Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - April 17, 2018

2018 RAM 1500 OVERVIEW

The Ram 1500 continually ranks in as the third best-selling vehicle in the United States. The full-size pickup truck's popularity can be traced back to its muscular character, capability, and numerous trims. Capable of getting dirty on a construction site, to fitting in with consumers that regularly wear suits, the Ram 1500 is a truck that can play all nine positions on a baseball field.

What's New for 2018

For the most part, the 2018 Ram 1500 remains unchanged. Some new features have been added to the truck's list of standard and optional features, including things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A special Harvest Edition and a range-topping Limited Tungsten Edition join the lineup, as well.

Choosing Your RAM 1500

Like the other two major players in the full-size pickup segment, the 1500 is available in a myriad of configurations. The first decision to narrowing down a trim boils down to how many doors you want and the length of the bed. Unlike last year, Ram is now offering the Regular Cab, which only has two doors, with both the eight-foot bed and the six-foot four-inch bed.

Quad Cab models have two full-size doors and two half-sized ones in the back and are available with the 6-foot 4-inch bed. Lastly, Crew Cab variants feature four full-size doors and are available with five-foot seven-inch and six-foot four-inch beds.

With that out of the way, the next item on the list is to pick an engine. The base powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. A mighty 5.7-liter V8 that cranks out 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque is up next on the list. Lastly, a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 motor sits at the top of the food chain and produces 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of what engine you go with, an eight-speed automatic transmission is the sole choice.

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the majority of trims, but four-wheel drive is offered as well. But getting a Ram 1500 that sends power to all four wheels isn't available on every trim, as there are some exceptions that comes down to cab and bed size.

When properly equipped, the Ram 1500 is capable of towing up to 10,700 pounds and has a maximum payload capacity of 1,930 pounds. While the pickup's towing figures make it competitive with others in the segment, its payload capacity is one of the lowest.

The 1500 is available in eight trims:


The Tradesman is the base model in the 1500 lineup and costs $28,490 (including destination). The trim is available in all of Ram’s attainable cab and bed sizes. As Ram’s entry-level vehicle into the full-size pickup foray, the model is sparsely equipped. On the outside, the truck comes with a spray-in bedliner, front and black bumpers, automatic headlights, black manual mirrors, and 17-inch steel wheels.

On the inside, the pickup comes with manual air conditioning, a 3.5-inch instrument cluster, a vinyl 40/20/40 split-bench front seat, manual windows, an AM/FM radio, and a six-speaker audio system.


The HFE, which stands for High Fuel Efficiency, is the fuel-efficient variant of the full-size pickup truck. The model starts at $39,380.

Everything about the trim is geared towards eking out the most fuel-efficiency of the truck, so it’s only available with the quad cab and short bed configuration. Other tweaks on the HFE include a Sport front bumper, 20-inch alloy wheels, a tonneau cover, and side steps. The largest item that aids in the vehicle’s fuel-efficiency is its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine.

Together, all of these changes allow the pickup to have an EPA rating of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.


The Express trim costs $29,990 and builds on the Tradesman trim with body-colored bumpers, 17-inch wheels, and carpets. While the pickup comes with a V6 engine, consumers can add the 5.7-liter V8 for an additional $1,450. The trim is available as a Regular Cab with the six-foot four-inch box, a Quad Cab with the six-foot four-inch box, and Crew Cab with the five-foot seven-inch box.


The SLT trim is priced at $32,790 and adds front and rear chrome bumpers, power and heated exterior mirrors, an overhead console, a cloth 40/20/40 split-bench front seat, Uconnect 3 with a five-inch display, SiriusXM Radio, remote keyless entry, as standard over the Express trim. The SLT is available in all of Ram's body styles and cab lengths.

The Big Horn Package raises the price of the pickup to $35,090. Ticking the box for the package brings an LED bed lighting system, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, 20-inch wheels, a premium instrument cluster with 7-inch DID, a universal garage door opener, a cloth-trimmed split-bench front seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Uconnect 4C with a 8.4-inch display, ParkSense front and rear park assist, a remote start system, and a security alarm.


The Sport trim costs $38,490. The trim has all of the same features as the SLT trim, but adds bi-function halogen projector with LED turn/running lights, LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, a Sport Performance hood, 20-inch polished wheels, power-adjustable pedals, premium cloth and vinyl-trimmed bucket seats, heated seats, a 10-way driver’s seat, a seven-speaker audio system as standard. The Sport can be outfitted in all of the automaker’s cab and bed styles, except for a Regular Cab with the 8-foot box.

The Night Edition package brings the price of the SUV up to $38,885. It adds a black painted honeycomb grille, 20-inch semi-gloss black painted wheels, and black badges.


Opting for the Laramie trim costs $41,740. The model comes with a Class IV trailer hitch, bi-function halogen projector with LED turn/running lights, power multifunction exterior mirrors, exterior courtesy lamps, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, body color wheel flares, a memory system for the seats, mirrors, pedals, and radio, leather-trimmed 40/20/40 split-bench seat, heated and ventilated front seats, and a 10-speaker audio system.

Consumers that opt for the Laramie can get the trim as a Quad Cab with the six-foot four-inch box, Crew Cab with the five-foot seven-inch box, and Crew Cab with a six-foot four-inch box.


The Rebel is the first 1500 to come with the 5.7-liter V8 as standard and is priced at $46,890. The trim is the most off-road-oriented pickup in the lineup and comes with Bilstein shock absorbers, air suspension, black powder coated bumpers, all-terrain tires, tow hooks, 17-inch Matte Black wheels, black wheel flares, a full-size floor console, rubber mats, a 10-way driver's seat, a six-way passenger's seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, cloth/vinyl-trimmed bucket seats, and a ParkSense rear park assist system.

The Rebel is only available in one style – Crew Cab with a five-foot seven-inch box.


The range-topping Longhorn trim has a price tag of $51,690. Compared to the Laramie, the pickup adds the 5.7-liter V8 engine, a 32-gallon fuel tank, a LED bed lighting system, a dual exhaust system, auto high-beam headlamp control, 20-inch polished wheels, accent colored-wheel flares, a premium instrument cluster, a premium full-size floor console with leather-wrapped accents, leather-wrapped steering wheel with genuine wood trim, Uconnect 4C with navigation, and front and rear park assist.

The Longhorn trim can be spec’d as a Crew Cab with a five-foot seven-inch box or a Crew Cab with a six-foot four-inch box.

The Limited Package brings the price of the 1500 up to $54,890. It brings four-corner air suspension, 20-inch polished wheels with Gray inserts, premium leather seats, heated second row-seats, ventilated front seats, and a rear defroster as standard.

CarsDirect Tip

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect 1500 just depends on how much money you’re willing to spend. For us, the SLT trim manages to strike a good balance between having a good amount of creature comforts, while not going overboard. Plus it still has the look and feel of a full-size pickup.

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