• 2017 Ram HD 2500 vs. 2017 Chevy Silverado HD 2500: Gas V8 Work Trucks Compared (Video)

    2017 ram hd 2500 chevy silverado comparison review
    2017 Ram HD vs. @017 Chevy SIlverado HD : work trucks

    You asked and for it, and you shall receive! We have 2017 gas-V8-powered work trucks rolling into our studio! First to arrive are the 2017 Ram 2500 HD regular cab 2WD Tradesman and a 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD double-cab 4×4 WT. The 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty will arrive is just a few days.

    We are getting ready for a big comparison test with all three trucks.

    Don’t let all the chrome fool you. These trucks actually have affordable pricing and basic/utilitarian features. The Ram Tradesman has manual-crank windows, A/C, cruise control, Aux music connector, and an 8-foot bed. What else does a working trucker need or want?

    The Ram is equipped with a 6.4L HEMI V8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It has a chrome and towing packages, but not much else.

    The 2017 Chevy 2500 HD is a WT (Work Truck) model with a few “bling-bling” packages that make it looking good. Namely, it has a HD Custom Package that adds 20-inch rims, chrome accents, tinted windows, remote entry, 7-inch radio system, and a rear view camera.

    Why is the Chevy a double-cab 4×4, while this was supposed to be a 2WD regular cab truck comparison? The other Chevy truck was damaged at another location, before TFLtruck could get our hands on it.  This is as close of a substitute than we can get. The Chevy is powered by a 6.0L V8 and a 6-speed automatic.

    Check out the specs, features, and lots of discussion from this recording of a Live TFLnow video.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    73 thoughts on “2017 Ram HD 2500 vs. 2017 Chevy Silverado HD 2500: Gas V8 Work Trucks Compared (Video)

    1. It’s about time!
      Would have been nice to see a apples to apples comparison, but the cab and 4×4 on the chevy will make very little difference on performance.
      What are the tests planned with these trucks? Hoping for more then an Ike test. Mpg test towing and empty would be nice. Also real dyno numbers if you guys could swing it!
      Anyway excited to see the results!

      1. About 700lbs, minimum. This is probably the package FCA chose to insure it can get out of 1st gear to avoid the last embarrassment.

        1. The Chevy was supposed to be the same configuration, but likely the same Chevy that had electrical issues and more for pickuptrucks.com

      1. My guess is the work to maintain it. I hate chrome for that reason alone. Matte black finishes for me!

    2. Andre – – –

      My concern is that the Chevy, —- which I know you had little choice in getting from GM, because of their accident — may simply be too different from the 2WD Ram and upcoming 2WD Ford, — to make a tightly valid comparison.
      The Chevy’s 4WD system and double cab change weight distribution (even if you do ballasting); handling; and wind resistance (since it’s taller) for the Ike Gauntlet fuel mileage testing.
      My recommendation is certainly to go ahead with what you have, including the Ford F-250, (since some info is better than none for your viewers), but repeat this HD testing later in the year using 2018 HD models, making sure they are all 2WD, for a better apples-to-apples comparison…


    3. All that chrome on front allows you not to wash your work truck every 48 hours. You can leave thousands of miles of bugs, tar, and road rash on the front knowing it will polish clean like new! Verses a painted front end which will not endure bugs and debree damage, because it gets into the clear coat and starts to pit and stain.

      1. I’ve owned both chrome and powder coated bumper/grill trucks. The chrome is so much easier to maintain. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or plate it just cleans up much easier if you live where bugs are a problem.

        1. I also smacked a caddy years ago that brake checked me. My CHROME bumper took zero damage other than a small dent. According to the insurance adjuster the caddy had $12k damage. My truck had zero damage. It was covered without an increase because it was my only wreck in 20 years with the company and zero traffic tickets no questions asked. Fortunately there were no injuries.

    4. i predict that 6.0 is going to be gasping for air. any idea on ike weight yet? naturally aspirated shootout will be interesting.

      1. Maybe not. The last test like this one had the RAM 6.4L limping up the hill in some kind of throttle-limited mode to protect itself, while the Chevy 6.0L brought home a better time.

        1. I remember that test. That GM 6.0L has no issue running at high RPM’s. For its age, it is still a good engine.

        2. Not throttle limited, it is tow haul, it is very restrictive, wouldn’t let it upshift.

          If they would just do some tests without the stupid tow haul, it would prove the power is there (as seen in about every test without tow haul used)

    5. Reason the Chevy isn’t here is because it bent in half when pickuptrucks.com was load testing it with sand bags…

      1. Nice try. An unsecure load of sand bags slid forward when they hit the brakes and bent the box header panel. They were a bit surprised but then they admitted the load slid forwards.

