Pecheles Automotive Compares 2013 Ram 1500 VS 2013 GMC Sierra Near Greenville, NC

Responsive image

2013 Ram 1500

Responsive image

2013 Ram 1500

Responsive image

2013 GMC Sierra

Safety Comparison

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 31 percent more Ram dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 1500’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Ram 1500 has larger alternators than the Sierra:



Standard Alternator

160 amps

145 amps

Optional Alternator

180 amps

160 amps

2nd Optional Alternator

220 amps


To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Ram 1500 has a standard 730-amp battery (800 HFE). The Sierra’s 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Ram 1500 has more powerful engines than the Sierra:



Ram 1500 3.6 DOHC V6

305 HP

269 lbs.-ft.

Ram 1500 4.7 SOHC V8

310 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

Ram 1500 5.7 V8

395 HP

407 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 4.3 V6

195 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 4.8 V8

302 HP

305 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 5.3 V8

315 HP

335 lbs.-ft.

Sierra 1500 Hybrid 6.0 V8

332 HP

367 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ram 1500 V6 is faster than the GMC Sierra 5.3 V8:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Ram 1500 gets better fuel mileage than the Sierra:

Ram 1500




18 city/25 hwy

15 city/20 hwy



17 city/25 hwy




16 city/23 hwy

14 city/18 hwy


5.7 V8/5-spd Auto

13 city/19 hwy

13 city/18 hwy

4.8 V8/Auto


12 city/18 hwy

6.2 V8/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ram 1500 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The Sierra with the 6.2 V8 engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Ram 1500’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Sierra:



Front Rotors

13.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

11.6” drums

Opt Rear Rotors


13.5 inches

The Ram 1500’s brakes have 53% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Sierra w/Max Trailer Package (566 vs. 370 square inches), so the Ram 1500 has more braking power available. The Ram 1500’s brakes have 20% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Sierra (566 vs. 473.6 square inches).

The Ram 1500’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Sierra are solid, not vented.

The Ram 1500 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Sierra. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Ram 1500 stops much shorter than the Sierra:

Ram 1500


60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

150 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Ram 1500 has larger standard tires than the Sierra (265/70R17 vs. 245/70R17).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Ram 1500 has front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Ram 1500 flat and controlled during cornering. The Sierra’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The front and rear suspension of the Ram 1500 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Sierra, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Ram 1500 has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Sierra doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Ram 1500 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Sierra doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Ram 1500’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions, which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sierra doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ram 1500’s wheelbase is longer than on the Sierra:

Ram 1500


Regular Cab Standard Bed

120.5 inches

119 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

149.4 inches


The Ram 1500 standard bed Sport Quad Cab 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Sierra 1500 SLT Crew Cab 4x4 pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Ram 1500’s turning circle is tighter than the Sierra’s:

Ram 1500


Regular Cab Standard Bed

39.5 feet

39.7 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed

45.1 feet

46.9 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed

45.1 feet

47.2 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

45.1 feet

46.9 feet

Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4

45.4 feet

47.2 feet

For greater off-road capability the Ram 1500 standard bed Crew Cab w/Air Suspension has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sierra 1500 Long Box Regular Cab (10.8 vs. 9.5 inches), allowing the Ram 1500 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Ram 1500 amounts to more than styling. The Ram 1500 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .363 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Sierra (.43). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Ram 1500 get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Ram 1500 (except Tradesman/Express) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sierra doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Ram 1500 Regular Cab has .4 inches more front hip room and .8 inches more front shoulder room than the Sierra Regular Cab.

The Ram 1500 Quad Cab has .7 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom, 1 inch more rear hip room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Extended Cab.

The Ram 1500 Crew Cab has .7 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra Crew Cab.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Ram 1500 easier. The Ram 1500 Regular Cab’s bed lift-over height is 32.2 inches, while the Sierra Regular Cab’s liftover is 34.7 inches. The Ram 1500 Quad Cab’s bed lift-over height is 32.1 inches, while the Sierra Extended Cab’s liftover is 33.8 inches. The Ram 1500 Crew Cab’s bed lift-over height is 32.1 inches, while the Sierra Crew Cab’s liftover is 32.9 inches.

The Ram 1500’s cargo box is larger than the Sierra’s in almost every dimension:

Ram 1500 Crew Cab

Ram 1500 Regular Cab

Sierra Crew Cab

Length (short/long)




Max Width




Min Width




The Ram 1500 has a standard tailgate assist feature, which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. Tailgate assist costs extra on the GMC Sierra, and isn’t available on the Sierra SL.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Ram 1500 Quad/Crew Cab’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control. The Sierra WT/SL/SLE/Hybrid’s driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

On a hot day the Ram 1500’s driver can lower the front windows using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Sierra can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Enter ‘n Go optional on the Ram 1500 Sport/Laramie/Longhorn allows the driver to unlock the doors and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The GMC Sierra doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Ram 1500 Sport/Laramie/Longhorn’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Sierra’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Ram 1500 Sport/Laramie/Longhorn detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sierra doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra offer available heated front seats. The Ram 1500 Crew/Quad Cab Laramie also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Sierra.

Both the Ram 1500 and the Sierra offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ram 1500 Quad/Crew Cab has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sierra doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Optional Uconnect Access via Mobile for the Ram 1500 (not available Tradesman/Express) allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Sierra doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Ram 1500 (except Tradesman/Express/HFE) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the dashboard, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters, which can break or get misplaced. The Sierra doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Ram 1500 is less expensive to operate than the Sierra because typical repairs cost much less on the Ram 1500 than the Sierra, including $195 less for a water pump, $606 less for an alternator, $85 less for front brake pads, $30 less for a starter, $15 less for fuel injection, $113 less for a fuel pump, $204 less for front struts, $56 less for a timing belt/chain and $291 less for a power steering pump.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.