Dodge Ram 1500 Review

Owners of pickup trucks tend to be a very loyal group. You love what you drive, be it Dodge, Ford, Toyota, or whatever, and hate everything else. Nothing seems to anger in a pickup driver more than seeing their truck bashed in a head-to-head competitive review. I’ve driven a wide variety of trucks, and don’t have any personal bias. But, I have found each vendor often designs their truck for a specific type of driver or specific use. Some trucks are designed for comfort. Others for sport. And, others for doing real work. I’ll try not to inflict any personal bias. Just the facts. Nothing but the facts. However, if the vehicle is designed for a specific type of driving, or type of use, I’ll try to point it out.

Dodge Ram Models

The Dodge Ram comes in three different cab styles: the Regular Cab, Quad Cab and Crew Cab. The Regular cab is the two door model, while the Quad Cab and Crew Cab have four doors. The primary difference between the Quad Cab and Crew Cab is leg room in the back seat. The Crew Cab has more leg room. All models are available in 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive.

The Regular Cab offers three different models: the ST, SLT and Sport. These models come with either a 6’4″ or 8′ box. If you are looking for a work truck, the regular cab is the only 1500 body style that comes with an 8 foot bed. The ST is the basic no frills truck with a V6, 4-speed automatic, radio and air conditioning. The SLT is largely the same as the ST, except for a 4.7L V8, keyless entry, power windows and some storage compartments. It comes with a 6’4″ bed. If you want something with a little more power and luxury, you need to move up to the Sport model. The Sport comes with a 4.7L Hemi V8, sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and other niceties.

Both the Quad Cab and Crew Cab come in five different models, the ST, SLT, TRX, Sport and Laramie The main difference between the Quad Cab and Crew Cab is room in the back seat. The Crew Cab has several more inches of leg room. This is achieved by taking it away from the box. The Quad Cab has a 6’4″ box versus the Crew Cab at 5’7″. The ST, SLT and Sport are primarily the 4-door versions of the vehicles described above. The TRX is intended for more serious off-road driving. It comes with all-terrain tires and under-body skid plates. The Laramie is the top-end model and comes with luxury features such as premium heated seats, dual-zone temperature control, remote start and park assist.

For more model details, see the Dodge Ram web site: Dodge Ram Models

Key Features and Specifications

The Ram 1500 has three different power-train options. The Regular Cab comes standard with a 3.7L V6 engine or 4.7L V8, and a 4-speed or 5-speed automatic transmission. Other models come with either the 4.7L V8 or 5.7L V8 HEMI, and a 5-speed automatic transmission. With about 20 different model variations, I won’t try to describe all of the features here. If you are interested in additional feature and specification details between models, see the Dodge Ram Highlights and Specifications.

Work versus Play

An important question is, what do you want in a truck? Are you looking for a work truck, a truck that can carry your family plus haul a trailer, a truck for some serious off road adventure, or a fun truck that can occasionally carry some cargo? Fortunately, the Dodge Ram family has models targeted at a variety of different types users. Clearly the Sport model is targeted at drivers who think trucks are cool, and want their neighbors and friends to drool every time they see it. If you want some serious off-road fun then check out the TRX. If you or your family want more luxury in a truck, then the Laramie is probably the way to go. And, unless your kids plan to stay small, or you must have the extra few inches of box space, the Crew Cab with more back-seat leg room may prevent a lot of complaining from passengers in the back. If you are looking for a work truck that can carry a large load, the ST model with its 8 foot bed is probably your best choice. Unless, you also need a back seat for your crew, then you need to move up to the Quad Cab or Crew Cab. If you need an 8 foot box and carry a crew, you may need to move up to the Dodge Ram 2500 or 3500.

Is the Dodge Ram Right for You?

Given my comments above, clearly there is a Dodge RAM 1500 model to meet the needs of a diverse set of owners. I’ve owned Dodge, Chevy and Ford vehicles in the past, so I don’t have a specific brand preference. The quality of today’s trucks are very good, so a purchase decision really comes down to personal preference and what features you like in a truck. Does the Dodge RAM 1500 have what you want in a truck? If so, just figure out what model best meets your needs, and go for it. You can’t go wrong with any of these models.


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