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2018 Ram 1500 Review

The 2018 Ram 1500 ranks near the top of our full-size pickup truck class because of its well-rounded driving dynamics, an upscale interior, and a solid predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging performance
  • Comfortable, quality cabin
  • Straightforward infotainment features
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Subpar safety scores for class
  • Lower towing and hauling capacities than rivals

New for 2018

  • Rearview camera became standard
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay became available

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Ram 1500's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Full Size Pickup Trucks category. Currently the Ram 1500 has a score of 8.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 85 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.6

Overall

Scorecard

Overall: 8.6
Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 8.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2018 Ram 1500 a Good Used Truck?

Yes, the 2018 Ram 1500 is a great used full-size pickup. Whether you're after a basic work vehicle or an upscale everyday truck that can also haul a full crew of adults, the Ram has a lot to like.

The 2018 Ram 1500 has numerous strengths:

  • Trio of powerful engines
  • Fuel-efficient turbo diesel engine
  • Engaging handling and comfortable ride
  • Handsome interior
  • User-friendly available infotainment features
  • Roomy, comfortable seats
  • Lowest list prices in class

Its weaknesses are few, but notable:

  • Poor crash test results for class
  • Lower towing and payload capacities than rivals
  • Few available driver assistance features
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 85 Ram 1500 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has decades of combined automotive industry experience. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Ram 1500?

Based on listings for the 2018 Ram 1500 on our site, the average list price is $29,500, which is the lowest in its class. Prices range from about $22,700 to $41,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Ram 1500 Cost to Own?

The 2018 Ram 1500’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $28,500, or $5,700 per year. That’s right in line with most other full-size pickups.

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

The 2019 Ram 1500 is fully redesigned. In addition to a fresh interior and exterior appearance, the new Ram can haul up to 2,300 pounds and tow up to 12,750 pounds, compared to the 2018 model's 1,880 and 10,640 pounds, respectively. A new mild-hybrid engine system increases fuel efficiency while delivering higher torque ratings. The highlight of the interior is an available 12-inch vertical touch screen, and you can also get the Ram with previously unavailable features like a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and a Wi-Fi hot spot. A long list of active safety features is available in the new Ram, including a surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic parking assist.

The redesigned Ram holds a top spot in our full-size pickup truck rankings. However, it comes at a premium, with prices ranging from around $31,800 to $58,000. Meanwhile, prices for a used 2018 Ram range from about $23,000 to $41,500. You'll have to decide if all the benefits of the redesign are worth paying a lot more money. If you decide to go shopping for a new Ram, note that Fiat Chrysler carried over the 2018 model into the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic to satisfy shopper demand. These models are nearly identical to the 2018 Ram 1500.

Read about the new Ram 1500 »

For 2018, the Ram 1500 gained a standard rearview camera, along with available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. If those improvements aren't that important to you, you may want to consider shopping for a similar older model, which likely costs less. Read our reviews of the 2017 Ram 1500 and 2016 Ram 1500 for more information on those trucks.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ram 1500 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Ram 1500?

The 2018 Ram 1500 has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. All full-size pickups have a rating of three or better.

Read more about Ram 1500 reliability »

2018 Ram 1500 Recalls

At the time of writing, six recalls have been issued for the 2018 Ram 1500:

  • The rear axle in some models may fail due to insufficient oil in the differential
  • A voltage regulator may fail, causing the truck to stall
  • A loss of visibility and image from the rearview camera is possible
  • Cruise control may fail to disengage when cancelled
  • Incorrect transmission park rods may have been installed in some models
  • Vehicle may roll away accidentally

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Ram 1500 safety recalls »

Which Used Ram 1500 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Ram 1500 comes in nearly a dozen trims. But when you're buying a full-size pickup truck, you’re doing more than just choosing a trim. You also have to decide which cab and bed you want (the Ram 1500 offers three of each), along with the engine and drivetrain. Lower trims are sparsely equipped and may not be the best buying options for most people. The mid-tier trims like the Sport and Laramie are better because they have a wider array of features. We've outlined several of the more popular Ram trims below.

  • Ram 1500 Tradesman: The 2018 Ram 1500 Tradesman is a bare-bones base model. It comes standard with vinyl seats, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, and a rearview camera. Available features include power mirrors, cloth upholstery, a 5-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, proximity keyless entry, and an additional USB port.
  • Ram 1500 Big Horn/Lone Star: The Ram 1500 Big Horn/Lone Star includes premium cloth seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, an 8.4-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and front and rear parking sensors. The Big Horn is available with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a sunroof.
  • Ram 1500 Sport: The Ram 1500 Sport comes standard with heated front seats, the Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio. Navigation is available, along with leather seats.
  • Ram 1500 Laramie: The Laramie comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, and a 10-speaker audio system. Navigation and a sunroof are available.
  • Ram 1500 Limited: The Ram 1500 Limited is the top-of-the-line trim and comes with just about every feature you can get in a Ram truck.

See 2018 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.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Ram certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Ram 1500?

