Ram Ram Pickup 1500 ›› 2017 ›› 2017 Ram Ram Pickup 1500
Overview (Final Score: B+)
The half-ton, full-size pickup truck market is booming in the US and the Ram brand is gaining ground quickly. There is no shortage of options in this market, and when stacked against the competition, the Ram is excellent but not always the best choice. What it does offer is excellent fuel efficiency, a comfortable drive and solid general capability.
There wasn't much changed for the Ram 1500's 2017 model year, with only the dropping of the Outdoorsman trim and a slight reshuffling of some trim package options being done as a result. The venerable Tradesman and the popular Big Horn packages are largely the same and the powertrain lineup is identical.
The 2017 Ram 1500 is offered in three cab configurations, three bed lengths (depending on cab choice) and with three drivetrain choices. The V6 and V8 gasoline engines are still excellent go-to powertrain drivers and the popular V6 EcoDiesel with its phenomenal fuel economy remains available as well.
For strengths, the 2017 Ram 1500 offers a great interior at all trim levels, the best infotainment system in the business and a smooth ride. We dinged the Ram on safety and reliability, and encourage buyers to consider other pickup truck options, including the best-selling Ford F-150 and the all-new Nissan Titan. For many, the Ram 1500 will still come out as the best choice for their needs thanks to its solid value proposition.
What We Love About the 2017 Ram 1500:
What We Don't Love About the 2017 Ram 1500:
Exterior View (9/10)
It's a bit cliche to say that a truck looks "ready for work" or "rough and tumble," but those are phrases that aptly describe the Ram series. The 2017 Ram 1500 has a smooth, muscular appeal that is unmistakably Ram. Its well-defined front fenders, powerful hood crest and well-rounded rear on all bed options are all signs of a working, ready for action pickup.
The front fascia of the Ram 1500 is dominated by a large grille crossed by the Dodge-Ram cross and centered with a large Ram Truck badge. Squared headlamps flank the grille, mimicking the hint of a trapezoid that the grille carries.
The hood above the grille has a strong power tunnel down its center, promising a large engine underneath. In some cases this is true for the 2017 Ram 1500, especially with the V8 and diesel engine options.
Along the bodywork, the Ram 1500 is fairly plain with smooth sides and flat wheel well edges as a concession to easier maneuvering and parking for this big pickup truck.
Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (10/10)
As with most pickup trucks, the Ram 1500's interior experience varies greatly by trim level. At the base level, the 2017 Ram 1500 is well-done, with a good layout and quality materials throughout. The cabin is quiet on the highway, compared with rivals, and the seating is well padded and comfortable. As trim levels improve, materials also change and improve along with the look and feel of the cabin and its comfort options.
The two mid-level packages, the Big Horn and Laramie trims, are the most common. There is good reason for this, as the comfort level and options for the price paid is a very good value. Ram continues to pick up sales and market share thanks to this smart packaging. Add in the excellent fuel economy offered in the diesel option and you have a great choice available.
The regular and extended cab options offer good front-seat legroom and solid comfort for both the driver and the front passenger. A front bench is available for when a third person needs to ride. Otherwise, a large, very useful storage bin with file hangers and plugs is located between the driver and front passenger. Rear seating in the extended cab is adequate for occasional use or children, but not nearly as spacious as what is found in the crew cab option. Seating in that crew cab is extremely spacious with plenty of leg and headroom for all. It's also easy to become fond of the cool touches added to the seating with the Rebel package for the Ram 1500.
Storage is also plentiful and very useful in the 2017 Ram 1500, thanks in no small part to the rotary shift dial that frees up console space. The bins under the floor mats at the rear are there in the crew cab and cubbies and bins are found throughout the cabin otherwise. Likewise, plugs and USB ports are also plentiful if packaging for technologies are opted for.
Visibility in the Ram 1500 is good and drive positions are very adjustable to match any driver. The available adjusting foot pedals go a long way toward making up for a lack of a telescoping steering column and the thin-profile framing for the sliding rear glass (optional) frees up a lot of visibility in the rear view mirror.
Technology in the 2017 Ram 1500 is centered on the Uconnect system located at the center of the dashboard. This infotainment system comes in two varieties, the 5-inch base touchscreen with basic connectivity and functionality, and the more robust 8.4-inch touchscreen with a lot of upgrade options.
