Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A black 2022 Ram 1500 is shown towing a boat trailer out of a body of water.

Customize Your Performance to Find Your Ideal Pickup

Performance vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, but great performance depends on your point of view. To some, the fastest acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH represents the best performance, but to others, it may be a vehicle’s towing and hauling capabilities. While looking for a performance truck, you want to make sure you are looking for a truck with customizable performance options so that you get your ideal performance out of the model you choose. Whether it be in the form of trim levels, packages, accessories, or simply engine sizes, the power to select the level and type of performance you desire is key. To get you started on your journey in finding your next performer, take a look at the comparison of these two great trucks: 2022 Ram 1500 vs 2022 GMC Sierra 1500.

Engine Selection

One of the principal components of vehicle performance is the engine. What better way to find a truck with your ideal performance than finding a model with a selection of engines capable of giving you the fuel economy, acceleration, towing, and off-road capabilities you are looking for? Let us look at what the 2022 Ram 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 have to offer for engine choices for customizing performance.

The Ram truck has always looked the part with its bold appearance and broad stature but no matter how intimidating a vehicle may seem, what matters most when it comes to performance is the powertrain options, starting with the engines. For 2022, the Ram 1500 does not disappoint when it comes to its selection for its drivers. With five available engines to choose from, finding the one fit for you will be effortless.

With a 2022 Ram 1500, you can choose between mild-hybrid, gasoline, and diesel engines based on what you are looking for. With the mild-hybrid engines, you can choose from the 3.6L Pentastar V6 or the 5.7L HEMI V8, both with eTorque Mild Hybrid Technology Systems that provide you with the perfect blend of performance and efficiency. The 3.6L engine will produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, while with the 5.7L, you can expect 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

With the traditional gasoline models, you can also add the most powerful factory-installed engine in any half-ton pickup, the 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. This engine produces the Ram’s maximum 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque but is only available with the Ram 1500 TRX model. The gasoline-only version of the 5.7L HEMI V8 produces the same peak horsepower and torque as the mild-hybrid HEMI but has less low-end power. If you prefer diesel, with the available 3.0L Ecodiesel V6, you can expect 260 horsepower with a best-in-class 480 pound-feet of torque.

With the variety of engine options to choose from with the 2022 Ram 1500, the 2022 GMC Sierra may have a tougher time providing you with the performance you desire. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is available with four engine options to choose from, none of which are hybrid versions, limiting its efficiency. For gasoline-powered engines, you can choose from a 2.7L Turbo I-4 with 310 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 producing 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, or a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 offering 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The Sierra is also available with a diesel engine option, a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6 producing 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

A white 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 ATX-4 is shown parked on a trail during a 2022 Ram 1500 vs 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 competition.

Fuel Consumption

One of the many advantages of selecting a specific engine for your truck is the ability to customize its performance. If you are in the market for a pickup, it can only be assumed you are looking for versatility. When you need a versatile vehicle, you most likely need something worthy of being a daily commuter. With any travel, you will want to look at fuel consumption. At least with the variety of engines available with the Ram and Sierra, you will likely find one suitable for your commuting.

When looking at the available engine choices with the 2022 Ram 1500, from its selection of gasoline and mild-hybrid options, it is no surprise you will get the most mileage with each fill-up with the mild-hybrid 3.6L V6. You can expect to get an estimated 23 MPG combined with rear-wheel-drive models and an estimated 21 MPG combined with four-wheel-drive. As for the 2022 GMC Sierra, its most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered model, with the four-cylinder engine, only offers an estimated 20 MPG combined for two-wheel-drive and an estimated 19 MPG combined for four-wheel-drive. However, when comparing the Ram’s and Sierra’s diesel engines, they provide similar fuel-economy ratings. Both with an estimated 26 MPG combined for the rear-wheel-drive Ram and two-wheel-drive Sierra and an estimated 24 MPG combined for the four-wheel-drive models.

