Auto Show Face-Off: 2019 Ram 2500 Vs. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500; Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

By Aaron Bragman

Every truckmaker has updated their heavy-duty pickups for the new year, and they're slowly rolling out over the next few months. But we've now seen everything in the metal itself at various auto shows around the country. We got a good look at both the new 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and the 2019 Ram 2500, practically side by side, at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. And while we can't tell you much about how these two big rigs handle, tow, ride or drive just yet, we can do a show-floor showdown to see how they stacked up during initial impressions.

Related: More 2019 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Interior Niceness: Ram 2500

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2019 Ram 2500; Manufacturer image

Let's get the obvious out of the way: You've heard by now that the light-duty 2019 Ram 1500 has a class-leading interior across the board, with every trim level providing a top-notch cabin that feels worlds better than any other pickup in history. The Ram 2500 continues that trend, especially when you get to more luxurious trim levels like the Limited. Rich wood, sumptuous leather, artistic detail on the gauges and seats — all of it adds up to an astonishing level of luxury. This isn't a concern for most HD buyers — Ram's mid-level trim or work truck model is going to be used hard, get dirty and needs to be durable. But even those models feel amazing. And for the 10 percent who go for a loaded model to tow their fancy horse trailer or recreational vehicle, the top trim will be a treat.

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500; Manufacturer image

The Chevy 2500, on the other hand, is just as disappointing inside as the light-duty Silverado. And it's not just material choices that are questionable, it's design is too: Why is all the faux wood trim down below your knees, where you can't even see it? Why is there rough flashing on the interior door handle pull that feels like it could cut your hand as you run your fingers along it? The Chevrolet interiors are spacious, versatile and comfortable, but so are the Rams, and for likely the same money — Chevrolet pricing hasn't been announced yet — they add "nice" to that list.

Towing Technology: Chevrolet Silverado 2500

What the Chevy lacks in interior quality it makes up for in usability. With 90 percent of HD owners using their trucks for towing, according to Chevy, the brand sought to improve owners' experiences by upgrading the Advanced Trailering System. It can have up to 15 cameras, some on the truck, some available as an accessory, but all tied into the multimedia system display and allowing various views around, in and behind the truck. There's even a function with accessory equipment that can make it seem like the trailer has disappeared, offering a clear view of the road and traffic behind the Silverado. The Silverado includes a trailering app that allows you to record and store all kinds of data for various trailer profiles, and presents a pre-flight checklist for connecting, checking and towing a trailer. But the best feature might be the trailering information label on the Silverado's doorjamb that presents all the relevant data on your specific truck: gross vehicle weight rating, curb weight, gross combined weight rating, gross axle weight rating, maximum payload, max tongue weight and more. No more looking up specs, guessing at figures, wondering how certain factory parts affect the numbers.

This isn't to say the Ram HD doesn't have trailer towing tech of its own, as it does. Many of its new trailer towing features are safety-related. It has its own new cameras that can see down the sides of the trailer, useful for backing one up. The tire pressure monitoring system can also monitor up to six trailer tires and sends an alert when they fall below or go above a certain set pressure. As on the Silverado, there's a new remote camera option available through the Mopar accessories brand that you can mount on the back of the trailer. But the Silverado tends to integrate it all in better ways than the Ram.

Big Ol' Mirrors: Tie

Every generation of truck seems to bring bigger, blingier mirrors, and 2019 is no exception. Both trucks have optional trailering mirrors laden with all kinds of goodies. On the Silverado, they extend and retract on a four-bar-link system for smoother operation. They're bigger than the outgoing models and feature a forward-facing spotlight that angles down at 45 degrees, and is meant for illuminating job sites or campsites. Or you can upgrade further with sideview camera mirrors, downward-facing puddle lamps or rearward-facing spot lamps.

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2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500;
Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

The Ram has its own fancy mirrors, too, featuring independent power adjustment for both the upper standard and lower wide-angle mirror panels with two separate switches inside.

Bed Technology: Ram 2500

Both trucks upgrade their beds, with the Chevy including a standard fender-installed bed side step in every HD model. But if you want a fancy tailgate, that's only offered on the GMC Sierra HD, which will offer the slick MultiPro Tailgate first seen on the Sierra quarter-ton pickup. Ram has improved its bed-mounted trailer chain cleats for fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers, making them bigger and able to accommodate the largest hooks. But the RamBox still puts it over the top; yes, opting for the RamBox does eat into your total bed capacity, but the ability to have exterior locking storage with lights, drains and now a power outlet, trumps whatever space you're losing in the bed itself.

image from p.widencdn.net
2019 Ram 2500; 
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

As for how they drive, we're still a ways out from getting behind the wheel of the new 2020 Silverado 2500/3500, but stay tuned here for our First Drive of the new 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 coming soon.

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Comments

I see a brand new black Silverado high country right outside the hotel window as I sit here watching a little sportcenter

Bad@$$ looking truck. I think GM will do just fine. And here at PUTC. The GMC and Silverado performed #1 and #2.....ahead of the supposed "class leading" F150!

