Competition between truck manufacturers and their models – and the people who buy/drive them – is fierce; it has been for years and there are no signs of stopping. Every truck is marketed as the best in class for one thing or another, often with very specific definitions of what it is the best at. That’s all great for advertising, but sometimes it can help to look at two specific vehicles and compare them, like the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 Ram 1500 to see how they stack up.
Now, right off the bat, both of these are excellent full-size trucks that work as light-duty models. Neither of them is designed to haul 20,000 lbs. behind them or anything like that, so keep that in mind. When comparing them point by point, however, there are some key ways in which the GMC Sierra 1500 beats the Ram 1500.
You can get an engine with more horsepower and torque in the GMC Sierra compared to the Ram 1500, for example. There are also a number of interior and technology features that are better in the Sierra, even when you look at the best models overall. And even though these are both very safe vehicles, the Sierra even has a few features you won’t find with the Ram 1500.
#1 – More Engines
When it comes to features, parts, and configurations of a vehicle, I like options. For me, more options are usually better – simply because it means there is more likely going to be something for everyone. Personally, it also means it’s more likely that I will find something I want – so having more engines to choose from when picking a light-duty truck is important.
The 2019 Ram 1500 has only three engines to choose from, but two of them are the same with a slight difference, so really there are two engines. There is a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine to start off with, which is very good, but Ram can do better. They do, in fact, do better by offering a far more powerful second engine, which is a 5.7L HEMI V8 that is the much better choice if you are looking for pure power and performance.
On the other hand, however, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 has five different engines to choose from, though to be fair two of them are the same with a slight difference, so really there are four engines. The starter is a 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine, and then there is an available 2.7L Turbo engine that provides quite a bit more power and overall performance.
From there you can step up to a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine, which is also available with dynamic fuel management (that’s the fifth engine, which offers the same performance in terms of power). Finally, there is an available 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine that gives you the pinnacle of power and performance from GMC. So, as you can see, there are twice as many engines available on the GMC Sierra 1500 – so the chances of there being a best choice for just about anyone are much greater than with a Ram 1500.
#2 – More Power
But, you might ask yourself, do these choices really matter? If there are more options just to get less power overall, then that’s not really much choice. So, let’s take a look at how these different engines compare in terms of horsepower and torque (spoiler alert: GMC wins!).
The 3.6L Pentastar V6 in the 2019 Ram 1500 offers up to 305hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque, which is pretty good, but there is better available. That’s because the 5.7L HEMI V8 offers up to 395hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque for much more power and far better performance. So there are only two engines to choose from, but they are admittedly pretty good.
Now let’s see how the options from GMC stack up. The starting 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 offers up to 285hp and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. From there, the 2.7L Turbo gives you up to 310hp and 348 lb.-ft. of torque, and the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 provides up to 355hp and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. So far we’re doing better than the standard Ram engine, but still not beating the HEMI.
But don’t forget, GMC has a fourth option: a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine that provides up to 420hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. There it is. More horsepower and more torque than the Ram 1500’s best engine – and by a pretty significant margin. No matter how you want to describe it, that’s more power packed into the 2019 GMC Sierra.
#3 – Interior Features
There are a number of interior features you can get in the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 that beat what’s available in the Ram 1500. Many of these depend on the trim level you look at, however, so keep that in mind. We’ll look at GMC’s best truck, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali, compared to the best non-limited Ram 1500, the Laramie.
The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali features an Infotainment system with an 8-inch screen and Navigation, a 7-speaker Bose premium sound system, and HD radio. There are numerous USB ports for charging and streaming audio, as well as a wireless charging pad. The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali also includes 10-way adjustable power seats for the driver and front passenger, an 8-inch driver information display, and an in-vehicle trailering app for towing.
By comparison, the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie features an Infotainment system with an 8-inch screen, 9-speaker sound system, and available Navigation, but HD radio is optional. There are also numerous USB ports in the Ram 1500, but a wireless charging pad is also optional, and the driver information screen is only 7 inches. The driver and front passenger seats are 8-way power adjustable, which also falls short of what the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali has to offer.
#4 – Safety Options
To be fair, these are both safe trucks with a lot of good safety features, but the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 just has a couple more things to offer. For example, both of these trucks have electronic stability control, traction control, and numerous airbags. The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali also includes hitch guidance with a hitch view to help when towing something, an HD rear vision camera and both front and rear parking assist.
One of the nicest safety features of the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is a safety alert seat. Most of the safety features on these kinds of trucks that include alerts use audio signals to warn you of something. The Denali’s safety alert seat, however, uses vibrations to alert you to an issue, so you don’t have to rely on hearing an alarm sound. The GMC Sierra 1500 also includes a teen driver system that lets you use certain settings to help encourage safe behavior for new drivers.
At the end of the day, they’re both good trucks, but there are just some important areas where the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 beats out the Ram 1500. Since these areas include things like the number of engines, and how powerful they are, these are important factors to consider when choosing between the two of them. But only you can decide which one is the right truck for you.