2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Vs. 2019 Ram 1500: Quick Spin

Chevy & Ram Pair 1 II

By Andy Mikonis

As a freelance auto journalist and PickupTrucks.com contributor, most weeks I have a test vehicle on loan from an automaker. I recently had a new 2019 Ram 1500 and a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 back-to-back. Though these two half-ton pickup trucks were different model years, they were similar in that they were both four-wheel-drive crew cabs with optional V-8 engines, so I thought they would make for an interesting comparison. In fact, the 2018 was actually "newer" when looking at their build dates and it represents what you can buy today.

Their prices (including destination) — $47,435 for the Chevy and $49,120 for the Ram — were similar despite the trucks being equipped differently (see the chart below). The Chevrolet Silverado was more of an entry-level truck with a blackout appearance package and some towing options, while the Ram 1500 was a well-equipped Big Horn with optional tech gadgets and comfort equipment.

My 46-mile fuel-economy mileage loop from central Chicago to the suburbs consisted of approximately 30 miles of urban interstate, 12 miles of 40-55-mph multilane suburban roads with stoplights, 4 miles of city driving and three separate stops with engine shutdowns. Both trucks were topped off at the start and then refueled after the loop at the same pump at the same gas station. The pump was set on the first (slowest) catch and allowed to shut off automatically. The engines were turned off while waiting for the pump.

Dry weather conditions persisted on both days, with air temperatures varying by five degrees. Traffic conditions were similar, except for the Ram 1500 seeing about 2 miles of stop-and-go traffic on one interstate segment. Windows were closed and climate control was on auto setting at equivalent temperatures.

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Even though the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 posted EPA ratings of 1 mpg higher across the board, the Ram 1500 edged it out in real-world testing. Some factors that may have worked in favor of the Ram include its lower weight, its eight-speed transmission, a numerically lower axle ratio and a highway-tread tire. However, it should be noted the Ram 1500 calls for mid-grade fuel with regular being acceptable, while the Chevrolet Silverado takes regular. The Chevrolet registered slightly more distance on its odometer over the drive route. The Silverado's trip computer's average fuel economy was higher than my calculated mpg average; the same was true of the Ram 1500.

The Silverado's higher weight seemed to cancel out the higher gross vehicle weight rating number. The Ram 1500, showing a higher GVWR than we've seen before, edged out the Chevrolet on payload. And the Silverado's tire load rating was lower than the Ram 1500's, too.

Both vehicles exhibited civilized road manners. The Ram 1500's coil-spring rear suspension was more composed over bumps and winter-damaged pavement; the Silverado's lower-aspect-ratio tires probably didn't help there, either. Both were quiet on smooth roads, but I thought the Chevrolet Silverado had more wind noise through the A- and B-pillars.

Overall, I preferred the Ram 1500, mostly based on the options it had. The Silverado struck me as the choice for a business owner who wants a flashy truck that's capable of doing a lot of work. I liked the Ram's interior design better as well, but to be fair, the Ram 1500 has the advantage of next-generation engineering. The fact that the outgoing Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can still be so close in performance is a testament to Chevrolet's engineering expertise — and you can save some money. I look forward to doing a similar comparison with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 at some point in the future.

Editor's note: The chart below has been updated to correct the numbers transposed for the payload and manufacturer tire load rating categories.

Cars.com photos by Andy Mikonis

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Comments

I'm beginning to like that RAM more & more although not a fan of the new design, lost it's aggressiveness that made it so popular. Anyways can't wait to see a side-by-side comparison with the rest of the competition - great time to be a truck lover...meanwhile some interesting news;

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/ford-refuses-to-use-gms-9-speed-automatic-transmission/ar-AAwds7T?ocid=spartandhp

Such an unscientific comparison. For so many reasons.

I have not driven either truck but for now the RAM is my choice, after years of happy Chevy truck ownership. Not based on this comparo, but because the RAM designers are bringing the E-torque engines and the RAM chassis is head/shoulders above anything else being built today. RAM was also first to market with the 8 speed when everybody else was offering 6 speed.

Now, if they can just offer it with a proper shifter!

About the new eight speed transmission on the fords it’s gonna be great.

Junk trucks

Love how well Chevy did against a brand new truck! Now, they should have done the comparison with the 8 spd auto in Chevy. I had the exact same gears in my GMC but with 8 spd and consistently got 23 to 24 mpgs on interstate and highways. Rams interior is nice!! Outside exterior I need to see in person, before I judge....Looks alot like a Durango to me. Can't wait to see one in person!

Wish GM would have done a little more with the engines for the 2019 models, but then if the 5.3L did this well against the Ram?? I just know the new 5.0L with 395 HP is a really nice engine!! Drove one a week ago. It scoots pretty good!