With the smaller screen, Bluetooth and USB connections are there and a few additional features such as HD radio are also standard. The upgrade to the 8.4-inch, though, adds apps, smartphone connectivity, a WiFi hotspot option, and a lot more. Our favorite is the speech-to-text option that becomes one of the most useful items in Uconnect. The system's voice activation feature is also good, though a bit tedious at times.
Those using the Ram 1500 as a work truck may find that the availability of the WiFi hotspot becomes invaluable in getting business done on the road or at the job site.
The Uconnect system is the best in the business, as far as we're concerned.
Fuel Economy (9/10)
The Ram 1500 has three engine options and two drivetrain options. The base engine is a V6 that is EPA-rated at 20 mpg combined, with 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway in rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (16 city, 23 highway) in 4-wheel drive.
The V8 engine option has a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg combined (15/22 city/highway) in RWD and 17 mpg combined (15/21) in 4WD. In our testing of this model, we averaged just shy of 16 mpg combined in a 4WD model over a week's driving in mixed conditions, including some light towing.
The V6 turbodiesel option is EPA rated at 23 mpg combined, with 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, in 2WD and 22 mpg combined (19/27) in 4WD. We test drove a 4WD model for about a week using this EcoDiesel option and found those numbers to be close to reality if you account for a long stint of heavy towing included in our mix.
A special HFE EcoDiesel package for the turbodiesel option ups fuel economy to a best-in-class 24 mpg combined, with 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. A similar HFE package is available for the V6 gasoline engine, upping MPG numbers by about one point overall.
Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (7/10)
The 2017 Ram 1500 has a J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study score of "About Average" for expected reliability. This is better than some expectations given for the truck in the past, but couples with a recall for the drivetrain issued in March of 2017 to lower the Ram's scoring here.
Crash test results for the 2017 Ram 1500 are mixed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) scored the Ram 1500 with an overall rating of four out of five stars. The truck received four stars for both frontal and rollover crash results and five stars for side crash results.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2017 Ram 1500 a top score of "Good" for the moderate overlap front crash test, side impact test and rear crash tests. The truck received a second-worst score of "Marginal" for the small overlap front crash test and the roof strength (rollover) crash tests.
There are three engine options, three drivetrain options, and one 8-speed automatic transmission available for the 2017 Ram 1500. The three engines available are a gasoline V6, gasoline V8, or a diesel V6. Drivetrain options include rear-wheel drive (2WD), and two 4-wheel drive options (4WD). The first 4WD is a standard driver-selectable 4WD system with auto-locking hubs. The second is a similar system with an added "automatic 4WD" setting that allows the truck to choose 4WD on-demand, automatically, when needed.
The base-level V6 engine outputs a respectable 305 horsepower and 269 foot pounds of torque. The V6 has limited towing at about 7,600 pounds, but good payload capacity at 1,890 pounds. An HFE package is offered for this engine option to boost fuel economy slightly through aerodynamic upgrades to the exterior of the truck, some of which may interfere with 4WD capability, especially ground clearance.
The V8 gasoline engine is standard in most of the Ram 1500's trim packages. This 5.7-liter 8-cylinder engine outputs 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Towing is rated at up to 10,640, the best available for this truck but not the best in the half-ton pickup truck class. Payload is also limited at about 1,800 pounds.
The V6 turbodiesel (EcoDiesel) option is about fuel economy rather than towing, with outputs of 240 horses and 420 lb-ft. This engine option comes with a towing capacity of up to 9,210 pounds and a payload capacity of 1,600 pounds.
On the road, any of the engine options will feel peppy and well-muscled for the Ram 1500 when empty. Under load, there is noticeable difference in the acceleration of the gasoline versus the diesel engine, in favor of diesel, as should be expected. We did note some trailer sway when bumper pulling a trailer whose total weight was over 8,000 pounds, with cargo. A lighter trailer did not have this issue.
Diesel fans will also note that the Ram's EcoDiesel engine is relatively quiet and unobtrusive in nearly all driving conditions and those with the big V8 gas engine will enjoy its throaty rumble when the throttle is pressed hard. Maneuverability in the 2017 Ram 1500 is good for a full-size pickup truck and the backup camera is very handy during parking and backing to a trailer.
