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2021 RAM 1500 Overview

The Ram 1500 is one of the best full-size pickup trucks on the market, competing against heavyweights like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Toyota Tundra. It was last redesigned in 2019, saw minor updates for 2020, and will be mostly unchanged for 2021, although Ram is expected to add a new high-performance model to the lineup, the Rebel TRX, intended to compete with the Ford Raptor. The Rebel TRX was slated for reveal at the North American International Auto Show in June, but with that show canceled, it’s unclear when the truck will officially be announced.

The Ram 1500 is an aggressive-looking truck with a bold grille, beefy wheels, and a wide variety of popular accessories that increase functionality while adding a personal touch. A brash appearance is typical for the current crop of full-size pickups, but the Ram has enough distinctive elements to stand out from the crowd.

Buyers get a choice of four engines: a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, a 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8, the same Hemi V8 upgraded with a mild-hybrid system, and a 260-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, and rear-wheel drive (RWD) and 4-wheel drive (4WD) are available. For 4WD models, the Hemi V8 has the lowest EPA ratings of the group, at 15 mpg city, 21 highway, and 17 combined. The mild-hybrid system boosts ratings by a couple of mpg combined. The V6 checks in at 21 mpg combined, and the diesel gets the best ratings of the group, at 24 mpg combined.

Every Ram comes with two rows of seating, though capacity varies from five to six passengers depending on the configuration. All trims feature good interior design and build quality, accentuated by high-end materials in top-tier trims. The base Tradesman features manual seats with cloth or vinyl upholstery. The Big Horn adds upgraded cloth upholstery and a split-folding rear seat. Laramie adds leather, heated and ventilated power front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Rebel adds off-road performance and aesthetic features. The Laramie Longhorn trim features premium leather and heated rear seats. The top Limited trim adds power running boards and wireless device charging.

The Uconnect 5-inch touchscreen infotainment interface, which includes Bluetooth, comes as standard equipment. Options include upgrades to 8.4-inch or 12-inch touch displays, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, satellite radio, wireless device charging, a 10-speaker Alpine audio system, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The Ram 1500 passed all six crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Crew Cab models get the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Crew Cab models get five out of a possible five stars overall, and Quad Cab models earn four stars. A reversing camera comes standard on the Ram 1500. Options include forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, and park assist.

Though enthusiasts are eager to see the new Ram Rebel TRX, there’s still plenty about the 2021 Ram 1500 to keep truck buyers satisfied.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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