2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Ram 1500

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  • 2022 GMC Sierra 1500

    A black 2022 GMC SIerra 1500 SLE is angled left.

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    2022 Ram 1500

    A black 2022 Ram 1500 Laramie is angled right.

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    277-420Horsepower (hp)260-395
    13,200Max Towing Capacity (lbs)12,750
    13.4Max Touchscreen (in)12

    As the popularity of full-size pickups continues to explode in the U.S., manufacturers are answering the call, building ever more capable trucks with impressive performance specifications. Sure, capability is key, but another trend is emerging alongside all the focus on brawn: luxury. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Ram 1500 perfectly illustrates the newest battle for high-end luxury buyers. Both the GMC Sierra 1500 and the Ram 1500 feature upscale trims designed to attract buyers who might otherwise choose a premium SUV. This new crop of pickup truck enthusiasts aren’t interested in compromising on plush interior appointments or premium infotainment, but they’re intrigued by the utility of a pickup, as well as its unique capabilities, such as towing more weight.

    The GMC Sierra 1500 or the Ram 1500 can easily substitute for a more mainstream luxury SUV. In fact, owning a pickup truck pays dividends for just about anyone because there are so many real-life situations where a cargo bed comes in very handy. Whether it’s moving your kid to her college dorm or hauling yard waste to the landfill, nothing beats the simplicity of throwing everything in the back of a truck. Traditional truck owners are probably shaking their heads, wondering why it took this new crop of buyers so long to discover the many benefits of pickup truck ownership, but manufacturers like GMC are wasting no time building models with premium finishes and features that will seal the deal for these new buyers and send the large SUV to the back of the line.

  • Trims

    A dark grey 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is shown driving over a bridge.

    High-End Luxury Trims: The Sierra 1500 Denali

    One of the most well-known trims in the luxury full-size pickup truck category is Denali. GMC’s premier Sierra 1500 trim sets the standard for luxury, and that’s especially true for the 2022 model year. GMC launched the new Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate, a stylized, premium twist on the already luxurious Denali. High-end features include authentic pored wood accenting and leather seating surfaces with 16-way power adjustable front seats that have heat, ventilation, and even massage settings.

    GMC describes the Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate as the most “advanced” and “luxurious” pickup truck in its class, but we think that’s an understatement. Consider the Denali Ultimate’s long list of premium features, including leather-wrapped door panels, stainless steel speaker covers, a microsuede headliner, and artful etched depictions of Mount Denali sprinkled throughout the cabin.

    High-End Luxury Trims: The Ram 1500 Limited

    Ram answers with a premium truck of its own, the 1500 Limited, a top-of-the-line full-size alternative to GMC’s Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate. Also boasting that it’s the most luxurious truck in its class, Ram supplies the 1500 Limited with similar upscale appointments, such as leather seating and wood trim accenting, but it falls short in a number of key areas.

    How Do They Compare?

    First, the Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate comes standard with a 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. The Ram 1500 Limited features a smaller 12-inch display. A 10-speaker audio system is standard on the Ram, while GMC outfits the Sierra with a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with surround sound and AudioPilot Noise Compensation, a technology that automatically adjusts music settings in response to ambient cabin noise levels. Both trucks offer an available head-up display, but GMC’s is the largest, at 15 inches. Also, the Denali Ultimate features a massive 12.3-inch digital driver information display with four settings – Classic, Progressive, Digital, and Clean – for drivers to choose from. Meanwhile, the head-up display is full color and features multiple page views.

  • Performance

    A black 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 is shown off-roading after winning a 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Ram 1500 comparison.

    What Is the Real Potential of These Trucks?

    Once upon a time, the Ram 1500 owned the top spot for key performance and capability specs like horsepower and towing capacity. Not anymore, thanks to GMC’s updated Sierra 1500. For starters, the Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,750 pounds while the Sierra 1500 tops that, with a max towing capability of 13,200 pounds. Ask any RV or boat owner and they’ll tell you every additional pound matters.

    As for performance, both the Ram and GMC full-size truck lineups feature an array of standard and available engine options. GMC has four, and they include:

    • A 310 horsepower 2.7-liter Turbo High-Output motor that delivers up to 420 lb-ft of torque
    • A 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque
    • A 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo Diesel that outputs a best-in-class 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque
    • A powerhouse 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque

    The Ram 1500’s four engine offerings include:

    • A 5.7-liter V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque
    • A 5.7-liter V8 with eTorque with 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque
    • A 305 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 with 269 lb-ft of torque
    • A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque

    The Ram falls short on output in a few key comparisons. First, there’s a big gap in torque range when comparing base engines for both trucks. GMC’s entry 2.7-liter hits the 420 lb-ft max torque mark, while Ram’s base V6 sputters out at a paltry 269 lb-ft of max torque. That’s no small difference.

    Also, diesel buyers will want to carefully consider the horsepower difference between Ram’s EcoDiesel and GMC’s Duramax. The EcoDiesel generates 260 horsepower, and the Duramax tops that, reaching 277 max horsepower. It may seem like a small difference, but during everyday driving, even a seemingly small difference matters.

  • Technology

    A graphite 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is shown from the side against a rock formation.

    What Interesting Technology Does GMC Have to Offer?

    For luxury full-size truck buyers, nothing beats a leather-laden cabin and a dash loaded with the latest technology. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 equips its high-end Denali Ultimate trim with an assortment of high-tech goodies and plush accommodations designed to optimize comfort and driving entertainment. But what about safety features?

    The Denali Ultimate features Super Cruise, a hands-free cruise control system that transforms mundane highway road trips into fun adventures. Say goodbye to the drudgery of maintaining highway speeds and keeping your truck in the center of the lane – Super Cruise will do it for you! There are over 200,000 miles of connected highways (and counting). Also, Super Cruise works while trailering and can even perform a safe lane change for you.

    Super Cruise is exclusive to the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali and Denali Ultimate trims. The Ram simply doesn’t offer anything close. On the 2022 Ram 1500 Limited, you’ll find a handful of driver-assist safety systems, including Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Park Assist, and Hill Start Assist. Adaptive Cruise Control is also available. Unfortunately, driver-assist technology is not standard across the entire Ram 1500 lineup.

    In addition to Super Cruise, the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate includes GMC Pro Safety, a suite of six driver-assist technologies. In fact, unlike Ram, GMC includes Pro Safety as standard on every Sierra 1500, not just the high-end trims. The suite includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic High Beams, Following Distance Indicator, Front Pedestrian Braking, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.

    GMC earns bragging rights for the most trailering assistance technologies in the full-size pickup category. These include 14 available camera views and GCW Alert, a weight monitoring system that informs the driver when tow weights exceed safe guidelines. Another innovative feature is Transparent Trailer, a camera view that allows drivers to “see through” the trailer and observe oncoming traffic and the vehicle behind the trailer.

    What Interesting Technology Does Ram Have to Offer?

    Ram offers multiple camera views on the 1500, but there are fewer than 14 of them. The Surround View Camera offers a bird’s eye view of the truck and can help with trailer hook-up, but features like Transparent Trailer and GCW Alert aren’t offered. The Ram’s driver-assist technology does expand to include a trailer, though. For example, Blind Spot Monitoring will expand to include the length of the trailer.

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