2023 Ram 1500 Classic

2023 Ram 1500 Classic
2023 Ram 1500 Classic Rear Angle View
2023 Ram 1500 Classic Dashboard

2023 Ram 1500 Classic Review: What You See Is What You Get

The fifth-generation Ram 1500 is already in its fifth model year, yet the fourth-generation model soldiers on as the base-level Classic-badged truck. Rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and every time we think it will get the axe, it gets popped back into the microwave and reheated for another model year. So, the 2023 Ram 1500 Classic is back yet again, with a pared-back range and fewer body styles. With a Regular Cab, it's $30k starting price is a lot lower than that of rivals such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, or the "proper" Ram 1500: With a 305-horsepower V6 or optional 395-hp V8, the 1500 Classic offers plenty of bang for the buck. However, with a Quad Cab similar to the regular 1500's base configuration, that pricing advantage evaporates and really calls into question the value offered by what is now an ancient 14-year-old car, as it's outclassed by the newer 1500 in every way. To rub salt into the wound, every safety review of the Ram 1500 Classic produces rather mediocre results, so is there anything at all except the base trim's price that could still prompt you to go Classic?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2023 Ram 1500 Classic Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 1500 Classic?

The only thing that's new about the 2023 Ram 1500 Classic is that the range has been rationalized even further. The mid-range Express trim is gone, leaving only two remaining: Tradesman and Warlock. Along with this change, there is also no longer a Regular Cab short-bed version this year. Finally, The RamBox bed-storage option is discontinued. The loss of the short-bed base trim increased the base price of the 2023 Ram 1500 Classic by a few hundred dollars over last year; it goes on sale in the USA at just under $31k.

Pros and Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Still a capable truck
  • Base model is cheap
  • Powerful engine options
  • Roomy and practical cabin
  • Ancient design and engineering
  • Few safety features
  • Limited configurations available
  • Higher trims offer poor value

What's the Price of the 2023 Ram 1500 Classic?

With a $30,695 MSRP, the price of a new Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman is around $7k lower than that of the Ram 1500 Tradesman. This price is for the truck in its most basic configurations, which is to say, with the 3.6 V6. The 5.7-liter V8 adds $2,495 to the Tradesman, while 4x4 ups the base price to $37,855. $43,855 will buy you a Crew Cab Tradesman with 4x4 and a 6"4" box, and it automatically equips the V8 engine.

The only other trim is the Warlock, which will cost you $41,785 to start with, although opting for the Crew Cab with the 5'7" box sees the price change to $44,485. The V8 costs the same here as on the Tradesman, and adding 4x4 will add $3,800 to your total cost. Keep in mind that these prices are MSRP and don't include the $1,995 destination fee.

Best Deals on 2023 Ram 1500 Classic

2023 Ram 1500 Classic 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 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Ram 1500 Classic Trims and Specs

2023 Ram 1500 Classic Handling and Driving Impressions

Cheap doesn't have to mean nasty when it comes to the driving experience, and one of the main reasons people are buying this outdated truck is because it still exhibits one thoroughly modern trait, namely excellent ride quality, thanks to the long-time 1500 staple of a coil-sprung rear axle. This makes the 2023 Ram 1500 Classic more comfortable to drive than many modern alternatives and means a restful, quiet ride on all manner of surfaces, with few of the typical truck vibrations and shudders on the move to spoil the tranquility. The engines provide enough power, and even the base V6 has 305 hp. The optional 395-hp V8 is punchy and emits a hearty roar under load, while the eight-speed auto shuffles through its ratios without drawing undue attention to itself. Even the steering provides welcome feel and is accurate and light. The comfortable ride, decent ground clearance, and optional 4WD make it fully competitive off-road too.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Ram 1500 Classic A Good Truck?

The base Tradesman offers plenty of value and gives you a full-size truck for just over $30k - something few other trucks can match. It might be old, but you get plenty of truck for your money, with the option of a powerful 395-hp V8 for only $2,495 more. It's ready for work and very simple, with no frills and very few features. You get a backup camera, a six-speaker audio system, air-conditioning, cruise control, and a five-inch touchscreen, but you have to make do with vinyl on the seats, rubber matting on the floor, no remote entry, no smartphone integration, and no advanced driver assists. But it's this or nothing, because the larger cabs are priced at virtually the same level as the more modern alternatives, making this old-timer a non-starter at anything above the barest minimum of the base-level trim.

What 2023 Ram 1500 Classic Model Should I Buy?

The Ram 1500 Classic only makes sense right at the bottom of the range in 2WD Tradesman guise and with the Regular Cab body. This is where its value is unmatched, offering you a full-size truck for thousands of dollars less than a regular 1500 or any rival out there. As soon as you upgrade to the bigger cabs, the value proposition goes away, and its pricing is so close to the normal 1500 that opting for the old truck would be a poor choice.

Check out other Ram 1500 Styles

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