2016 Ram 1500 Buyer's Guide

By Jason Allan on March 18, 2016 8:32 AM

A smooth ride, good tech and available diesel power distinguish Ram's compelling overachiever.

Since breaking off from Dodge and becoming its own entity a few years ago, Ram has begun building momentum and hasn't looked back since. Ever since the all-new Ram 1500 came out for 2013, it has led the way with innovations like air suspension, an 8-speed automatic transmission and Chrysler Group's Uconnect multimedia system. For the 2016 model year, the Ram is the only truck available with a rear coil-spring suspension for a ride that's best in the segment, a diesel engine and storage compartments in the bed sides. When it comes to sales numbers, the Ram doesn't match the Ford F-150 or Chevrolet Silverado, but its numbers are growing, thanks to the brand's cutting-edge take on pickup trucks.

Driving It

The 2016 Ram 1500 is a pleasure to drive, as noted in our full review: "If you’re looking for one of the most comfortable rides found on a big truck, the 2016 Ram 1500’s ingenious coil-spring and multi-link rear suspension delivers it. The Ram’s steering and road manners are among best-in-class, too."

Smooth Operator

The Ram 1500's 8-speed automatic transmission works harmoniously no matter which engine you decide to go with. Shifts are done with purpose and even though there are eight gears to choose from, the gearbox never seems busy. Fuel economy benefits from the assortment of gears, too. A big dial shifter mounted on the dashboard makes choosing the appropriate gearing easy, a touch that feels right at home.

Decisions, Decisions

The 2016 Ram 1500 engine lineup includes 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, 5.7-liter V8 and 3.0-liter V6 diesel options. In addition to three engines, the Ram 1500 offers 12 trims to choose from, ranging from the base Tradesman model all the way up to the top-tier Laramie Limited.

Build and Price

The 2016 Ram 1500 starts at just over $27,000, and crests $63,000 for the Crew Cab Laramie Limited. But those are sticker prices. Build and price your own 2016 Ram 1500 right here at KBB.com to unlock its current Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to own and more.

Straight from the Owner's Mouth

KBB.com visitor Dino has this to say about the Ram with the Hemi V8: "Great performance & mileage. 21 on the highway which is most of my driving. If one is inclined to drive 65-70 it will do better than that! (24-25 mpg) One negative is tire wear - Possibly caused by the hemi torque but I don't climb on it much?" Read more consumer reviews of the Ram 1500.

The Long Hauler

We drove a diesel-powered Ram 1500 for a full year, and it became a staff favorite of the KBB long-term fleet. Here are some of the highlights of using the Ram for work, play and in everyday life.

1. Introduction
2. Adding Diesel Exhaust Fluid
3. Enjoying the Ride
4. Into the Wild
5. Uconnect, Bluetooth, and More
6. One Lap of America
7. The Daily Grind
8. Keep Quiet
9. Wrap-Up

More Trucks

There are half a dozen half-ton trucks to choose from, and picking the right one for you means investigating each of them. Check out our Pickup Truck Buyer's Guide to see all your options and find out what's new.

Photo Gallery: Ram 1500 Inside and Out