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2018 Ram 1500 Buying Guide | Popular pickup information and review

Autoblog logo Autoblog 6/30/2018 Sven Gustafson

 

a small blue car: 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport© Provided by AOL Inc. 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

Spun out from Dodge as a standalone truck brand in 2009, the Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup and oldest in the stable of Big Three pickups, last updated in 2013. But it commands a loyal following among truck buyers, thanks to things like its styling, rugged capability, comfortable ride and innovative storage systems. It will be replaced by the 2019 Ram, an all-new truck, but for now the 2018 is still on sale – and will be for some time, as it'll be rebadged as the 1500 Classic and sold alongside the new pickup for a period of time. This buyer's guide covers the 2018 Ram 1500, not the 2019 1500 or 1500 Classic.

The 2018 Ram 1500 is available in a whopping 11 different trim levels, ranging from the entry-level Tradesman to the luxury-minded Limited Tungsten edition, with many of the top-level trims getting the redesigned Ram grille and large Ram emblem on the tailgate that will become standard on the all-new 2019 Ram. It's also offered in crew cab, quad cab and regular cab, and.

With this buyer's guide, Autoblog aims to help you make an educated decision about whether or not to buy the 2018 Ram 1500. We'll touch on safety and reliability ratings, engine specs, horsepower, fuel economy ratings and pricing. And we'll conclude with a summary of Autoblog's most recent test-drive of the Ram 1500.

Research the Ram 1500 on MSN Autos | Find a Ram 1500 pickup near you

Ram 1500 safety ratings

a car parked on the side of a road: 2018 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4x4© Provided by AOL Inc. 2018 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4x4

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Ram 1500 an overall rating of four out of five stars. On frontal crashes, the trucks gets four stars, and it gets a top rating of five stars for side crash protection. Rollover crash ratings range from three of five stars for the four-wheel-drive versions to four stars for rear-wheel-drive models.

Crash ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are more of a mixed bag. IIHS gives the Ram 1500 "marginal" ratings for driver-side small overlap front crash protection, roof strength, headlights and LATCH child-seat anchors, while assigning "good" ratings for everything else.

Because ratings may vary for Ram 1500s from other model years, you should visit the NHTSA and IIHS websites to review ratings on the specific vehicle you're researching.

Is the Ram 1500 reliable?

a close up of a car: 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport© Provided by AOL Inc. 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

You have to go back to the 2016 model-year for the last Ram 1500 that J.D. Power reviewed. It gave the pickup two out of five stars — "below average" — for overall quality, and three of five stars — "about average" — for overall performance and design, and predicted reliability.

A quick note: Autoblog has raised some concerns with how J.D. Power weighs serious and less-serious reliability issues. You can read about that here.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been three recalls of the 2018 Ram 1500 pickup truck, all in calendar-year 2018:

  • In May, the Ram 1500 was among many other Fiat-Chrysler models recalled for a software defect that could prevent the cruise control from shutting off.
  • A smaller recall earlier that month centered on incorrect park lock rods that may have prevented the transmission from shifting into park.
  • A recall in February focused on a problem that could cause vehicle transmissions to shift out of park and into gear without pushing the brake pedal or having the key in the ignition.

In all cases, Fiat-Chrysler said it would notify owners and make the necessary repairs free of charge.

How much interior and cargo room does the Ram 1500 have?

a car parked in front of a blue truck driving down a dirt road

We'll break these up by cab configuration:

Regular cab

  • 39.9 inches front headroom
  • 41 inches front legroom
  • 62.5 cubic feet of interior volume
  • Choice of 6-foot-4 cargo bed, offering 57.5 cubic feet of volume, or 8-foot bed offering 74.7 cubic feet

Quad cab

  • 41 inches front headroom, 39.7 inches rear
  • 41 inches front leg room, 34.7 in the rear
  • 64.2 cubic feet of interior volume
  • 6-foot-4 cargo bed offering 57.5 cubic feet of volume

Crew cab

  • 41 inches front headroom, 39.9 inches in back
  • 41 inches front leg room, 40.3 inches in the rear
  • 64.2 cubic feet of interior volume
  • Choice of 5-foot-7 cargo box, offering 50.3 cubic feet of volume, or 6-foot-4 cargo box, at 57.5 cubic feet

Ram 1500 engine specs and horsepower

a blue truck parked on the side of a road: 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport© Provided by AOL Inc. 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

There are several engine options for the Ram 1500:

  • A 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that generates 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque
  • A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft
  • A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that boasts 395 hp and 410 lb-ft

Towing capacity ranges from 4,210 to 10,640 pounds.

How fuel efficient is the 2018 Ram 1500?

a blue suitcase: 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport© Provided by AOL Inc. 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

The 3.0-liter diesel V6 is the most efficient engine, delivering 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined for the rear-wheel-drive version, or a combined 22 mpg for four-wheel-drive.

With the 3.6-liter V6, the Ram 1500 is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway for a combined 20 mpg.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8, meanwhile, offers 15 miles per gallon in the city, 22 mpg on the highway and a combined 17 mpg.

How much does the Ram 1500 cost?

a car parked in front of a blue truck driving down a dirt road© Provided by AOL Inc.

The 2018 Ram 1500 Tradesman model starts at $28,740, including the $1,645 destination charge, while the Limited model climbs from $55,140.

The last time Autoblog reviewed a Ram 1500 from the current generation was the 2013 model year, when the 3.6-liter V6 became the standard engine. Reviewer Zach Bowman praised the truck's improved fuel economy, powertrain and interior.

"For the first time in years, a domestic automaker is taking a clever look at building a better truck," he wrote. "The result is a model that embarrasses the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra at their own games while giving the F-150 something to sweat over."

Read our review of the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn.

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