The last-generation Ram 1500 was introduced in 2008, back when George W. Bush was our president and the Dodge brand still sold pickups. It evolved over time with the addition of new trims, fancier interiors, and even a turbodiesel engine for a spell. Interestingly, it stuck around even after the new fifth-generation hit the market in 2019, just with a different name: The Ram 1500 Classic. But now, it looks like it may finally be dead after 15 years.
Ram's website still lists the 1500 Classic as available, but it stops at the 2023 model year whereas other trucks are offered as 2024s. I've been on watch all year to see if it would soldier on so I reached out to Ram as soon as I saw this. A brand PR rep replied thusly:
"We haven’t announced anything yet but will let you know when we do. Hope all is well!"
Honestly, I'm not sure if all is well! The Ram 1500 Classic might be dead! We already knew the fifth-gen Ram was ditching the V8, but it was unclear if that meant the older model would be discontinued as well. Given that we're already talking about the 2025 1500 lineup still without mention of a Classic, our worst fears are looking likely.
In its contemporary form, the Ram 1500 Classic is available in two trims: Tradesman and Warlock. You can spec either with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and power comes from either a 3.6-liter V6 or a 5.7-liter V8. It was never slated to get the twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six like its successor will soon offer, and the snazziest models are reserved for the fifth-gen, but more simplicity isn't a bad thing in the world of trucks.
The fifth-gen Ram 1500 is a perfectly capable pickup; really, a lot of it is the same as the fourth-gen underneath. However, it comes at a cost. The 2024 model starts at $36,065 after destination, which is a nearly $3,400 premium over the Ram 1500 Classic's entry point. There are way more options and features on the upper end, but if you're comparing relatively basic pickups to each other, the fifth-gen doesn't offer much that its predecessor did not.
I guess now we'll wait and see if Ram officially announces the death of the 1500 Classic. Stellantis isn't obligated to, of course, and there's a chance the truck will go quietly into that good night. If that's the case, then we'll pour one out for a pickup whose longevity gave us truck nerds something to talk about for years.
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