2018 Ram 1500

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2018 Ram 1500 Review

The 2018 Ram 1500 sits in the top half of our full-size pickup truck rankings. In addition to traditional truck capabilities, it offers benefits you might not expect in the class, like quality cabin materials and a cushioned ride.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.7
Safety: 8.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding ride quality
  • Fuel-efficient turbodiesel available
  • Upscale interior
  • Lower towing and hauling capacities than rivals

New for 2018

  • Reshuffled trim lineup
  • Rearview camera now standard
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available

Is the Ram 1500 a Good Truck?

Overall, the Ram 1500 is a good full-size pickup truck. Its only major drawback is its below-average towing and hauling capacities. Still, there's a lot to love about this truck. It has an arguably best-in-class interior, good gas mileage (especially with its optional turbodiesel engine), and a pleasant, smooth ride. There's plenty of space in each row of comfortable seats, and the available infotainment system is easy to use.

Should I Buy the Ram 1500?

The Ram 1500 is a great choice if you don't need to tow and haul a lot. While it can still tow around 10,000 pounds, that is far below what the class leaders can handle. For a more capable truck that's almost as upscale as the 1500, take a look at the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. If you're looking for the highest towing and hauling capacities for a similar price, check out the Ford F-150.

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

Should I Buy a New or Used Ram 1500?

Fiat Chrysler made slight but important changes to the Ram 1500 for the 2018 model year. These include a standard rearview camera (previously optional) and the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If these updates aren’t important to you, consider a used 2014 to 2017 model, which have comparable performance and many of the same features as the 2018 Ram but cost much less. Visit our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Ram 1500 for more insight on these models. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for information on the latest deals and incentives for used vehicles.

On the other hand, the 2019 Ram 1500 is fully redesigned, and it tops the 2018 model in most areas. The 2019 Ram 1500 sees its maximum towing and payload capacities jump by roughly 20 percent. Mild hybrid models are available with better torque and fuel efficiency. The 2019 Ram 1500 also offers far more safety features than the 2018 model, including blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning with brake assist. At the time of this writing, however, the 2019 Ram 1500 doesn't offer a Regular Cab body style or an 8-foot bed.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Ram 1500 »

We Did the Research for You: 85 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank. This 2018 Ram 1500 review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2009 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Ram 1500 Cost?

The Ram 1500 has nearly a dozen trims, and prices range from just over $27,000 for the base Tradesman to over $53,000 for the top-of-the-line Limited trim. The Ram is one of the least expensive full size trucks at both ends of the spectrum. Most class rivals have starting prices of more than $28,000 and high-end costs of at least $55,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ram dealer.

Ram 1500 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Ram 1500 or Chevrolet Silverado 1500?

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the Ram 1500’s major competitors in the full-size truck class. The Silverado’s cabin has mostly high-quality materials and a user-friendly infotainment system. Its seats are spacious and supportive, with higher trims upping the comfort quotient. From a performance standpoint, the Silverado has a potent engine lineup, including a base V6 and a big 6.2-liter V8 that's ideal for towing. In fact, this engine enables the Silverado to tow up to 12,500 pounds. Choosing between the two comes down to your priorities. For a smoother ride and one of the nicest interiors in the class, go with the Ram. However, the Silverado 1500 is a better fit if you want a higher towing capacity and more-advanced safety features. It also rates higher for predicted reliability.

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

Among trucks, the Ford F-150 is a popular choice because it has one of the lowest starting prices along with the highest towing and hauling capacities. The F-150’s max payload is 3,270 pounds, and its max towing capacity is 13,200 pounds. Both models come with a base V6 engine, but the F-150 has stronger engine upgrades, including two twin-turbocharged V6s and a V8. Inside, it's easy to find a good driving position in the F-150, and the seats are comfortable. While both vehicles have user-friendly optional infotainment systems, the F-150 has many more available active safety features than the Ram 1500. Overall, the F-150 is a superior truck.

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

Ram 1500 Performance

Ram 1500 Engine: 3 Distinct Choices

The Ram’s base engine is a 305-horsepower V6. The V6 is fine for everyday city and highway driving, but it lacks the muscle of the available 395-horsepower V8 and the superior towing ability it offers. There’s also a 240-horsepower turbodiesel engine available. The diesel provides 420 pound-feet of torque, the most in the lineup.

Ram 1500 Gas Mileage: The Diesel Shines

The Ram 1500 gets average fuel economy for the class with its base V6 engine – 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. For the best mileage, you’ll want the turbodiesel, which gets 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Ram 1500 Ride and Handling: Serenity Now

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.

Ram 1500 Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the half-ton Ram 1500 can tow up to 10,640 pounds and haul up to 1,880 pounds without feeling strained. Most rivals can tow and haul more than the Ram.

Read more about performance »

Ram 1500 Interior

How Many People Does the Ram 1500 Seat?

