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Ram 1500 Trim Levels Compared

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Are you planning to buy a Ram 1500 and want to know the differences between the different model variants and trims? Or perhaps you purchased a Ram 1500 recently and wanted to know how your Ram 1500 stacks up against the other model variants and trims? Well, wonder no more, for we researched this inquiry and have the most comprehensive answer for you right here.

The standard Ram 1500 can be equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine, a 3.0-liter Turbo diesel engine or a 5.7-liter Twincharged engine. The Ram 1500 TRX, on the other hand, is equipped with a 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 gasoline engine that produces 650 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.

However, this is not all there is. The Ram 1500 lineup includes different trims that have their own specifications. But we have all these details in the sections below that are chock-full of information. Read on!

A white Ram 1500 parked near a lake, Ram 1500 Trim Levels Compared

Ram 1500 Trim Levels Comparison

The Ram pickups were marketed as Dodge Ram until 2010 when it became a separate brand from Dodge. The current generation (fifth generation) debuted in 2018 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

2011 Ram 1500

A 2011 Ram 1500 at a dealership

Ram 1500 had five trims in 2011. The Ram 1500 Adventurer, Ram 1500 Express, and Ram 1500 Tradesman all had a 5.7-liter V8 gasoline engine that produces 407 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm.

On the other hand, the Ram 1500 ST had three engine options:

  • a 3.7L V6 gasoline engine that produces 235 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm,
  • a 4.7L V8 Flex-fuel engine that can produce 330 lb-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm,
  • or a 5.7L V8 Hemi multi-displacement VVT engine.

Additionally, the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman can be equipped with the 4.7L V8 Flex-fuel engine or the 5.7L V8 Hemi multi-displacement VVT engine.

Ram 1500 ST is the only trim in 2011 that had the option to be equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission.

All trims had the option to be equipped with either an RWD drivetrain or a 4WD drivetrain.

Seating & Cab Options

When it comes to seating capacity, the Ram 1500 Adventure, Ram 1500 Tradesman, and the Ram 1500 Express can only be equipped with a 3-seater regular cab regardless of drivetrain. The Ram 1500 ST offers a choice of a 3-seater cab, a 6-seater quad cab, or a 6-seater crew cab.

The seating capacity of Ram 1500 Outdoorsman can be a 2-seater with the regular cab or a 5-seater with the quad or crew cabs.

Safety Rating

All 2011 trims of Ram 1500 had a very low safety rating. The Ram 1500 only achieved a 2-star rating for the frontal barrier crash test of the US NHTSA.

2012 Ram 1500

Ram 1500 Adventurer was discontinued in 2012 and was replaced with the Ram 1500 SLT.

All trims from 2011 kept their engine options except for Ram 1500 Tradesman. It was outfitted with the engine options of the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman—the 4.7L V8 Flex-fuel engine and the 5.7L V8 Hemi multi-displacement VVT.

The new trim was also outfitted with the same engine options of the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman.

The 5-speed automatic transmission was discontinued and was replaced with a 6-speed automatic transmission that all trims had access to.

Seating & Cab Options

The new trim had a three in regular cab or six seating capacity in quad cab or crew cab.

Safety Ratings

Ram 1500 was able to improve the safety rating for the frontal barrier crash test to four stars. Unfortunately, the side crash rating remained at only three stars out of five across all trims like in the previous year.

2013 & 2014 Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 ST and the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman were discontinued in 2013. They were replaced with two new trims—the Ram 1500 HFE and the Ram 1500 Lone Star.

There were no engine changes for the Ram 1500 Express. The Ram 1500 Tradesman added the 3.6L Flex-fuel engine option. The Ram 1500 SLT dropped the 4.7L V8 Flex-fuel engine option and replaced it with a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine that produced 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,175 rpm.

The same engine can be found on the Ram 1500 HFE. The Ram 1500 Lone Star was equipped with a 5.7L V8 gasoline engine like the Ram 1500 Adventurer.

All Flex-fuel and HEMI multi-displacement engines were discontinued in 2014 trims. This necessitated a change in engine configurations across all trims.

The Ram 1500 Express stopped using its old engine. It offered the choice to install a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine that produced 269 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm or the 5.7L Twincharged engine.

The Ram 1500 Tradesman, Ram 1500 SLT, and the Ram 1500 Lone Star all offered the option to install the 3.6L V6 gasoline engine or the 5.7L V8 gasoline engine that produced 410 lb-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm. Ram 1500 HFE is the only trim that had only one engine available—the 3.6L V6 gasoline engine.

Transmission Options

The transmission of the Ram 1500 SLT was upgraded to the 8-speed automatic in 2013. Ram 1500 HFE also had the same 8-speed automatic transmission, while the Ram 1500 Lone Star can be equipped with the new 8-speed automatic transmission or the older 6-speed automatic transmisson.

All trims gained access to the 8-speed automatic transmission in 2014. However, only the Ram 1500 Tradesman offered the option to install the older 6-speed automatic transmission.