Acceleration and Handling Capability

Many truck enthusiasts may not judge a pickup’s performance on acceleration or handling, but when a truck’s working capabilities and fuel efficiency do not take precedence over your need for speed, then the all-powerful 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8 engine option available with the Ram is right up your alley. It offers the worst fuel economy out of all the Ram and Sierra engine options but by far the best acceleration, sprinting from 0 to 60 MPH in as little as 3.7 seconds while making the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 118 MPH. The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 comes in second, but it’s not a close second. Its quickest acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH comes in at an estimated 5.5 seconds with a 14-second quarter-mile.

When it comes to handling the power of these trucks, the Ram again takes the lead. The Sierra does handle itself well and offers a smooth and comfortable drive along the way. However, it just cannot seem to catch a break when put up against the Ram, especially when you consider the many performance features available from Ram’s lineup.

Work Capability

One of the most desirable features that sets trucks apart from other vehicles is their capability to work, providing drivers with the ability to transport heavy loads both onboard and via trailers. Therefore, it would be unacceptable if the work capabilities were not discussed while comparing the 2022 Ram 1500 vs 2022 GMC Sierra 1500. Fortunately for the Sierra, it offers impressive payload and towing capacities, finally beating the Ram.

For 2022, the Ram’s maximum payload of 2,300 pounds rises above the Sierra’s 2,240 pounds. However, the Ram’s maximum towing capacity of 12,750 pounds with its 5.7L V8 mild-hybrid engine falls short. The Sierra’s maximum towing capacity reaches up to 13,200 pounds, benefiting from a new max towing package available for its diesel engine. To top off its greater weight capacity, the GMC Sierra 1500 combines luxury with its workload capabilities by providing the working drivers premium features to take some of the load off their shoulders while they work. The available hands-free driver-assistance technology, Super Cruise, helps to safely and efficiently cruise on the road with the truck and trailer in auto-pilot, saving hardworking people like you from driver fatigue. But don’t worry because the Ram also provides state-of-the-art features to assist with trailering, like the automated Trailer Reverse Steering Control, which gives you the power to steer your truck and trailer with the turn of a knob.

A red and black 2022 Ram 1500 TRX is shown off-roading in a dusty desert area.

Off-Road Capability

When it comes to taking your truck off the pavement and pushing it to its limits off the beaten path, both the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 and the 2022 Ram 1500 have models specific for an adventurous performance on any terrain. But when you have trim-level options like Ram’s Rebel, TRX, and even Backcountry Special Edition to customize your off-road performance, it’s hard to look at any other model. For 2022, the GMC Sierra has stepped up its game for when it’s off the pavement with its off-road specific AT4X model that looks more rugged for the outdoors than its other trims but also shares many of the same features you can get with the Ram’s Backcountry off-road special edition.

With each of these off-road models, you get all-terrain tires, locking differentials, off-road-tuned shocks, and underbody protection to help you safely maneuver around any obstacle in any terrain while minimizing the chances of damage to your truck. The Sierra’s AT4X does offer some added benefits compared with the Ram’s Backcountry Edition, like a 2-inch factory-installed lift and a terrain mode that allows you to drive using a single pedal for the low-speed maneuvering needed quite frequently in extreme terrain. But even with the few added perks of the Sierra’s AT4X model, when you look at the history of the Ram 1500, we expect that even without the added perks, it will perform just the way it should, no matter what adventure it’s on.

How Do You Choose Your Next Truck?

Great performance is all about perspective, which means the first thing you need to look for when searching for your next truck is customizable performance options. As we demonstrated with these two great truck models, the 2022 Ram 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500, there are plenty of excellent performers out there. To find your ideal truck, you need to figure out what optimal performance means to you. Then you need to find a model that gives you the power of choice so you can get exactly what you want and need, no matter if it’s the best in fuel efficiency, towing capability, or acceleration. Don’t just settle with any truck for your next vehicle; find one that can perform the way you want it to.