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2018 Ram 1500

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 9/4/2017 GREG FINK

2018 Ram 1500 2018 Ram 1500 - Quick-Take Review Overview: The 2018 Ram 1500 can trace its roots to the 2009 model, when it was still badged as a Dodge. Despite Ram becoming its own brand along the way and this light-duty pickup undergoing a thorough refresh for the 2013 model year, the 1500 no longer feels like the young buck it once was. Nevertheless, it remains the only full-size pickup to rely on standard coil springs—or optional air springs—both front and rear. Almost all other pickups sold today use a less sophisticated leaf-spring suspension for the rear axle.

Like its competitors, the 2018 Ram 1500 is available in a plethora of trim levels, many of which can be mixed and matched with the truck’s three cab configurations (two-door regular cab, four-door quad cab, and the more spacious four-door crew cab) and three bed lengths (67, 76, and 98 inches). A trio of engines is available: The standard 3.6-liter V-6 makes a healthy 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, an available 5.7-liter V-8 makes a throaty 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft, and a frugal, 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel returns 240 horses and an impressive 420 lb-ft. All three engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or four-wheel drive.

What’s New: The Ram 1500 sees several changes for 2018, including a handful of new special editions. The Limited Tungsten Edition brings additional luxuries to the already decked-out Ram 1500 Limited, including a faux-suede headliner and trim-specific leather and wood accents. Meanwhile, a new Harvest Edition targets the agriculture industry with a taller ride height, a mesh grille, and other farm-focused attributes, including paint colors to match certain makes of tractors. A new grille on Sport models forgoes the truck’s classic crosshair design and instead mimics the look of the grilles found on the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn, Limited, and Limited Tungsten Edition. Additionally, the new Ram 1500 Big Horn Black eschews chrome. The 8.4-inch infotainment system benefits from the latest Uconnect software, which brings features such as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, improved graphics, and more. Finally, Ram adds a leather-interior option to the off-road-ready Rebel.

2018 Ram 1500© GREG FINK 2018 Ram 1500

What We Like: Despite its age, the Ram 1500 remains one of the best-riding full-size pickups. Credit the standard coil-spring and optional air-spring suspension. We’re particularly fond of the latter setup, which makes the ride quality even cushier, especially when the bed is empty, without sacrificing cargo-hauling ability. Likewise, we appreciate the available RamBox locking storage compartments built into the bedsides. Finally, the Ram 1500’s available 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen remains one of the best multimedia systems in the business.

What We Don’t Like: Notably heavier than its rivals from Chevrolet and Ford, the Ram 1500 lacks those models’ comparatively lithe dynamics. Its steering is numb and heavy and further exacerbates the Ram’s heft. We’d also like to see Ram offer a true competitor to the Ford F-150 Raptor, as the Rebel lacks the hardware to go head to head with Ford’s 450-hp off-road pickup.

Verdict: The most comfortable full-size pickup, even if its age is beginning to show.


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine; rear-, rear-/4-, rear-/all-wheel-drive; 2-, 3-, 5-, or 6-passenger; 2- or 4-door pickup

BASE PRICES: Tradesman, $28,490;

Express, $29,790;

Lone Star, $32,890;

Big Horn, $34,890;

Sport, $38,290;

Night, $38,685;

Harvest Edition, $38,605;

Lone Star Silver, $40,590;

Laramie, $41,540;

Rebel, $46,690;

Laramie Longhorn, $51,490;

Limited, $54,690;

Limited Tungsten Edition, $56,215

ENGINE TYPES: DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V-6, 305 hp, 269 lb-ft;

pushrod 16-valve 5.7-liter V-8, 395 hp, 410 lb-ft;

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel 3.0-liter V-6, 240 hp, 420 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


Wheelbase: 120.5–149.5 in

Length: 209.0–231.0 in

Width: 79.4 in Height: 74.4–79.9 in

Passenger volume: 62–125 cu ft

Curb weight (C/D est): 4800–6000 lb


Combined/city/highway: 17–23/15–20/21–27 mpg


2016 Ram 1500 Rebel Mopar ’16

Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 20.2 sec

Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.0 sec

Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.4 sec

Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.4 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 15.5 sec @ 88 mph

Top speed (governor limited): 107 mph

Braking, 70-0 mph: 213 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.69 g

Curb weight: 5925 lb

C/D observed fuel economy: 14 mpg


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