        1. No- they loaded the bags against the wall to prevent sliding. The front wall was bowing into the cab from the weight. No other truck had this problem.

          1. They explained this after their initial report and they did admit to only loading two bags in the Chevy and the load shifted. That site’s bias is laughable anymore.

            1. When/where did they admit to this? Do you have a link? I wouldn’t say that site is baised, but the quality of their testing has plummeted.

            2. Go to their news link and it’s on the second or third page. I don’t know how to share links on here. Said they had some kind of sensor issue and couldn’t record data from the Chevy loaded on the same day as the other trucks. So they got the issue repaired (it’s unclear if it was the truck that had the issue or their equipment) and that day they only had access to two sand bags instead of three. So they loaded two bags and performed their test with two and that’s when the damage was noticed.

              Pretty shoddy they didn’t mention this in the originally article. I use to frequent their site a lot and look forward to their comparisons but they have in my opinion degraded to a typical auto magazine now because they typically completely ignore their measured testing results and pick a winner on subjective results. And they contradict themselves in almost every test. For example they chose the F250 in the luxury diesel test recently based on its interior and how it would be where they would want to spend the most time and in literally almost the same sentence said it had the worst seats of the group!

            3. Thanks for the info. I’ve heard others complain about the “seats” issue but I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal. How hard can it be to adjust a seat and make it comfortable in a luxury truck? I think the reason the Ford won is because of the technology it offers, the giant rear seat with a flat floor, and so on. There was nothing that it really did poorly at in that test. It’s kind of funny because in 2014 the opposite happened, where Ford did very well in the empirical testing, but due to it’s old frame and chassis it got poor judge scoring and fell to last place. Like I mentioned above, I don’t believe PUTC is biased, but I do question some of their testing methods. In their 3/4 ton gas work truck challenge, they didn’t tow trailers. They’ve also done a half ton max tow comparison, and the only data they reported while towing was MPG. Pretty weak.

            4. Just to clarify- I found the link, and they still confirm that no sliding of the bags ever occurred. A couple of quotes:

              “Although we did not strap down the bags of sand in any of the beds, we can say that at no time during this brake test did we experience any of the bags sliding or moving in any of the pickups. ”

              ” Still, after we finished our first brake tests, we noticed the front of the Chevy’s bed wall had bent slightly toward the cab — we’re guessing it was due to the pressure exerted from the bags of sand during our panic stop”

            5. I don’t know much about the seats in a King Ranch but my brother in law has a 2016 F150 with cloth buckets and they seem ok to me.

              I still think they are a little biased for a few reasons. For example in that work truck test they chose not to tow trailers because two trucks didn’t have trailer brake controllers (Ford and Nissan) and even mention they figure Ford was worried about getting dinged on price value because of how they package their brake controller with other options. So instead of penalizing Ford for this they just completely throw out the towing section and save that test for the luxury trucks. And then praise Ford for some of the features they offer for the work truck. All the while making no mention that the Silverado comes standard with the brake controller when you order a towing package.

              And then the whole bed bending issue is puzzling. Maybe the force of two sand bags caused it to bend, even though the others had three and didn’t. The fact they completely left out they only had two bags for the Chevy and tested on a different day in the initial report is misleading at best.

              Like I said I used to read every article and every comparison from them but any more I just skim through the comparisons and usually just read the results. I think we can agree that they are woefully inconsistent even if we can’t agree on a bias, which I do think is there.

            6. Well the Trailer Brake Controller is an option on all of those gas HD trucks, which doesn’t make sense to me. You’d think it would be a standard feature in the HD market. No media outlet can control with certainty which features will come on the trucks they review, even if they request specific things. So you can’t really fault them for not towing heavy loads when 2 of the trucks didn’t come properly equipped. Disappointing? Yes. Biased? No.

              Your comment that the GM brake controller comes standard when you order the tow package…means it’s not standard. It’s part of an optional package, just like all the other trucks.

              And it is pretty clear the sand bags never slid around as mentioned above. Fact is with 2 bags of sand, the Chevy bed wall was bowing, whereas the other trucks had 3 bags and were not bowing.

