2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

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  • 2021 Ram 1500

    A grey 2021 Ram 1500 Laramie is angled left.

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    2021 Chevy Silverado 1500

    A grey 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT is angled right.

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    260-702Horsepower (hp)277-420
    269-650Torque (lb-ft)305-460
    2,300Max Payload (lbs)2,280

    If you are looking to buy a full-size truck, you’ve probably got more options to consider than you can imagine. Full-size pickups are the most crowded field of truck models, with more makes, models, configurations, and trims than any other model type. That is good news for you since it means you won’t have any problem finding a full-size truck that is ideal for you. Two of the best on the market today are the 2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. These two trucks come from brands with long legacies of truck building and represent versatility and dependability for you regardless of which one you choose.

    In looking at the two, you can see that both offer a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, as well as specialized models for off-roading with equipment like skid plates and locking differentials. In addition, the 2021 Ram 1500 and the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 are two of the most recognized full-size pickup trucks, with both getting a great number of awards and accolades. For example, the 2021 Ram 1500 has been named the Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Best Truck Brand by U.S. News.

    Maybe most importantly, it has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”). This means that the Ram 1500 outperformed other trucks in its vehicle class in the IIHS crash tests. Similarly, Kelley Blue Book placed both the 2021 Ram 1500 and 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 on its Best Trucks for 2021 list. But beyond this, there are some real differences between these two trucks that should lead you to consider a 2021 Ram 1500 as your next truck.

  • Trims

    A silver 2021 Ram 1500 Night Edition is shown from the side parked on dirt.

    Both of the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500 come with a great many different trims and special editions, making it easy to find a model that has all the equipment and specifications you desire, often without having to pay extra for aftermarket gear. The Silverado has slightly more choices with eight trims and six special editions to choose from when compared to the nine trims and three special editions on the Ram 1500. However, two special editions of the 2021 Silverado 1500 are only sold in Texas, making them generally unavailable to drivers outside that State.

    In addition, two of the trims on the Silverado 1500 are models with additional off-road equipment added, the Custom Trail Boss and the LT Trail Boss. These are slight modifications of the Silverado 1500 Custom and LT models. As a result, you actually have about the same number of options whether you choose to buy a Ram 1500 or Chevy Silverado 1500.

    Base MSRP and Build

    The base MSRP on the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is $29,300.* However, this is a little misleading since this is for a Chevy Silverado 1500 WT with a Regular Cab. This is a two-door model with a single row of seats. The 2021 Ram 1500 only comes in either a Quad Cab or Crew Cab, both of which have four doors and two rows of seats, with the Crew Cab having a slightly larger interior. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 also has these two configurations, although Chevy calls the comparable model to the Quad Cab a “Double Cab.”

    When you compare a base model 2021 Ram 1500 Tradesman with rear-wheel drive and a Quad Cab to a 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT with rear-wheel drive and a Double Cab, you see that the pricing actually favors the Ram truck. This 2021 Ram 1500 has an MSRP of $32,795, less than the MSRP of $34,895 on the comparable 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 model.*

  • Performance

    The HUD is shown with a person driving a 2021 Ram 1500.

    The performance of a full-size truck will depend on many factors, with its choice of powertrain being the most significant. This will affect such matters as fuel economy, towing capacity, and maximum payload. The choice of drivetrain, cab configuration, and even trim level selected will play a role as trucks with greater weight in the rear will be able to tow heavier trailers and carry more stuff in the payload.

    Engine Options

    The 2021 Ram 1500 and 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 each come with a significant number of engine options. There are, in fact, five engines to choose from on the Ram 1500, while the Silverado 1500 gives drivers six different engine choices. There is one engine type on the Silverado 1500 that does not have a counterpart on the Ram 1500, a 2.7-liter Turbo I-4. The Turbo I-4 gives improved fuel economy on the Silverado 1500 at the cost of towing and payload capacity. For purposes of this comparison, we will focus on the five engines that are similar between these two trucks.

