The Dodge Ram and Chevy Silverado have both been named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year three times. Their reputations as reliable workhorses have made them two of the best-selling

trucks in the world. Over the years their styles, powertrains, and abilities have changed; their standards of quality have not. To see who has the current edge in that quality, we’ve researched the usual reliable sources (Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and Motor Trend) to break down the 2011 models and give you the best option for your money.

Powertrain: Engine choices abound on both of these beasts. The V6 option gives Dodge the edge in horsepower but Chevy the edge in torque, and torque is what we’re looking for from a

truck. The 4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.2L V8 engines are all Chevy choices, and they all seem to be stronger than the two Dodge V8s. Fuel efficiency also goes to Chevy as it is rated for a combined 18 mpg to Dodge’s 16 mpg combined. 4WD is available on either truck but the 4WD on the Silverado comes equipped with Autotrac which is a setting that shifts the vehicle into four-wheel mode automatically when slippage is detected.

Winner: Chevy Silverado

Braking/Safety/Handling: Four-wheel antilock disc brakes come standard on the Ram. The Chevy comes standard with antilock, but the rear brakes are drum-style unless upgraded to the Max Trailering Package. Still, it did manage a shorter stopping distance from 60 mph than the Ram, 120 feet to Dodge’s 130 feet. The steering on the Chevy is precise, but the turning radius is incredibly poor. Suspension on the Dodge has all but eliminated harsh riding but the expected body roll on bumpy surfaces is still there. The Ram also received only a marginal rating from thee IIHS in side-impact protection, due to the likelihood of injuries to the driver’s torso.

Winner: Chevy Silverado

Cargo/Hauling: Chevy wins out in towing capacity when properly equipped as it can haul up to 10,700 lbs. The Dodge’s max load is 10,250 lbs. Plus, the extra load on the Ram only decreases an already poor fuel efficiency. The Silverado also has a higher maximum payload of 1937 lbs. compared to 1480 lbs. from the Ram. The absence of an 8-foot bed also hurts Dodge here.

Winner: Chevy Silverado

Comfort/Interior: Interior storage on the Chevy is merely adequate, though it does exhibit a nicer cabin than previous models if you step up in trim levels. The Base trim level is still somewhat bland and features a haphazard center console arrangement. The Ram’s interior is undoubtedly the best in the pickup class. The wood-grain trim, intuitively-placed controls, and leather upholstery make for a very attractive design. There are also plenty of interior storage spaces and shallow bins under the flip-up rear seats. The RamBox feature, which utilizes locking compartments inside the rear fenders, is an option exclusive only to Dodge.

Winner: Dodge Ram

Amenities/Options: Listing the options for these animals would be a tedious proposition. Many of the options you’d find on a luxury sedan are available on either of these monster pickups. Both models offer a rear-DVD entertainment system, but that seems rather pointless for a vehicle that would be used mostly for work. Still, it’s a nice option to have if you’ve got a family. The Dodge actually gets the edge here since it does offer more work-related options, such as an integrated brake controller, spray-in bedliner, underbody skid plates, added storage bins, larger outside mirrors for towing, and All-Terrain tires.

Winner: Dodge Ram

Value for the $: MSRP on these models is actually quite similar. The Silverado starts off at $20,850 and its 31 style choices can raise it as high as $41,775 with everything but the kitchen sink. The Ram has a comparable starting MSRP of $20,610 and plateaus at $41,585 with 26 style choices.

Winner: This is a really tough call since the added power of the Chevy is only a slight increase over what the Dodge offers. Interior features and amenities make the Ram a better choice aesthetically, as does the superior exterior styling. A poorer fuel efficiency is actually the only real knock against the Ram. Still, the addition of the 8-foot bed and a much-improved interior make the Chevy a sound choice. Truck buyers could be happy going either way here.

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