All trims except Ram 1500 HFE had a choice to use the RWD or the 4WD drivetrains, while Ram 1500 HFE can only be equipped with the RWD drivetrain.

Safety Rating

The safety rating for the side crash test improved from three stars to five in 2013, and this carried over to 2014.

2015 Ram 1500

All five Ram 1500 trims added a third engine option, the 3.0L Turbo V6 diesel engine that produced 420 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. This marks the first time that Ram 1500 used a diesel engine since it became independent of Dodge.

Ram 1500 HFE was discontinued in 2015 and was replaced by the Ram 1500 Big Horn that offered three engine options—a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine, a 3.0L Turbo V6 diesel engine, and the 5.7L Twincharged engine. It had an 8-speed automatic transmission and  the option to be installed with an RWD or a 4WD drivetrain.

Safety Rating

The safety rating of Ram 1500 Express and Ram 1500 Lone Star deteriorated in 2015 according to US NHTSA. The rollover rating of both trims went down from four stars from the previous year to three stars.

2016 and 2017 Ram 1500

Ram 1500 Big Horn was discontinued in 2016, while the Ram 1500 HFE was resurrected.

There were no changes to the configuration of the engines in 2016. The Ram 1500 HFE was reintroduced with a 3.6L V6 gas engine on an RWD drivetrain.

All trims now offer only the 8-speed automatic transmission. However, only the Ram 1500 HFE offered the same RWD or 4WD drivetrain options. Additionally, Ram 1500 HFE only offers RWD.

Ram 1500 HFE was discontinued in 2017 and was replaced by reviving the Ram 1500 Big Horn that had almost the same specs as the 2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn.

Ram 1500 Express stopped offering the 3.0L Turbo V6 diesel engine.

Safety Rating

The safety ratings of Ram 1500 Express and Ram 1500 Lone Star for the rollover test improved in 2017. It went up from three stars of five to four stars of five.

2018 Ram 1500

Ram 1500 SLT was discontinued in 2018 and was replaced with Ram 1500 Harvest that had the same engine options as the Ram 1500 Express. All trims from the previous year had the same engine, transmission, and drivetrain options.

2019 Ram 1500

The fifth-generation Ram 1500 featured different interior design themes, using different materials and color schemes.

The Ram 1500 Express, Ram 1500 Harvest, and the Ram 1500 Lone Star were discontinued and replaced with Ram 1500 Laramie, Ram 1500 Rebel, and a revived Ram 1500 HFE. The first two new trims had the same engine options as the Ram 1500 Big Horn—a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine or a 5.7L Twincharged engine.

Ram 1500 HFE had only one engine available—the 3.6L V6 gasoline engine. It is also available only with an RWD drivetrain, while all other trims offer an RWD or a 4WD drivetrain.

Cab Options

All trims came in a four-door quad cab. All trims except Ram 1500 HFE had the option to have a crew cab with a long bed.

This marks the first time that Ram 1500 did not have any 2-door regular cab on offer since it became independent of Dodge. It stopped offering dual cab options because of low demand.

2020 Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 Rebel was discontinued and was replaced with the return of the Ram 1500 Lone Star. All trims except Ram 1500 HFE offered the same three engines:

  • a 3.6L V6 gasoline engine,
  • a 3.0L Turbo diesel engine,
  • and a 5.7 Twincharged engine.

The Ram 1500 HFE offered the same 3.6L V6 gasoline engine since 2013.

Only RWD is available for Ram 1500 Tradesman and Ram 1500 HFE, while the other three offer both RWD and 4WD drivetrain. The 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on all trims and is the only transmission available.

2021 Ram 1500

A black 1500 RAM parked on the dealership

Ram 1500 HFE was discontinued in 2021 and was replaced with the Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE that had the same engine as the Ram 1500 HFE and only offered an RWD drivetrain configuration.

Transmission is the same, and all other four trims offered the same engine options.

2022 Ram 1500

A blue and white colored RAM 1500 at a snowy parking lot

The Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE was discontinued and was replaced with a revived Ram 1500 HFE with almost the same specs and configuration.

Ram 1500 TRX

The Ram 1500 TRX was first introduced in 2021.

It had only one trim and is equipped with a 6.2L Supercharged V8 gasoline engine that produces 650 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and 4WD drivetrain.

Ram 1500 Classic

When Ram launched the fifth generation of Ram 1500, it also launched the Ram 1500 Classic model variant. It is a continuation of the fourth-generation models and trims. Thus, its specs are almost exactly the same as the specs of the previous trims of the fourth-generation Ram 1500.

Some of the aesthetics have been changed and improved, but the components inside the truck, like the engine, are the same as the fourth-generation trims of Ram 1500.

Conclusion

The Ram 1500 consistently had five trims that had different specs each to match the need of the market that they were designed for.

The Ram 1500 TRX is a recent addition that caters to enthusiasts that want more power in their truck.

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