• Car Review

2017 Ram 1500 Review

By Autolist Editorial | July 22, 2020

Quick Facts:


  • Improved coil spring suspension for a smoother ride on rough roads.
  • Superior shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • Luxury cabin upgrade options.


  • Expensive diesel engine.
  • Average towing capacity compared to rivals.
  • Unimpressive fuel economy in the V8.

Would we buy one? Yes.

Vehicle Type: Full-size half-ton pickup truck.

Price Range: Between $22,900 and $41,000 including destination, but before options.

Powertrain: Three choices include a 395-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine with 410 lb-ft of torque, a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, and a 3.0-liter 240 horsepower EcoDiesel V6 with 420 lb-ft of torque.

Four-wheel-drive is available as an option.

Competitors: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, GMC Sierra.

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Overall Score: 8.4/10

Safety Features: 7/10


The Ram 1500 scores high and low marks as far as safety. Some features in certain trim packages, like a backup camera, parking sensors, and automatic high beams, plus trailer-sway control and enhanced electronic traction, afford better than average protection.

Overlap front and roof tests rated poorly for the Ram, while (NHTSA) tests gave four stars in frontal tests, as well as high ratings for side-impact.

Overall, the Ram 1500 is mostly on par with competitors when it comes to safety.

Value: 9/10


The Ram 1500 full-size pickup is a reliable workhorse and great truck that stands toe-to-toe with its Chevy and Ford competitors. Dodge has been improving and solidifying their position in this industry segment for years by delivering consistent full-size truck features and performance at an affordable price with the Ram truck.

There are eight trim level available: the Tradesman, Ram 1500 Big Horn, Express, Rebel, Ram 1500 Sport, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited and many cab and bed configurations.

The regular cab standard Tradesman trim is a rear-wheel drive, no-frills base model, and starts at $26,495.

A fully loaded Ram 1500 Laramie and Limited with all the bells and whistles can exceed $53,600 depending on trim and style options.

The diesel V6 engine does add an expensive extra cost that some reviewers found prohibitive at upward of $3000 more.

Tech Features: 8/10


Light-duty trucks like the Ram 1500 generally are not expected to have many tech features outside of standard climate control, Bluetooth, and current connectivity technology. Dodge has responded to modern demands and delivered. Its 5.0- and 8.4-inch touchscreen interfaces are easy to use, making the infotainment system a breeze. A rearview camera aids reversing. The Uconnect navigation system is very user-friendly.

The Laramie Longhorn boasts tech like keyless entry and LED bed lights. The Sport model has a remote start and more security with an alarm.

Practicality: 7/10


All the Ram 1500 models have reliable standard features like comfortable cabin space and seating and an exterior RamBox that provides useful in-bed storage. Storage space options abound in the interior as well.

The power bucket front seats with unlimited adjustments is a welcome option for larger people. The seats also add a fun and stylish component when out on back roads.

The Ram is a superb truck for both hauling and towing and can comfortably seat several people with roomy back seats and a spacious interior.

Styling & Design: 9/10


Dodge didn't compromise style for their light-duty work truck. The same beefy design that has become the Ram standard holds true in the 2017 model. Many cab-and-bed configurations are available, including popular Crew Cab and Quad Cab for extra rear seats cabin seating capacity.

The sporty Ram 1500 Rebel has features like a grille that adds a rugged look when off-road, dual-zone climate control, and an anti-spin differential.

At the high end, the crew-cab-only Longhorn and Limited feature upgraded leather upholstery, keyless entry, a navigation system, and other perks that make them feel almost like luxury cars.

Driving Experience: 8/10


The Ram 1500's base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine delivering 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Other powertrains are available, including a powerful 400 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine.

Dodge has relied on the Ram 1500 through several generations as their go-to light-duty workhorse pickup truck for a good reason. Its muscular design, soft rear suspension, and luxury options like leather seats and steering wheel make it an attractive full-size truck.

Such features as the efficiently shifting eight-speed automatic transmission and rear coil-spring suspension provide an ultra-smooth ride. The four-corner air suspension on the higher end models gives five options of lift adjustment for further performance enhancement.

While the Ram may lag a little in its towing capacity compared to competitors, its Hemi V8 engine is rated for 10,650 pounds of towing, making it a top-ranked choice for heavy payloads. Even the smaller EcoDiesel V6 is given a boost in towing capacity due to turbochargers and a higher compression ratio.

Fuel Efficiency: 7/10


For a light-duty full-size truck, fuel efficiency is fair to good in the Ram 1500. The standard two-wheel-drive gasoline V-6 base models like the Tradesman get an EPA rating of 17/25/20 mpg city/hwy/combined. The two-wheel drive gasoline V-8 models are rated slightly lower at 15/22/17 mpg city/hwy/combined. The four-wheel drive option decreases efficiency to 16/23/19 mpg. The diesel V6 gets a slight bump to 20/28/23 mpg.

The Ram 1500 has different powertrains, including a clean and efficient V6 turbo-diesel engine as well as an aggressive Hemi V8 that is less forgiving on fuel consumption. Whether fuel economy is a concern or not, the Ram 1500 offers suitable trim packages to meet that need.

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