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2016 Ram 1500 Review

The 2016 Ram 1500 has an upscale, comfortable cabin, a cushioned ride, and an available diesel engine that earns great gas mileage. Still, most full-size rivals have higher safety scores and towing capacities. 

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy with diesel V6
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • First-rate interior materials
  • Lower towing capacity than rivals
  • Few advanced safety features




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Ram 1500 Overview

Is the 2016 Ram 1500 a Good Used Truck?

The 2016 Ram 1500 is a solid full-size pickup truck. Its cabin and ride quality give it a refined feeling, inside and out. It has upscale interior materials and user-friendly tech features, and its performance shines with powerful engines and a smooth ride. Additionally, it has best-in-class fuel economy estimates. That said, the Ram 1500 is difficult to recommend over rivals that have more active safety features, higher towing capacities, and better reliability ratings.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 75 Ram 1500 reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and Trucks since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Ram 1500?

Based on about 5,450 listings for this vehicle on our site, the price of a used 2016 Ram 1500 ranges from $21,800 to $39,800. The average price is about $30,100. Exact prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2016 Ram 1500 Cost to Own?

When deciding on a vehicle, there are expenses to think about besides its purchase price. You also need to consider ongoing costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. The 2016 Ram 1500’s five-year estimate for these expenses comes to about $27,300. While that’s on the high end for the class, most rivals’ estimates are only about $1,000 lower. You would have similar expenses with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (about $26,500) and GMC Sierra 1500 (about $26,900). 

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Ram 1500?

A 2019 Ram 1500 starts at $31,695 and tops out just north of $62,000. Making direct comparisons to the used 2016 Ram 1500 is difficult due to the large number of options, trims, and cabin setups. However, the 2016 model will be the better selection for many, if for no other reason than its much lower cost. There’s a nearly $10,000 gap between the lowest-priced 2016 Ram 1500 and the base 2019 Ram 1500 model. However, if you have the budget, the 2019 is enticing. It’s completely redesigned, lighter, and tows and hauls more than the 2016 model.

Read about the new Ram 1500 »

If the 2019 Ram 1500 won’t fit into your budget, you can still get a new truck for the price of a 2016 Ram 1500. For less than the average cost of a 2016 Ram, you can buy the entry-level 2018 Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado 1500. If you can do with less truck, give the compact truck class a look. Both the 2018 GMC Canyon and 2018 Chevy Colorado have base models that start in the low 20s ($21,100 and $21,200, respectively).

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Ram 1500?

The 2016 Ram 1500 has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Ram 1500 reliability »

2016 Ram 1500 Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 Ram 1500 has eight reported recalls. Potential problems involve the vehicle rolling away, the air bags not deploying, power steering failure, and loosened screws that can increase the chance of a crash. Be sure these recalls have been addressed before you purchase the 2016 Ram 1500.

See more information on Ram 1500 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Ram 1500 Is Best?

The 2016 Ram 1500 is part of a generation that launched for the 2009 model year and ended with the 2018 Ram 1500. The 2014 model was the first available with the fuel-efficient V6 diesel engine, and the 2015 model was unchanged. Both trucks are good, earning scores between 8.1 and 8.3. The 2016 model was the last to be offered with the available six-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 and 2018 models have better overall scores (8.7 and 8.8, respectively), but they are otherwise similar to the 2016 model. Your best bet is the 2016 Ram 1500, but any of these long-lasting, hardworking models will live up to your expectations.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Ram 1500 »

Which Used Ram 1500 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Ram 1500 is offered in three body types (Regular Cab, Quad Cab, and Crew Cab), three bed lengths (8 feet, 6 feet 4 inches, and 5 feet 7 inches), and 10 trim levels: Tradesman, Express, SLT, Big Horn, Rebel, Outdoorsman, Sport, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited.

If you need an appropriately equipped work truck, the Ram Tradesman is your best bet. The Ram 1500 Tradesman is available with each cab, bed, and engine option. It comes with vinyl upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks (Quad Cab and Crew Cab), a USB port, a locking tailgate, a spray-in bed liner, and a Class IV trailer hitch receiver. A 5-inch touch screen and the RamBox bedside storage bins are available.

For a bit more luxury, choose the Ram 1500 Big Horn. It’s not as expensive as the top trim levels like the Laramie and Laramie Longhorn, but it comes with tech features like an 8.4-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, satellite radio, remote start, and keyless entry. It’s also available with a navigation system and heated front seats.

See 2016 Ram 1500 trims and specs »

What Does Ram's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ram offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ram extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Ram warranty page carefully.

Ram’s CPO program is below average for an affordable carmaker, according to our analysis. Ford, Chevrolet, and Honda all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Ram 1500?

The 2016 Ram 1500 has a decent safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a Good rating (the highest possible) for seat, side, and moderate overlap front crash safety. It received Marginal ratings (the second-highest possible) in roof strength and small overlap front crash safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Ram a perfect five-star rating in side impact testing and four stars in overall, front, and rollover evaluations. Four-wheel-drive models received three stars in rollover testing.

