From the January 2024 issue of Car and Driver.
The Ram 1500 has been around awhile—the brand introduced this generation for 2019—but the years have only deepened our fondness for Stellantis's full-size pickup. With the Ram, there's something for everyone: refrigerator-white Tradesmans with vinyl upholstery, luxe Limiteds with interiors to rival a Range Rover, and supercharged 702-hp TRXs, if that's your thing. There are no duds in the lineup, and every truck is tangible evidence of Ram's mission to chisel away at Ford and GM's domestic-truck market share.
While traditionalism is often an excuse for technological stasis, the Ram 1500 defies truck dogma and offers four-corner air springs that can lower the body at speed or raise it for increased clearance off-road. The cabin can be had with quilted leather-upholstered seats—heated, ventilated, and reclining front and rear. The available multifunction tailgate is split and hinged both vertically and horizontally. Everywhere you look, there's evidence of creative thinking and the license to chase ideas that don't fit pickup preconceptions.
But the Ram 1500 also works damn fine as a truck. The optional lockable RamBox bins on either side of the bed are great places to stash tools. It can tow more than 12,000 pounds when properly equipped. And while the Ram hasn't embraced turbocharging—yet—its 5.7-liter V-8 makes 395 horsepower and all the right noises.
One-and-done vehicles litter the 10Best annals. But this Ram 1500 has taken home a trophy every year since its introduction, an especially impressive feat given that this truck is at the end of its run and getting an overhaul for 2025. Next year will bring a choice of turbocharged inline-sixes, an electric version, and a plug-in hybrid, as well as hands-free driving assist. But if recent history is precedent, the company might keep building this version and dub it the "Ram 1500 Classic," as it does with the 2009–18 truck. Since winners always get invited back, two different Ram 1500s could be competing for 10Best. Hey, you can't have too much of a good thing, right?
You Might Also Like