Although the last full redesign of the Ram was way back in 2009, you wouldn’t be able to tell that by the way this thing drives. Everything about it is great. The materials are superb for a truck, the infotainment system is surprisingly easy to use, and the supple ride is just awesome. You may think it’s old and therefore irrelevant and not up to the job, but here’s something you wouldn’t expect to hear: it doesn’t just give the freshly redesigned trucks a run for their money, but it beats them by a comfortable margin.
The Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup truck which can be had in a few body styles. The regular cab can seat three people, and it’s available with a 6-foot 4-inch bed or the larger 8-foot bed. The quad cab (extended cab) doubles the seating capacity by offering a maximum of six seating positions, but at the sacrifice of the larger 8-foot bed. You can only have the quad cab with the smaller 6 foot 4 bed. Lastly, the crew cab increases the rear legroom and is available with a 5 foot 7 bed or a 6 foot 4 bed. As far as trim levels are concerned, however, there’s quite a few of them: Tradesman, Express, HFE, SLT, Big Horn, Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Sport, Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Limited. We can’t go over each of them in great detail so we’ll give you a short preview into what the main characteristics of them are.
2016 Ram 1500 Design and Trim Levels
The Tradesman has 17-inch wheels (steel) as standard, black bumpers, black grille and black door handles. Furthermore, it brings Class IV receiver hitch, active grille shutters, automatic headlights, a locking tailgate, vinyl floor covering, cruise control, 40/20/40 split bench, privacy glass, and a six-speaker sound system.
The Express has the same things from the Tradesman but deletes the receiver hitch and the bed liner. It comes with 20-inch aluminum wheels this time with body colored parts that were black on the Tradesman. Oh, and it also gets fog lights.
The HFE can only be had in regular and quad body style. It’s rear-wheel drive only, and you can have a diesel V6 or a petrol engine. It includes the black bumpers from the Tradesman, but it has stop-start technology, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and cloth upholstery.
The SLT gives you chromed exterior pieces, heated side mirrors, power accessories, dual gloveboxes, remote keyless entry, a 5-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity. The extended and crew cab versions get power-sliding rear windows as well as the rear backlight.
The Big Horn provides you with an 115-volt power outlet, better cloth upholstery, a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel wrapped in leather.
Moving up to the sport you get the V8 engine, body-colored trim on the outside, 20-inch alloys, projector headlights, LED taillights, a rearview camera, LED lighting for the interior, a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen with infotainment services and smartphone integration.
The Laramie, weirdly, goes a step back by offering the gasoline V6 engine, exterior chrome pieces, and a front bench seat.
The Limited gives you monotone paint, automatic windshield wipers, side-step bars, chrome bed rails and self-leveling air suspension. On the inside, you get better leather upholstery and heated rear seats.
Going for the top of the line Ram, you get a choice between the Outdoorsman and the Rebel. The former is only available as a 4WD model and as a crew or quad cab. It has the same package as the Big Horn, but you get 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, better rear shocks, black fender flares, a bigger fuel tank, skid plates underneath the body of it, tow hooks, remote engine start and bucket seats for the front.
The Rebel is the more off-road capable vehicle. It’s only available as a 5 foot 7 crew cab. The outside is similar to the Sport R/T, but you get all-terrain tires, Bilstein front and rear shocks, LED foglights, keyless entry and tow hooks. Keep in mind that these options are only the base ones, and prices for each model can go up as you start adding more options and upgrading them.
Engine and Transmission
The base engine of the Ram 1500 for 2016 is a 3.6-liter V6 with 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed auto, but instead of having the regular shift lever, you control it via the rotary knob located on the instrument panel. As standard, the Ram is a rear-wheel drive truck, but there’s a choice of two AWD systems. Both of them have a two-speed transfer case which can enable low-range gearing. The part-time manual mode selection system is rather weak for more powerful applications, however. If you intend to drive off-road specifically go for this one: Automatic 4WD which can switch between the gears and the system itself based on what it thinks is needed.
The fuel economy ratings vary greatly. With a V6 under the hood, it can return 20 mpg on the combined run. In testing, a Ram 1500 SLT with the V6 reached 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. An impressive result for a rather large truck you have to admit.
The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is where you want to be if you’re after power. It puts out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed auto while the eight-speed is still there but as an option (it’s only an option on the Sport, it’s standard on all other trims).
The V8 return just 16 mpg on the combined run and that’s with the six-speed. The eight-speed “improves it” by bringing it back up to 17 mpg.
Prices for the base model of Ram 1500 start at $26k, but if you want to, you can easily get yourself into the $50’s.