The Ram 1500 trails the class in terms of available active safety features. Some upper trims come with front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. By comparison, many other full-size trucks offer forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist.

See Ram 1500 safety scores »

2016 Ram 1500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Ram 1500 or 2016 Ford F-150?

It’s difficult to beat America’s top-selling pickup truck, the Ford F-150. The Ram 1500 certainly can’t. This Ford has higher towing and payload capacities, as well as a better safety score than the Ram truck. The F-150 also has the lowest estimated ongoing ownership costs in the class, and it’s available with many active safety features, including a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control. The Ram 1500 has a smoother ride, but the F-150 is the better truck overall.

Which Is Better: 2016 Ram 1500 or 2016 GMC Sierra 1500?

The GMC Sierra 1500 and the Ram 1500 are a lot alike. Both have user-friendly entertainment systems, composed handling, similar upkeep costs, and roomy seats. The Ram 1500 gets better fuel economy estimates, while the Sierra 1500 has higher maximum towing and payload capacities. A better reliability rating for the Ram gives it the edge over the Sierra, though.

Which Is Better: 2016 Ram 1500 or 2016 Toyota Tundra?

The Toyota Tundra is the better option for venturing off-road, while the Ram 1500 works better for everyday driving. The Ram 1500 is also more upscale and comfortable, and it has better gas mileage and stronger engine options. However, these trucks have similar towing capacities.

Compare the Ram 1500, F-150, and Sierra 1500 »

2016 Ram 1500 Performance

How Does the 2016 Ram 1500 Drive?

The 2016 Ram 1500 has three available engines: a standard 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower, a 5.7-liter V8 with 395 horsepower, and a turbodiesel V6 with 240 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; four-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic are available. The base engine has adequate power, but the V8 provides more muscle for quicker acceleration, better towing, and more hauling. The turbodiesel engine provides the best balance of power, fuel economy, and towing capacity.

Towing capacity with the V6 tops out at 7,610 pounds, which is below average for the class. The V6 diesel offers a 9,210-pound max towing capacity. With the V8 engine, the truck can tow up to 10,640 pounds.

The Ram 1500 handles more like an SUV than a truck, offering unparalleled composure and comfort for a full-size truck. An available air suspension further improves this ride comfort and allows the driver to adjust the suspension settings.

Does the 2016 Ram 1500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base model returns good fuel economy numbers: 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The available V6 diesel engine offers a class-leading 21/29 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Ram 1500 performance »

2016 Ram 1500 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Ram 1500 Seat?

Two-door Regular Cab models seat up to three, and four-door Quad Cab and Crew Cab models seat up to six. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and they offer plenty of head- and legroom. The Quad and Crew Cabs have ample rear-seat space, but adults will appreciate the Crew Cab’s extra 5.6 inches of legroom. Vinyl upholstery is standard; cloth seats, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Ram 1500?

Ram models with back seats (Quad Cab and Crew Crab) have two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats. The middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system a Marginal rating (the second-lowest score) because the tether anchors are difficult to find and can be confused with other hardware.  

2016 Ram 1500 Features

The base model comes with a standard six-speaker stereo and a USB port. Available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, power locks, power windows, a power sunroof, Bluetooth, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker audio system, navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the voice-activated Uconnect infotainment system with a 5- or 8.4-inch touch screen and smartphone app integration.

The Uconnect touch screens stand out for their large virtual buttons, intuitive menus, and simple voice recognition system. Additionally, redundant controls below the screen make it easy to quickly adjust climate and audio settings. Available convenience features include Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, text message assist, Wi-Fi connectivity, satellite radio, and navigation.

See 2016 Ram 1500 specs »

Read more about Ram 1500 interior »

2016 Ram 1500 Dimensions

Ram 1500 Cargo Space

Regular Cab models are available with either a 6-foot-4-inch bed or an 8-foot bed. Quad Cab models have a 6-foot-4-inch bed, and Crew Cab models have either a 5-foot-7-inch bed or a 6-foot-4-inch bed.

Built-in storage compartments in the bed rails (RamBox) are available with the 5-foot-7-inch and 6-foot-4-inch beds. These spaces are convenient for carrying everyday cargo, like grocery bags. The cabin has plenty of small-item storage compartments, and the Crew Cab model also features under-floor storage.

2016 Ram 1500 Length and Weight

Depending on its cab, powertrain, and bed length, the 2016 Ram 1500’s gross weight ranges from 9,850 pounds to 15,950 pounds. Its overall length ranges from 17.4 feet to 19.8 feet. Payload ratings vary from 1,260 pounds to 1,890 pounds, depending on the model.

Where Was the 2016 Ram 1500 Built?

The 2016 Ram 1500 was assembled in Mexico and Michigan.   

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