Rams dial shifter. After the truck is in drive what do you do with the shifter? The transmission is electronically shifted. All the lever does is move a switch and get in the way of your coffee cup spilling it on your lap. You can shift the Ram up and down all day long with the steering wheel switches.

2018 Chev did good against 2019 Ram, I bet you could buy that Silverado for $10,000 less then that Ram, I Guess they New the Ford didn't have a chance in this comparison

If you want a more comfortable ride, they've made it clear what size tires to put under it:
Ram -- 70R18
Silvy -- 70R17

The 2018 F-150 with the 2.7 Eco-Boost exceeded the comparison
The Ram and Chevy wasn't in the same league with the F-150
That's why he didn't include the F-150, It would be unfair cause everybody knows the F-150 would win.
That person doing the comparison never felt what REAL power and performance feels like without driving the F-150 Eco-Boost, he never experienced what quiet and luxury is, never knew the sign, looks and feel of quality

We know ford is the best

"We know ford is the best"

Posted by: Leon

They're not the best... they just build the best pickup.

...without driving the F-150 Eco-Boost, he never experienced what quiet and luxury is, never knew the sign, looks and feel of quality

Posted by: Ecoboost Rules | Apr 23, 2018 3:30:23 PM

The 2015 and newer F-150's are famous for wind noise. I've been in a few of them and the wind noise is there. Bad door to cab sealing. Also, most of them had poor body panel alignment or wavy body panels.

The ride quality in the 2015+ F-150's came at the expense of poor suspension sag in the back and cheaper, lighter suspension components in front. Ford used to highlight the fact that they used tougher forged steel upper control arms... then they quietly replaced them with weaker, thin stamped steel parts to lighten the truck and improve ride quality.

Rearend gears made the difference here 3:21 for the ram and 3:42 for the Silverado.

Hey chevyota TUNDERADO fan boys this are the numbers of the shaky check out the link below. You guys are gonna be disappointed 😢.
https://youtu.be/gSSW4KDb9vY

It’s the power specification on both trucks CHEVYOTA TUNDERADO AND GMC SIERRA.

Hey I already put those power figures up on the other post.... Your a little late fella!! As stated as a GM guy I thought they would do more!!! Maybe they programmed 5.3L better??// we shall see!!

Ford sells the most 1500//trucks..doesn't necessarily make it the best pickup!

Where can you get $10,000 off on a Chevy? Dealers around here barely do $8500 off of one and then it's some bare bones 2wd that nobody wants!

I believe gm is setting us up with click bait. Then later they’ll announce the real numbers. It’d be disappointing if they left the numbers the same. Should at least make more comparable to there competitors entry level numbers.

@ Robert

Here in Midwest you can get up to $14k off as long as u finance through GM! So u gotta have great credit! Buddy of mine is thinking of buying an LT crew cab, basically just like this truck here on page that lists for $51k on sale for $36k. Gonna use it as a tax right off for his business.... They are out there. Gotta look.

I do like the looks of the new Ram. I would say it's the nicest looking pickup to come out of the US.

I just hope the build quality and reliability is better than previous Rams.

This might be the Ram to move it up the charts and outsell the Silverado.

The front end of the Silverado might attract kids, but kids ain't the ones with the money to fork out $50 000 or $60 000 for a nice shiny new pickup.

Where can you get $10,000 off on a Chevy? Dealers around here barely do $8500 off of one and then it's some bare bones 2wd that nobody wants!
Posted by: Robert | Apr 23, 2018 6:44:03 PM

Laura GMC has been pricing GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 double cabs with the 6.2 at $39-40k for the last 2 or 3 years. RamKing is spot on there.

As stated as a GM guy I thought they would do more!!! Maybe they programmed 5.3L better??// we shall see!!

Posted by: TNTGMC | Apr 23, 2018 6:10:39 PM

After getting my 2014 tuned, it felt like I had gained 30 HP and even more torque. Especially on the 91 tune. The 2016 F-150 got left in the dust against a MUCH heavier steel GMC with the 6.2. Once the truck sheds 400+ lbs AND gains a 10-speed, it'll be out in front again. And it won't have the reliability issues of a twin turbo gas engine.

Beating up on the geriatric chevy is no real accomplishment for the brand new Fiat.

A comparison between the new Fiat and the refreshed F150 would have been much more interesting and informative.

Once the truck sheds 400+ lbs AND gains a 10-speed, it'll be out in front again. And it won't have the reliability issues of a twin turbo gas engine.

Posted by: Brick | Apr 24, 2018 3:17:46 AM

Yes, out in front with the 5.3. With the 6.2, the Silverado will be coming around to lap everyone.

