The Ram 1500 line of full-size pickup trucks offers the range diversity buyers in this segment expect, from a regular cab work truck to a luxuriously appointed crew cab with four full doors. Where it aims to differ from competing brands from GM, Ford and Toyota is in the areas of fuel efficiency, refinement and clever features.
Ram 1500s are available as two-door regular cabs and four-door extended and Quad cabs, with various combinations available with f-foot 7-inch, 6-foot-4 or 8-foot bed lengths, and either a 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic transmission, a 4.7-liter V8 with 310 horsepower or 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 395 horsepower, both mated to 6-speed automatics.
The Ram 1500 starts off with the Tradesman, a base model aimed at customers who want a simple work truck and lots of room to customize it and make it their own. It's comes with 17-inch wheels, air conditioning, a split bench seat, power windows, vinyl floor, spray-in bedliner and sound system with USB input. The SLT adds power locks with remote keyless entry, power mirrors, carpeting and floor mats, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome around the grille and doors, Sirius satellite radio and two gloveboxes.
The R/T is a street truck, available only with the 5.7 V8 in a regular cab, two-wheel drive style, with big 22-inch alloy wheels, sport exhaust, bucket seats and body-colored trim. The Sport trim adds big 20-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts, fog lights, LED running lights, body-colored trim around the grille, windows and bumpers, ambient lighting, bucket seats with a center console, Bluetooth and auto-dimming mirrors.
The Laramie comes as an extended cab or Quad cab and adds luxury to the Ram, with chrome bumpers, dual exhausts, two-tone paint, leather upholstery, backup camera, front bench seat, heated and cooled front seats and a dual-zone automatic climate control.
The range-topping Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab comes with a mesh grille, parking sensors, wood trim, bedliner, heated second row seats, navigation system with Sirius traffic and HD radio.
The Limited Package for the Longhorn adds monochromatic paint trim, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers and the RamBox storage system. Four-wheel drive is also available on all trims.
The Chevrolet Silverado and twin GMC Sierra can haul more and are slightly less expensive than the Ram, but lack refinement especially in the interior appointments. The Ford F-150 offers a powerful and efficient EcoBoost V6 and even more options and configurations, but lack the Ram's ride quality and interior fit and finish. The Toyota Tundra's V8 is effortlessly powerful and the styling may appeal to a trendier set, but interior materials are just OK. The Nissan Titan lacks a regular cab configuration and its V8 guzzles fuel even more than rivals, but for an old design it still has impressive capabilities.
The Ram may not be the last word on towing and power, but it is a well-rounded machine with long list of available trims and packages with interesting features such as a fuel-efficient V6 model and the coil rear suspension – things unheard of in this segment. What's more, top range versions come packed with features that are just as at home in a premium SUV. Whatever you need your full-size pickup to do, there's probably a Ram 1500 that's perfectly suited to it. Anyone shopping in the segment should drive one.
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