              Lastly, if they are biased against GM, how did GM win these challenges: 2016 Mid size, 2016 Half Ton Max Towing, 2015 Mid Size, 2015 Light Duty V8, 2014 One Ton HD Challenge?

            7. The brake controller is indeed an option with the Silverado however when the towing package is ordered it is included as part of the package. This is obviously not the case with the other makes because they all had factory hitches but only the Dodge had a brake controller which is apparently a stand alone option. Ford should at least make it a stand alone option but at least from their commentary it’s only available in some other package. I agree it’s silly to not include a brake controller with a towing package. GM does the same thing in half tons, but at least it is a stand alone option.

              I can’t argue much about the bed bending issue other than to say the test conditions changed and who’s to say the others wouldn’t have had problems with two bags? Maybe not having the third allowed them to move slightly. Maybe not. Either way they should have mentioned this in the original article. And why no pictures? Also what exactly happened that they couldn’t test the Chevy on the same day as the others? Was it a truck problem or test equipment problem?

              I also don’t mean they are biased against GM. I mean they are bias for Ford. The Ram should have won the gas truck test and the Chevy should have won the diesel test.

            8. Don’t get me wrong- I agree their test procedures and the reporting of results is pretty pathetic. They should have been far more transparent about what happened.

              Bias- look at it the other way. If they are baised for Ford, why did Ford lose all of those tests I listed that GM won? And I disagree about the HD Gas challenge. The Ford 6.2 pretty much cleaned house there in terms of performance and MPG. Why should the Ram have won that?

            9. I could be wrong because I didn’t go back and read the results again but if memory serves I thought the Ram was ahead on points untill they added the subjective scores?

              As for the other test, Ford doesn’t offer a midsize and their only V8 is the 5.0. It’s a pretty good match for the 5.3 performance wise but no match for the 6.2. Max towing is much of the same. GM has higher tow ratings with better performance and mpg. Why would they lose? And again, Ford should have lost the 3/4 ton diesel test. It didn’t win any test outright.

              I think we can agree that TFL will do a much better job with testing. It’s a shame the trucks are different. I actually would have rather seen gas trucks like the Chevy they have now. Those are more in line with what people actually will buy for personal use compared to the Ram and Ford. And like I have posted earlier I’d like to see them test the trucks like they do the 1/2 tons. I just use myself as an example but I cross shopped a 1500 with a 2500hd gas. Ultimately I went 1500 do to fuel economy but I would step up to a 3/4 ton if the fuel economy was a little better to get the extra capability.

      1. All 3 have good gas motors right now, but I have to say I think that ford 6.2L is the best of the bunch!

      2. Going to the 6r100 helped alot to. Not as taxing as the diesel transmission yet still plenty tough.

    6. I like how you guys go over the whole truck pointing out features. That is really nice. I’m curious to see how performance changes at elevation. A little surprised chevy didn’t have a back up base truck after the first one had its problems.

    7. Does the center seat back rest recline? You look uncomfortable when you recline the driver’s seat, but the center seat does not recline.

    8. Not even a muddy dirt road/Trail you’re going to do the testing in all vehicles can pretty much do that today even with A highway terrain tire or a all season tire I hope I see with these trucks and other 2WD trucks vans and SUVs because I know trucks vans and SUVs can do off-roadIng and driving to snow very wellbecause ice to do snow removal and off-road in a truck are used to have and all I had on the truck was aggressive cheap snow/all-terrain tire and all season on the fron because ice to do snow removal and off-road and a truck are used to have and all I had on the truck was aggressive cheap winter/all-terrain tire and very good highway terrain on the front

      1. Mr. Carter, I’d suggest some punctuation. I read that a couple times and still can’t figure out what you were trying to say

      2. My iPhone like to do this screw everything up i’m saying They should do a muddy/dirt trail or a muddy dirt road that is what I’m saying most to drive vehicles can do that this day and trucks especially just need to do a light off-road test to see how the traction control system works

        1. It is possible to punctuate on an iPhone without any difficulty. No need to change to Android.

        2. Push the space button twice and it puts a period. Easy or push the . button. Dang that was difficult.

    9. This is really going to be a great comparison!

      I predict the Ford will come out on top, I would seriously still have a hard time choosing between it and the Ram.

      It would be really cool to see them pull the 7000lb trailer on the fuel economy loop and the 10000lb trailer on the Ike just like the 1/2 tons.