    The V6s

    The base engine on the 2021 Ram 1500 is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque. This engine can produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. In comparison, Chevy has a larger six-cylinder engine on its base models of the 2021 Silverado 1500, a 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6. This produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, so the horsepower is less than that of the Ram, but the torque is greater. This will mean that you should find better acceleration on the Ram 1500 with the V6.

    The V8s

    There is also a pair of V8 gas engine options on the two trucks. You can get a 2021 Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that can also feature the eTorque system. This engine produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, regardless of whether you choose it with eTorque. Similarly, Chevy offers the 2021 Silverado 1500 with a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 with either active fuel management or dynamic fuel management. In either case, this engine will produce 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, both less than the numbers on the Ram’s HEMI V8. As a result, you should get better acceleration and towing on the Ram.

    The Performance V8s

    The Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 each come with a high-performance engine V8 gas engine. The Silverado 1500’s engine is a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 that provides 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. While these are solid numbers, they just don’t compare to the performance on the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. This model features a 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V-8 gas engine with 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, which will give you much better speed and acceleration than the comparable Silverado 1500.

    The Diesels

    Finally, both automakers offer their flagship full-size truck with a diesel engine option. The 2021 Ram 1500 has an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that produces 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 also has an optional diesel engine, a 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6. This engine produces more horsepower than the one on the Ram, fully 277 horsepower, but has much less torque, only 460 pound-feet of torque. This should result in the two trucks having similar acceleration from the stop, but the Ram 1500 being able to carry more payload and tow heavier trailers.


    Ram has equipped every 2021 Ram 1500 model with an 8-speed automatic transmission. In contrast, Chevy has chosen to go with a different transmission depending on the choice of engine. For example, if you buy a Silverado 1500 with a 4.3-liter V6 engine or the 5.3-liter V8 with active fuel management, your truck will have a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Silverado 1500 with the Turbo I-4 or the 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management both come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The only engines that come standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission on the 2021 Silverado 1500 are the 6.2-liter V8 and the Turbo-Diesel I-6. If you want a 10-speed transmission on your Silverado 1500 with a 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management, you will have to pay extra.


    The 2021 Ram 1500 has a better payload capacity than the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, despite having a slightly smaller payload bed. The Ram 1500 can carry up to 2,300 pounds in its payload, as compared to the maximum 2,280 pounds on the 2021 Silverado 1500.

    When comparing comparable engines, the 2021 Ram 1500 outperforms the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 when it comes to towing. For example, when you compare the two models with the V8 engines, the Ram can tow up to 11,650 pounds, a figure that goes up to 12,750 pounds if you add the eTorque feature. The Chevy tops out at 10,900 pounds with active fuel management and 11,500 pounds with dynamic fuel management. Similarly, the diesel Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,560 pounds, compared to only 9,500 pounds on the diesel Silverado 1500. So, in most cases, the Ram can out tow the Silverado.

  • Design

    A white 2021 Ram 1500 is shown driving through the suburbs after winning the 2021 Ram 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 comparison.

    Make Sure Everyone Can Fit

    Whether you buy a 2021 Ram 1500 with a Quad Cab or a Crew Cab, you should find a spacious interior that is roomier than the comparable cab models on the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. Both cabs can seat up to 6 passengers comfortably, while only the Crew Cab on the Silverado 1500 has room for 6. The Double Cab on the Silverado 1500 only has room for 5 passengers.

    In addition, the rear seat on the Ram 1500 has more legroom than that of the Chevy Silverado 1500. On the Quad Cab, your passengers in the backseat will enjoy 35.6 inches of legroom, which increases to an incredible 45.2 inches of legroom on the Crew Cab. The Silverado 1500 only offers 35.24 inches of legroom in its Double Cab and 43.4 inches in its Crew Cab.

    What’s more, the 2021 Ram 1500 has a full 63.4 inches of hip room in the front and back, regardless of which cab you choose. Chevy only offers 61.18 inches in the front row of its Silverado 1500, which decreases to a cramped 60.24 inches in the back row of seats. In fact, Ram gives you 117 cubic feet of passenger space in the Quad Cab and a very roomy 132 cubic feet of space in the Crew Cab, allowing everyone to stretch out after a long day of work or just a day of fun in the sun.

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