drive options. This engine is standard on the WT and Custom trim.
The second engine offering is a 2.7L turbo inline-4 engine, offering 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive models receive 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway fuel economy, while the all-wheel drive options reached 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. This engine is standard on the LT and RST trims
You’ll also find a powerful 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 with Active Fuel Management, offering 355 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and experiences 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway when the rear-wheel drive models are chosen, and 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive models. This engine is offered as an option for the WT, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss.
There is a second 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine available but this one comes with Dynamic Fuel Management. It will also get up to 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. This engine differs from the previous engine in that it is paired with an 8-speed or 10-speed automatic transmission, and the Dynamic Fuel Management system allows for 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway on rear-wheel drive models, and 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway for all-wheel drive models. This engine is available on the LT, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country trims, but the ten-speed transmission is only available on the LT Trail Boss, and High Country trims.
If you want a diesel engine, you can opt for the 3.0L Duramax turb0-diesel I6 engine, which offers 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This is the only diesel option for Silverado 1500, and it is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This engine offers 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive and 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway when all-wheel drive models are chosen. This is an option on the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country trims.
If you want more power, a 6.2L V8 engine with Dynamic Fuel Management is the top-of-the-line for this truck. It offers up to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission as well and is available in all-wheel drive only. The fuel economy rating is around 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. This engine is an option for RST, Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country trim packages.
Engine Offerings for the Ram 1500
In comparison, the 2020 Ram 1500 offers only three possible engines starting with the standard 3.6L Pentastar V6. This engine offers up to 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. It gets up to 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway for the two-wheel drive models, and 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for four-wheel drive models.
If you want a diesel engine, you can opt for the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, which offers 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. Fuel ratings have not been confirmed, but this engine is available on all trims.
The 5.7L V8, offering 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard on the Laramie, Long Horn, and Limited trims, and can be paired with Ram’s eTorque system, which helps save on fuel economy when doing a great deal of stop-and-go driving. The difference can be considerable, as both two-wheel and four-wheel drive options of this engine rate about 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway fuel economy without eTorque, and 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway with this system.
The difference in engines between the 2020 Chevy Silverado and 2020 Ram 1500 can mean a lot if you plan to do a great deal of towing. The Silverado can tow anywhere between 6,600 and 13,400 pounds, depending on the trim, packages, and engine chosen. The Ram can tow considerably less, with a maximum tow capacity between 7,520 to 12,750 pounds.
With so many options, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the variety in both the 2020 Silverado and Ram 1500 options. Naturally, the safety and technology features will also be incredibly varied and robust, but let’s take a look at some of the basics.
Comparing the base models is a great way to start. The Chevy Silverado WT includes some pretty basic, yet desirable, standard features, including steel wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a six-speaker audio system. Bed capacity and legroom within the cabin are both spacious.
The Ram Tradesman also includes 18-inch steel wheels, a 5-inch touchscreen, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a push-button start. The Tradesman is also ready to hit the worksite, with trailer sway damping technology, and second-row floor storage compartments for crew cab models.
As Silverado models climb the trim package ladder of luxury, drivers can enjoy features like tailgate dampers (LT and above), power lock-and-release tailgate (RST), and a Z71 suspension. The LTZ and above include heated steering wheels, trailer brake controls, extra power outlets, while High Country adds a power tailgate, Bose audio, heated second-row seats, and enhanced safety features.
Ram 1500 models are not without their plush features, however. Big Horn includes aluminum wheels and a 60/40 split rear seat for extra cargo room. Rebel is specifically designed for off-road duty with an electronic locking rear axle and skid plates. Laramie adds luxury with power windows and mirrors, with leather-trimmed, ventilated, heated, adjustable power seats. The Long Horn adds bucket seats to the mix, while the Limited includes chrome and air suspension for a glamorous approach to hard work.
For those who need more power, the 2020 Chevy Silverado may be an obvious choice. With loads of engine options and trims that can include nearly any feature imaginable, the Silverado has the advantage when it comes to towing and building a dream vehicle. The 2020 Ram 1500, however, is a solid vehicle that is prepared to provide exceptional comfort on long drives with lots of stuff. Regardless of which vehicle you choose, be sure to check out all the trims and options, as the flexible builds of each vehicle mean that there’s surely a combination that’s perfect for everything you do!