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2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD vs 2022 Ram 3500

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  • 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD

    A blue 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD is angled left.

    Starting at

    $40,400[a]

    2022 Ram 3500

    A white 2022 Ram 3500 is angled right.

    Starting at

    $42,600

    401-445Horsepower (hp)370-420
    83.5Cargo Space (cu.ft.)74.7
    44.53Legroom (in)40.9

    Two of the best heavy-duty trucks on the market are the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD vs 2022 Ram 3500, with each representing a legacy of truck building that stands above all the pretenders that seem to fill the ranks each year. That is because these are two of the longest-running heavy-duty truck models, the Sierra 3500 HD first appearing in 1992 and the Ram 3500 going all the way back to 1981. Today, both models are in their fifth generation, with the most recent major modification occurring in 2019. The reason why both automakers have been focusing on incremental modifications in place of generational changes is because these two heavy-duty trucks already provide the kind of performance you’d need and expect in a pickup of this size.

    Both the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD and 2022 Ram 3500 come tricked out with the latest technology. The Sierra 3500 HD sports the GMC Infotainment System with a 7-inch color touchscreen, while the Ram 3500 features the Uconnect system. These will help you stay connected through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while also improving your capabilities as they each offer several trailering systems, including available hitch view cameras. Nevertheless, there are some key differences between the GMC Sierra 3500 HD and the Ram 3500 that can affect a driver’s decision when choosing between these two models.

  • Performance

    The steering wheel and dashboard of a 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD is shown in close up during a 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD vs 2022 Ram 3500 comparison.

    GMC Engine Options

    Few things can affect a truck’s performance quite like the choice of engine, and this is especially the case with a heavy-duty truck. The 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD offers drivers a choice of two different engines, while the 2022 Ram 3500 comes with three different engine options.

    The base engine on the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD is a 6.6-liter V8 engine that is capable of use with either regular gasoline or E85 FlexFuel. This traditional overhead-valve engine has a cast-iron block for maximum durability. GMC has equipped this engine with variable valve timing to improve fuel economy and direct fuel injection to boost performance. This engine is capable of 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque.

    There is also an available turbo-diesel engine on the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD. This is a 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8, which also has an overhead-valve design, with four valves per cylinder. It has a cast-iron engine block with cast aluminum cylinder heads and uses common-rail direct fuel injection, which is fairly standard for diesel engines. It can provide up to 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, showing the advantage of diesel for towing and hauling.

    Ram Engine Options

    Ram takes a similar approach to its engine options on the 2022 Ram 3500, offering a base gas engine with diesel engine options. The base engine is a 6.4-liter HEMI V8. This is constructed with a deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps and aluminum cylinder heads. The engine has a single overhead camshaft configuration and uses sequential, multiport, electronic fuel injection to provide 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. As you can see, this engine is smaller than the base one on the Sierra 3500 HD, resulting in slightly lower torque, and it needs a higher engine speed to achieve maximum horsepower output.

    There are also two additional engines on the 2022 Ram 3500, each a variation on the same diesel engine. The basic 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6 has a compacted graphite iron engine block with a cast-iron head and uses electronic high-pressure common-rail fuel injection to produce up to 370 horsepower and 850 lb-ft of torque. Each of these figures pales in comparison to the Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 available on the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD.

    The other engine is a high output version of the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel. This boosts performance to 420 horsepower and 1,075 lb-ft of torque. While this tops the torque figure on the GMC Sierra 3500 HD’s turbo diesel engine, it still can’t beat the horsepower. Moreover, Ram is asking you to pay a serious premium to get this engine in your heavy-duty truck.

    Transmissions Choices

    Both GMC and Ram have taken the same approach with their respective heavy-duty trucks, pairing each engine with a specific transmission. GMC matches the base 6.6-liter V8 on the 2022 Sierra 3500 HD with a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission. The available 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 is paired with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, which will give you maximum control over your engine’s performance.

    Conversely, Ram has chosen to use a transmission with more gear ratios on the standard gas engine in the 2022 Ram 3500 than on either of its optional diesel engines. The 6.4-liter V8 on the Ram 3500 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the two turbo-diesels feature a 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • Towing and Hauling

    A black 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD is shown towing a large trailer on an open road.

    Towing Power

    If you are looking at the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD and the 2022 Ram 3500, then you are probably looking to tow heavy trailers and carry heavy loads in your truck. Heavy-duty trucks like these are built for the toughest jobs, so you have peace of mind that you won’t have any problem getting it done.

