The Ram 1500 lives a tough life competing with the best-selling vehicle in the US for the past few decades, the Ford F-150. However, with its wide array of trims, variety of powertrains, handsome interior, and smooth ride, it remains a popular alternative in this hotly contested segment.

Pricing and Equipment

The Ram 1500’s price range, like most pickup trucks, is quite broad in an attempt to offer a model that fits virtually every need. It starts from $27,890 for the Tradesman trim and a regular cab and stretches to $54,970 for the Longhorn trim. We expect most buyers will gravitate toward something in the middle of the lineup, like the SLT trim, which starts from $37,090 and includes:

  • Chrome exterior trim
  • Keyless entry
  • Overhead console
  • Dual glove boxes
  • Five-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Satellite radio

There is also the Sport trim, which sits right above the SLT at $37,990 and adds a little extra sportiness with 20-inch wheels and body-colored trim, plus more premium features, like LED taillights and accent lighting, power-adjustable pedals, and projector-beam headlights.

Performance Pros

RAM 1500

To match a wide range of buyers’ needs, the Ram 1500 has a duo of engines to choose from, both of which are quite capable.

  • The base 3.6-liter V6’s 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque is plenty for towing up to 7,600 pounds.
  • Optional V8 delivers the goods at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.
  • Thanks partly to its rear coil springs, the Ram 1500 has about as good a ride one can get in a full-size pickup – an optional air suspension makes it even better.
  • It’s handling is particularly good for a pickup, too.

Performance Cons

  • The thrifty turbo-diesel engine is entangled in an EPA investigation due to possible emissions cheating and is not available at this time.
  • When it was available, the diesel option is a whopping $3,000 premium.
  • The ride quality can vary greatly depending on the configuration, potentially leading to tradeoffs between comfort and utility.

Interior Pros

  • The Ram 1500 has a wide range of interior configurations, but all, even the lowest trim level, are comfortable and well laid out.
  • The higher trims, like the Laramie and Longhorn, add a lot of class to this otherwise rugged pickup.
  • Despite its comfortable cabin in all trims, the Ram 1500’s controls are still chunky and easy to use with work gloves on.
  • The wide cabin allows for a long bench that easily accommodates three adults, even in the rear.

Interior Cons

  • The clatter from the diesel engine makes its way into the cabin.
  • The lack of some of the latest technology, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is frustrating.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Ram 1500’s smooth ride is definitely not what we expected from a full-size pickup. It’s easily the most comfortable in its segment.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Ram 1500’s safety ratings left us a little nervous. It received “Good” ratings from the IIHS in the moderate-overlap, side, and head restraint and seat tests, but it received only “Marginal” ratings in the roof-strength and always-difficult small-overlap tests – we'll blame this on the Ram's aging platform, which dates back to 2008.

The Bottom Line

The Ram 1500’s long line of available engines (if/when the diesel engine gets cleared to return), comfortable ride, and well-equipped but still truck-like interior make it a great alternative to the top-selling F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. However, looking past its low crash-test scores may be tough for some.