It’s a huge annoyance for any amateur truck enthusiast or someone shopping for a quality diesel pickup. There are two popular 1500 diesel pickups on the market, and they don’t even belong to the same brand. Given the latest editions of each, there seems to be no chance of this confusion coming to an end. So, for now, we’ll just have to compare the 2021 Chevy 1500 diesel vs 2021 Ram 1500 diesel to see which one comes out on top.
Both Ram and Chevy have given us their latest and hopefully given us their best. So which truck comes out on top? We have painstakingly pitted the 1500 diesel pickups by Chevy and Ram in a bloodbath and have decided to name the champion half-ton truck left standing at the end. We’ll take them round by round and name our winner in each of several categories; then you can see who the best is out of these two truck options.
The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel truck is already making waves and earning rave reviews for its excellent powertrain: the Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine. Its 3.0-liter I6 engine churns out 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which features a mass-damper-equipped torque converter that makes the ride smooth and easy to handle. It drives like a much smaller vehicle with tight and responsive turns and respectable acceleration, featuring responsive brakes that offer great feedback without feeling too jerky.
But don’t discount the latest diesel Ram just yet. The 2021 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that can muster 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Also, test drivers have noted the Ram’s smooth and comfortable ride is pleasant. It’s slower than the available Hemi engine for the new Ram 1500, but it more than makes up for it with better fuel economy and torque output that’s tow-ready.
In terms of driving performance, both the Silverado and Ram are great contenders. However, the Ram pickup shines in terms of driving smoothness, whereas good handling and a fun drive are the Chevy pickup’s forte. This first point goes to the Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel.
The 2021 Ram 1500 diesel has an unexpectedly refined interior. Even outside of the luxury-level trims like the 10th Anniversary Edition, you can expect to find soft and cushy seats with optional ventilation and heating, as well as ample legroom and storage space. The dashboard and other hard surfaces feel crisp and sporty.
As for the 2021 Silverado, the interior is that of a reliable work truck. Tough vinyl seats and classic design combine with roomy stow cubbies and plenty of interior cargo space. However, if you want luxury looks, you’ll need to upgrade to the High Country edition with specially designed seating and trims.
Ultimately, the 2021 Silverado has a less inspiring, less luxurious, and more basic interior than the alternative by Ram. However, those who prefer a no-fuss/all business drive may prefer the straightforward interior in the latest Silverado, which still manages to be comfortable. But we can’t help appreciating the little extra sauce that the new Ram 1500 diesel offers. Point goes to Ram.
The 2021 Silverado 1500 diesel is the most economical truck in the Silverado lineup, gaining up to 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The Ram edition, meanwhile, will reach up to 22 mpg city and 32 highway, according to EPA estimates. However, four-wheel-drive models have a lower fuel economy rating. The difference between the two is slight, but with gas prices as high as they are, every gallon counts. Another point to the Chevy diesel truck, America’s most fuel-efficient pickup.
Tow capacity and payload make a pickup truck worth the money – whether you actually need to haul a ton of bricks or have been enlisted to move your friend into a new apartment in exchange for a free pizza. The new Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel has a max tow capacity of up to 9,500 pounds. Alternatively, the Ram 1500 diesel has a whopping 12,560-pound tow capacity. Also, the Ram diesel engine’s 480 lb-ft of torque output means better handling and control, even when towing maximum weight. However, note that this jaw-dropping figure is only attainable when properly equipped and in a specific body style, not the base model.
As for extra features, the new Ram 1500 diesel has available off-road features like air spring rear suspension, light steering, and capable brakes that can power you safely through uneven terrain. Off-road features on the new Chevy 1500 diesel are available in the Z71 off-road package, which offers a more sporty and attractive truck exterior and a suite of capable off-road enhancements. Z71 features include specially tuned off-road suspension, hill descent control, improved safety technology, all-terrain tires on 20” polished wheels, and a spray-on bedliner.
So when it comes to practicality, the Ram diesel truck may have a superior tow capacity, but the Chevy diesel truck is a better off-road companion. “Practicality” is a variable term based on what you’re actually looking for in a truck. If you want a fun ride or need to maneuver off the beaten bath – like on ranch roads or construction sites – the Chevy is more practical. If you need the absolute highest tow capacity and payload out there, the Ram is superior. Consider this one a tie.
It’s hard to top the new Silverado diesel’s available Multi-Flex Tailgate, a revolutionary feature that allows you to shift your pickup tailgate into at least 6 different configurations, like a step and workbench. It also utilizes incredible camera packages that provide up to 15 views – rear views, trailer hitch views, how-do-they-do-it birds-eye views, and many others – all of which make managing such a hefty vehicle much easier and safer. In this capacity, the new Silverado 1500 is just about unbeatable. Add to that an available Head-Up display and wireless charging pads, and you have one of the most advanced trucks on the market.
Not that the new Ram 1500 diesel is without tech. Its 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes numerous features, although these features aren’t so groundbreaking. Smartphone compatibility and a mobile hotspot are standard in many 2021 vehicles, including the Chevy Silverado. Less impressive are the reviews of the Ram’s infotainment system, which despite its large display, is glitchy and not always responsive. The Chevy truck, meanwhile, has both touch and knob controls for easy navigation on its more compact display. When it comes to practical technology, the point easily goes to the Chevy truck.
And the Winner Is….
Time for the final tallies, folks. With a leading score of 3 points, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel truck is the winner. While the 2021 Ram 1500 diesel may have a similar name, the Chevy alternative pulls ahead in just about every major category. Ultimately, the new Silverado diesel is a high-performer, practical tower, stuffed with available infotainment and safety technology, fuel-efficient, and off-road-capable.
If you also want a comfortable and luxurious interior, the new Silverado 1500 has a plethora of available upgrades from its simplistic base interior. And, it’s ultimately affordable to do so, with its competitively low MSRP of $28,600. Like most trucks nowadays, you can get ahead of yourself with the new Silverado’s available features and rack up a sticker price of up to $70,000 or more. However, any good Chevy dealer can help you customize the perfect Silverado 1500 diesel truck to your exact standards. Don’t get us wrong; the Ram 1500 is a great value, too, but the facts speak for themselves, and you easily get more for your money with the 2021 Silverado 1500.