2018 Ram 1500 Review
  • Car Review

2018 Ram 1500 Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 8, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • Rugged exterior.
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system.
  • Impressive turbodiesel engine.
  • Lots of choices for trim and equipment.

Cons:

  • Mediocre safety ratings.
  • Too few driver assistance features.
  • Less towing and hauling capacity than rivals.

Would we buy one? Yes.

Vehicle Type: A two-or-four-door full-size pickup truck.

Price Range: From $31,800 to $58,000, with a destination fee of $1,395.

Powertrain: A 3.6-liter, 305-horsepower V6 engine with 269 lb-ft of torque, rear or four-wheel-drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A 3.0-liter, 240-horsepower turbodiesel V6 engine with 420 lb-ft of torque, rear or four-wheel-drive, and an eight-speed automatic.

A 5.7-liter, 395-horsepower Hemi V8 engine with 410 lb-ft of torque, rear or four-wheel-drive, and a six-speed automatic or an eight-speed automatic.

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

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Overall Score: 7.1/10

Safety Features: 5/10

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The 2018 Ram 1500 received lackluster safety ratings for its class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave this full-size pickup truck an overall safety rating of four out of five. The rear-wheel-drive Ram earned a rollover test score of four stars, and the four-wheel-drive Ram earning just three.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Ram 1500 a Marginal rating for the roof strength and small overlap front tests but a perfect rating for the other crash tests. The IIHS also found the LATCH car-seat connectors located on the rear middle seat and rear outboard seats hard to find and use.

The Ram 1500 doesn't come with much more than mandatory safety equipment. In addition to stability control, antilock brakes, and six airbags, the base trim now comes with a mandatory backup camera for greater visibility. Features available on higher trims include automatic high beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. But systems like adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring, now available on other full-size trucks, are not available on the Ram.


Value: 8/10

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The 2018 Ram 1500 comes in numerous trims, with prices ranging from $31,800 to $58,000. That's competitive in its class, with higher-end models offering much more equipment.

Ram offers a certified pre-owned warranty for Rams less than five years old and boasting fewer than 75,000 miles.


Tech Features: 7/10

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This Ram truck comes with a wide range of tech amenities, including the UConnect 5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is easy to use and features bright and clear graphics. In addition to the UConnect system, standard tech perks for the Ram 1500 include a USB port and a six-speaker stereo system. There are numerous physical knobs and buttons to make navigating the infotainment system easier.

On higher trims, you can get a seven- or 10-speaker premium sound system as well as navigation, keyless entry, remote start, an extra USB port, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Dual-zone automatic climate control is available, as is a sunroof and 115-volt household-style power outlet.


Practicality: 8/10

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The Ram has a maximum payload capacity of 1,750 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 10,450 pounds when properly equipped. By comparison, the rival Chevrolet Silverado can carry up to 2,250 pounds and tow a maximum of 12,500 pounds.

The Ram 1500 offers three bed lengths. A 5-foot-7-inch bed is available for the crew cab exclusively, while an 8-foot bed is available for the regular cab model only. Finally, a 6-foot-4-inch bed is offered on the Quad Cab, Crew Cab, and regular cab.

The cabin contains numerous storage bins. Lockable Ram Box storage units attached to the pickup bed rails are available as an option and give covered storage in the bed area, although they restrict the open space's width.


Styling & Design: 7/10

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Depending on the trim, the 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 weighs 4,520 to 5,799 pounds and is 17 feet 5 inches long to 19 feet 10 inches long. The vehicle's steel wheels, low headlights, unpainted bumper, high grille, and tailgate spoiler combine to make an aesthetic that suits work sites more than cozy neighborhoods. Side steps, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a tonneau cover are available.

The Ram's cabin is comfortable, especially at higher trim levels. The Tradesman, Lone Star, and Big Horn trims feature cheap-looking plastics, but the Laramie and Laramie Longhorn trims sport improved materials, from soft paneling to wood paneling. Vinyl upholstery comes standard, but cloth or leather upholstery is commonly available.

As well, the front seats can be ventilated and power-adjustable. The driver's seat has memory functions, and both front and rear seats can be heated. Also, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheels are on offer for extra comfort. A fixed console and captain's chairs are optional.


Driving Experience: 8/10

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The base Ram 1500 comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 engine with 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque and a 5.7-liter V8 engine with 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque are also available. Some V8 models use a six-speed automatic transmission, but most other vehicles use an eight-speed transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is standard, but there are various four-wheel-drive options.

The Ram's coil-spring rear suspension gives it a ride far superior to other full-size pickup trucks, more like an SUV. A class-exclusive active air suspension further improves the ride and makes towing easier, but it's expensive to add. The cabin is also more hushed than competing models, even if the turbodiesel doesn't completely disguise its different engine note.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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In terms of fuel economy, this truck is about average. With rear-wheel-drive, the base V6 engine gets 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, and a combined 20 mpg, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Four-wheel-drive drops those figures to 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined. That's on par with other full-size pickups.

The V8 engine with four-wheel-drive gets 15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, 19 mpg combined, and 23 mpg highway with two-wheel-drive.

The turbodiesel engine is the most efficient, and it gets better mileage than most rivals. With rear-wheel drive, it gets 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. With four-wheel-drive, it's rated at 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.


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