A review of the Ram 1500 Pickup that covers trim levels, available options, powertrains and overall driving performance, and provides information on past model years.
For decades, the Ram was Dodge's iconic full-size pickup. Starting in 2011, however, parent company Chrysler decided to make the Ram name an actual brand. So, yes, this truck's name is now just Ram, with 1500 added on to specify its status as the half-ton truck in the lineup. There are 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty models as well.
Current Ram 1500 The Ram 1500 is a full-size truck offered in three body styles -- regular cab, extended cab ("Quad Cab") and crew cab. The regular cab can be had with either a 6-foot-4-inch bed or an 8-foot version. The extended cab comes only with the 6-foot-4 bed. The Ram's crew cab model provides the most interior room but comes only with a 5-foot-7-inch bed.
There are three trim levels: base ST, midlevel SLT and top-shelf Laramie. The ST is pretty basic, but you still get air-conditioning and a full complement of safety features including stability control, antilock brakes and side curtain airbags. Naturally, moving up to the SLT or Laramie will get you more standard equipment. Notable options include "RamBox" storage bins mounted on the sides of the bed, a TRX off-road package and rear entertainment and navigation systems.
For engines, the Ram 1500 starts out with a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 215 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is standard. The standard engine on the four-wheel-drive Ram ST and all SLT models is a 4.7-liter V8 coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. Output is a healthy 310 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the Laramie trim and optional on the SLT is a 5.7-liter V8 with a five-speed auto. Output is 390 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque.
In reviews, we've found that this truck excels as a daily-use pickup. A major contributor to this is the truck's coil-spring rear suspension, which significantly enhances ride quality over broken pavement. Another benefit is the roomy and well-appointed interior. The crew cab's rear seat is very comfortable, offering loads of legroom and an agreeable seatback rake. There's also lots of storage space, and the optional RamBox storage bins are pretty cool, though in testing we've found them to be lacking in terms of durability. On the road, the Ram 1500 provides plenty of grunt for towing and hauling when fitted with either V8; the underpowered V6 should be avoided.
Used Ram 1500 Models The new Ram 1500 name came into being for 2011. In reality, though, it's just the next model year of what was formerly the fourth-generation Dodge Ram. For more information on the Dodge version and its previous generations, please read our Dodge Ram review.