By KBB.com Editors
Although in the past Dodge did not own a substantial portion of the full-size truck market, its Ram pickups retained a fiercely loyal fan base and offered some of the most outlandish full-size models on the market (think Ram SRT10). The Ram brand is now its own division, although the trucks are still sold and serviced through Dodge dealers. With clever marketing tools, distinctive styling and innovative features, Ram hopes its 1500 line will continue chipping away at rivals Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra.
If you like the rugged image of a tough-as-nails working truck, but not the harsh ride or crude interior that accompanies it, check out the 2011 Ram 1500. Its "big-rig" inspired styling is mighty impressive, as is its available Hemi V8 engine.
If you're the type that likes a pickup that can be beaten, dented and scratched, the 2011 Ram 1500's highly stylized exterior may be too pretty for you to risk ruining at the job site.
For 2011, Ram introduces a new 1500 Tradesman series. Aimed at small-business owners, the Tradesman is packed with commonly-requested features but at a price that easily fits today's tight budgets. Also new are the Laramie Longhorn and Outdoorsman editions. New features for the Ram 1500 include power folding mirrors, a factory spray-in bedliner and a new Garmin navigation radio.
Driving Impressions In the area of overall driving comfort the 2011 Ram 1500 has a distinct advantage over its competitors, thanks in part to its coil-spring rear suspension. Because most pickup trucks...employ a leaf-spring rear setup, they tend to ride more harshly and can develop bounding motions over bumps. This is not the case for the Ram 1500, which can quickly control bouncing motions and help smooth out the ride over harsh or uneven surfaces. Beyond its smoother ride, however, the Ram 1500 still behaves very much like a full-size body-on-frame vehicle, so don't expect this big truck to drive, stop or steer like a standard sedan. Although the Ram 1500's steering is reasonably direct and the brakes are easy to modulate and control, the body still suffers from noticeable lean when rounding sharp curves.
The RamBox storage system is offered on the Crew Cab. It includes 3.7 cubic feet of lockable, drainable storage space in each bed rail, as well as a cargo-bed divider that doubles as a bed extender. The RamBox also comes with a bed-rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats to tie down and secure various types of loads.
The Uconnect GPS system's 30-gigabyte hard drive holds song and picture files, as well as navigation map information. Songs can be ripped from a CD or downloaded from a thumb drive via a USB port. The hard drive lets you keep your whole music collection in the vehicle without toting a lot of CDs.
Having been bitten in the past by reports of poor-grade plastics and dull interior colors, Ram has stepped up to meet its critics. The 1500's dash is still mostly made up of hard plastics, but areas frequently touched (such as the armrest and door edges) are now covered in soft-touch material and extra padding. Ram has given the 2011 Ram 1500 extensive sound deadening material, creating a cabin that is surprisingly quiet at highway speeds. All cabs offer good front-seat leg and head room, although a telescoping steering wheel would definitely improve the driver's comfort. Rear-seat accommodations vary, with tight quarters in the Quad Cab but plenty of space in the roomy Crew Cab. High-end options such as heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and rear-seat DVD entertainment make the rough and ready Ram 1500 feel almost limousine-like.Exterior
The 2011 Ram 1500 is one of the most refined and car-like trucks on the road. The Ram 1500's styling, on the other hand, remains polarizing. With its cantilever front end, large cross-hair chrome grille and massive chrome wheel options, no one will ever mistake a Ram for a Chevy. Like its rivals, the Ram 1500 features a variety of cab and bed configurations. The Regular Cab is offered with 6-foot, 4-inch or 8-foot beds, the Quad Cab has the 6-foot, 4-inch bed and the Crew Cab has a 5-foot, 7-inch bed.
Standard safety features include side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and Trailer Sway Control. The base ST model features air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo, vinyl floors, power locks and 17-inch steel wheels. The SLT adds carpeting, cruise control, power windows, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry and aluminum wheels. The Sport model has unique bucket seats, fog lamps and 20-inch wheels. Standard on the Laramie are dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, hard-drive radio, power heated front seats and rear park assist.
Optional features include the RamBox storage system, spray-in bedliner, full-time four-wheel drive, sunroof, 10-speaker Alpine Surround Sound, Sirius Satellite Radio, navigation system, rear DVD entertainment with Sirius Backseat TV, heated and cooled seats and a heated steering wheel. The Garmin navigation system is easy to operate and voice commands can be used to program destinations while the vehicle is in motion. Sirius Backseat TV has three child-friendly channels that will keep the kids' attention on long vacation drives. Available trims include ST, SLT, Sport, Outdoorsman, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn, as well as the Big Horn and Lone Star packages.
The base 3.7-liter V6 is fine if you use your truck as basic transportation, but the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is the best choice if you plan to tow or haul a lot of cargo. The Hemi also delivers fuel economy comparable to that of the 4.7-liter V8, and it can tow a heavier load. Ram claims the Ram 1500 Sport Regular Cab with the Hemi is the fastest pickup in the class, with a zero-to-60-mph acceleration time under six seconds.
215 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20
310 horsepower @ 5650 rpm
330 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD, gasoline), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 9/12 (4WD, E85)
5.7-liter Hemi V8
390 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
407 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)
By Express on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling for a truck, lots of Hemi Power!"
Cons: "Price for 20 inch tires!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned my Ram Express for just over a year now, and I still love it. I'm the Chief of an Ambulance Service, and my truck gets used all the time for responding to Ambulance calls. The truck has never let me down! Its the best handling, and most powerful truck I've ever driven, and at times it gets driven pretty hard, in all sort of Vermont weather."
By Mark on Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,800overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, styling, comfort"
Cons: "Lack of power, handling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This truck from Ram looks great. Interior is well thought out and is very comfortable. Great visibility and spacious cab is what really drew my attention as well as the advertised mpg. After test driving it, I was sold. Having now owned this vehicle for 1.5 years I can tell you that I am very disappointed in the handling characteristics, anemic power, and poor gas mileage."
By Rob on Friday, August 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful vehicle for the price"
Cons: "Its not for around town driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I shopped all the major truck brands before deciding on a vehicle. When looked at the 1500 I found a much nicer vehicle than all the others for a lot less. I have been impressed with this truck since I purchased it. It rides great and is very quit on the highway. It tows a 6.5k pound boat and trailer with ease. The boat is the only reason I have a truck. The fuel economy definitely makes me hate driving around town for errands. The only issue I have at this point is a minor rattle in my passenger door. I have not tried to get it fixed yet. If you need a truck or just want one then I highly recommend RAM !"
3 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By MT on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Ride"
Cons: "Rear gate is heavy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Mileage is better in warm weather. Get the higher gear rear end unless you tow a lot. Get 19.5 on highway and 16.5 around town. Not as good as my last one by 10% with a higher gear rear. Will have a new one soon for my 4th. Unless you carry people on a regular basis get the quad cab. Easy to load groceries and stuff in the back and great for a dog to ride along. Don't forget the rear camera. The GPS on the Ram is head and shoulders above my wife's Caddy."
30 people out of 54 found this review helpful
By Chad on Saturday, July 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good power."
Cons: "Has defects in the paint."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The mpg is not as good as the window sticker suggests. I am concerned about how soon the body will rust. Had some minor body flaws when I purchased dealer tried to fix and did a so-so job. The reason I bought brand new was I wanted a perfect truck. It is close but has minor defects in the paint. I will be looking closer at Chevy and Ford on my next truck."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Joe on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Roomy with controls easy to reach. Seats are made for a larger man with comfort in mind. The V8 has plenty of power, i also get on an average of 19 mpg."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful