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2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

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  • 2021 Ram 1500

    A grey 2021 Ram 1500 is angled left.

    Starting at

    $32,795

    2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

    A white 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is angled right.

    Starting at

    $29,300

    12Touchscreen (in)8
    19 Harman KardonAudio speaker (in)7 Bose
    305-702Horsepower (hp)285-420

    Deciding which full-size pickup belongs in your driveway takes a little bit of research, a test drive, and maybe an informal poll of your friends. However, if you're deciding between the 2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, it's time to get down to brass tacks. Considerations run the gamut, from raw capability to creature comforts, so you'll want to ask yourself what's important.

    Traditional truck buyers are often laser-focused on the basics: towing capacity, payload, and bed size are high on the list. They're looking for a rig that will perform on the job or haul their fishing boat on weekend road trips. These functions are important, and they're why manufacturers continuously work on increasing power and durability.

    But what about buyers seeking a little luxury? In the past, luxury buyers weren't spending much time test driving pickup trucks, but today's full-size trucks are anything but typical. Featuring oversized infotainment touchscreens and supple leather seating, the premium features found on high-end truck trims are plentiful, making the pickup the newest luxury transportation option.

    If your wishlist includes some creature comforts, don't discount the truck segment. All that utility and capability is possible without sacrificing premium features. Which of these trucks – the Ram or the Silverado – has the goods?

  • Luxury

    A blue 2021 Ram 1500 is shown from the side parked in a city after winning a 2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 comparison.

    Most truck reviews are focused on capability. It's important, but for a growing number of shoppers, interior comfort, convenience, and luxury features are moving up the priority list. If you're shopping for a pickup that doesn't compromise on aesthetics and premium equipment, you're probably going to want a Ram 1500.

    One look at the Ram 1500 Limited trim reveals the grit of a durable rig enveloped in plush high-end finishes that invite long road trips and date nights. On the outside, it features LED headlights and a special mesh grille. The Ram's signature styling and scooped hood distinguish it from other boxy trucks, like the Silverado 1500.

    Slide inside the roomy cabin and discover available leather seating, real wood trim accenting, and Ram's now-iconic 12-inch infotainment touchscreen with embedded navigation. Add the optional 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system with 900 watts of output, and the interior transforms into a concert hall.

    How Can Chevy Compare?

    The Silverado works hard to deliver equal levels of luxury, but even the top-of-the-line High Country trim doesn't come close to the Ram 1500's refined interior. First off, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen is the best you're going to get in the Silverado. That is a massive size difference and one you'll notice quickly in a side-by-side comparison. The Ram's portrait-mounted touchscreen offers more functionality and better ergonomics. Also, a 7-speaker Bose audio system is the best available entertainment option in the Chevy, which pales in comparison to the Ram's premium 19-speaker setup.

    The high-end trims in both trucks include leather seating surfaces, but it's hard not to notice that the Silverado's cabin seems to include cheaper finishes, even in the top trims. Car and Driver remarked that the Silverado's interior is "diminished by cheap plastics" - a sentiment many critics share. When it comes to the Ram 1500, reviewers have said it "easily exceeds even the fanciest versions of the Chevy Silverado 1500."

  • Trailering

    A grey 2021 Ram 1500 is shown from the side parked in the desert.

    The Ram 1500 and Silverado 1500 are relatively equal when comparing safety features and the all-important trailering technology, an area where manufacturers continue to innovate and improve. The idea is to make trailering, including hook-up, effortless. Beyond that, these advanced technologies are designed for safer and more efficient hauling.

    Ram is Ready to Tow

    The Ram 1500 is available with a unique multi-function tailgate designed with swing-out 60/40 split doors that can also fold down in the traditional manner. The tailgate even supports up to 2,000 pounds, making it a great work surface. What does this have to do with trailering? The swing-out doors make accessing the bed a lot easier, especially when a trailer is hooked up.

    Tapping into the Ram's max towing capacity of 12,750 pounds is easy with multiple towing support systems. These include Trailer Reverse Steering Control, which features a dedicated steering knob just for the trailer. It's located on the dash and allows you to control the trailer while in reverse, and simultaneously displays video on the touchscreen via the backup camera.

    Other Ram trailering systems include Trailer Sway Control and a set of Power-Fold Tow Mirrors. Coupled with the available 360-degree Surround View Camera, they afford unobstructed views of the trailer at all times. You can even add Trailer Camera Wiring and mount auxiliary cameras on your trailer to send a direct video feed to the cabin touchscreen.

    Chevy Trailering Features

    The Chevy Silverado also boasts advanced trailering technology, including its own camera system with up to 15 different views and an Advanced Trailering System, an app-based program that can help drivers create a trailer profile and keep an eye on tire pressure and trailer lights. It's helpful, but some of the gimmicky features detract from its usefulness. Most drivers won't use the pre-departure checklist, for example.

    Both trucks feature the same basic safety-related trailering support equipment, including Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist, but overall, the Ram steps it up with everything you need and nothing you don't, along with its nifty and category-exclusive swing-out door tailgate. While the Silverado will get the job done, the Ram is the clear choice for trailering in safety, comfort, and style.

  • Performance

    The black interior of a 2021 Ram 1500 shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    Options are important in a full-size pickup truck lineup because there are different buyers seeking different kinds of characteristics. Believe it or not, the performance truck segment is growing almost as fast as the luxury truck segment, and this is where our comparison gets a lot more interesting: enter the TRX.

    Tear Up the Street

    For 2021, Ram introduces the 702-horsepower Ram 1500 TRX, a supercharged street beast designed for ultimate power and performance. Dubbed the "most powerful production street-legal half-ton pickup ever built," the Ram TRX easily (super)charges past anything in Chevy's lineup. Can you search for aftermarket add-ons and create something similar with the Silverado? Sure, given enough time and money, anything is possible - but if you want a factory warranty, then Ram is the only option.

    The best Chevy can offer with the Silverado 1500 is 420 horsepower from the available 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8. Choosing that engine will also get you 460 lb-ft of torque, narrowly edging out Ram's second-best engine option - the mighty 5.7-liter HEMI V8. However, in addition to its 702 horses, the Ram 1500 TRX's supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 produces a beastly 650 lb-ft of torque and propels the truck from 0-60 in a scant 4.5 seconds. It may sound like overkill, but for truck buyers looking to maximize performance, it's just right. The exclusive Launch Control system featured in the TRX also monitors RPM and wheel slip to always deliver the fastest acceleration possible given the road conditions.

    Off-Road Performance

    Don't let all that speed fool you, though. The TRX is also optimized for off-loading. It offers 11.8 inches of ground clearance and maneuverability that rivals even the most capable trail-ready off-road trucks. With 35-inch all-terrain tires and Bilstein Blackhawk shocks, this Ram can take you anywhere. Chevy also tailors some of its trims and packages to off-roading, but are they equally impressive?

    The 2021 Silverado 1500 Trail Boss trim equipped with Chevy's legendary Z71 Off-Road Package doesn't even come close, offering only a 2-inch factory lift and an off-road suspension with monotube shocks. The included skid plates to protect undercarriage components and automatic locking differential to increase traction also help, but overall the Trail Boss can only compete with the Ram 1500 Rebel. It's great for the more casual off-roader, but when the going gets tough, the Ram TRX will leave the Silverado in its dust.

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