The Ram 1500 has long been a favorite of automotive reviewers and truck buyers. This full-size, light-duty pickup continues its reign at the top of the pack for 2021. The folks at the Dowagiac Ram dealer tell us customers love the 2021 Ram 1500 for its smooth and controlled ride, spacious and quiet cabin, modern technology features and ample storage space.
Changes for 2021 include a new Ram 1500 TRX model, which we’re not covering in this review. New options include a digital rearview mirror, a head-up display and a steering feature for backing up to a trailer. A new available infotainment system has displays for off-roaders that indicate the vehicle’s ride height, transfer-case mode, and pitch-and-roll monitoring. There are improved features for trailering, increased availability of forward-collision warning, and the Advanced Safety package gets pedestrian detection. According to the Dowagiac Ram dealership, there’s also a new special Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition that comes with a Mountain Brown interior, exclusive trim, and unique interior and exterior badging.
We’re not surprised that the 2021 Ram 1500 continues to garner exceptional reviews from the automotive media. Car and Driver wrote: “The 2021 Ram 1500 … raises expectations for the entire breed. Pickups were once judged based on ruggedness rather than refinement. No longer. And this latest Ram, with its luxury-grade interior and cushy ride quality, easily exceeds even the fanciest versions of the Chevy Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ford F-150.”
The 2021 Ram 1500 is offered in six trim levels, listed as Tradesman, Big Horn, Rebel, Laramie, Longhorn and Limited. The Ram 1500 is available in quad-cab and crew-cab configurations. The quad cab features a 6-foot, 4-inch long bed, and the crew-cab can get the long bed or a 5-foot, 7-inch short bed.
There are three engines on offer. All engines aren’t available on every trim level. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. This unit comes with a mild hybrid system that boosts fuel economy. A 5.7-liter V8 develops 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 puts out 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. All engines are teamed to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features for the base Tradesman trim include 18-inch steel wheels, a coil-spring suspension, active grille shutters, push-button start, an electronic parking brake, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors, air conditioning, vinyl floors and seats, trailer-sway control, cruise control and a rearview camera. The driver will appreciate the standard Uconnect infotainment system that comes with a 5.0-inch touchscreen.
The top-spec Limited trim includes a long list of amenities, such as a four-corner air suspension, premium-leather bucket seats, power-deployable running boards, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and wireless charging. The standard 12-inch touchscreen features user-friendly touch controls, easy-to-read icons, simple menus and pinch-and-swipe technology.
Drivers who do a lot of towing will love the 2021 Ram 1500’s available electronic trailer reverse steering control system. This setup makes backing up to a trailer easy by automatically steering the vehicle when the driver turns a knob.