The 2021 Ram 1500 isn’t the best auto barter because it has the best “best-in-class” accolades but because it raises expectations for the absolute breed. Pickups were already advised based on ruggedness rather than refinement. No longer. And this latest Ram, with its luxury-grade autogenous and adequate ride quality, calmly exceeds alike the fanciest versions of the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ford F-150. Its avant-garde air suspension, congenital cargo-bed bins, split-folding tailgate, and behemothic 12.0-inch touchscreen are all options not offered on its rivals. Along with a frugal and torque-rich agent six-cylinder engine, the Ram enhances its accepted V-6 and alternative Hemi V-8 with amalgam systems. They accord to the pickup’s abreast vibe, which is additionally bolstered by its all-encompassing technology and countless capabilities—which makes the Ram an accessible aces for our 2021 10Best list.
Not alone has the admission of the Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 TRX, which we analysis separately, fabricated Ram’s 2021 half-ton calendar added interesting, it additionally signals the accession of some air-conditioned new options for the less-extreme models. These accommodate a anew accessible head-up display, a absolutely agenda rearview mirror, a affection that controls the truck’s council back abetment up to a trailer, and Off-Road pages independent in the infotainment arrangement that appearance ride height, pitch-and-roll monitoring, and transfer-case mode. Along with some bigger trailer-specific features, the accession of banal apprehension to the Advanced Assurance package, and broadcast availability of forward-collision warning, there’s a appropriate Bound Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition. It includes a deluge of absolute badging central and out as able-bodied as a Mountain Brown autogenous with different trim pieces.
Although the accession of the batty TRX diminishes the agreeableness of the Rebel, we still anticipate it’s the half-ton Ram to get. We’d opt for the aggregation cab with four-wheel drive, which costs $3500 added than the rear-drive version. While the accepted V-6 is serviceable, we adopt the added adeptness and adult boom that the $1495 Hemi V-8 provides. We’d additionally accept the air abeyance for its selectable ride height. Since it requires either the Level 1 or Level 2 package, we anticipate the latter’s agenda of alien start, 115-volt adeptness outlet, advanced and rear parking sensors, power-adjustable pedals, acquiescent hands-free entry, and added accomplish it the one to get. We’d additionally nab the 33-gallon ammunition catchbasin that will accredit beneath fill-ups during alley trips than the accepted 26-gallon tank. The alone added options we’d acclaim are the Assurance and Convenience amalgamation (adaptive cruise, automated high-beams, lane-keep assist) and the Multifunction Tailgate that additionally brings a spray-in bedliner.
Among its abounding trim levels, there are V-6 and V-8 gasoline powertrains that all brace with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automated transmission. Both engines are assisted by a 48-volt amalgam system, admitting the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 can additionally be had after the electric support. We’ve apprenticed a brace models with the closing and accepted the engine’s baritone bankrupt agenda and active acceleration. We’ve additionally apprenticed Rams with the agent 3.0-liter V-6 (called EcoDiesel) that develops 480 lb-ft of torque, which is added than agnate agent engines on half-ton pickups from Chevy and Ford. The oil-burning six-cylinder is slower than the Hemi, but it’s aesthetic for a agent and delivers bigger ammunition economy. For adventuresome folk, asperous Rebel archetypal provides beefier looks and accepted off-road capability. Every Ram 1500 has an absorbing ride acknowledgment to a rear abeyance that uses accepted braid springs or alternative air springs, clashing the acceptable leaf-spring bureaucracy begin on calm rivals. Models able with the air abeyance alike accept adjustable ride heights that aid ammunition adeptness and off-road ability. Its ablaze council and able brakes accommodate airy canoeing and assured stops, too.
The Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,750 pounds and backpack a burden of up to 2320 pounds. Its max towing accommodation exceeds all but the Ford F-150, which currently exceeds 13,000 pounds. Rams with the aggregation cab—including the Rebel model—can’t tow as abundant as the continued Quad Cab archetypal but still beat 11,500 pounds.
With alloyed V-6 and V-8 engines as able-bodied as a agent option, the Ram 1500 calendar has assorted ammunition economy. The EPA estimates that the best able V-6 Ram will acquire up to 20 mpg burghal and 26 mpg highway, while the V-8 adaptation is rated up to 17 mpg burghal and 23 mpg highway. The government estimates diesel-powered Rams will get up to 22 mpg burghal and 32 highway; those numbers are hardly lower with all-wheel drive. The Rebel we activated becoming 24 mpg artery on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy route, which is allotment of our all-encompassing testing regimen. That’s 6 mpg bigger than the gas-only V-8 Rebel and 4 mpg bigger than the nonhybrid V-8 Laramie we tested.
Inside, the Ram 1500 has chiefly anatomic accommodation stowage and alveolate commuter space. Higher trims add flush abstracts and animal comforts that accomplish the Ram feel added like a affluence agent than a auto truck. Best models can be able with flush appearance such as acrimonious and aerial seats and a across-the-board sunroof, while the fanciest versions accept exceptional covering surfaces and 18-carat copse accents. As with best full-size auto trucks, the Ram 1500’s aggregation cab is chiefly spacious. It additionally has all-inclusive amounts of autogenous accumulator and a different split-folding tailgate. Both the five-foot-seven-inch and six-foot-four-inch burden beds are available, but the continued Quad Cab alone pairs with the latter.
Ram trucks accept had one of the best infotainment systems and connectivity appearance in the chic for a while. That continues on the latest trucks, with a acknowledging 8.4-inch or massive alternative 12.0-inch touchscreen that is accessible on all but the abject Ram model. Too bad we accomplished a lot of glitches with the huge affectation during the advance of our 40,000-mile abiding test. The systems avowal abundant adeptness credibility as able-bodied as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a adaptable hotspot. Thankfully, alike the better awning has concrete knobs and adamantine buttons that accompaniment the blow points.
The 2021 Ram 1500 becoming a best crash-test appraisement from the National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration (NHTSA), but the aftermost adaptation that was evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS) wasn’t called a Top Assurance Pick. The auto additionally has a host of accessible driver-assistance technology that ranges from automated emergency braking to lane-keeping assist. Key assurance appearance include:
Ram has a aggressive bound and powertrain assurance that is alone eclipsed by the Nissan Titan’s lengthier coverage. Likewise, the half-ton Sierra and Silverado as able-bodied as the Toyota Tundra action adulatory appointed maintenance.
2020 Ram 1500 Bound EcoDiesel 4×4 Aggregation Cab
VEHICLE TYPE front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED $67,530 (base price: $63,655)
ENGINE TYPE turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve agent V-6, adamant block and aluminum heads, absolute ammunition injectionDisplacement 182 cu in, 2987 ccPower 260 hp @ 3600 rpmTorque 480 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CHASSIS Abeyance (F/R): controls arms/live axleBrakes (F/R): 14.9-in vented disc/14.8-in vented discTires: Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza, 275/55R-20 113T M S