Pricing and Value (9/10)
The 2017 Ram 1500 has a good base level pricing structure and solid value proposition throughout its trim points for those needing a good, working pickup truck. Fleet sales of the Ram 1500, especially in its Tradesman package, are robust, making it an easy entry-level option for low-end buyers and making the truck plentiful on the used vehicle market.
Most consumers will buy the Ram 1500 in the Big Horn package, which has a great mix of technology, infotainment, safety and comfort at around $35k with delivery. This compares very well with competitors in that price range. The most common bed configuration for the Ram 1500 is the 6-foot, 4-inch box rather than the longer option.
Total Score and Competitive Comparison (70/80, 88%)
There is plenty of competition in the full-size pickup truck market and the Ram 1500, while faring well in the segment, is not always the best choice. The Ford F-150 is the best-seller in the segment with a lot of engine options and trim choices, often matching or bettering the Ram 1500 in both towing and fuel economy. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are also solid choices, aiming more for luxurious interiors and power under the hood. The half-ton Nissan Titan is all-new this year with a much-improved drivetrain and a full suite of cab and bed options, while its larger XD heavy-duty half-ton counterpart offers a very muscular V8 diesel engine for those needing to tow big loads.
The choice of the 2017 Ram 1500 will come down to style preference, brand loyalty and pickup truck expectations. The Ram 1500 has a good mix of value and capability, and is the most comfortable highway drive you can find in the segment.
|Crew Cab - 4WD|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||34195|
|Express||Express 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||34195|
|SLT||SLT 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||38495|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||38495|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||38495|
|Sport||Sport 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||41895|
|Night||Night 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||41895|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x4 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||43495|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||36695|
|Express||Express 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||36695|
|SLT||SLT 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||41195|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||41195|
|Lone Star Silver||Lone Star Silver 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||41195|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||41195|
|Sport||Sport 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||44095|
|Night||Night 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||44095|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||45595|
|Rebel||Rebel 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||4WD||47195|
|Longhorn||Longhorn 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||53175|
|Limited||Limited 4x4 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||53175|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||37295|
|SLT||SLT 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||43195|
|Lone Star Silver||Lone Star Silver 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||43195|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||43195|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||43195|
|Sport||Sport 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||46095|
|Night||Night 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||46095|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||47595|
|Longhorn||Longhorn 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||53575|
|Limited||Limited 4x4 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||4WD||53575|
|Crew Cab - RWD|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||30595|
|Express||Express 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||30595|
|SLT||SLT 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||34795|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||34795|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||34795|
|HFE||HFE 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||37895|
|Sport||Sport 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||38295|
|Night||Night 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||38295|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x2 Quad Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||39995|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||32995|
|Express||Express 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||32995|
|SLT||SLT 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||37595|
|Lone Star Silver||Lone Star Silver 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||37595|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||37595|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||37595|
|Sport||Sport 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||40495|
|Night||Night 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||40495|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||V6||RWD||42095|
|Rebel||Rebel 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||45095|
|Longhorn||Longhorn 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||49675|
|Limited||Limited 4x2 Crew Cab 5'7" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||49675|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||33695|
|SLT||SLT 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||39595|
|Lone Star Silver||Lone Star Silver 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||39595|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||39595|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||39595|
|Sport||Sport 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||42495|
|Night||Night 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||42495|
|Laramie||Laramie 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||43995|
|Longhorn||Longhorn 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||49975|
|Limited||Limited 4x2 Crew Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||49975|
|Regular Cab - 4WD|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||31095|
|Express||Express 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||31095|
|SLT||SLT 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||35695|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||35695|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||35695|
|Sport||Sport 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||38595|
|Night||Night 4x4 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||4WD||38595|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x4 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||4WD||31095|
|SLT||SLT 4x4 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||4WD||35995|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x4 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||4WD||35995|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x4 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||4WD||35995|
|Regular Cab - RWD|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||26495|
|Express||Express 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||26495|
|SLT||SLT 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||31195|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||31195|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||V6||RWD||31195|
|Sport||Sport 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||36595|
|Night||Night 4x2 Regular Cab 6'4" Box||8 Cylinder||RWD||36595|
|Tradesman||Tradesman 4x2 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||RWD||26495|
|SLT||SLT 4x2 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||RWD||31495|
|Lone Star||Lone Star 4x2 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||RWD||31495|
|Big Horn||Big Horn 4x2 Regular Cab 8' Box||V6||RWD||31495|