@ Brick

What tune did you use with your 6.2L? Did you wait till it was out of its 3 yr/36K bumper warranty? I am hesitant on tuning my new 6.2L bc I didn't buy it in town here, and they are upset with me! So IDK if they are going to be as easy on me like they were with my 5.3L

TNTGMC

Be sure the service manager understands why you did not buy local. In reality it's none of their business, and it might even be their fault. Either way, they are there to serve you and your community.

If the service manager understands his rightful place in all this you should have a good experience. If not, the general manager needs to hear about it.

@ papajim

I hear ya! I have already had the head general manager give me a personal phone, and a free oil change for my wifes terrain for the "non" deal they didn't give me! They were $4300 more for trade difference than the dealership I bought from. He was upset that his sales manager never spoke to him about the deal! I was over there on Saturday and he apologized!

I just feel though that it could come back to haunt me if do tune it?? Bc they know I did it on my last one! I might wait till bumper to bumper is up

Local ad's offer $15K off (MSRP) on the Ram with another 3K in extra discounts for using Fiat financing ($1,200), plus $800 in purchase assistance, and $1K Ram loyalty.
Although if you don't currently have a Laramie or better, you don't qualify for the loyalty discount! Slap!

I understand.

The benefits of a 'tune' are going to be incremental, but the effects of "being sent to Siberia" by your local service department could be a big deal and might extend to other GM dealers.

By now the Gen. Mgr. knows where you bought your truck, I'm guessing---news travels fast.

That warranty is worth a lot! Be careful.

Switcheroo.

The Chevy is now "HECHO EN MEXICO"
The Ram is now MADE IN USA.

It used to be the other way around.

When I was truck shopping a few years ago, GM assembled their trucks in Flint, Michigan, and Ram assembled their trucks in Saltillo, Mexico.

My similar thoughts on these. I have decided to go with the Ram out of all the trucks I drove. Waiting on the 2019s as we speak. I even drove the Sierra denali to make TNT happy, but the Ram still did it for me. I do not agree with this article though, display MPG are always off, hand calculated is much better to do and accurate.

-CT

I'm beginning to like that RAM more & more although not a fan of the new design, lost it's aggressiveness that made it so popular. Anyways can't wait to see a side-by-side comparison with the rest of the competition - great time to be a truck lover...meanwhile some interesting news;

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/ford-refuses-to-use-gms-9-speed-automatic-transmission/ar-AAwds7T?ocid=spartandhp


Posted by: Lionel | Apr 23, 2018 1:59:56 PM

\\\\\

Ok I'll bite on the off topic post.

The article is click bait. Looks like a Mike Levine special...

Ford is using the transmission, just "cost" engineering it by removing 1 gear. Both transmissions Ford will offer are based on GM co-development.

That transmission can find it's way in a Malibu but Ford can't afford to use it without "cheapening" it?

The 9th gear doesn't add a huge mileage advantage but it's the smoothest transmission in the 8-10 gear variety I have driven. the shifting is almost imperceptible.

Shame on Ford if they release a clunky version of this and their customers lose out on a great piece of hardware.


Hmmm, wind noise in the Silverado. Yup, that's great engineering expertise, for sure.

@ Dale

I have no wind noise in mine!! Thats why I love it so much!! Only thing I hear is true V8 rumble from.exhaust and not through the speakers...

Is GM really putting tires are a truck that have a payload rating less than the actual payload of the truck.

Seems like another lawsuit waiting to happen.

I'm going to be laughing when GM replaces the 5.3 liter with the TT 3.6 liter.

I'm going to be laughing when GM replaces the 5.3 liter with the TT 3.6 liter.


Posted by: mackintire | Apr 24, 2018 12:02:04 PM

Don't bet on that. Even if they offer a TTV6 they will still offer a variant of the 5.3. They just need to get rid of the crappy performance parameters.

Now that TT 4.2 liter V8. Let's see that in the upper trim trucks.

The end is near for GM pushrod motors.... no proof just my educated guess. GM has some very power dense DOHC TT engines - there IS replacement for displacement!

When I was truck shopping a few years ago, GM assembled their trucks in Flint, Michigan, and Ram assembled their trucks in Saltillo, Mexico.


Posted by: greenrover | Apr 24, 2018 10:11:16 AM

GM still makes trucks in Flint, MI and Fort Wayne, Indiana. GM's Mexico plant only builds crew cab short box trucks. Ram is still building trucks in Saltillo too.

Grizz-if I remember correctly, all GM truck frames are made in mexico, I do not understand why this is an issue for so many people. There is nothing american made anymore.

-CT

Grizz,

Last I read, Gm's Silao plant produced over 400,000 trucks last year. 400,000 units is about half of GM full-size numbers.

All of Ram 1500s new generation of trucks are being build in the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. (Sterling Heights Michigan)

For a short time, the current generation of 1500s are being built in the current Warren truck plant. (Warren Michigan)

The current Generation of HDs and current generation of regular cab 1500s are built in Saltillo Mexico. Saltillo previously built the previous gen 1500s overflow.

