The Ram 1500 recently won the coveted "Truck of the Year" award from Motor Trend in 2019. The heavy-duty Ram won the award in 2020, and the supercharged Ram 1500 TRX won this year for 2021. This fifth-generation redesign, dubbed the DT, brings with it many differences from the previous fourth-generation design, known as the DS.
The redesign proved successful as Ram went on to dethrone the Chevrolet Silverado as the 2nd most-sold vehicle in the U.S. for 2019. It was the first time in many years that Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) overcame their GM competition. In 2020, the Ram slid back into 3rd place again by a smidge, but maybe the new features on this 2021 update will have the Ram trucks selling like gangbusters again.
Ram 1500 vs. Ram 1500 Classic
If you go looking for a Ram 1500, you'll find that there are two versions currently on the market: the Ram 1500 and the Ram 1500 Classic. The Ram 1500 Classic is actually the fourth-generation version of Ram's best-seller. This is the version of the Ram 1500 that was the standard offering from 2009-2019. The Ram 1500, on the other hand, is the fifth-generation version of Ram's flagship, having been completely redesigned from the ground up for 2019 onward. The 1500 Classic is a little cheaper, but if you want the latest and greatest (which we will be focusing on here), the Ram 1500 "non-Classic" is the way to go.
Quad vs. Crew Cab
Focusing now on the new 2021 Ram 1500, there are a total of seven trims (not including special edition offerings) buyers can choose from featuring the DT design. All trucks have different cab and bed options, which can give you more legroom or cargo space. The Crew and Quad Cabs are two of the larger options. Between the two, the Crew Cab gives you more rear legroom at approximately 45.2-inches while the Quad provides about 35.6-inches of legroom. However, the Quad Cab allows more cargo space with a 6'4" box. The base Crew Cab only comes with a 5'7" box unless buyers upgrade for the larger 6'4" box that adds additional length to the overall vehicle.
For this article, we’ll be comparing Quad Cab 4x2 prices unless otherwise noted. Four-wheel-drive options are also available for an additional cost.
The 2021 Ram Tradesman is the cheapest option, with a starting MSRP of $32,245. The transmission comes standard with an electric shift and engine oil cooler. The interior also comes with a 40/20/40 split-bench and vinyl floor covering for durability. The cabin comes equipped with a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet, an audio jack input, six total speakers, remote USB port, and rear back-up camera.
The exterior of the Ram 1500 Tradesman is equipped with 18-inch steel wheels and all-season tires for maximum control. It also comes with a seven-pin wiring harness and a Class III receiver hitch. The Tradesman is rated for maximum towing of up to 7,730 pounds standard, while you can have a maximum payload of 2,100 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 2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn features 18-inch aluminum wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and fog lamps. The trim also comes with chrome grille, front and rear bumpers, and door handles. An upgrade to a crew cab model also comes with in-floor storage. The same standard 5-inch touchscreen display from the Tradesman is also featured on this trim; however, the option to upgrade to an 8.4-in touchscreen is now available. The Big Horn MSRP starts at $36,890.
The 2021 Laramie Quad Cab has a starting MSRP of $41,430. This trim is a luxurious option, which is ideal if you spend several hours in your truck every day. One of the best additions is leather seating with front (and rear) heating and (front) ventilation, along with an 8-way power driver and front passenger seats. No matter the season, you’ll always be comfortable.
Drivers will also gain an 8.4-in standard touchscreen for infotainment input that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a 9-speaker Alpine sound system. Buyers can upgrade to a 12-inch navigation touchscreen for an additional price.
The 2021 Ram 1500 Rebel is the last to offer both Quad and Crew cab options. However, the Crew Cab with 6'4" box is not an available option. Four-wheel-drive is also the standard on this trim when choosing a Quad cab option. With a base MSRP of $46,020, the Rebel comes with a more rugged, off-road appearance. The chrome grilles of the previous trims are replaced by an aggressive, blacked-out version. The 33-in Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar tires and tow hooks also complete the rugged cosmetic styling.
Additionally, the 2021 Rebel has LED headlamps, taillamps, and fog lights; electronic locking rear differential; fully dampening, assisted tailgate; and a rear power sliding window. The driver's seat also features eight-way power with four-way power lumbar adjustment.
The last two trims are only available in a Crew Cab configuration, though the option of two-wheel-drive returns. The 2021 Laramie Longhorn starts at $52,180 and comes with premium leather seating with available filigree. Genuine wood, leather, and metal all trim the interior of the cabin. It also has standard 20-inch aluminum wheels, along with chrome wheel-to-wheel side steps and front tow hooks on the exterior. Also found on the outside are LED projector headlamps and a wireless charging pad for mobile phones inside.
With a starting MSRP of $56,250, this trim leaves the others in the dust. It comes with Uconnect 12.0 infotainment system with navigation and 12-inch touchscreen standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still supported on this trim. An available upgrade for the interior is the 19-speaker Harmon Kardon Premium sound system. Unfortunately, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection is not available on this trim like it was the previous trim. Towing capacity is the highest of the bunch: 8,420 lbs.
Ram 1500 TRX
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX isn't technically a trim offering. It's a performance-focused Ram 1500 model. Think along the lines of the Ford F-150 Raptor, a competitor. Under the hood is where the Ram TRX really shines; it has a 6.2L Supercharged HEMI V8 SRT Engine. The specs are nothing short of breathtaking: 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Beyond the engine, there are eight driving modes and TRX-branded everything on the interior. It's the reigning Motor Trend "Truck of the Year" for a reason! That supercharged engine comes at a supercharged starting price of $70,095.
(Featured image via Facebook)