The 2019 Ram 1500 Limited and the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali are both at the top end of the luxury spectrum, and it’s trucks like these that are driving up average transaction prices.
According to J.D. Power, average transactions prices for pickup trucks have risen by 61 percent over the last 10 years, now sitting at $44,000. Compared to the rest of the market which has seen transaction price growth of 28 percent over the same period, trucks are becoming the biggest profit centers for the brands that sell them.
Priorities for these luxury pickups certainly start with interior comfort and offering a technology packed experience. Something both the Ram and Sierra Denali do, though in different ways.
The interior of the 2019 Limited uses a number of different materials to make its luxury statement, including gorgeous open-pore wood, soft leather, chrome accents and a number of different textured and designed plastic surfaces. All in, the interior on the Ram really conveys that every little detail was paid attention to, adding to the luxury experience.
The insides of the Sierra don’t stack up quite as well. While the dark look and soft leather suit the truck, the large black plastic sheet that hosts the center stack and all of its small buttons can’t help but look cheap, especially in full sunlight. Visually, the Sierra just doesn’t stack up on the inside, but that doesn’t mean that this truck doesn’t offer some great features, starting out back.
The bed of the Sierra and its twin the Silverado is one of the best on the market since it was upgraded in 2019, packing three tie-downs in each corner, a number of pre-cut holes to add more, ridges molded into the bed walls to make two-tier packing possible and the best bed step going, the bumper step. And here on the Sierra, the multi-pro tailgate is also part of the package, offering its own wide step into the bed along with a number of other features.
In the case of the Ram, one tie-down is fit at every corner, while top-trim trucks like ours gets a rail system allowing for movable tie-downs, a decent solution but not nearly as robust as the proper steel loops in the GM. No bed step comes with the Ram, and the dealer-installed accessory step isn’t all that great. So in the battle of beds, the GMC is the clear winner.
How about the powertrains? The GMC’s 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic combination offers a potent 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque while the Ram has a HEMI V8 putting out 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque sent through eight gears. While the HEMI offers nice smooth, strong power delivery, the 6.2-liter outclasses it with straight up stronger pull off the line and shifts that tend me be quicker and a little more crisp.
And finally, when you look at technology, we swing back to the Ram 1500, though the Sierra has one class-exclusive trick: head-up display. The Sierra’s windshield-displayed information is a great feature for safety and the display in this truck is sharp looking.
The Ram on the other hand offers adaptive cruise control, a gorgeous 12-inch touchscreen, a customizable driver info cluster screen and even a 19-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system. Adaptive cruise is a big deal here too, as the Sierra seems to have all the appropriate sensors to have the system, and yet, it only has a forward collision warning setup.
Picking one of these machines is a tough call, but we have to go with the Ram 1500, mostly for the simple fact that the interior is pure luxury. You could transplant what you find in the 1500 Limited and plunk it into the finest luxury car Germany, Japan or America has to offer and it wouldn’t look out of place.
So in the battle of these two American luxury trucks, we’re going with the Ram.