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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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A red 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500, which wins when comparing the 2020 Chevy Silverado vs 2020 Ram 1500, is parked in front of a small mountain.

Comparing Performance in the 2020 Chevy Silverado vs 2020 Ram 1500

There are two kinds of pickup trucks in today’s market: light-duty and heavy-duty. While the heavy-duty models are impressive, they are quite impractical for daily life. That’s where the light-duty pickup comes in. There are two specific models that you should take a look at if you are considering buying one. Comparing the 2020 Chevy Silverado vs 2020 Ram 1500 will make the decision-making process easier.

Both have three cab styles to choose from ad well as a trio of bed lengths. Able to carry between two and six passengers, these two trucks can be well-suited to families or construction crews. Each offers a short bed, the Ram’s is 5.7-ft and the Silverado’s is 5.8-ft. They also both have longer beds to choose from, including a 6.5-ft bed for the Silverado, and a 6.4-ft bed for the Ram. The Chevy offers an additional 8-ft bed. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the Silverado and the Ram 1500.

What Comes Under the Hood of the 2020 Silverado?

The first thing that probably comes to mind when thinking about a pickup truck is the performance. How powerful is it? Well, the answer to that question depends entirely on you. Let me explain. The new 2020 Chevy Silverado is available with five engines to choose from. So, you have more control over the capabilities of your vehicle.

The first powertrain is standard on the LT and RST models. It’s a turbocharged 2.7L engine mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission that generates 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. It also features start-stop technology, which pushes the average fuel economy up to 20 mpg combined (19 city/22 highway). The maximum towing capacity is tapped out at 7,100 pounds.

The second option is standard on the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trim levels. It’s a 4.3L V6 engine coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Together, they get up to 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Since this powertrain is a bit stronger, it can tow 7,900 pounds and gets about 18 mpg combined (16 city/21 highway).

The third option is a robust 5.3L V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be equipped with a 6 or 8-speed transmission, and it has a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. You can expect to see slighter lower fuel ratings at about 17 mpg combined (15 city/19 highway).

If you are looking for a diesel powertrain, you can opt for the 3.0L Duramax turbodiesel I6 engine. With its 10-speed automatic transmission, it performs well with up to 277 hp and a staggering 430 lb-ft of torque. Using start-stop technology, the average fuel economy is raised to 27 mpg combined (23 city/33 highway).

Finally, the largest powertrain is the 6.2L V8 engine that generates an impressive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. This one is only available on RST, LTZ, and High Country models. It features a 10-speed automatic transmission and can pull up to 13,400 pounds. The gas mileage isn’t too bad either estimated at 18 mpg combined (16 city/20 highway).

A blue 2020 Chevy Silverado is driving on a split highway.

What are the Ram’s Available Engines?

While the 2020 Ram 1500 is comparable to the Chevy Silverado, it does come up one engine short. With only four to choose from, you are a bit more limited with this truck. The standard powertrain is a 3.6L V6 engine with eTorque that generates 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission, this beast can tow up to 7,730 pounds. It also has a fuel economy set at 21 mpg combined (19 city/24 highway).

Next is a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine that makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with the same transmission, this powertrain can pull 11,610 pounds and gets about 18 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway). Like the Silverado, the Ram 1500 also has a turbodiesel option. This 3.0L V6 motor puts out 260 hp and an impressive 480 lb-ft of torque. Its towing capacity is maxed out at 12,560 pounds.

The final powertrain choice is the same 5.7L HEMI V8 engine coupled with the innovative eTorque Mild Hybrid System. What this add-on does is replace the conventional alternator with a 48-volt battery. By doing this, the average fuel economy is increased to 20 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway), and the towing capacity is bumped up to 12,750 lbs.

With all of the numbers crunched, the Silverado offers a higher towing capacity, which is useful for construction crews and folks working in agriculture.

A burgundy 2020 Ram 1500 is driving on a highway next to a field.

Breaking Down the Trims of the Silverado 1500

Slipping behind the wheel of a 2020 Silverado is an experience that you can customize to fit your needs. If you’re not sure what we mean by that, just look at the number of trim levels there is to choose from. This beast is available in eight unique trims. Each one is built with a specific type of person in mind. The base WorkTruck features vinyl upholstery and rubber flooring for easy clean-ups. It also comes standard with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System. Displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, this interface operates with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto for hands-free calling and seamless audio integration. The stereo only has two speakers, though.

The Custom model includes an updated 6-speaker stereo, and the Custom Trail Boss gets off-roading upgrades such as a 2-inch suspension lift. Then we start to get into the luxury models like the LT. This version comes with a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot to keep you connected to your favorite apps everywhere you go. Carpeted floors and cloth upholstery make the cabin a bit nicer as well.

The LT Trail Boss adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel for a touch of sophistication, and the RST model gets keyless open and start technology. For even more luxury, you should look at the LTZ trim. The cabin is draped in perforated leather upholstery, and the infotainment interface gets an updated 8-inch touchscreen and voice-recognition software. Lastly, the top-of-the-line High Country model boasts a 7-speaker Bose stereo to premium sound quality.

Breaking Down the Trims of the Ram 1500

Again the Ram 1500 comes up a bit short when compared to the Silverado. Only available in six trims, there isn’t as much customization going on here. Comparable to the Silverado Work Truck, the Ram 1500 Tradesman also includes vinyl upholstery for easy clean-ups. The infotainment interface is displayed on a smaller 5-inch touchscreen and operates with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Next is the Bighorn model. This is where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are added. The Laramie model is by far the most popular trim on the Ram 1500 trucks. It offers heated and cooled leather seats, and an updated infotainment interface.

This larger 8.4-inch touchscreen functions with a 9-speaker stereo for high-quality sound. There is also an off-roading model called the Rebel. It gets added rear parking sensors that help with hooking up a trailer or parallel street parking. For more luxury, the Longhorn model includes premium leather bucket seats with heating for comfort during the winter months. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is also heated. Finally, the premium Limited version includes voice-activated navigation and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.

As you can see, the Silverado offers more available features and a much higher towing capacity. You will find some nice luxury features on the Ram 1500, like the 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, but you are sacrificing towing and capability for entertainment.

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