This marks the third model year for the fifth generation of the Ram 1500 full-size pickup truck, which was last fully redesigned in 2019. This hardworking, smartly designed pickup demonstrates why these workhorses are almost exclusively the domain of domestic automakers.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
The most significant addition for 2021 is the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX.
Elsewhere, Ram adds some new optional features to the 1500’s spec sheet. Among them is a head-up display that is the first ever offered by a Ram, Dodge, Jeep or Chrysler vehicle; a digital rearview mirror; trailer reverse steering control; a wired trailer camera prep kit; and a trailer light check/TPMS function that joins the existing trailer package.
Also, trucks with the full suite of driver safety assists gain pedestrian detection and full-speed collision warning.
Ram 1500 trims are Tradesman, Big Horn, Sport, Rebel, Laramie, Limited Longhorn, Limited and TRX.
Engine choices begin with a 3.6L gas V6, which options to a 5.7L V8 in most trims. The gas V6 is standard with a mild hybrid electric assist system called eTorque, which is also available with the V8.
Some models can be equipped with a 3.0L turbodiesel V6. The TRX comes exclusively with a 6.2L supercharged V8.
All engines come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and 4x4 is available.
Tradesman trim comes fitted with a seven-pin trailer wiring harness, electronic transfer case shifting (in 4x4 models), 18-inch steel wheels, and auto on/off headlights.
Inside, there’s vinyl flooring and seating, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, a 3.5-inch driver info display, a 5.0-inch touchscreen powering a six-speaker stereo, air conditioning, Bluetooth, and manual four-way front seats.
Big Horn gets carpeted flooring, a sliding rear window, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and cloth seats.
Sport adds black 20-inch wheels, an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, LED headlights, LED fog lights, a 7.0-inch driver info display, a heated steering wheel, a 115-volt power outlet, power-folding side mirrors, heated front seats, a garage door remote, power-adjustable pedals, and a 12-way power driver’s seat.
Sport trim also introduces the Ram 1500’s advanced safety offerings with forward collision warning with automatic braking.
Rebel trim gets a sport-tuned suspension, an electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, skid plates, 18-inch alloy wheels, black fender flares and badges, a sport hood, the smaller (5.0-inch) touchscreen, and a power sliding rear window.
Laramie’s additions including the 8.0-inch touchscreen, passive keyless entry, dual-zone automatic A/C, ventilated front seats, a 10-speaker stereo, auto-dimming side mirrors, a power front passenger seat, and leather upholstery.
Limited Longhorn gains a remote tailgate release, 20-inch wheels, a 12.0-inch touchscreen, bi-LED headlights with automatic high beams, full leather seating, and heated/reclining rear seats.
Limited gets blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, air suspension, ventilated rear seats, and wireless smartphone charging.
TRX carries forward many of the Limited trim’s upscale features, but is more of a standalone performance model than an extension of the rest of the Ram 1500 line. In addition to the Hellcat engine, it has active performance shocks, air suspension, adaptive headlights, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
One of the Ram 1500’s standout options is a class-exclusive four-corner air suspension system. You can also add more common truck items like an anti-spin rear differential, and a Class IV trailer hitch.
Other extras in lower-end models include front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker stereo, a dual-pane sunroof, blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, power-folding mirrors, and navigation.
Certain option packages bring a 12.0-inch, vertically oriented infotainment touchscreen.
Ram 1500’s fuel consumption estimates start with the diesel V6, at 10.5/7.3 L/100 km (city/highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 11.1/8.0 with 4WD.
The 3.6L V6 with eTorque is rated 11.9/9.4 with rear-drive, and 12.1/9.7 with 4WD; there’s also a rear-drive HFE version that is nominally more efficient than the standard 2WD truck.
With the 5.7L V8 and eTorque, the Ram 1500 is rated 14.1/10.3 L/100 km (city/highway) with 2WD, and 14.0/10.7 with 4WD. Without eTorque, those figures climb to 16.2/10.5 L/100 km for 2WD trucks and 16.1/11.0 when fitted with 4WD.
Finally, the TRX’s ratings are 22.2/16.5 L/100 km (city/highway).
The Ram 1500’s primary competition is from the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500. The Toyota Tundra also comes into play here. Nissan’s Titan is around until the end of this year, but will be discontinued after 2021.
The Ram 1500 TRX goes toe-to-toe with the Ford F-150 Raptor.