Car Buyer Labs

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A white 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR2 Bison is shown from the front at an angle during a 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Ram 1500 comparison.

The Most Customizable Truck

Trucks serve many purposes, from ranching to construction to daily commuter. When you are looking to buy a new truck, you’ll have very specific needs and desires. Which truck offers the best features and the most customizability? Today, we will be looking at the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2023 Ram 1500 and seeing what the two of them offer to potential buyers.

Both trucks offer powerful engines and excellent towing and payload capacity, though the Silverado has greater towing capabilities. The big engines in the Silverado also produce greater horsepower and torque than their equivalent engines in the Ram 1500. Though functionally similar, the Silverado has an edge in several power categories, which makes it the more powerful truck option.

The Ram 1500 brings a few engines, several trim packages, and a good number of interior options to the table. While these do satisfy many drivers’ needs, the Chevy provides significantly more options. The Silverado provides many engine options, trim packages, and interior design options, making it the more customizable choice for buyers. While both are solid trucks, the Chevy Silverado shines in its ability to customize the truck to your exact needs.

Which Powertrain Reigns Supreme?

Both the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 offer a variety of powerful engines. The Silverado has more options, making it a great choice for a buyer who is on the hunt for a perfectly customized power package. There are four engine options for the Silverado: a 2.7L high output turbo I-4 making 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 making 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft, a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 offering 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft, and the legendary Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I-6 producing 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft. Even the smallest engine, the 2.7L turbo I-4, is a powerful workhorse of an engine. The Duramax offers the long term durability of diesel engines, which means you’ll be good to go for years to come, probably decades.

The Ram has a few engine options as well, but not nearly the selection of the Silverado. Ram has three engine options: a 3.6L Pentastar V6 with eTorque making 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, a 5.7L HEMI “Eagle” V8 with eTorque making 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft, and a 3.0L Ecodiesel V6 that makes 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. While these engines provide some solid power, they don’t offer the power Silverado has. The 3.6L V6’s 273 lb-ft of torque is significantly less than the 430 lb-ft of torque that the base Silverado has. Even the big HEMI falls short compared to the 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque the 6.2L V8 Silverado offers. Ram’s Ecodiesel V6 also falls short of the Duramax’s 305 horsepower and 495 lb-ft offered in the Silverado.

Transmission options are also important, since all the power of the engine means nothing if a transmission fails or underperforms. The Silverado has two transmission options, an eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2.7L turbo I-4, and a ten-speed automatic transmission with all of the other engine offerings. The Ram only offers an eight-speed automatic transmission across all engines. While an eight-speed is good, a ten-speed provides better torque and less wear and tear, making the Silverado the better choice. While both vehicles do provide some great power and customization options, the Silverado runs away with this category. With both more options and more powerful engines across the board, the Silverado is the easy choice.

A black 2023 Ram 1500 is shown from the front at an angle.

So Many Options

People use trucks for many different purposes, and have many different needs. Trim packages offer different functionality, engine options, bed size, and interior designs, enabling you to customize your truck into what you truly want and need. While we have already discussed powertrain options, we haven’t looked at the trim packages available for each truck.

The Silverado has nine trim options: the WT, Custom, Custom Trail Boss, LT, LT Trail Boss, RST, LTZ, High Country, and ZR2. The WT stands for work truck, and provides all the features you need for a truck without many added luxury features. It is a cheaper but quite functional workhorse of a truck. The Custom is essentially an upgraded WT with more available features. The Custom is one of the best values in the Silverado family. The LT and LTZ stands for luxury touring and luxury touring Z respectively. They offer more luxury features, while still being a truck first and foremost. The High Country trim package is arguably the highest luxury of any of the trim packages, boasting leather seats, premium entertainment, and some impressive tech features like SuperCruise hands-free driving. The Custom Trail Boss, LT Trail Boss, RST, and ZR2 are the off-road variants of the Silverado. Each adds off-road specific features such as improved suspension, skid plates, 4×4, locking differentials, and more. As you can see, Silverado provides numerous trim packages which fulfill many different needs.

The Ram also provides a good amount of trim packages. There are eight in total: the Tradesman, Tradesman HFE, Lone Star, Laramie, Rebel, Limited Longhorn, Limited, and the TRX. The Tradesman serves a similar purpose to the Silverado WT, providing a well-performing truck without many luxury features. The Tradesman HFE is an upgraded Tradesman, adding four-wheel drive and some other features. The Lone Star is a Texas-specific model which features Texas badging and some added luxury features. The Laramie also ups the luxury features. The Rebel brings a sportier and more futuristic design to the interior and exterior. The Limited Longhorn and Limited put luxury as the highest priority, with available leather seats and high-tech features. Finally, the TRX is the best performing off-road version of the Ram, providing many off-road features you’d want in a truck.

Both vehicles feature available leather seats, high-tech entertainment systems, and some tantalizing comfort features. Each has their own version of a premium sound system, Silverado with Bose and Ram with Harman Kardon. The available 13.4-inch infotainment screen on the Silverado is bigger than the largest available 12-inch infotainment screen on the Ram. While both vehicles have many trim package options, the Silverado has more customization options than the Ram, making it a better choice if you’re after a truly custom vehicle.

The interior of a 2023 Chevy Silverado High Country is shown from above the center console.

The Silverado Is the Clear Choice for Custom Options

If you’re looking for a highly customized truck which performs at a high level, the Silverado is going to be the better choice for you. Chevy provides more options, better engines, more transmissions, and better interior choices than the Ram. While the Ram is a well designed truck, it doesn’t provide the horsepower or towing capacity that the Silverado does. Chevy’s ten-speed transmission provides some long term durability and performance improvements over their eight-speed transmission, while Ram only has the eight-speed option. From more engine options to better performance in every engine category, the Silverado takes the cake on performance.

Trucks aren’t just a powerhouse hard working vehicle, though. They can also be comfortable and high-tech. Both trucks bring some high-tech and comfort options to the table, but the Silverado brings more. From more trim options to a bigger infotainment screen and Driver Information Center, the Silverado has more customizability than the Ram. The greater number of trim options on the Silverado also gives you more options for both design and performance. Whether you are after performance options or creature comforts, the Silverado gives you more flexibility than the Ram.