2017 RAM 1500 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500



Few markets are booming quite like the full-size pickup sector, and this makes for plenty of choice for buyers in 2017. Light-duty trucks rule the roost, with the RAM 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado popular choices for their versatility. You can take your light-duty truck on the city roads of Kansas every day and when you need to, you've got all the power to haul a hefty payload too. Deciding between these work trucks isn't instantly obvious, so we'll outline some of the reasons that we think the 2017 RAM 1500 pips it at the post.

The 2017 RAM 1500 is an all-round performing truck. The coil-spring rear suspension makes for a particularly comfortable ride, but don't be fooled - it's packing a powerful V8 gas engine or V6 turbo diesel with acres of torque. There's more than ample cargo space for any need, and the interior is well appointed, attractive, and comfortable.

Perhaps where the RAM excels the most over the Silverado is in its engine. Towing capacity is better, and the V6 is tried and tested. It's particularly reliable. The V8 engine option offers even more towing potential. Pair this with the class-exclusive coil-spring suspension with optional self-leveling air suspension and you've got a truck that drives so much better than any other in its class.


We all know that price and value for money are perhaps the most important thing to all consumers when it comes to buying a new truck. One of the reasons that RAM is stealing so much market share from its competitors is the manufacturer's insistence on putting in more for your money. When you consider all of the high-end features of the RAM, you might expect that the RAM comes in more expensive than the Silverado. In fact, it's the opposite, with the stock RAM 1500 Tradesman coming in at around $26,395 and the cheapest Silverado Work Truck editions starting at the much higher $27,585.

It's not just the base models where the RAM undercuts the Silverado - it's a trend that continues throughout the range right up to the top-of-the-line models. The Chevy Silverado High Country will set you back around $54,625, whereas the better-equipped luxury RAM 1500 Limited model is a full two grand cheaper, at $52,675. Presumably, this is a conscious effort by RAM to give you more and offer better value for money.

Style and Options

With the 2017 RAM 1500, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to how you want to deck out your vehicle. There are multiple choices to be made, starting with choosing the body style that best suits you. The standard model is designed for three people, and you can choose a 6'4"-bed or an 8'-foot bed better designed for hauling large items of cargo. If you're going to be carrying people more than cargo, then the Crew Cab and the Quad Cab options fit the bill. Both of these have four doors and seat six people, with the Crew Cab option giving your rear seat passengers larger doors and more space. The Crew Cab has a 5'7" option.

Across the board, you have the option of no less than ten trim levels. These, in alphabetical order, are the Big Horn/Lone Star, Express, HFE, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, Limited, Rebel, SLT, Sport, and Tradesman. All of these look great in their own way. The Rebel and Limited stand out for their special grille that foregoes the normal RAM crosshair. The HFE has stylistic elements that are also designed to reduce wind resistance for better economy, such as the shuttered grille, tailgate back lip, and side steps. The Outdoorsman and Sport have understated cool, whereas the high-end models show their bling with chrome grilles, LED taillights, and dual exhausts.



A better price does not equate to a less powerful vehicle - the performance stats of the RAM 1500 win over the Silverado in just about every metric. Looking at the base units, you'll first see that the RAM sports an award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar 305-horsepower V6, whereas the Silverado has only a basic 285-horsepower 4.3-liter V6. The stock RAM engine drinks less juice than the Silverado's engine too.

If you're looking for an even tougher and more powerful ride, there are the engines from the higher trims in the 2017 RAM 1500 range. The 395-horsepower HEMI V8 destroys anything you can get on the Silverado, so you can be confident with this engine that you've got the best of the best.

Even better for some, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel option has no less than 420 lb-ft of torque. It's really efficient too, drinking only 8.11 liters of fuel per 100 km whereas the Silverado gasoline engine takes almost 10 liters per 100 km.

The fact that Chevrolet doesn't even offer a diesel option with the Silverado 1500, and that's the nail in the coffin for the Chevy. If you're looking for a light duty truck with the performance numbers that count, you've got to go for the RAM 1500.

Convenience Features

Light duty trucks are no longer merely work horses just designed to get the job done. We now expect even the barest trims to include a number of creature comforts, and higher trims beat many luxury cars on the wealth of features and options they have in the cabin. While both the 2017 RAM 1500 and the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado put in a good showing in this regard, there are a number of places wherein the RAM 1500 outdoes the Silverado.


For starters, both of the vehicles offer storage under the seats, but the RAM has an exclusive RamBox watertight compartment that can keep anything important safe from getting damp. Though both of the vehicles offer rear seats that fold, the RAM 1500 has the option of a flat-folding load floor.

The 2017 RAM 1500 has an option for a 115-volt power outlet that makes charging your electronics on the go a breeze. Being able to charge a laptop or a power tool on the way to a job site is a handy thing indeed.

SiriusXM is available on both models, but where the Silverado only give you three months free, the RAM 1500 gives you a one-year subscription and five years of extended Traffic and Travel Link information, which keeps you up to date on weather, traffic, gas prices, and even sports scores.

The RAM 1500's interior is excellent. Fine materials are used on low levels and high levels, with optional wood trim and leather upholstery. The comfortable seats with soft padding and support make any journey a joy. The Crew Cab versions extend this quality to the rear seats.

The RAM's Uconnect system is easy to use and allows you to access a wealth of infotainment. Choose between the 5-inch screen and the 8.4-inch screen option. The larger screen offers better reaction times and larger touch-sensitive buttons. Physical knobs and buttons are still used for the most important functions.

The RAM 1500's infotainment system works well with your smartphone, with Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. You'll be able to manipulate the functions of the car using voice control, there's keyless entry and ignition, remote start, and the pedals are power adjustable for the perfect driving position.

Storage is something that the RAM does right, with space inside and outside the cabin. Flipping the 60/40-split rear seats in the extended cab model gets you access to the fold-out floor space. On the crew cab models, you'll find storage bins under the flip-up rear seats and there's that waterproof storage option that's great for keeping a cooler in. Choose RamBox storage, and you've got a completely secure compartment in the bed.

Safety and Security

The safety of your passengers and your cargo should be paramount, and the manufacturers of both the 2017 RAM 1500 and the Chevy Silverado 1500 have taken steps to include features that keep you safe. There are airbags throughout each vehicle and antilock disk brakes on all four wheels. So, where do these vehicles differ?

The 2017 RAM 1500 includes the Uconnect Access telematics system that connects you with emergency responders at the touch of a button. There's also the RAM Sentry Key, which stops thieves from starting up your vehicle without an authorized key. And while both the Silverado and the RAM offer rear parking sensors and rearview cameras, these are available at a much lower price on the 2017 RAM 1500. The Silverado, on the other hand, requires you to choose one of the higher trim levels to even be able to order this feature.

The 2017 RAM 1500 was awarded four out of five stars in overall safety by government agencies. Side crash tests received five stars, and front crash tests received four stars. The IIHS awarded the RAM the highest possible rating for both front and side impacts, as well as protection from whiplash.

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