2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD vs. 2020 Ram 2500HD: Compare heavy-duty trucks

September 13, 2019
2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Pickup trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in America for a long time, but heavy-duty trucks are king of the hill. They can tow more than 35,000 pounds, carry more than 7,000 pounds, and the redesigned 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 HD and 2020 Ram 2500/3500HD have the kind of creature comforts and safety conveniences to be fit for a king, too. 

But which of these recently redesigned heavy-duty trucks is better?

Our editors have driven both and our ratings at The Car Connection are about as close as the 35,500-pound towing capacity in the Silverado and 35,100-pound towing capacity in the Ram: The 2020 Silverado HD has a 6.8 overall score and the 2020 Ram HD has a 6.5 overall score. Without safety ratings or fuel economy numbers (heavy-duty trucks don’t have to be tested for either under federal guidelines), the differences between these heavy hitters are even narrower. 

Generally speaking, the Silverado HD is larger and the Ram HD is more sophisticated. Here’s a closer look.

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

The Ram Heavy Duty is more personable on the outside with the six trims having distinct personalities, from the workmanlike plastic-and-steel trimmed Tradesman to the executive chrome-heavy Limited model. The off-road conquerer Power Wagon shares elements of the Rebel 1500 with its big grille and body cladding. 

It’s hard to get past the big and bold vertical grille of the Silverado Heavy Duty. But that locomotive look with stacked headlights and either honeycomb or slotted grille expresses the overall bigness intended with the Silverado HD. It’s longer and wider with more rear leg room in crew cab models and the most voluminous bed in the class. 

When it comes to the interior, however, the Ram far outclasses the Silverado, much like it does with the 1500s. 

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

2019 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty

When it comes to power, the most powerful powertrains are more similar than they are different. 

Standard on the Ram is a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed transmission. That and cylinder deactivation should make it more efficient than the Silverado’s 6.6-liter V-8 that makes 401 hp and 464 lb-ft of torque with the 6-speed transmission.

On the diesel side of things, the Ram offers two tunes for its Cummins 6.7-liter turbodiesel inline-6 engine paired to a  6-speed transmission; the lesser one makes 850 lb-ft of torque and the upgraded diesel makes 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

That tops the only other engine offered in the Silverado, which is a 6.6-liter turbodiesel V-8 with Allison 10-speed transmission making 910 lb-ft of torque. The heaviest of heavies can tow more than 35,000 pounds in certain configurations, but both the Ram and Silverado would require a commercial driver’s license to haul such loads. 

The Ram HD lineup comes in three cab configurations with two bed lengths, while the Silverado has a third cab configuration for fleets only. The long bed is 8 feet in either, while the standard bed is almost half a foot longer in the Silverado over the Ram.

The Ram crew cab is plenty spacious, but the Silverado crew cab has more room in the cab and the bed. Ram offers a huge Mega Cab but only with the 6-foot-4 box. The Silverado bed also has innovative corner steps and side steps to easily access items in the deepest part of the bed near the cab. Even though it’s a tad shorter, the Silverado’s long bed is 5 inches wider and has nearly 9 cubic feet more of cargo volume. 

 

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

 

While the Silverado’s bed clearly beats the Ram, the interior features of the Ram equally beat the Silverado. The base trims are equally basic, but the volume and top trims are far more refined, with an optional 12.0-inch screen in the Ram Limited making the Silverado’s best 8.0-inch screen in High Country trim look silly. There are more standard features at the top level in the Ram heavy-duty trucks, and the seats are luxury-make comfortable.

But the Ram will cost you more, too, except at the base level, where the Tradesman is about $2,000 less than the Silverado Work Truck. Comparing the 4x4 gas crew cab with an 8-foot box at similar trim levels leads to an upcharge of about $5,000 more for the Ram Laramie over the Silverado LT, for example, and that margin is about the same for the range-topping Ram Limited over the Silverado High Country. 

At nearly $70,000, the difference might seem negligible, but then there are all those options packages. You’ll pay a bit more for the Ram, but you also get a bit more in terms of tech, comfort, and convenience. But the Silverado has the edge where it matters most: function.



Summary

6.8
Expert Rating
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD has made heavy-duty work easier, even if the bold design isn’t easy on the eyes.
6.5
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty reset the bar for HD pickup trucks with plenty of power, capability, and luxury.

Styling

5.0
Expert Rating
The exterior stands out as big and bold, as intended, but the Silverado 2500’s interior is just plain bland.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty blend muscle and class.
Read More

Performance

8.0
Expert Rating
Capable, comfortable, even quick at times, the Silverado 2500 HD balances the demands of the load while still providing comfort on the road.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty are all about power, from the 1,000 lb-ft diesel engine to the Power Wagon trail basher.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

9.0
Expert Rating
Size, space, and comfortable capability define what the new heavy duty is all about.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty are plenty spacious, comfortable, and filled with storage options inside and out.
Read More

Safety

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD lacks an official safety rating.
Read More
The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup isn’t rated for crashworthiness but does offer optional active safety tech.
Read More

Features

5.0
Expert Rating
There are as many available features as vehicle configurations, but there should be more standard equipment as the trim levels escalate.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty Lineup ranges from rugged work trucks to those ready for a night at the Opry.
Read More

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD lacks official fuel economy numbers.
Read More
The 2020 Ram Heavy Duty lineup is not rated for fuel economy.
Read More

MSRP

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Invoice

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Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

NA

Engine

Gas V8, 6.6L

Drivetrain

Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
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