Horsepower

Torque

Sierra 4.3 V6

285 HP

305 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 2.7 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

348 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Ram 1500 Classic 3.6 DOHC V6

305 HP

269 lbs.-ft.

Ram 1500 Classic 5.7 V8

395 HP

410 lbs.-ft.

The Sierra’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 191 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 269) than the Ram 1500 Classic’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The Sierra’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 410) than the Ram 1500 Classic’s optional 5.7 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali 6.2 V8 is faster than the Ram 1500 Classic V8:

Sierra

1500 Classic

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.4 sec

12.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.8 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.9 MPH

88.6 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali 6.2 V8 is faster than the Ram 1500 Classic 3.6:

Sierra

1500 Classic

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

7.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.4 sec

13.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.8 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.9 MPH

86.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Sierra gets better fuel mileage than the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

4x2

2.7 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

20 city/23 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

17 city/24 hwy

15 city/22 hwy

5.7 V8/Auto

5.3 V8/8-spd. Auto

17 city/23 hwy

n/a

4x4

2.7 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

19 city/22 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Sierra SLE/Elevation/SLT/AT4/Denali’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Sierra has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the GMC Sierra higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Ram 1500 Classic (3). This means the Sierra produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ram 1500 Classic every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is available on the GMC Sierra, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Ram 1500 Classic.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Sierra’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

1500 Classic

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

14.1 inches

13.8 inches

The Sierra stops much shorter than the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Sierra’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ram 1500 Classic’s optional 60 series tires.

For better load carrying, ride, handling and brake cooling the Sierra offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Ram 1500 Classic’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The GMC Sierra’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ram 1500 Classic only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Sierra has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Sierra offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Ram 1500 Classic’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sierra’s wheelbase is longer than on the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

Extended Cab Standard Bed

147.4 inches

140.5 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

147.4 inches

140.5 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

157 inches

149.4 inches

The Sierra 1500 Short Bed Denali Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Ram 1500 Classic short bed Crew Cab 4x4 pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sierra 1500 Short Bed AT4 Crew Cab executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Ram 1500 Classic short bed Crew Cab 4x4 (27.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 29.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sierra’s turning circle is tighter than the Ram 1500 Classic’s:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

Regular Cab Long Bed

44.7 feet

45.1 feet

For greater off-road capability the Sierra 1500 Short Bed Crew Cab Lifted has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Ram 1500 Classic short bed Crew Cab w/Air Suspension (10.9 vs. 10.8 inches), allowing the Sierra to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The GMC Sierra may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 450 pounds less than the Ram 1500 Classic.

Passenger Space

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The Sierra Regular Cab has 3.2 inches more front headroom, 3.5 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab.

The Sierra Double Cab has 2 inches more front headroom, 3.5 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab.

The Sierra Crew Cab has 2 inches more front headroom, 3.5 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom and 3.1 inches more rear legroom than the Ram 1500 Classic Crew Cab.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sierra Regular Cab has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab shortbed (89.1 vs. 57.5 cubic feet). The Sierra has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab longbed (89.1 vs. 74.7 cubic feet).

The Sierra Double Cab has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab shortbed (72.7 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

The Sierra Crew Cab shortbed has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Classic Crew Cab shortbed (63.9 vs. 50.3 cubic feet). The Sierra Crew Cab longbed has a much larger cargo box than the Ram 1500 Classic Crew Cab longbed (72.7 vs. 57.5 cubic feet).

The Sierra’s cargo box is larger than the Ram 1500 Classic’s in almost every dimension:

Sierra Double Cab

Sierra Regular Cab

Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab

Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab

Length (short/long)

79.4”

98.2”

76.3”

76.3”/98.3”

Max Width

71.4”

71.4”

66.4”

66.4”

Min Width

50.63”

50.62”

51”

51”

Height

22.4”

22.4”

20.1”

20.2”

A standard locking glovebox, optional locking center console and optional locking underseat storage drawer keeps your small valuables safer in the Sierra. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The GMC Sierra has a standard CornerStep, which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. A Fold-Out Bumper Step costs extra on the Ram 1500 Classic.

Payload and Towing

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The Sierra’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ram 1500 Classic’s (7400 vs. 4430 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Ram 1500 Classic Regular Cab is only 10620 pounds. The Sierra 1500 Standard Bed Double Cab 4x4 offers up to a 12100 lbs. towing capacity.

The Sierra has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

Extended Cab 1500

2030 lbs.

1880 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500

2030 lbs.

1640 lbs.

Regular Cab 1500 4x4

2140 lbs.

1583 lbs.

Extended Cab 1500 4x4

2020 lbs.

1700 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500 4x4

2010 lbs.

1510 lbs.

The Sierra has much higher optional payload capacities than the Ram 1500 Classic:

Sierra

Ram 1500 Classic

Regular Cab 1500

2240 lbs.

1880 lbs.

Extended Cab 1500

2160 lbs.

1880 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500

2140 lbs.

1820 lbs.

Regular Cab 1500 4x4

2140 lbs.

1690 lbs.

Extended Cab 1500 4x4

2140 lbs.

1700 lbs.

Crew Cab 1500 4x4

2070 lbs.

1510 lbs.

Ergonomics

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Sierra offers a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When two different drivers share the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Sierra AT4/Denali offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Sierra’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Ram 1500 Classic’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Sierra’s basic optional front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Ram 1500 Classic’s basic optional power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

On a hot day the Sierra’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote (optional feature). The driver of the Ram 1500 Classic can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Open and Start optional on the Sierra (except Base) allows you to unlock the doors, tailgate and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading cargo, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Ram 1500 Classic’s available Keyless Enter ‘n Go doesn’t unlock the tailgate.

The Sierra’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Ram 1500 Classic’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the Sierra SLT/AT4/Denali is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Ram 1500 Classic’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Sierra and the Ram 1500 Classic offer available heated front seats. The Sierra also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Ram 1500 Classic.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sierra (except Base/SLE/Elevation) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Sierra offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Sierra, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Ram 1500 Classic.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the GMC Sierra (except Base/SLE/Elevation) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Ram 1500 Classic doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

? 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/10

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sierra second among large light duty pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Ram 1500 Classic isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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