Pros: Best-in-class ride, handling and interior; impressive infotainment tech; extra-comfy rear seats
Cons: Fewer and less advanced engine options; safety tech not standard
Full-size pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the United States. It should come as no surprise, then, that this class is incredibly competitive, with entrants having similar pricing, power and capabilities. Standing out from the crowd is no easy feat, but the 2024 Ram 1500 manages to do just that with its notable comfort and refinement.
Years ago, Ram went with a unique coil spring rear suspension that dramatically improved the handling, trailering control and most obviously, the ride quality. It rides much smoother than rivals, especially when the bed is unloaded. The Toyota Tundra also made the switch to coil springs recently, but it still rides very much like a traditional truck. In addition to the comfy ride, the Ram 1500 also earns praise for its interior. The cabin benefits from a more pleasing design with nicer materials in every trim, but higher trim levels can be downright luxurious. Of course, there are still affordable bare-bones versions, too.
In the past, we’ve called the Ram 1500 out for its lack of engine diversity, and the situation is even worse for 2024 now that the turbodiesel option has been discontinued. That said, the mild-hybrid eTorque V6 and V8 engines remain powerful and efficient compared to the competition. There’s also the wild 702-horsepower TRX that will be retired after this year.
Despite being challenged by newer rivals, the 2024 Ram 1500 remains our favorite in the class. Its sophisticated ride and classy interior give it a leg-up over the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra.
What’s new for 2024?
The high-performance TRX model bids farewell with a commemorative Final Edition, while the off-road-focused Tradesman Warlock joins the lineup. The turbodiesel V6 has been discontinued, and it also appears as though the non-eTorque V8 has been dropped. The entire Ram 1500 roster gains a new tailgate ajar warning.
Pictured: Limited (black with portrait touchscreen), Tradeseman (black with small touchscreen), Longhorn Southfork (tan)
It’s easy to be smitten by the Ram 1500 in its fanciest Longhorn and Limited trim levels, which are bedecked in soft leather, special color schemes and unique styling elements like the Longhorn emblem literally branded into real wood trim. There are unique features like the huge vertically oriented touchscreen and the ventilated reclining back seat. They’re easily the most luxurious pickups ever made.
Crucially, however, we are actually more impressed by the basic Ram 1500 Tradesman and Big Horn trim levels. While the quality of plastics is typical for the segment (that goes for those ritzy Rams, too), the different textures and attractive design result in a cabin that looks and feels better than trucks that cost a comparable amount or more. For instance, the rich gray cloth upholstery in a Big Horn test truck contributed to a far more premium environment than what we found in a comparable Ford F-150 XLT trim level.
The Ram doesn’t just impress aesthetically. The five-passenger model’s center console features clever, multi-configuration storage solutions thoughtfully designed for how people might use this space — it’s not just some cupholders and a pair of differently sized bins. There’s also a covered compartment under the rear floor and the RamBox bins that can be added to the bed walls.
In-car technology is exceptional as well. Even the most basic Tradesman has a perfectly usable 5-inch touchscreen and three USB ports, while the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen (below) found on other trims is one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additional USB ports can also be added to the rear, including the USB-C type. The top four trims can step things up further with the aforementioned 12-inch vertical touchscreen.
The 2024 Ram 1500 is available with three body/bed configurations: extended Quad Cab with a 6-foot-4 bed, or a Crew Cab with either the longer bed or a standard 5-foot-7 bed. There are also two tailgate designs: the standard one and the optional multifunction split design. The exterior dimensions are similar to its competitors, although the new TRX is a whopping 8(!) inches wider than its siblings. It’s also 2 inches taller.
Interior dimensions are also similar to those of its competitors. The Quad Cab’s rear legroom (34.7 inches) is a bit more than a Ford F-150 Super Cab’s (33.5) and a bit less than a Silverado Double Cab’s (35.2). All of those figures equal cramped legs, and given the upright backrest angle they all share, none are exactly ideal for lengthy journeys. Neither is the six-passenger model’s front middle seat (pictured below right), but at least its seat back is notably higher than any other truck’s and should actually provide some head and neck support to go with additional comfort.
If you really need your truck to ferry passengers, though, an upgrade to the Crew Cab is a must. With it, backseat legroom grows to an indulgent degree to a whopping 45.2 inches. That’s about 2 inches better than the Silverado Crew Cab and F-150 Super Crew, and 3.6 inches better than the Toyota Tundra Crew Max. Admittedly, all possess so much massive, stretch-out legroom that there’ll likely be a full foot from knees to the front seat back. So yes, the Ram has more, but we’re not sure it really matters. What could, however, is the available reclining back rest that increases comfort considerably. The Tundra is the only other truck that offers that.
The Ram 1500 has fewer powertrain options than its GM and Ford competitors. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that is aided by a 48-volt mild hybrid system Ram calls eTorque. It adds a small amount of electricity while accelerating from a stop to increase power and refinement, as well as improving the automatic stop/start system and fuel economy. We explain it more in our Ram 1500 eTorque first drive. Output is 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, and an eight-speed automatic is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is stated at 20 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with RWD (which is better than Chevy’s base turbo-four engine), and 19/24/21 with 4WD. It wasn’t so long ago that V6-powered midsize sedans were getting that sort of fuel economy.