      This would really hit a true comparison if someone should buy a 1/2 ton or HD! Im certain the 1/2 tons will be much more efficient and better going up the Ike.

      Really anything above these weights should be Turbo Diesel territory.

      1. Agreed if regularly towing, but the occasional tow around 12k for these trucks is fine. Suspension matters more than anything else, that’s what eats a truck up.
        Willing to bet a half ton GM (6.2) or Ford (3.5) would blow these trucks away performance wise, but putting all that weight on them would take would take a toll real quick.

        1. True in regards to pulling heavy often.
          The Ram really needs a new transmission/tuning. It is the worst of the bunch as far as harnessing engine potential.

    10. This should be one of the most interesting match-ups of the year! I’m really eager to see how the 2017 ford 6.2 with airs New (improved) torque curve does compared to Mr. Truck’s 2012 with the previous 6.2 does on the ike. I am also interested in the ram’s performance on the ike. Let’s hope they have reprogrammed their transmission, since the 6.4’s last run up the ike was a complete disaster!

    11. People always count out the 6.0. But its hands down the most reliable of the group. The 6.2 is a powerhouse.

        1. I will agree with you that the 6.0 Is reliable, but most reliable is debatable. A number of 6.2s are already in the 400-500k range. That’s good for any motor.
          Not saying the 6.0 is junk but the 6.2 is more than on par with having more power to boot.

          1. The Ford 6.2 would seem to have a much better reputation than the Triton engines but that’s not really saying much. It’s definitely been out long enough however for any major design issues to have shown themselves.

            The 6.0 however has essentially been in production since the 1999MY. Sure, the 99-06 were 3rd gen blocks and the 07-now are 4th gen blocks but there’s just not much difference between the two. That’s why it has the reputation it has. That and GM typically sales more gas HD trucks than Ford and Dodge. There’s just more of them out there being put to use and you just don’t hear about a lot of problems.

            1. I’ll take the Triton v-10 over the 6.2 just because the v-10 has been a rock..

    12. When I hear 6.0 I think work truck. Definitely not going to win any head to heads, but I have seen those things with a fair amount of miles on them in fleet vans.

    13. The GM 6.0 is a die hard engine that doesn’t quit, we all know how that will perform. Very interested to see the RAM and Ford.

    14. Agreed- the value in the GM 6.0 is longevity. When I was still in an Air Force contract in Alaska- we would use our standard cab, 2500 HD 6.0 to plow a 200 by 200ft parking lot and drag our 12,000lb test cell trailer all over Anchorage. The thing was bullet proof- and we drove it like we stole it.

      Certainly not the best drag racing truck- but after nine years- I left that Job and that 6.0 had yet to have a problem. That’s the value in that engine.

    15. Yea on the gas engines showing up!
      For a work truck from Chevy I’m not to sure how many construction company’s​ would go for them 20″ aluminum wheels?
      I was hoping maybe they would show the space between the back of the cab and seats in the ram. Just get a little reference.
      Good videos guys.

      1. We have a 2017 Dodge at work that’s a regular cab. It has a good amount of space behind the seat. You can fit a normal size lunch box back there. Have plenty of seat travel too.

        My only gripe is the seats have no adjustment for height so you feel like you are setting on top of the truck. That’s a personal preference thing with me though. I like lowering the seat down.

    16. After they breakdown midway, at least the mpg’s will be good once a Tundra pulls them the rest of the way up the hill.

    17. I would like to see the Chevy tow the same trailer and weight of the 1/2 ton trucks for the gold hitch testing. Both up the Ike and the mpg loop. I think a lot of 1/2 ton owners cross shop gas HD trucks and this particular Silverado would most certainly be cross shopped due to its options and price.

      I for one recently bought a Silverado 1500 and I was interested in the 2500 with the 6.0 but the real world data just doesn’t exist for those trucks for things like fuel mileage. That was ultimately why I went 1/2 ton because I knew the 6.0 didn’t get good mileage in the 1/2 tons when it was offered so it sure wouldn’t in a 3/4 ton.

      So I think the true competitor for this particular Silverado would be a half ton and hope to see you guys test it like the last Silverado 1500 you did.

      As far as the Ram and Ford, I couldn’t imagine the retail sales for them are even a blip on the radar. No one buys a regular cab 2WD truck. They are almost impossible to even find on lots.

      1. A direct comparison of this type against the half tons would not bode well for the 3/4 tons. People buy these for long term hauling and towing which is not easily guaged.

