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You’re in the market for a pick-up truck! Who isn’t? It’s the busiest segment in all of North America, and almost all companies make a good truck. Two consistent competitors in this segment are the GMC Sierra 1500 and The RAM 1500, both benefitting from some serious updates over the last few years. Both are great trucks, but what the RAM does well, the GMC does exceptionally and we want to help you make the most informed decision in your search for a pick-up.
When looking for a truck, a common belief is that your truck NEEDS a V8, at the very least a high displacement V6. Let’s break that belief by going over 2 of the best options on the market that have “undersized” truck engines. The GMC Sierra offers a stunningly powerful 2.7L engine, and the RAM offers an equally reliable 3.6L, both of which are more than capable enough to get you and your stuff where you need to go.
For the sake of comparison, we’ll take a look two of the most popular mid-trim level offerings from each team: GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation 2.7L, and the RAM 1500 Big Horn 3.6L.
Let’s take a look at some of each to see which option may work best for you!
The GMC Sierra starts with a smaller engine than most trucks are used to seeing; Sierra 1500 models offer a 2.7L Inline 4 Turbocharged High-Output engine, offering 310 HP and 430 lb-ft of torque. These combine for a maximum towing capacity of 9400 lbs, and a total payload capacity of 2150 lbs. From a 4-cylinder! On top of that, the 2.7L makes 41% more torque than the previous generation (2014-2018) 5.3L V8 and 12% more torque than the current generation (2019-Present) 5.3L EcoTec V8.
The RAM 1500 doesn’t have the same small engine, starting instead at a 3.6L V6 Pentastar® engine, which offers 305 HP, and 269 lb-ft of torque. While certainly a capable engine, the drop in power results in a maximum towing capacity of 7800, but with a payload capacity of 2325 lbs*.
Both models come in a wide array of engine options, but with inventory short for the last year and half (and for the foreseeable future) GMC and RAM are leaning more heavily into these engine models that require fewer of the ever elusive semiconductors to provide you with a new vehicle in this difficult market.
Both the Sierra and RAM offer plenty of amenities, but the Sierra offers more as standard options. The Sierra comes with a 13.4” touchscreen with Google built-in, as well as AM/FM/SiriusXM, and Bluetooth streaming. In addition, the Elevation also comes standard with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto. Sierra also bring heated front seats, power adjustable drivers seat with lumbar support, and an Automatic Multi-Zone Climate control center.
RAM Big Horn comes with less standard, though many options are available with additional add- on packaging. RAM comes standard with an 8.4 inch touchscreen with the addition of the Big Horn Level 1 Equipment Group ($1,575). A more comparable infotainment screen can be added for $2,095. This upgrade will also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, power adjustable drivers seat with lumbar support, and a universal garage-door opener. While no slouch in terms of amenities, GMC offers more value built into the trim level than the RAM.
Both the Sierra and RAM offer several bed length and cab size options as well. The RAM offers three Cab/bed configurations, while the GMC offers five options.
In addition to offering more cargo bed volume, GMC also offers the industry’s first Six-Function Multipro Tailgate offering more versatility off the tailgate, and greater ability to tailor you’re tailgate to whatever you need wherever the occasion. What the RAM lacks in configurations, it more than makes up for in passenger space. Similar to the GMC, the Crew cab is extraordinarily spacious, but unlike it’s Sierra counterpart offers an impressive array of cubby storage both inside the cabin as well as the exterior. RAM didn’t get lazy on the tailgate themselves, offering a split-folding tailgate. GMC only gets a slight edge on this front, offering greater customizability and class leading cargo volume.
Both GMC and RAM offer similar safety tech, and both have achieved a 5-star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though GMC offers more standard features.
In addition to these standard features, the Elevation trim Sierra offers an optional Sierra Safety Plus Package for added peace of mind, including:
RAM offers a similar suite on the Big Horn, including:
When fully equipped, Big Horn offers similar safety measures, at additional cost.
Both trucks offer great features in a smaller engine than the truck market is used to. While the RAM is certainly capable, and deserving of it’s popularity, the Sierra pulls ahead in many key areas. From standard safety features to overall performance, the GMC Sierra is a truck you want to give more than just a second look to. Even with a 2.7L engine, the Sierra will outperform a comparable RAM with a powertrain that should benefit from 2 extra cylinders, an notably higher displacement.
Come in to test drive and see for yourself how much you can throw at the Sierra before putting one in your driveway! We are located at 2775 Long Lake Rd, Roseville, MN! We look forward to helping you find your new Sierra!