The next generation of HDs (around 2020) are going to be built in Warren Truck Plant along side the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

So long story short, soon, all of Ram's trucks will be built in the US. Not all of GM's will be.

if I remember correctly, all GM truck frames are made in mexico, I do not understand why this is an issue for so many people. There is nothing american made anymore.

-CT
Posted by: crunchtime | Apr 24, 2018 2:21:44 PM

Some GM frames are made in Mexico, some are made in Ontario, CA. They are supplied by Cosma.

I think the reason why it's an "issue" is because some fanboys like to deride owners of other brands, portraying them as being "anti-American" if they own a truck that only some of which are assembled in the US.

Then again, having seen some of the sub-par quality rolling out of those US F-150 plants, I'm not sure it's really that big of a deal who puts them together these days...

---------------------------------------------

Is GM really putting tires are a truck that have a payload rating less than the actual payload of the truck.

Seems like another lawsuit waiting to happen.
Posted by: What?!? | Apr 24, 2018 11:47:23 AM


Good point. Wouldn't want a Ford Explorer death trap lawsuit scenario...

The Bridgestone Dueler A/T RH-S P285/45R22 has a load rating of 2,337 lbs according to Tire Rack.

----------------------------------------------------

The article is click bait. Looks like a Mike Levine special...

Ford is using the transmission, just "cost" engineering it by removing 1 gear. Both transmissions Ford will offer are based on GM co-development.

That transmission can find it's way in a Malibu but Ford can't afford to use it without "cheapening" it?

Posted by: andrwken | Apr 24, 2018 10:18:40 AM

Haha yeah that headline has Levine written all over it. Definitely his kind of spin considering it really should read "Ford decides to design a cheaper version of GM's new 9-speed".

It's a growing trend for Ford since Hackett took over as CEO. Lots of little cost-cutting happening lately. Only one engine and transmission option for the next Ranger. Heck, you can't even buy 2018 F-150 Supercab (with 6.5' bed) with the 3.5EB. You can't buy an Expedition or Navigator with the 5.0 Coyote. They really cut down on the number of configurations, which was one of Ford's strong points in the recent past.

What tune did you use with your 6.2L? Did you wait till it was out of its 3 yr/36K bumper warranty? I am hesitant on tuning my new 6.2L bc I didn't buy it in town here, and they are upset with me! So IDK if they are going to be as easy on me like they were with my 5.3L
Posted by: TNTGMC | Apr 24, 2018 8:01:34 AM

Blackbear Performance EFI Live tune. It's a really popular shop based on reviews on GM truck forums I've visited.

I had mine tuned after 15k miles.

GM doesn't need many engine options, it will have a 3.0L in line Diesel, get 30 mpg and much better towing economy, with less stress.

@ Brick

Thanks for the info!

interesting .....GM had those big 22's which killed weight AND acceleration AND mileage. GM didn't have the 8spd either. Ram was only a hair better mileage even with this......

Ram was only a bit lighter than the Chevy. Take 450lbs off the Chevy and that is supposedly what the new one will weigh. Add the 8 spd and revised 5.3L and no 22" wheels and the mileage should be several mpg's better .

@ shriker

I had this truck but black, slt premium plus pckge, with 5.3l 3.42 rear end, 8 spd and 20 inch wheels. I achieved 23 to 24 mpgs all day long running 60 to 70 mph. It just shows how well GM has their V8s dialed in....especially when it's a 4 year old platform up against a brand new one from Ram!

And really, the GMT K2 platform was heavily based on the older GMT 900's. The cab was redesigned, new engines, etc. But the suspension, chassis, etc were mostly carryover. It's doing pretty well against two completely new trucks.

Anyone running 87 octane in the 5.3L or 6.2L Gen V GM V8 shouldn't own one. They are 11 to 11.5:1 compression and will gain in power and fuel mileage with better fuel. People will spend 50k+ for a vehicle and then be concerned about an extra 20-30 cents per gallon. People are so damned cheap it's ridiculous. This test should have been against the 6.2L. The 5.3L is a decent engine, but the 6.2L should be sold more often and a 6.8L or 7.0L should be available for better power when getting things like groceries and stuff. Honestly I am as big of a GM fan as it gets, but I have been very happy with the FCA Ram. GM has been showing just how lazy they can get with their lack of powertrain info for the 2019's. I'm not talking about a delay to prevent others from topping them, it is simply lazy, lazy, lazy. They sure as hell aren't going to come out leading the field. To top it off the 2019 6.2L lost torque when it should have been made to produce more torque than before rather than less. I don't think I'll ever stop being a GM fan, but they certainly aren't keeping up in the numbers game.



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