The Ram 1500 seats up to three in Regular Cab models and up to six in Quad and Crew Cab models. The front seats provide excellent support and comfort, and the rear seats have a generous amount of legroom. This means even adults can ride comfortably in the back – especially in Crew Cab models.

Ram 1500 and Car Seats

Quad and Crew Cab Ram models have two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors can be confused with other hardware, and they’re not easy to find. There are no problems with the lower anchors.

Ram 1500 Interior Quality

Build quality is a decided strength of the Ram 1500. It’s not uncommon for full size trucks to feature high-quality materials in their upper trims, but the Ram features soft-touch materials even in the lower trims.

Ram 1500 Cargo Space

The Ram 1500 offers three bed lengths: 5 feet 7 inches, 6 feet 4 inches, and 8 feet. Not all bed lengths are available with every cab. The shorter beds are also available with RamBox, which is a storage system that’s built into the bed rails. While RamBox is a nice, unique feature, some class rivals offer more bed features, like steps that make it easier to climb into the bed.

Ram 1500 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Ram 1500 comes standard with a USB port and a six-speaker audio system. Available features include a sunroof, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, navigation, and the voice-activated Uconnect infotainment system with a 5- or 8.4-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The Uconnect system works best with the larger screen, which makes it easy to see the on-screen buttons. In either setup, Uconnect is incredibly easy to use, and the interface is intuitive.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Ram 1500 Reliability

Is the Ram 1500 Reliable?

The 2018 Ram 1500 has an average predicted reliability rating. It earns a three out of five from J.D. Power.

Ram 1500 Warranty

The Ram 1500 comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty on gas engines, and a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty on diesel engines. Other full size pickup trucks have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

Ram 1500 Safety

Ram 1500 Crash Test Results

The 2018 Ram 1500 earns four out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awards it the highest rating of Good in three tests and a Marginal rating in two tests.

Ram 1500 Safety Features

The only standard driver assistance feature in the Ram is a rearview camera, but front and rear parking sensors are available.

Read more about safety »

Which Ram 1500 Model Is Right for Me?

There are nearly a dozen trims to choose from when buying a Ram 1500. But when buying a full size pickup truck, you’re doing more than choosing a trim. You also have to decide which cab and bed you want (the Ram 1500 offers three of each). Regular Cab models start at $27,095, Quad Cab models start at $30,895, and Crew Cab models start at $33,295.

While the lower trims are less expensive, they don’t offer many features, so they’re not the best buying options for most people. Middle trims like the Sport and Laramie are better choices because they have a wider array of tech features. The Ram’s higher trims have the most features, but they cost upward of $50,000, so they’re also not the most cost-effective.

Ram 1500 Tradesman

The Ram 1500 Tradesman has a base price of $27,095. It comes standard with a 305-horsepower V6, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, and a rearview camera. You can upgrade to the V8 engine for $1,450. You can also add the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch display screen for $695.

Ram 1500 Sport

The Ram 1500 Sport starts at $37,095. It comes with either the V6 or the V8 engine and includes power windows and locks, heated front seats, satellite radio, and the Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. You can add navigation for $795.

Ram 1500 Laramie

The Ram 1500 Laramie has a starting price of $40,345. The Laramie comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, ventilated front seats, and a 10-speaker Alpine audio system. The V6 engine is standard, but you can upgrade to the V8 engine for $1,450. You can add navigation for $795, a sunroof for $1,095, and front and rear parking sensors for $445.

Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn starts at $50,295. Standard features in this trim include a 395-horsepower V8 engine, heated rear seats, and navigation. You can add a sunroof for $1,095.

Ram 1500 Limited

The Ram 1500 Limited is the top-of-the-line trim. It has a starting price of $53,495. The Limited comes with just about every feature you can get in a Ram truck. You can add a sunroof for $1,095.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Ram dealer.

See 2018 Ram 1500 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Ram 1500 finishes in the top half of our competitive full size truck rankings, and it’s close to class leaders in terms of its overall score. The Ram's main drawback is that it can’t tow or haul as much as its competitors can. If you can deal with that, then the Ram is a fine choice. It offers quality interior materials, and it rides smoother than most other trucks. Additionally, it offers a diesel-engine option, which is unique in the segment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2017 Ram 1500 is one of the oldest designs currently on sale in the segment, so you might be thinking that the Ram would be behind the times compared to the newest rivals from Ford and General Motors. Luckily, that's not the case. In fact, it's pretty easy to make the case that the Ram is still our favorite light-duty pickup." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The 2016 Ram 1500 is a top contender in the full-size pickup segment, thanks to a winning combination of strong powertrains, a smooth ride and a well-trimmed cabin." -- Autoweek (2016)
  • "From work truck to leather-lined luxury rig, the 1500's smooth ride, comfortable seats and ample storage space make it a tool worth your consideration." -- Car and Driver (2015)
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