We rarely get the opportunity to compare off-road truck’s pavement on-road highway ride, but we did have that chance with the 2019 Ram Rebel vs 2019 GMC Sierra AT4. These are two excellent, half-ton off-road pickup trucks that cover two different ends of the pickup truck spectrum. The Ram Rebel is a sporty (somewhat) affordable off-road pickup truck while the GMC Sierra AT4 is more of a luxury off-road truck.
We had an opportunity to briefly compare the 2019 Ram Rebel vs 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 back-to-back, off-road during the Rocky Mountain Redline Climb. This is an event that takes place in the hills near Breckenridge, Colorado which involves off-road trails and a pack of automotive journalists. Andre Smirnov and I attended the event and truly enjoyed the scenic beauty, challenging trails and access to representatives from each brand.
Expect to see the off-road video and post from the Redline Colorado Climb in the near future!
The 2019 Ram Rebel vs 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 on-road test was conducted primarily using my large American tushie. While, to a certain extent, ride quality is subjective, these vehicles truly have their strong points. Oddly, despite the pricing disparity, both trucks were remarkably close in almost every measurable way.
Here’s how they stack up.
Interior comfort (seating surfaces and ergonomics): I’m a big ape in build. Having seats that are comfortable, with the right amount of tush resistance works for me. While the GMC’s seats are quite good, the Ram Rebel wins this one. I found the seats supremely comfortable and, despite my dislike of the hockey-puck transmission selector, the layout was pretty good. In fact, I liked having the regular 8.4-inch touch screen over the massive Tesla-like screen Ram has available. It’s easier for my primitive brain to figure out.
The GMC is a tech-monger’s dream with every conceivable goody available including an available camera upgrade that gives you more camera views than any system I’ve yet seen. Still, the Ram requires less guess work and it’s easier to learn where your hands need to go.
Driving ease (outward vision and driving aids): GMC wins this one hands down. It’s heads-up display is massive, yet unobtrusive (once you get used to it). Outward vision is excellent and, combined with the video rearview mirror/camera, rear-view visibility is outstanding. Accurate arking is a snap with the GMC camera system too.
Handling (steering response and body roll) : This was the closest contest of all. The 2019 Ram Rebel vs 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 on-road comparison was back-and-forth before this measurement, but the GMC proved to be a better handling vehicle in the end.
Neither vehicle is a sports car, especially with their off-road suspensions and aggressive tires, but the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 definitely felt more athletic when pushed. It felt lighter on its toes so to speak. It was easier to position on the freeway, streets and parking lot.
Noise and vibration (including tire noise): Take a breath GMC fans, the Ram was (surprisingly) the winner of this one. Nope, I’m not mistaking this Ram from other ones with the air suspension, this one has steel springs baby. It was never buzzy or suffered from any sort of humming.
The GMC had a bit of a vibration you could actually see as the gear lever shake a bit. Odd.
Both were commendably quiet; but I could hear a tad bit of rumble coming from the GMC Sierra’s lower half. This despite both trucks being equipped with exactly the same rubber as the Ram. The only notable noise coming from the Ram was the pleasing purr of the Hemi when pushed.
Overall Ride (high speed and low speed): The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab AT4 wins this one. The GMC’ s Rancho suspension and spring settings were especially compliant over hard road conditions (potholes, grooved pavement, etc.) and there was no chatter from the suspension whatsoever. The steel suspension of the Ram did rattle a bit.
The winner: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4. Both trucks were a whisker from each other in most compatible ways. Sure, the GMC was downright impressive, but I’m willing to bet that if the Ram came with the available air suspension, it would be even closer.
Nevertheless, congratulations GMC! You built a hell of a truck for off-road excursions and one that (according to my large derriere) is an outstanding place to spend time on the road. I can’t wait to compare it to the competition off-road. I expect good things.
Notes: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel Quad Cab 4X4 – MSRP $55,145
The Ram Rebel I tested did not have the air-ride suspension. It was equipped with steel coil-springs on all four corners. Just like the GMC, the Rebel came with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires mounted on 18-inch wheels. The regular (non e-Torque mild hybrid) 5.7-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission were part of the package. Great combo, great sound. It was a quad cab, making the interior more intimate than we are used to. Still, despite the coil-springs feeling jouncy and stiff off-road, the on-road and highway ride were outstanding.
Notes: 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 – MSRP $65,330
The GMC Sierra AT4 comes standard with a factory two-inch lift, Rancho shocks and Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires mounted on attractive 18-inch wheels. Our AT4 came with the optional 6.2-liter V8, which is one of TFLtruck’s favorite V8s. It’s strong, smooth and, with the 10-speed automatic transmission, very responsive. I wish it had a more aggressive exhaust note – but that’s what the aftermarket is for, I guess.
Surprising results? What do you think? We have a lot of video planned for both vehicles, stay tuned!