With so many strong entries in the full-size truck segment, it’s hard to pick out which one is best. However, the 2021 Ram 1500 stands out because of its ability to blend the capabilities you expect out of a truck with the civility of the average unibody crossover. You get the tough looks but depending on the trim you choose, you also get a different character out of the truck. In the case of the Ram 1500 Laramie, it’ exudes a more luxurious vibe. One feature that stands out with the current-generation truck is that there isn’t a two-door version. If you want the long eight-foot bed, you’re going to need to get the access cab variant. Ram also added a new tailgate that splits open like barn doors in addition to opening traditionally.
Jump inside the 2021 Ram 1500 and you’ll find a supremely comfortable interior. The front seats are supportive and cushy and if you get the crew cab, you get absolutely enormous rear seats that can handily fit three across. Luxury levels of fit and finish further add to the Ram 1500’s appeal, especially on higher trims, which sport real wood and metal trim and lots of leather and stitching. The UConnect 4 interface is standard and on certain models, you can opt for a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen instead of the 8.4-inch unit.
A wide range of powertrains is available in the 2021 Ram 1500 including two 48-volt mild hybrids, a diesel, and a bonkers supercharged 6.2-liter V8. Alex’s test unit is a 4WD-equipped Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter V8 rated at 395hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. The EPA rates this combination at 17/22/19 mpg city/highway/combined. Although the mild-hybrid system doesn’t add extra grunt, it fills in torque in areas where the engine doesn’t make as much power. However, Alex still wishes he could get the 6.4-liter V8 in the Ram 1500.
For a big truck, the Ram 1500 drives quite nicely, offering a comfortable ride and secure handling. The available air suspension further amplifies that and gives you a more car-like experience especially when you consider the quiet cabin. As a result, you get the driving experience is more akin to a big comfortable sedan than your average pickup truck. Where things get hard is maneuvering the vehicle in tight spaces. In Alex’s case, the narrow dirt road he drives on and his driveway make it hard to execute turns with a trailer strapped into the back.
If you’re looking for the most well-rounded full-size truck, especially one that feels like a proper luxury vehicle in certain trims, the 2021 Ram 1500 is the way to go. No other truck blends capability and civility so well that it feels like you’re getting the cake and eating it too. Although some of its competitors may be more capable, the Ram isn’t far behind and it counters with impeccable fit and finish, user-friendly technologies, and creature comforts. As long as you keep in mind that the Ram 1500 is still a truck first and don’t expect it to match a crossover or anything that’s tuned for on-road duty first, you’ll have one of the best entries in its segment. Hopefully soon, Ram also follows the electrification trend with all-electric versions.
0 to 60 mph: 6.8 seconds
60 to 0: 128 feet
Cabin Noise: A
Fuel Economy: B?