2022 RAM 1500

By December 30, 2021

The Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup truck with powerful V-8 engines, a versatile bed, a refined and convenient cabin, and lavish top models in the Laramie and Longhorn. For 2022 some models get a new fast infotainment system with a wi-fi hotspot.

There are four available engines. The standard 305-hp V-6 does a good daily job, while a torquey 395-hp V-8 does everything well including towing; there’s also an expensive turbodiesel, and last but clearly not least there’s the TRX with its 702-hp supercharged V-8.

There is no Ram regular cab with a 8-foot bed, only extended and crew cabs with tons of rear leg room with reclining seats, and bed sizes of 5-foot-7 and 6-foot-4. There are many options, from bed liners to tailgate locks to cargo tie-downs.

The 3.6-liter V-6 with four-wheel drive is EPA rated at 19/24/21 mpg, while the 5.7-liter V-8 with 4WD drops to 15 mpg city, 21 highway, 17 combined. The turbodiesel brings the numbers back up to 21/29/24 mpg. The Hellcat-powered Ram TRX? It’s pegged at 10/14/12 mpg.

The NHTSA gives the Ram crew cab five stars for safety and the extended cab four stars, with four stars for front passenger and rollover resistance protection. The IIHS makes the Laramie, Longhorn and TRX a Top Safety Pick with their good headlights, while the others have headlights rated “Marginal.” The Tradesman and Big Horn models don’t have standard automatic emergency braking (although it’s optional), but the others do. Safety options include blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control. Also available are a rear camera mirror, a surround-view camera system, and a head-up display.

Model Lineup

Made in Michigan, the Ram comes in Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn, Limited, and TRX models.

The $35,770 Tradesman is equipped with a front bench seat, cloth upholstery, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen, Automatic emergency braking costs $595.

The $40,495 Big Horn adds the new faster infotainment interface and wi-fi hotspot. It also comes with chrome bumpers, 18-inch wheels, and a 6-foot-4 bed. Options include 20-inch wheels, an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and $595 for AEB.

The Rebel adds off-road equipment.

The $48,395 Laramie comes with leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and the 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Longhorn and Limited luxury models add a rear camera mirror, a 12.0-inch touchscreen, parking sensors, a power tailgate, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The Ram TRX starts at $74,185 and can hit $100,000 fully loaded.

All Rams get a warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Exterior

The Ram used to look like a semi-truck in the rearview mirrors of wimpy little normal cars on the highway, but the styling is no longer so aggressive; thankfully that trend is fading. As a result it’s less distinctive, so it compensates with badges, including a big Ram stamped on the nose and engine badges on the fenders.

Interior

The Tradesman interior is rugged and simple, with sparse instrumentation down to the tiny audio display and 5.0 touchscreen that’s too small to do much. The Laramie and Longhorn are at the other extreme, best in the full-size pickup class, with embossed leather and open-pore wood and a big 8.4-inch or optional massive 12.0-inch touchscreen. Meanwhile the Rebel and TRX are cool in black and red leather.

In either extended or crew cab, the Ram seats up to six. The work versions get a wide front bench seat, although most have buckets with a console. The bench in the extended cab flips up in sections for storage, with a vertical back that’s not very comfortable. The crew cab is better, at least in the rear where its bench slides to make leg room; it also reclines, in sections.

There are two beds for the crew cab, either 5-foot-7 or 6-foot-4, while the extended cabs only have the bigger bed. There’s no step, but there are many accessories: a spray-in bedliner, cargo tie-downs, bed lighting, a sliding rear window, and a locking tailgate that can open, drop, or swing on a side hinge.

Driving Impressions

The base 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6 has enough power for a work horse, mated to a sweet 8-speed automatic. With rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, it can tow up to 7,710 lb.

The 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8 seems like a better choice, with 410 lb-ft of torque helping it to tow as much as 12,750 lb. It over-achieves its name of Ram 1500, as it’s able to carry 1,900 lb. Its exhaust note is refined. It uses the same mild-hybrid system as the V-6; the system runs accessories, which doesn’t save a significant amount of fuel. The TRX with its 702 hp is mind-bending quick and ear-bending loud.

For fuel economy, the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel costs about $5,000 more so it can take longer to pay for itself, even at 32 mpg.

The Ram has an edge over rivals in its highway composure. There’s an available air suspension that produces a firm and stable ride. It can sometimes feel too firm, especially when the air springs ride low for better aerodynamics at higher speeds. Steering can be a chore, as it can be in any big truck.

Only the Tradesman HFE doesn’t have available four-wheel drive.

Final Word

The 2022 Ram 1500 has the swagger and the power to satisfy truck drivers, even without its TRX. A mid-level Bighorn does all the right truck tasks with ease, but the Longhorn, Laramie and Limited tempt with lots of technology and refinement.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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