- Smooth ride.
- Upscale interior.
- Compelling tech and driver assistance features.
- Can be expensive.
- Large screen can lag at times.
Would we buy one? Yep!
Vehicle Type: A full-size pickup truck.
Price Range: The 2021 Ram 1500 ranges in price from $30,145 to $57,745 (non-TRX) including destination, but before options and taxes.
Powertrain: The 2021 Ram 1500 is offered with several powertrains.
The first is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with eTorque. It produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.
A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is available, which is rated at 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.
Two versions of a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 are available.
The standard version makes 395 horsepower and 410 pound-foot of torque, while an upgraded eTorque version is available that produces the same power output with an added mild hybrid system.
The Ram 1500 TRX comes with a supercharged Hellcat 6.2-liter V8 that makes 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
An eight-speed automatic gearbox and rear-wheel drive are standard, while four-wheel drive is available.
Overall Score: 8/10
Safety Features: 8/10
The 2021 Ram 1500 has not been rated by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even so, the 2020 model earned a Top Safety Pick + award from the NHTSA, so it is likely the 2021 trucks will be similarly rated.
Available safety features include blind spot monitors, forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, a head-up display, trailer reverse steering control, front/rear parking sensors, parallel parking assist, and a surround-view rearview camera system.
The Ram 1500 can stretch deep into premium vehicle prices, but its starting MSRP of around $30,000 represents a solid value for a capable work truck. Even so, the Ram’s premium pricing buys one of the plushest and most luxurious trucks on the market today. That is all done while remaining competitive with the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and GMC Sierra on price.
On build quality and finishes alone, the Ram is a winner. No other truck can match the upscale interior, tech, and comfort of the Ram. Higher trims, like the Laramie, Big Horn, and Limited are the best.
Ram offers the 1500 with a variety of powertrains and in a variety of trim levels. That makes the truck an excellent choice for people who like to customize, but it also means that there is a Ram 1500 for almost any buyer and budget. Even the base Tradesman models feel nice, which helps bump value considerably.
Tech Features: 9/10
The Ram 1500 could win a tech competition with the optional massive screen alone, but there is much more going on inside the trucks’ ultra-luxe cabin.
The truck comes standard with a 5.0-inch display that runs Uconnect, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system.
Available features include a ten-speaker and a 19-speaker sound system, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM radio, navigation, HD radio, and a 12-inch touchscreen.
The Uconnect infotainment system that runs on the Ram’s infotainment screen is among the easiest to use and most intuitive systems on the market. When the larger screen is equipped, it can run two apps side-by-side, which makes controlling vehicle functions while using other features like the audio system a breeze.
Trucks are among the most practical and useful vehicles around anyway, but Ram has taken extra steps to make the 1500 a clever and configurable workhorse. The RamBox system upgrades the truck’s bedside rails to hold cargo in lockable containers, while the interior is full of useful and well thought out storage spaces for items of all sizes. The center console area is large enough to hold a laptop, or even a purse or large bag.
The Ram 1500 is available with two box sizes, a few cab configurations, and the ability to fold seats for more flexible storage options. A multifunction tailgate allows for several ways to open and use the bed, and the Ram 1500's generous head room and legroom make it useful as a person hauler.
Because of the variety of engines, FCA has made the Ram 1500 into a towing machine, and while it is not as hardcore as heavy-duty Ram trucks, it has more than enough capability for the everyday user.
Styling & Design: 8/10
The new Ram design language is sleek, modern, and clean. In higher trims, the trucks have tastefully applied chrome touches that serve to make it look upscale instead of looking gaudy. The grille and front fascia are clear of badging and clutter.
Though it is plush and extremely well finished, the Ram’s interior is useful, comfortable, and intuitively laid out. With quad cab or extended cabs, the truck's got more than plenty passenger space.
The Ram 1500’s front seats are deep, wide, and are divinely padded. In higher trim levels, they can be covered in expensive hides, and offer excellent heating and ventilation.
With the 1500, Ram created a truck that bridges the gap between workhorse vehicle and luxurious cruiser. The build quality and materials quality are both excellent, and there are few opportunities for criticism in the cabin.
Driving Experience: 8/10
The Ram 1500 is one of the smoothest, most comfortable trucks around. Its ability to soak up rough roads and to maintain composure over a variety of road surfaces is remarkable. The truck's ride remains smooth, even with off-road tires, all-terrain tires, heavy payload, and more. The damping system is truly a marvel.
Handling, braking, and steering are confidence inspiring, and make the Ram feel like a smaller truck than it really is. Though there's not a ton of communication through the steering wheel, the trucks are much more responsive than others.
When equipped with a Hemi V8 engine, the Ram 1500 makes a thunderous noise, and packs quite powerful acceleration. The Ram TRX, with its supercharger, more than competes with the Ford Raptor, it redefines the segment. Even the Ram Rebel does a good job of holding its own off road.
Fuel Efficiency: 7/10
With the 3.6-liter V6 and two-wheel drive, the Ram 1500 is rated at 20/25/22 mpg city/hwy/combined. With four-wheel drive, those numbers change to 19/24/21 mpg.
With the 3.0-liter diesel and two-wheel drive, the Ram 1500 returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22/32/26 mpg city/hwy/combined. Four-wheel drive shifts those numbers to 21/29/24 mpg.
With the 5.7-liter Hemi and four-wheel drive, the Ram 1500 is rated at 17/23/19 mpg city/hwy/combined. With four-wheel drive, those numbers change to 17/22/19 mpg.