Whether buyers are lacing up work boots or wearing suits, the resilient Ram 1500 can be outfitted for any occasion. Choose among three cab styles and three bed lengths to pair with a base V-6, a fuel-efficient diesel, or a yee-haw-inducing Hemi V-8. All benefit from an effortless eight-speed automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive. The Ram 1500 provides a comfortable ride with its available segment-exclusive air suspension. Although the Ram is beginning to show its age, it's still a worthy contender.
What's New for 2018?
The Ram 1500 remains mostly unchanged for 2018. There are several limited editions available, including the new Tungsten Edition. It comes with a premium leather interior, a sport hood, and a chrome grille. There's now an optional 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that adds desirable features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A backup camera is now standard on all models, as are LED bed lights. The Ram 1500 Sport model adopts a body-color grille with piglike nostrils—also seen on the Tungsten Edition—and the off-road-ready Ram 1500 Rebel is now available with a leather interior.
- Tradesman: $28,990
- Express: $30,490
- Lone Star: $33,390
- Big Horn: $35,390
- Sport: $39,290
- HFE: $39,590
- Laramie: $42,040
- Rebel: $47,190
- Longhorn: $51,790
- Limited: $54,990
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Ram 1500's gas-powered engines are capable, but they’re also outdated. The three available engines are the base 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, the 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, and the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6, which is good for 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. All the powerplants pair with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear- or all-wheel drive is available with each engine. The diesel-powered model woefully underperformed at our test track. The Hemi V-8, on the other hand, fared much better in our acceleration tests and offers more horsepower than its direct rivals. The Ram 1500 stands out with a fantastic ride quality. It has a more advanced suspension setup than its rivals, so the ride is more akin to that of a car than a pickup. Opt for the air suspension, and you’ll practically float across the pavement. The Ram also handles very well for a full-size pickup. While not as steady as the Ford F-150 or the Chevrolet Silverado, its body motion is minimal, and overall control isn’t an issue in daily driving..
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
When it comes to interior design, the Ram is getting a bit long in the tooth and is less spectacular than some of the finer alternatives. Still, the cabin is spacious, practical, and comfortable. Unsurprisingly, the base Tradesman model is a pure work truck with few luxuries, but higher trims pile on the comfort and convenience features to a very high level. These include heated and ventilated leather seats, genuine wood trim, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. The Ram 1500 has the smallest available cargo beds, as well as the least amount of interior storage space. While the disparity isn’t large enough to condemn the Ram, it may give some buyers pause.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Ram's base model comes with a simple stereo with six speakers, a USB port, and an auxiliary input. But the available Uconnect infotainment system is one of our favorite setups. Not only is it one of the easiest to use, it’s one of the most responsive systems on the market. The 8.4-inch touchscreen includes such in-demand features as navigation, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, HD radio, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Touch commands work well, and many controls, such as the heated-and-cooled seats, can be activated through the touchscreen.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.