You can't even recite my facts correctly. GM has 3 trucks: small medium and large. Ford keeps promising to sell a compact truck called the Ranger but I still have not seen one on the street yet. GM's Colorado/Canyon models number somewhere near a half million, but Ford is MIA.

It's simple. So simple even you should be able to comprehend it.


Posted by: papajim | Mar 1, 2019 11:13:08 AM

papadim the insulter and spin doctor. When someone points out how wrong you are you change the subject and keep spinning.

I think GM will do just fine. And here at PUTC. The GMC and Silverado performed #1 and #2.....ahead of the supposed "class leading" F150!


Posted by: TNTGMC | Mar 1, 2019 11:50:40 AM

Maybe it will sell good enough to stop the market loss GM has experienced since 2015.

Maybe it will sell good enough to stop the market loss GM has experienced since 2015....Posted by: Just the truth | Mar 1, 2019

@JTT

Like shooting fish in a barrel.

GM outsells Ford and RAM every year but just like clockwork you'll find cretins like yourself who believe otherwise. Every year the same bozos will say, just wait till next year.

Keep waiting! Or, you could "just drop it" and go back to trying to live a normal life, or whatever passes for 'normal' in your world.

Cheers!

https://www.foxnews.com/auto/is-this-mule-the-new-ford-bronco

I don't normally post links, but this monstrosity deserves special treatment. C'mon all you Ford guys---go ahead and tell me this looks good.

They should fire the guys at Ford who came up with this idea. Probably the same group of guys who got in trouble with HR for having Hillary Clinton pin-ups in the locker room.

There sure are an awful lot of posts being scrubbed in the last few days. Some of them for very good reason, not so sure about the rest...

Is that really the new Bronco??? Wow, it looks horrific, at least in the camouflage. Too bad, Bronco is a great name to waste. Might have been kind of cool to do one of those retro look jobs here harkening back to the late 60's look, with the 'boss' 5.0. Oh well, opportunities lost...

If that's the new Bronco. WTF!!

Ford guys bashed GM for reviving blazer name bc it's not a 4wd drive off road machine. Truth is. The blazer hasn't been that since late 80s

The new blazer looks like a Camaro, drives like one and is a quick, efficient SUV. Has been getting great reviews. It will be my wife's next ride. In RS form too.

There sure are an awful lot of posts being scrubbed in the last few days. Some of them for very good reason, not so sure about the rest...Posted by: Texas1836 | Mar 1, 2019

There's a little transition underway at PUTC (I'm guessing).

I don't see anything like Big Brother, though.

Probably more of a little website housekeeping, cleaning out a corrupted file, that sort of thing. Sometimes you have to throw out a few minutes of data and restore the site using a backup file. Common stuff.

Maybe it will sell good enough to stop the market loss GM has experienced since 2015....Posted by: Just the truth | Mar 1, 2019
@JTT
Like shooting fish in a barrel.
GM outsells Ford and RAM every year but just like clockwork you'll find cretins like yourself who believe otherwise. Every year the same bozos will say, just wait till next year.
Keep waiting! Or, you could "just drop it" and go back to trying to live a normal life, or whatever passes for 'normal' in your world.
Cheers!

Posted by: papajim | Mar 1, 2019 1:14:33 PM

papadim are you denying the market share loss by GM?
Bet he don't answer or goes off on a tangent.

Saying that GM suffers (share loss in the trucks) is like saying that the Patriots suffer winning the Super Bowl again.

I'm not a Pats fan but they won again, and for the next year we'll have to suck it up and let them be the champs---just like GM's trucks are tops for another year.

I could have won that bet. Papadim went on a tangent.
Absolutely predictable.
Also you heard it here first market share does not matter according to papadim.

just like GM's trucks are tops for another year.
Posted by: papajim | Mar 1, 2019

Read it and weep dude

just like GM's trucks are tops for another year.
Posted by: papajim | Mar 1, 2019
Read it and weep dude

Posted by: papajim | Mar 1, 2019 9:33:19 PM that gets posted

It is hard to believe the "intelligence" that gets posted.

@Hemi
I do recognize that the Cummins is an outstanding engine, it just doesn't perform as well as the Duramax, nor does it get as good mpg's. I have already acknowledged also that the Ram has a fantastic interior. Can you acknowledge that towing performance might be important to some potential HD truck buyers out there?

Posted by: Texas1836 | Mar 1, 2019 11:14:56 AM

I agree with this. I tested both trucks before selecting the Duramax and I'm very happy with it. It just pulls so much better than the Cummins (2018). it'll be interesting to see how the new Cummins compares. Both trucks are good, just my personal preference.

@Just the truth--Papajim's remark has nothing to do with intelligence just a put down and immature remarks. Whether GM has record sales or not is not a reason to buy a particular brand of truck.. Grade school remarks from someone who has questionable motives.



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