The optional 5.7-liter V8 eTorque is good for 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque and achieves 18/23/20 with RWD, an estimate we confirmed during our test of a Ram 1500 Big Horn. The penalty for 4WD is only 1 mpg. Maximum towing capacity is strong at 12,750 pounds. Last year’s non-eTorque V8 seems to have been dropped from the lineup, which is fine since it wasn’t as fuel efficient. Sadly, the powerful and economical 3.0-liter turbodiesel has also been discontinued.
At the top of the lineup is the Ram TRX and its 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8. It produces 702 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. It goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It also gets a different eight-speed automatic, transfer case and rear axle to handle all that grunt. The EPA says the TRX will get a truly atrocious 10 mpg city, 14 mpg highway and 12 combined, and that’s pretty consistent with what we’ve experienced. According to EPA average fuel cost estimates, you could spend $5,950 per year on gas with the TRX. That’s $2,400 more per year than a V6-powered Ford Raptor and even $1,200 more than the V8-powered Raptor R since the TRX requires premium fuel.
The Ram 1500 continues to be so refined that it can feel like you’re driving a large crossover rather than a pickup. Thanks to its five-link coil spring rear suspension, its ride quality is buttery smooth and betters all its competitors (including the disappointing Toyota Tundra and its own rear coils). That suspension design also benefits handling and trailer control, and can even be upgraded with an available air suspension capable of raising to clear obstacles and lowering for easier loading. The steering possesses linear, consistent effort and is reassuringly precise on-center.
Acceleration from the eTorque-equipped V8 is similarly buttery smooth and impressively quiet. You don’t really notice the smidgen of power contributed by the 48-volt electrical system as you would in a proper hybrid, but you also don’t notice noise or vibration coming from the automatic stop/start system. Similarly, you’d be hard pressed to know that the base V6 possesses eTorque, and you’ll be surprised at just how capable the Ram can be with only six cylinders. The eight-speed automatic certainly helps in this regard, especially while towing.
Finally, there’s the TRX. Not only is it quick on pavement, it’s impossibly fast on dirt, too. You can even use launch control off-road … or launch it into the air off-road. Its substantially overhauled and upgraded suspension, transfer case, tires, etc. add up to a truly astonishing off-road truck experience. Of course, it’s also incredibly tall and wide, which can make it a chore to drive certain places and swills premium fuel like few other new vehicles on the road. For more about it, make sure to read our specific Ram TRX review.
What other Ram 1500 reviews can I read?
We put the new TRX to the high-speed test and find it to be bigger, badder and better than the Raptor.
Why is the Ram’s coil-spring rear suspension better and how does it work? Engineer Dan Edmunds explains.
Our editors breakdown the mid-level Laramie trim level.
Our editors also got a chance to evaluate the basic Tradesman. It still impressed.
Find out more about the V6 and V8 engines equipped with the eTorque mild hybrid system.
Our first drive of the current-generation Ram, including multiple videos and in-depth information about its design and engineering.
Ram doesn’t offer quite as many variations are its GM and Ford competitors, but there’s still an abundance of choice and customization opportunities. You can find a fairly comprehensive listing of available features and pricing for each trim level here on Autoblog.
There are two cab styles: the extended Quad Cab with smaller, front-hinged rear doors and the Crew Cab with enormous, front-hinged rear doors. The Quad Cab is only available with a 6-foot-4 bed, while the Crew Cab offers a choice of standard 5-foot-7 or optional 6-foot-4. Note that not every trim level is available with the Quad Cab, which we indicate in the pricing below. All prices listed below include the rather excessive $1,995 destination charge that is mandatory, yet left out of advertised pricing.
(A basic work truck available in Quad and Crew cabs)
Big Horn / Lone Star: $46,025
(The volume-selling trim level with a huge number of options. It’s called Lone Star in Texas and some surrounding states. Available in Quad and Crew cabs, and offers BackCountry, Sport Appearance and Night Edition variants).
(The first luxury-oriented trim and the only one available in both Quad and Crew cabs. Offers G/T, Laramie Southwest, Night Edition and Sport Appearance package variants).
(Pictured below in white, the first of two off-road oriented models easily identified by its handlebar mustache grille. It’s 4×4 only and available in Quad and Crew cabs. Offers G/T and Night Edition variants).
(Pictured above in black, the first of two extra-luxury models. It doesn’t have quite as much standard equipment than Limited and has ranch-themed design elements. Crew Cab only.)
(The ritziest trim level with the most standard equipment and the most intricate grille. Crew Cab only.)
(Insane off-roader truck powered by the Hellcat V8. Crew Cab and 4×4 only. The price increases by more than $10,000 this year and the Final Edition with several upgrades should cost closer to $120,000)
Finally, it was unclear at the time of this writing if Ram will continue selling the 1500 Classic, which is the previous-generation version originally introduced for the 2009 model year. Despite being awfully outdated, it’s still a pretty good truck.
Front-, front-side and side-curtain airbags are standard along with a rearview camera. Forward collision warning is now standard on all trims but the Tradesman and Big Horn/Lone Star, which can add it as part of the Level 1 Equipment Group. Automatic emergency braking is included with the adaptive cruise control system that’s optional on all but those two bottom trims. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, lane-departure warning and trailer reverse control are optional on all trim levels. The Ford and GM trucks come standard with many of these worthwhile features.
The government gives the 2024 Ram 1500 Crew Cab a five-star overall and side protection rating with four-star frontal and rollover ratings. The Quad Cab gets four-star overall and frontal ratings, and the five-star side rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 1500 Quad Cab and Crew Cabs the best possible ratings for crash worthiness and its available forward collision avoidance system. Upper trim levels with LED headlights earn a Top Safety Pick+ award.