        1. Well I guess I agree to a certain extent. However just going off my personal experience I would have bought a 2500HD Silverado with a gas engine if I thought I could have gotten within about 2 mpg of a half ton. But from my personal experience (limited however and in mostly true work trucks loaded to max) this wouldn’t have been possible.

          I would have liked a 2500HD for the added capability but not at the huge difference in fuel economy because my truck is my daily driver and our primary family vehicle.

          I’m just suggesting some test for TFL to consider because I believe a lot of people like me that need at least a half ton truck do indeed cross shop their gas HD counterparts. I could have a bought a WT 2500HD crew cab Silverado optioned very similar to this double cab (minus the 20s) for nearly the same money as I ended up paying for my LT Z71 crew cab 1500.

    18. all of these trucks should be able to do over 12k. look at how much the 1500 sweats with 9k or whatever they did it with with 2 more gears and 60hp

    19. The XD gasser would compete well against these trucks. It got slammed at putc for lack of capacity but is still very capable ob all testing fronts.

    20. I have a 2016 crew cab dually Silverado with the 6.0 but I have not towed with it yet. I cannot wait to see the towing and mileage results. When I purchased it new mixed mpg was in the 11’s with 16000 on the clock I normally record 13.2 to 13.8.

      1. Sasquatch
        Could you give us more information about how you use your truck. What kind of payloads do you carry? Is it mostly highway or smaller local roads, etc. How do you like the engine, transmission, suspension, and the like. I for one really like to hear first hand reviews buy their owners. Thanks.

        1. Sorry about the delay, Dan. I used to tow a twenty-eight foot travel trailer with a 2500 Suburban so my wife and I know we like camping and are trying to get back into it. I cannot afford a dedicated tow vehicle so the dually is my daily driver. The plan was to find a new fifth wheel or travel trailer and I wanted the extra stability and braking offered by the dually. At this time we have not purchased a trailer due to the curveballs of life and the purchase of a condominium delaying the trailer purchase.

          1. The dually is currently used as a daily driver with mixed driving to work. I live in Florida with a thirty mile round trip to work mostly on I95. The truck also sees many trips to the grocery store, doctors office and other errands. As equipped the truck is 6800 plus pounds. I really like the 6.0 gas and there have not been any issues. The transmission has also been trouble free but the constant shifting of the six speed while driving around town annoys me. Mostly while moving through traffic I get downshifts when I don’t want them. Sometimes I drive in tow/haul mode empty just to limit the number of shifts. I now have a habit of driving in tow/haul on the highway because of the early engine braking and extra margin of safety. The truck rides stiff like you would expect from a 3500HD but still very comfortable. I have only had two issues with the vehicle and they have been since new. I have a tow package with back-up camera integrated with the screen on the radio. Sometimes the camera does not activate in reverse and more frequently the radio blanks out like it is losing power and resets the time. The dealership checked the system and told me I need a new radio. I have been waiting for weeks because the radio is on back order which seems like it is a wide spread problem. I noticed a lot of vibration from 63 to 78 mph and they tried to tell me it was because it was a heavy duty truck. I have enough heavy truck experience to know the difference between a rough ride and a vibration that should not be there. I persisted with the dealership and after several trips there and a road force balancing they diagnosed three of the steel wheels as being outside of factory tolerance. Wheels replaced, overall a great truck. I have not hauled anything heavier than a bicycle but it is rated for 7000lbs plus in the bed. I hope I have answered some of your questions.

            1. Sasquatch
              Thanks for the reply. It sounds like a good truck and that’s great to here. I’m sure you’ll get all the “bugs out” soon. I have a 2013 f350 dually with a 6.2 gas engine as well. It too has been a good truck with no problems. It Tows very well ( wells cargo enclosed trailer- 11,000 loaded weight) and I’m sure your truck will as well. Here’s hoping you can get that new trailer soon and that the road ahead “smooth’s out” for you and your wife.

    21. They should all be crew cab 4×4. The the bulk of regular cab 2wd are bought for company fleets . Your average contractor or tradesman in today’s world buy nice trucks and in Oklahoma were I live less than one percent of all trucks are 24wd.

      1. They actually got lots of requests to test that.

        Most tests are 4×4 crewcab.

        Good to see the difference.

    22. I am wondering if all 3 of you guys climbed in the back seat of the chevy to see how much room there is? I have 3 kids that as you know grow like weeds so if 3 big/tall guys can fit my kids should fit forever.

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