    Like all pickup trucks, the towing capability often comes down to the choice of engine, cab design, and drivetrain, as well as special features like dual rear wheels and gooseneck trailer hitches. The engine, cab design, and drivetrain all affect gross vehicle weight and distribution. In general, trucks with a regular cab featuring a single row of seats and rear-wheel drive will provide great towing ability.

    You can see this with the GMC Sierra 3500 HD, where a regular cab model with the base 6.6-liter V8 engine and rear-wheel drive can tow up to 17,200 pounds, while the same engine on a crew cab model with four-wheel drive can only tow up to 16,530 pounds. The same holds true for diesel engines. The added torque produced by diesel engines makes them ideal for towing, and this can be seen with both trucks. The Sierra 3500 HD with the 6.6-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8, a regular cab, rear-wheel drive, and double rear wheels can tow up to 36,000 pounds. This figure drops to 31,400 pounds simply by choosing the same truck but with a crew cab configuration.

    If you want to be able to match the capability of the GMC Sierra 3500 HD with the turbo-diesel on a 2022 Ram 3500, you are going to have to buy one with the 6.7-liter High Output Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6. This is because the regular version of the 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel on the 2022 Ram 3500 tops out at just 22,660 pounds of maximum towing capability. Choosing to go with the high output version increases this figure to 37,090 pounds.

    Hauling Performance

    There are two factors to consider when looking at your heavy-duty truck’s ability to haul cargo. The first is maximum payload capacity. The second is the size of the cargo box on your truck. With respect to the first, the 2022 Ram 3500 has a slight edge over the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD. However, for the second, the Sierra 3500 HD has a strong advantage over the Ram 3500.

    The 2022 Ram 3500 with the conventional gas engine can carry up to 7,680 pounds of cargo, slightly more than the 7,442 pounds on the comparable 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD with the gas engine. Similarly, choosing the Ram 3500 with the available turbo-diesel will allow you to carry up to 6,840 pounds with the standard model and 6,570 pounds of cargo in the high output version. Both of these are a little more than the 6,523 pounds of cargo-carrying capacity on the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD with the turbo-diesel engine.

    Nevertheless, this difference is minor when compared to the space afforded in the larger bed of the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD. The standard bed on the GMC is 69.6 cubic feet, significantly more than the 57.5 cubic feet of cargo space provided by the 2022 Ram 3500’s standard bed. The same holds true if you choose to equip your truck with a long bed. The 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD can fit up to 83.5 cubic feet of cargo, compared to only 74.7 cubic feet of space in the Ram’s long bed. This will make loading your GMC Sierra 3500 HD much easier than trying to fit the same amount of cargo on a Ram 3500.

  • Interior

    The white interior of a 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD shows the two front seats.

    Cab Options

    Interior space has become a major concern for truck makers, especially as more and more drivers choose to use heavy-duty trucks for personal use as family vehicles. Both GMC and Ram offer their trucks with three different cab styles. However, it can be a little confusing since the two automakers use slightly different names for the cab styles. GMC calls the three different cab styles on the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD a regular cab, double cab, and crew cab. The regular cab has two doors and one row of seats with space for two or three passengers, depending on whether you go for a bench or bucket seats. The double cab and crew cab have four doors and two rows of seats for up to six passengers. The key difference is that the crew cab has more space in the back seat, providing increased legroom.

    Ram has chosen to go with two different names. While the 2022 Ram 3500 regular cab has two doors and one row of seats like the GMC truck, Ram opts to call the other two styles a crew cab and a mega cab. The crew cab on the Ram is actually comparable to the double cab on the GMC, while the mega cab is more like the GMC’s crew cab. Hopefully, that cures any confusion.

    More Space in the Sierra

    Regardless of which cab style you choose, you will find more headroom and legroom in the GMC Sierra 3500 HD than in the Ram 3500, which provides slightly more hip room across comparable cab styles. For example, if you want a regular cab on your heavy-duty truck, you will get 43.11 inches of headroom and 44.53 inches of legroom in the GMC Sierra 3500 HD, significantly more than the 39.8 inches of headroom and 40.9 inches of legroom in the Ram 3500. Similarly, if you choose a GMC Sierra 3500 HD with a crew cab, you will enjoy 44.53 inches of legroom, while your passengers in the rear won’t complain about 43.4 inches of legroom. Things might get a little cramped in the 2022 Ram 3500 mega cab with only 40.9 inches of legroom in the front row and 43.1 inches of legroom in the back. As a result, the 2022 GMC Sierra 3500 HD will probably make a better fit as a family vehicle, as it has a roomier interior.

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