I drove a $69,000 RAM 1500 and a $57,000 Chevy Silverado to find out which is the better pickup truck. Here’s the verdict. (FCAU, GM)

Even without the upscale Laramie Longhorn package, this is the best full-size pickup truck I’ve ever tested. I even got to challenge the 4×4 system with about a foot of snow at our suburban New Jersey test center, and the RAM brushed it off like nothing.

OK, I’ll accept that the F-150 and Silverado loyalists out there don’t like the RAM’s suspension. Yes, it could break down under serious stress. But in my testing, this truck was bliss to drive.

“It truly is the level of refinement that the RAM 1500 brings to the segment that helps it stand out, even as Ford and Chevy/GMC sell more trucks,” I wrote in my review of the outgoing generation. “RAM has carved out far more than niche at number three and isn’t dropping the ball when it comes to what its loyalist expect.”

With the all-new 2019 pickup, RAM might have moved past that No. 3 niche and positioned the Silverado in its sights. The RAM 1500 is a no-compromise pickup, perfectly pitched for the new pickup market, which is as much about everyday driving as hardcore performance.

Don’t get me wrong — the Silverado is no slouch. And in fairness, the RAM 1500 I tested cost $12,000 more, so it should have been impressive.

But even taking that into account, I think the RAM is a superior full-size beast, and while the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 isn’t as powerful on paper as the Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8, the RAM’s torque-boosting hybrid makes the 1500 feel as though it has more punch. And the RAM’s eight-speed transmission, in my hands, felt as though it shifted more smoothly than the Silverado’s ten-speed.

Pickup-truck buyers don’t want for choices these days. But boy! I challenge anybody seeking a new truck to sample the RAM 1500 and not be tempted by what I think is the best full-size pickup money can buy.

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