2021 Ram 1500 Classic

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2021 Ram 1500 Classic Review: Not Quite Ready For Retirement

The 2021 Ram 1500 Classic is a bit of a dinosaur in the US pickup truck segment, but it exists for a very specific reason. While the newly revamped 1500 has an updated and upscale cabin and loads more modern features, the Classic is significantly cheaper than the base model. Of course, this means that it is the most sparsely equipped, but it still gets access to a potent V8 gas engine that facilitates some great towing and hauling capabilities, as well as all the body and bed customization options. This makes it one of the most affordable no-frills workhorses on the market. If you don't care for the comforts and advanced driver assists found in contemporary cars like the Ford F-150 or the Chevrolet Silverado, then the 1500 Classic pickup may just be the perfect budget vehicle. Sales have been strong so far, but how much longer will this particular Ram remain relevant as many marques start moving towards high-tech electrification?

Read in this review:

8.2
What is BuzzScore?

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 1500 Classic?

For the new model year, Hydro Blue Pearl paint replaces the old Hydro Blue, and Olive Green Pearl is available to all trims. Overall, only nine out of the original 19 colors are presented when configuring your build. Utility figures have seen some changes, too, with maximum towing capacity dropping from 10,680 to 10,610 pounds, while payload hauling rises from 1,920 to 1,930 lbs. The five-inch touchscreen with Uconnect 3 is now standard on all 2021 Ram 1500 Classic models.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful engine choices
  • Pleasant ride comfort
  • Spacious and ergonomic cabin
  • Great value for the money
  • Limited trim selection
  • Subpar towing and safety tech
  • Spotty reliability track record
  • New 1500 is so much better at a similar price

Best Deals on 2021 Ram 1500 Classic

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Tradesman
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$29,510
Express
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$29,510
SLT
3.6L V6 Gas
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$33,710
Warlock
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$38,640
SSV
5.7L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$42,720
See All 2021 Ram 1500 Classic Trims and Specs

2021 1500 Classic Exterior

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Front Angle View FPI Studios
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Rear Angle View FPI Studios
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Side View FPI Studios
See All 2021 Ram 1500 Classic Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 209.0 in
  • Wheelbase 120.0 in
  • Height 74.6 in
  • Max Width 79.4 in
  • Curb Weight 4,517.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Delmonico Red Pearlcoat +$100
  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearlcoat +$100
  • Hydro Blue Pearlcoat +$100
  • Olive Green Pearlcoat +$100
  • Patriot Blue Pearlcoat +$100
  • Delmonico Red Pearlcoat, N/C - credit will be applied when configured +$100
  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearlcoat, N/C - credit will be applied when configured +$100
  • Hydro Blue Pearlcoat, N/C - credit will be applied when configured +$100
  • Maximum Steel Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat +$200
  • RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic Clearcoat, Build Out:07/16/2021 +$200
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat, N/C - credit will be applied when configured +$200
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat, N/C - credit will be applied when configured +$200
  • RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic Clearcoat, Build Out:06/16/2021. +$200
See all 81 colors

2021 1500 Classic Performance

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Front Angle View 1 Ram
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Front Bumper Ram
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Engine Ram

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    3.6L V6 Gas, 5.7L V8 Gas, 5.7L V8 HEMI MDS VVT
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

2021 1500 Classic Interior

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Dashboard Ram
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Front Seats FPI Studios
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Speaker Ram
See All 2021 Ram 1500 Classic Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    3-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.9 in

2021 1500 Classic Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Ram 1500 Classic Cup Holder Ram
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Rear View FPI Studios
2021 Ram 1500 Classic Floor Storage Ram

2021 1500 Classic Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2021 Ram 1500 Classic A Good Truck?

Sticking with the fourth-generation guise, the 1500 Classic pickup sacrifices sophistication for affordability. It is also slightly less capable than the newer Ram 1500, but the differences aren't so severe that the average buyer should be deterred. Inside, it's still a spacious and accommodating vehicle, and the ride comfort is a strong selling point, even when compared with more modern rivals.

However, it does suffer from its age, especially when it comes to its safety rating and reliability. The NHTSA's subpar four-star review of the 2021 Ram 1500 Classic, alongside a history of recalls and complaints, may be enough to send shoppers to more reputable competitors. Many savvy consumers wouldn't even consider a vehicle with so few driver assists nowadays. That said, it cannot be denied that the 1500 Classic is still a good truck with decent capabilities. And its really low starting price is alluring enough that many are willing to overlook its shortcomings to get the job done on a dime.

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