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A red 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X is shown from the front at an angle.

Which Is Better: The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 or 2023 Ram 1500?

If you’re looking for a powerful, beefy, intimidating full-size truck that is ready for hard work and even harder environments, then you’re probably considering the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2023 Ram 1500. These half-ton pickups are for serious DIYers who need a truck that won’t struggle or slow down when pushed to its limits––and those limits are pretty high. When you know that you need to tow massive trailers and equipment or haul tremendous weight in your truck bed, you need a full-size truck from one of the most trusted brands in the world of pickups. Those are going to be GMC and Ram.

When you know you’ll be putting your pickup to work, even the smallest differences in capabilities matter. Exceeding your truck’s limits can impact its performance and even put its systems at risk of failure. When you know that you will be traveling over unpredictable ground and in rough environments, you need a truck that will still be going strong after all of that. That’s why it’s important to break down the performance features of these two pickups, so you can have a thorough understanding of what each one is capable of. Here’s a close look at the performance features of the 2023 GMC Sierra vs 2023 Ram 1500.

2023 GMC Sierra: Professional Grade Performance

The 2023 GMC Sierra is a beast and has four powerful engines across its trim lineup. Things start with the 2.7-liter Turbo, which kicks out 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. This base engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the next three engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. These include a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel, a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 hp, and 6.2-liter V8 boasting 420 hp. If you want to put the maximum towing capability of this truck to the test––which is 13,000 lbs––you’ll need either the Duramax or the 6.2-liter V8.

It’s also worth noting that the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 has unbeatable configuration options, offering a double cab, regular cab, and crew cab with short, standard, and long beds. There are nearly limitless ways to configure your Sierra 1500 to meet your hauling or passenger needs, which is something many drivers admire about this full-size truck. For those interested in a different type of capability––an off-roading variety––the AT4X trim is going to be your best option. It enjoys extra skid plates, gnarly off-road tires, and a factory lift. It also enjoys front and rear e-lockers to improve traction on slippery surfaces.

Inside, you’ll enjoy over 40 inches of crisp and clear driver-focused digital displays showing data about the vehicle and your performance that helps you hone your behavior behind the wheel and monitor critical components of the Sierra. Another feature that helps you monitor your truck and what you’re trailering is the advanced camera system. This system boasts up to 14 views, including a transparent trailer view that lets you see what’s happening behind what you’re trailering, a front top-down view, and a surround view. This system empowers you with detailed information about what’s happening around and behind your vehicle at all times.

The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 has a comprehensive suite of standard safety features such as Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, and IntelliBeam. Finally, one of the best features that really catches the attention of drivers who spend long hours on the road is Super Cruise. This allows for hands-free driving on compatible roads, including hands-free lane changes and trailering.

A white 2023 Ram 1500 is shown from the front at an angle during a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2023 Ram 1500 comparison.

2023 Ram 1500: A Worthy Competitor

Moving onto the 2023 Ram 1500, you’re only going to see three engine options here. These will be a 3.6-liter V6, a 5.7-liter V8, and a 3.0L EcoDiesel. Each of these will be paired with an eight-speed transmission, so you won’t find a 10-speed transmission here that you do on three of the Sierra’s engines. The towing capacity is still admirable, but the Ram 1500 tops out at 12,750 lbs, some 250 pounds less than the GMC Sierra 1500. Importantly, the Ram 1500 can only achieve its max tow rating with its V8––if you opt for the diesel, you can only tow up to 9,600 lbs.

Ram also offers an off-road model in the Rebel, which gets a lifted suspension, front and rear performance-tuned shock absorbers, and a few other off-road features. However, it falls behind the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X in every way, with less power and less ground clearance. It also lacks the front and rear locking differentials found in GMC’s off-road trim.

While the 2023 Ram 1500 has a suite of excellent driver-assist features available, available is the key word. Most of the advanced features will need to be added with optional packages, whereas they come standard in the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500. Because having extra support is especially important in vehicles this large, it is a bit of a disappointment that more driver-assist features don’t come standard in the 2023 Ram 1500. Also do note that there is no hands-free driving function here. If you make long hauls on a regular basis and need some relief, it won’t be found on the Ram 1500. Many would argue that the Ram 1500 falls short when it comes to trailering assist features, too. The camera support found in the Sierra 1500 is simply best in class.

A black 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate is shown from the front at an angle.

Stay in Command in a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500

While both of these pickups are good contenders for your hard-working full-size truck, the 2023 GMC Sierra simply outshines the 2023 Ram 1500 in the ways that count. It offers a higher max towing capacity––particularly if you need a diesel––which makes a big difference for those who tow things often. Plus, it offers advanced trailering assist features that help you stay in the know and in command of your load at all times, offering the added confidence truck drivers need.

Drivers who spend many hours on the road, especially on freeways, need some relief, and hands-free driving can provide it. The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 offers that through its Super Cruise––a hands-free driving technology that works on over 200,000 miles of compatible roads. Unfortunately, the 2023 Ram 1500 doesn’t offer this, which could be a big deterrent to long-haul drivers.

Each of these pickups has an impressive off-road model––that’s going to be the Rebel for the Ram 1500 and the ATX4 for the Sierra 1500. You’ll see raised suspensions and added protection on both of these for rough environments. However, the Sierra 1500 rises to the top again here with just a few more features that make it off-road ready. The standard driver-assist features on the Ram 1500 also leave much to be desired but are abundant in the GMC Sierra 1500.

Altogether, these many advantages are why the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is the star here. No matter what you are looking for in your next pickup truck, it is difficult to find many places where the Ram 1500 comes out on top. From raw work capability to high-tech safety features, GMC simply lives up to its professional-grade reputation.