The 2018 Ram 1500 has poor composite safety scores for its class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the truck an overall rating of four out of five stars. All models received four stars in the frontal crash test and five stars in the side crash test. Rear-wheel-drive Rams earned a four-star rollover rating, while four-wheel-drive models only earned three stars in that evaluation.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Ram the highest rating of Good in three crash tests; it received the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test and in the roof strength test. Depending on the model, the Ram 1500 received scores ranging from Marginal to Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • front and rear parking sensors
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • automatic high beams

See Ram 1500 safety scores »

2018 Ram 1500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Ram 1500 or 2018 Ford F-150?

Among full-size pickup trucks, the 2018 Ford F-150 is a popular choice because it has one of the highest towing and hauling capacities (13,200 pounds and 3,270 pounds, respectively). Both the Ram and the F-150 come standard with a V6 engine, but the F-150 has stronger available engines, including two twin-turbocharged V6s and a V8. While both vehicles have available infotainment systems that are user-friendly, the F-150 has many more available active safety features than the Ram 1500. The Ram has a higher predicted reliability rating, and it is likely to cost you less to buy. However, the F-150 boasts the best safety scores in the class, and its five-year ownership costs are around $2,300 lower than the Ram's. Either of these is a great truck. It just depends on your priorities.

Which Is Better: 2018 Ram 1500 or 2018 Chevrolet Silverado?

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado is a well-rounded truck that, like many others in the class, outshines the Ram when it comes to towing and hauling. This Chevy can tow 12,500 pounds, and it has a maximum payload of 2,250 pounds. The Silverado stands out for its standard infotainment system and because it has a longer list of available driver assistance features than the Ram. Both of these trucks have high-end interiors and a potent lineup of engines. The Ram takes a slight edge in predicted reliability rating, but the Silverado boasts better safety scores. All told, you really can't go wrong with either of these trucks.

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

2018 Ram 1500 Performance

How Does the 2018 Ram 1500 Drive?

The 2018 Ram 1500 is available with three capable engines. With 305 horsepower, the standard V6 is fine for everyday driving and light work duty. You'll want to spring for the more muscular V8 or a turbo diesel V6 for better towing ability and authoritative highway acceleration.

The Ram 1500 delivers arguably the smoothest ride of any truck. It also has accurate steering and composed handling, and the brakes provide good stopping power even when pulling a trailer. An available active-leveling air suspension further enhances the ride and keeps the truck poised.

  • Base engine: 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque
    • 5.7-liter V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Ram 1500 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Ram 1500 gets average fuel economy for the class with its base V6 engine. Its turbo diesel returns impressive efficiency for a full-size pickup. Four-wheel-drive models use slightly more gas than their RWD counterparts

  • Turbo diesel V6: 20/27 mpg city/highway
  • Gas V6: 17/25 mpg
  • Gas V8: 15/22 mpg
2018 Ram 1500 Towing Capacity

The Ram 1500 can tow up to 10,640 pounds when properly equipped. That's midrange for a full-size truck.

Read more about Ram 1500 performance »

2018 Ram 1500 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Ram 1500 Seat?

The 2018 Ram 1500 seats up to three people in Regular Cab models and up to six in two-row Quad Cab and Crew Cab models. The front seats provide excellent support and comfort for long drives, while the rear seats have a generous amount of legroom. Taller adults can ride comfortably in the back, especially in the cavernous Ram Crew Cab.

Standard seating features:

  • vinyl upholstery

Available seating features:

  • cloth upholstery
  • leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats
  • heated front seats
  • ventilated front seats
  • driver's seat memory functions
  • heated rear seats
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Ram 1500?

In models with two rows of seats, the 2018 Ram 1500 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. All of the tether anchors are hard to find, and you might confuse them for other cabin hardware. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. The IIHS doesn't note any problems using the lower anchors.

2018 Ram 1500 Features

The Ram's available Uconnect infotainment system is user-friendly and generally regarded as one of the best interfaces on the market. The larger screen displays big virtual buttons, and its Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility provide an alternative to interacting with maps, phone calls, and music through your phone.

  • Standard infotainment features: a six-speaker stereo and a USB port
  • Available infotainment features: a 5-inch infotainment display or an 8.4-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a seven- or 10-speaker premium stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, navigation, and an additional USB port
  • Other available features: a 7-inch digital instrument display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, keyless entry, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and a sunroof

See 2018 Ram 1500 specs »

Read more about Ram 1500 interior »

2018 Ram 1500 Dimensions

 Ram 1500 Cargo Space

The Ram 1500 offers three bed lengths: 5 feet 7 inches, 6 feet 4 inches, and 8 feet; availability depends on which cab you select. The shorter beds are also available with the RamBox storage areas, which are lockable compartments on either side of the bed wall. The Ram 1500's maximum payload capacity of 1,880 pounds is the lowest in the full-size pickup truck class.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Ram 1500 Length and Weight
  • Length: 17 feet, 5 inches to 19 feet, 10 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,520 to 5,799 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,025 to 6,950 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Ram 1500 Built?

Fiat Chrysler built the Ram 1500 in Michigan and in Mexico.

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