The workhorse of the lineup, the Tradesman is the cheapest of the lot at $36,540 to start (all prices include the $1,695 destination charge). Cheap it may be, but the Tradesman is actually the strongest of the lineup on paper – with the high-output turbo engine, it owns both the max tow rating (35,100 pounds) and the max payload (7,680 pounds).
It’s fairly basic otherwise. The seats are vinyl, the exterior is simple, and the wheels are steel 18-inchers. Infotainment is equally spartan, with a 5-inch touchscreen, Ram’s Uconnect system, and just four speakers. Still, Ram does include Bluetooth and a couple USB charging ports.
Ram gets elaborate with its package options, so take a deep breath. Bundles start with two equipment groups. The Tradesman Level 1 Equipment Group ($895) gets you heated side mirrors with turn signals and courtesy lights, an overhead console and light, power trailer-tow mirrors, power front windows, keyless entry, chrome interior door handles, and nicer door trim. The Tradesman Level 2 Equipment Group ($995) adds all of the above plus cloth seats, floor carpeting, a sliding rear window, satellite radio, and rubber floor mats.
On the exterior, a Chrome Appearance Group ($995) blings out the bumpers, grille, and wheels. The Bed Utility Group ($695) buys a deployable bed step, LED bed lighting, and a spray-in bedliner.
The Safety Group ($2,195) adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, rain-sensitive windshield wipers, automatic high beams, LED headlights and taillights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wheel-mounted controls, a 7-inch driver information display, and power side mirrors with courtesy lights and turn signals.
Finally, the Cold Weather Group ($145) adds an engine block heater and a winter grille cover, and the Roadside Safety Kit ($195) includes a variety of bright-colored safety gear.
Only white and red are no-cost exterior colors – anything else costs at least $100. A sliding rear window is available on its own for $195, and tubular side steps may be added for $395 (or $495 with chrome). The spray-in bedliner is a $495 option.
On the interior, cloth seats are an option for $95, along with a single-disc CD player ($345), a six-speaker audio system ($100), a rear window defroster ($195), panel-mounted auxiliary switches ($145), and a 115-volt outlet ($150).
On the safety front, trailer brake control is $295, blind-spot monitors are $995, and rear parking assist is $295.