GMC Sierra MI Auto Times Final Winner and Best Truck
MI Auto Times presents the third and final round of in-depth, cross-brand truck comparison featuring domestic and foreign pickup trucks for anyone interested in Michigan Trucks.
May the Best Truck Win: Final Round
The word “Sierra” means mountain and in the third and final round of comparisons for the MI Auto Times May the Best Truck Win series, MI Auto Times wanted to know if a ram could crush a mountain, or if the mountain would swallow up the ram.
MI Auto Times rates trucks based on the following categories, each with a possible top score of 4 stars:
Value: What are the current national promotions offered and estimated cost of ownership (including fuel, financing and maintenance).
Power: Payload, towing, horsepower, engine size, torque
Comfort: Interior, safety, and integrated user-friendly technology and entertainment features
Factory Warranty: How do the automotive manufacturers back their vehicles?
The results are in, and as the saying goes, you can’t move mountains. The GMC Sierra lives up to its sizeable name and takes the win against the Dodge Ram, and therefore, takes the entire series earning it the bragging rights of the MI Auto Times Best Truck.
Though the GMC Sierra won in all four categories, it was never by a landslide. The Dodge Ram was narrowly edged out in three categories by a half a star rating, and in one extremely challenging category, only a quarter of a star catapulted one truck into the winner position.
**Details compiled by visiting automotive manufacturer websites and viewing specifications for each model. Any error made was unintentional and through no fault of MI Auto Times, as information listed on vehicle specification web pages of auto manufacturers was taken at face value by MI Auto Times.
1Dodge Ram National offers of $3,000 cash allowance or 0 percent APR only offered on Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab models according to Dodge Ram website. MI Auto Times rated Dodge Ram model is a regular cab and ineligible.
2Maximum payload 1500 Regular Cab, Standard Box, 4.8L.
3 Dodge Ram Power Sunroof only available on Quad Cab and Crew Cab models, not regular cab used in comparison.
In the value category, the GMC Sierra earned 4 stars against the Dodge Ram’s 3 ½ stars.
As far as national incentives go, the Dodge Ram did have a $3,000 cash allowance or 0 percent APR but it was only on crew cab models, not the regular cab used in this comparison. Therefore, the only national incentive useable for the Dodge Ram was $1,000 GMAC bonus cash on all models up against the $5,000 cash back offer of the GMC Sierra 1500, which puts $4,000 more dollars into GMC Sierra customers’ pockets.
When the national incentives are applied to each respective truck’s MSRP, the GMC Sierra comes out as the winner for estimated total cost by $2,410 less than the Dodge Ram, even though the Dodge Ram started out with a lower MSRP.
Both the GMC Sierra and the Dodge Ram get 14 city/19 highway mpg, and both are flex fuel compatible, but customers can only find a hybrid version under the GMC nameplate.
The GMC Sierra also has the capability to save drivers money over the long-term because of its included On-Star vehicle diagnostics which MI Auto Times discusses On-Star more in the Comfort category.
Earning 4 stars against the Dodge Ram’s 3 ½ stars, the GMC Sierra wins the power category.
Both the Dodge Ram and the GMC Sierra in their compared trim levels have a V8 engine, but the GMC Sierra will give drivers the slightest edge in displacement with its 4.8-liter engine size versus the Dodge Ram’s 4.7-liter.
The Dodge Ram proved a strong competitor in horsepower and torque as it defeated the GMC Sierra in both outputs, but the GMC Sierra gives owners 161 more pounds payload capacity and 550 more pounds towing capacity.
Also, the GMC Sierra heavy-duty packages make it a better choice for heavy duty towing or maximizing trailering ability. The GMC Sierra packages offer equipment such as trailering hitch platform, wiring harness for aftermarket trailer brake controller, heavy-duty automatic locking rear differential and external transmission oil cooler. The GMC Sierra also offers a package for drivers in cold climates wanting to modify their truck for plowing snow.
The GMC Sierra earned 3 ½ stars, a ¼ star advantage over the Dodge Ram’s 3 ¼ star rating in the comfort category.
The GMC Sierra has more head room and more leg room.
The GMC Sierra also has standard and available features that the Dodge Ram either does not have or that would only be available in a package option. The GMC Sierra has rubber floor mats, premium cloth seats, sunroof, illuminated vanity mirror, and leather wrapped steering wheel.
When it comes to interior entertainment and technology, the Dodge Ram offers a year-long subscription to its SIRIUS Satellite radio as opposed to the GMC Sierra with only a three-month subscription. Both vehicles have MP3 connectivity but you’ll get it standard on the Dodge Ram.
Both trucks have rear assist and parking assist systems; however, when it comes to total care safety technology systems, MI Auto Times rates the one-year subscription to On-Star higher than the Dodge Ram’s Uconnect system, which costs $395. Though the Uconnect system offers an in-truck router to turn the Dodge Ram into its own WiFi Hotspot, it lacks many of the emergency and security services provided by On-Star, which GMC Sierra buyers get for free for an entire year.
The On-Star has automatic crash response, security services to assist in stolen vehicle recovery, emergency services, and even services to help drivers with flat tires. If drivers have been locked out of their vehicle, On-Star representatives can send a remote signal to unlock their vehicle.
The GMC Sierra earned 4 stars against the Dodge Ram’s 3 ½ stars.
The Dodge Ram was a very strong competitor in this category thanks to the new 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty offered on the Dodge Ram, which is equivalent to the GMC Sierra’s 100,000 mile/5-year transferable Powertrain Limited Warranty.
Both trucks also offer a basic 3-year/36,000 mile warranty, but the GMC Sierra offers more support for its customers than the Dodge Ram because the GMC Sierra has 100,000 mile/5-year 24/7 Roadside Assistance plus 100,000 mile/5-year courtesy transportation.
The GMC Sierra also has a longer warranty for corrosion protection of 6-years/100,000 miles, which is one year longer than the Dodge Ram.
MI Auto Times also would like to point out that though the Dodge Ram was awarded 2010 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, it was for the heavy duty lineup only, or the 2500 and 3500 series, and not the 1500 model series.
Though the Dodge Ram put up a good fight, in the end there can only be one MI Auto Times Best Truck: The GMC Sierra 1500 SLE, never send a truck to do a Sierra’s job.