BY JOEY CAPPARELLAPUBLISHED: JAN 17, 2023
Change is coming to pickup trucks. The full-size pickup is evolving rapidly now that electric propulsion has entered the segment. As exciting as electrified pickups may be, it is Ram's traditional approach that produces the most satisfying full-size pickup today. This truck was last redesigned for 2019, and its EV spinoff is still just a concept. But the Ram 1500's thoughtful execution has given it exceptional staying power, landing it on our 10Best list for a fifth straight year.
What the Ram does do, it does better than any other full-size model. Its coil-spring rear suspension provides luxury-SUV-like ride quality, making the bouncy competition feel like rudimentary farm trucks in comparison. The optional 5.7-liter V-8 unleashes a satisfyingly nostalgic roar, yet still manages decent fuel economy when equipped with Ram's eTorque 48-volt hybrid system. At the top of the range, there's the supercharged Ram 1500 TRX. With a 702-hp 6.2-liter V-8, the TRX is an off-road-worthy exercise in the wonders of absurdity.
The Ram's interior is its most surprising and delightful attribute. The upper trim levels feature carefully selected materials—leather, metal trim, open-pore wood—and the kind of attention to detail we expect in a Mercedes-Benz S-class. Even basic versions have sound ergonomics, crisp digital displays, and buttons and knobs that are satisfying to the touch. Chrysler's luxurious Imperial brand may have died long ago, but its spirit lives on in today's Ram.
If you're one of those people who actually uses your truck like a truck, there are features such as an optional split tailgate that opens in several different ways, air springs that can lower the Ram for loading or hooking up a trailer, and lockable storage boxes in the bed walls. We won't get into the disputes over which pickup currently has bragging rights for the highest towing and payload capacities, but if the half-ton Ram can't handle your hauling needs, you should be buying a heavy-duty truck anyway. For everyone else looking for an everyday pickup—which is a lot of Americans—the Ram is the one to meet all your needs and exceed your expectations.