IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
It offers an unbeatable ride/handling combination along with a high level of refinement, classy interiors, and some unique features. Furthermore, the V6 engine is no slouch, and has very respectable EPA fuel-economy ratings too.
High-end models get especially pricey.
The Ram 1500 offers the novel RamBox system (large, lockable cargo bins built into the top edges of the cargo-bed walls) as well as a Multifunction Tailgate that can be opened traditionally or in a 60/40 vertical “Dutch door” split.
WHAT IS IT?
The Ram 1500 is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’s full-size, half-ton pickup. It was previously called the Dodge Ram 1500 until the 2011 model year, when then-parent-company Chrysler Group broke off “Ram” as its truck brand. The Ram 1500 was redesigned for 2019, and saw the addition of a revised 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine last year. Extended-cab (called Quad Cab) and crew-cab body styles are available; a regular-cab body isn’t offered. Full-time 4WD is offered (in place of part-time 4WD) starting in mid-level models. Available features include a gigantic 12-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, 360-degree surround-view camera display, 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability, heated and ventilated front AND rear seats, and a panoramic dual-pane sunroof. A fuel-saving “eTorque” mild-hybrid system (essentially a belt-driven motor/generator paired with a 48-volt battery pack) is standard on the gasoline V6 engine and available on the V8.
The Ram 1500 gets several updates and newly available features for 2021, including a full-color head-up display, a rearview-mirror camera display, and a Trailer Reverse Steering Control feature that steers for you when you’re guiding a trailer into a parking spot. Also new are blackout-trim Night versions of the Limited model, a specially trimmed Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition, and a ferocious new TRX trim level—an off-road-oriented muscle truck that’s equipped with a supercharged, 702-hp 6.2-liter Hemi V8 and is intended to compete with the Ford F-150 Raptor.
The EPA rates the V6 at 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway with 2WD and 19/24 with 4WD. The Hemi V8 is rated at 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway with 2WD and 15/21 with 4WD; with the optional eTorque system, those numbers improve to 17/23 with 2WD and 17/22 with 4WD. The EcoDiesel V6 is rated at 22/32 with 2WD and 21/29 with 4WD. In Consumer Guide® testing, a Rebel Crew Cab 4×4 with the EcoDiesel engine averaged 19.6 mpg in 55-percent city driving. A Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 averaged 14.3 mpg in 70-percent city driving, and a Limited Crew Cab 4×4 averaged 18.4 mpg in 85-percent highway driving; both of these vehicles were powered by the non-eTorque Hemi V8. Ram recommends mid-grade 89-octane gas for the V8, but it can run on regular as well, which is what’s recommended for the V6.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Ram’s ride quality is class-leading, and the rear-seat room in Crew Cab models is similarly impressive. A dizzying array of trim levels and optional equipment allows a high degree of customization; the cabins of high-end models rival many luxury-brand vehicles for posh materials and fit and finish. The turbodiesel engine tacks on a $5K price premium, but delivers notably improved fuel economy without sacrificing much capability.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$32,245 – $59,850|
|BODY STYLES||Extended and Crew Cab|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||260-HP, 3.0-Liter Turbodiesel V6; 305-HP, 3.6-Liter V6; 395-HP, 5.7-Liter V8|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or 4-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||15-32 MPG|
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