2023 Ram 1500

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2023 Ram 1500 Review: Improving A Class Leader

The USA is truck country and after the number-one top-selling Ford F-150, it's usually a tight battle between the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ram 1500 for second place. Ram is an American institution, and the latest 1500, which debuted as a 2019 model, is still regarded as the best truck to drive, thanks to the car-like ride and driving characteristics provided by its coil-sprung rear end - a design feature now also copied by Toyota on its full-size Tundra. Three engine options are available, a 260-hp six-cylinder diesel, a 305-hp gas V6, and a 395-hp 5.7-liter gas V8, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and giving you a choice of RWD or 4WD. You also get a choice of two body styles: a Quad Cab and an extra-long Crew Cab, along with different bed lengths. The 2023 Ram 1500 is noticeably improved by the addition of new optional and standard features, plus there are two special editions this year. It might not be the top seller, but the Ram 1500 has nothing to prove. It's the most comfortable and the best to drive, and although it lags behind a little on towing credentials and offers no single-cab body - you'll have to look at the Ram 1500 Classic for that - the 2023 model renews its assault on the truck market by refining an already excellent product.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
What is BuzzScore?

2023 Ram 1500 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 1500?

The new 2023 Ram 1500 full-size truck gets more standard equipment across the board, notably a LED hitch light in the tailgate handle and a rear-seat reminder alert. Cruise control is now standard on the Rebel. It is also included in both the Back Country package available to the Big Horn/Lonestar and the Off-Road Group package available to the Big Horn/Lonestar, Laramie, Limited Longhorn, and Limited. An emergency vehicle-alert system is now part of the 12-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system. Various optional features become available this year. The first is a frameless full-color 12-inch digital gauge cluster with more than 20 different menus, allowing configurable tiles for quick access to important information, and the option of digital or analog gauge rendering. New 22-inch all-terrain tires are also available with the Off-Road Group package available to the Laramie, Limited Longhorn, and Limited trim levels.

The (RAM)RED special edition, in support of raising money for the Global Fund to help fight health emergencies with (RED), returns for 2023 as an option on the Limited Crew Cab. It comes with red RAM badging on the doors and grille, in addition to a (RED) badge on the center console. This special edition comes with a UV-C glove-box light that starts a three-minute bacteria-killing hygiene cycle when activated via a center-console button.

The new Ram 1500 Limited Elite Edition debuts, too, and comes as standard with four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, a locking tailgate with a tailgate-ajar warning light, a deployable bed step, and a cargo divider. Inside, it gets 12-way powered, heated, ventilated, and leather-upholstered front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, a suede headliner, a bright pedal kit, a jeweled rotary shifter, and a unique theme for the gauge cluster.

Pros and Cons

  • Best-in-class ride and handling
  • Powerful engine options
  • Luxurious and roomy cabin
  • User-friendly tech and infotainment
  • Innovative optional RamBox storage
  • Rivals beat it for outright towing ability
  • Pricey upper trims and options
  • Economical diesel discontinued
  • Too many driver assists are optional

What's the Price of the 2022 Ram 1500?

The most affordable Ram 1500 pickup is the Tradesman which begins at $37,410, a base price that excludes taxes, licensing, registration, and a destination charge in the US of $1,895. This model is followed by the Tradesman HFE at $39,047, the Big Horn/Lone Star at $42,625, and the more luxurious Laramie with an MSRP of $52,575. The flashy Rebel carries a starting price of $53,390. Finally, things get considerably more luxurious with the Limited Longhorn at $59,335 and the range-topping Limited at $63,750. These are hefty increases, some trims being well over $5k more expensive than last year. The Limited Elite special edition package adds $2,145 to the Limited's MSRP.

The pricing reflected above is for the trims in their cheapest format. However, upgrading from 4x2 to 4x2, choosing a different engine, or going for the pricier Crew Cab are all ways to inflate the price. For example, upgrading to 4x4 on the base Tradesman will add $3,800 to the price and choosing the V8 engine on this model requires another $2,995. On the Big Horn, upgrading from the Quad Cab to the Crew Cab with the same 6'4" box will increase the price of the Ram 1500 by $5,995. As you can see, the Ram 1500 will cost substantially more at higher trim levels and with the pricier engine options.

Best Deals on 2023 Ram 1500

2023 Ram 1500 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Lone Star
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Big Horn
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Ram 1500 Trims and Specs

2023 Ram 1500 Handling and Driving Impressions

A lot has been said about the Ram 1500's ride and handling, and suffice it to say that it's still a class act, even after four years on the market. The multi-link, coil-sprung rear end is the star of the show and endows it with an absorbent, well-controlled ride and a level of refinement uncommon for a big truck - and better than anyone else can offer at the moment. It improves further when the optional height-adjustable air suspension is fitted, a feature which lends the Ram improved off-road credibility thanks to a boost in ground clearance. Nobody buys a truck to fling it around a mountain pass, but piloting the Ram 1500 is quite a revelation because it lacks that lumbering, cumbersome semi-truck feel of most full-size rivals and is actually pleasant to steer down the road for something this big. The mild-hybrid-assisted 305-hp gas V6 is powerful enough for most purposes, except when you're towing, and the 395-hp 5.7-liter gas V8 offers strong punch. Both are ably assisted by a slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission that rarely puts a foot wrong. The 260-hp diesel offers great torque and economy, but is sadly being dropped once supplies have run out; it already ceased production in January 2023.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Ram 1500 A Good Truck?

In every annual review of the Ram 1500 we write, we give it high marks with a BuzzScore that edges out the competition, and we still believe it's the best full-size pickup truck in its class. This is due in no small measure to the things that make the Ram 1500 so easy to live with day by day - the excellent ride quality, and the roomy, upmarket cabin, which still offers the best available space in the second row. You don't feel like you're driving a work truck, and the top trims rival some luxury cars in their refinement, materials, appointments… and price. It might not lead the class in terms of outright towing ability or available trailering tech, but it's good enough to compete and it fights back with truly useful features such as the smart RamBox storage solution. It lacks its rivals' downsized turbocharged gas engines and it loses the diesel option this year, so it's starting to fall behind in terms of efficiency. But the automaker has that covered, too, having recently revealed its first production electric pickup 1500 REV. But even as it is, the Ram 1500 sits on the top step of the podium in our books.

What 2022 Ram 1500 Model Should I Buy?

It's difficult to pin just one model down. Off-road enthusiasts, for example, will enjoy the Rebel. Buyers in search of a workhorse will be more than happy with a Tradesman. If we had the money, we'd go the whole nine yards and get the Limited. It comes standard with air suspension and a V8 engine. We'd add the Limited Level 1 Equipment Group ($4,995), which comes with adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, park assist, pedestrian emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, a surround-view camera system, a head-up display, a digital rearview mirror, bed lighting, a wireless charging pad, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. In a Patriot Blue hue, the grand total comes to $70,840 with the shorter box and 4x2. It's expensive but about as good as pickup trucks get.

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