The Dodge Ram 1500 is great in bad weather and can tow heavy loads, but which trim do you choose? Since they aren’t too far apart in price, it may be worth it to upgrade to a more expensive offering. This comparison guide can help you decide which Ram 1500 is perfect for your driveway.
There are a total of six trims featuring regular cabs of the Dodge Ram 1500. Six further trims are specific to quad and crew cab setups.
For this article, we’ll be taking a look at the 4x4 regular cab trims and their prices. If you’re looking for something cheaper, you can choose one of the three 4x2 options.
The Tradesman is the cheapest option, with a starting MSRP of $31,695. The transmission comes standard with an electric shift-on-the-fly case and an auxiliary transmission and engine oil cooler. The interior also comes with a behind-the-seat storage bin, and a 40/20/40 split bench seat made of heavy duty vinyl to avoid rips and tears. The cabin comes equipped with a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, an audio jack input, six total speakers, and a remote USB port.
The exterior of the Ram 1500 Tradesman is equipped with 17-inch steel wheels and all-season tires for maximum control. It also comes with a seven-pin wiring harness, a Class IV receiver hitch, and a trailer tow with four-pin connector wiring. The Tradesman is rated for maximum towing of up to 8,930 pounds when properly equipped, while you can have a maximum payload of 1,583 pounds.
The Tradesman will do everything you need it to do without much flair. It doesn’t contain any particularly cutting-edge safety features, though. Drivers can find most of those features on the Lone Star trim.
The Express has a starting MSRP of $32,995 and includes the auxiliary transmission and engine oil cooler from the Tradesman trim.
One of the main upgrades in the cabin is that you get carpet flooring with floor mats instead of black vinyl, like what you find in the Tradesman. On the exterior, the Express is equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels rather than the steel wheels of the lower trim. The Express further adds fog lamps and body-color bumpers and grille. The payload decreases to 1,440 pounds, however. There’s also the option to add the Black RAM 1500 Express package, which includes cloth seats, remote keyless entry, and a year of Sirius XM radio. The packages are pretty different, but if you’re looking for utility, you may want to stick with the Tradesman.
The Lone Star has a starting MSRP of $36,090, but you can see some significant upgrades from the Tradesman or the Express. The auxiliary engine and transmission oil cooler come standard along with an electronic shift-on-demand transfer case.
On the interior, the cloth seats, with front center seat cushion storage, replace vinyl seats from previous trims. The driver’s seat also upgrades from manual adjustments to a 10-way power seat with lumbar adjustment. It also comes standard with a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, auto-dimming exterior and rear-view mirror, overhead console with garage door opener, and power door locks and windows.
The features on the interior are also upgraded to include a seven-inch multi-view display and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display. The Lone Star comes with navigation capabilities with the inclusion of a GPS antenna input and SiriusXM radio, as well as the addition of Uconnect 8.4.
The 2018 model also adds several features that didn’t come with the 2017 version. These features include a rear backup camera, remote start system, remote keyless entry, and a security alarm. These are essential safety features we’re glad to see in the new Dodge Ram 1500.
The exterior has 20-inch aluminum chrome clad wheels and even comes with a full-size spare tire. The payload for the Lone Star increases to 1,562 pounds, which is still less than the Tradesman but a significant jump from the Express.
Unlike the previous year, the 2018 Ram 1500 Big Horn doesn’t come with major upgrades. Many of the safety features which made the Big Horn essential were added as standard in the other trims. The biggest difference between the Big Horn and Lone Star are the different color options. Those considering an upgrade may look toward the Sport for more features or settle on the Lone Star. The Big Horn MSRP starts at $38,090.
The Dodge Ram 1500 Sport costs a little more than the Big Horn at $38,990. You’ll notice that this truck sacrifices strength for a boost in performance and features for comfort and ease. You won't find some of these comfort amenities on other trims. These include heated seats and steering wheel, LED bed lighting, power folding mirrors, and more. Premium speakers dot the cabin to provide better sound than your average truck. You also get a remote USB port and an audio jack for mobile devices.
The Sport also has a full-length upgraded floor console, premium bezel instrument panel, and power adjustable pedals. The handles and bumpers on the Sport trim are the same color as the body, but the Sport comes with a special taillight design. It also has body-color handles and bumpers. For convenience, the power mirrors have a heating function for particularly cold days.
As mentioned before, the Sport sacrifices a little strength with the maximum payload rated at 1,390 pounds. However, you can tow as much as 6,350 lbs., which is more than the Big Horn and Lone Star. The Sport also comes with all of the safety features from the Big Horn.
The Night is a returning Dodge Ram 1500 model and starts at $39,385. As the name suggests, this truck is bold and designed with darkness in mind. It comes with RAM 1500 Night Special Edition option group, which changes the appearance completely. It has black aluminum wheels rather than the polished aluminum, a black "Ram’s Head" badge, black painted honeycomb grille, and black badges.
If you're wanting a larger cabin, the Harvest and Laramie trims offer quad cabs. The Lone Star Silver, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited trims feature crew cabs.
(Featured image via Facebook.)