Ram trucks are marching into 2021 selling its previous pickup model alongside its newest design Ram 1500. The Ram Classic debuted in 2009 and has soldiered on as Ram’s way of luring midsize truck buyers into a full-size pickup. Of course, that’s because Ram doesn’t currently offer a midsize pickup. So for 2021, the Ram Classic is still the cheapest full-size new pickup you can buy.
The former Ram pickup plant was able to crank out the older version it dubs “Classic.”
Ram lucked out in some ways because the new Ram 1500 started life in an entirely new plant. That meant the former Ram pickup plant was able to continue cranking out the older version it dubs “Classic.” Development cost amortization must have been met years ago so this is the closest way Fiat Chrysler comes to printing money. Actually, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger are similar in that regard. Fiat Chrysler sure knows how to get the biggest bang for its buck.
The 2021 Classic has a base price of a few bucks over $26,000. That is for a 4×2 Tradesman Regular Cab pickup. Ram dealers will put some money on the hood as incentives are happening now through November 30, 2020. So you can get into a stripped Ram Classic for around 25 big ones. For comparison, the Ram 1500 will set you back $32,000 in base form. So there is a $7,000 differential.
Could you live with a stripped new Ram truck?
Could you live with a stripped new truck? We think you could. A basic Ram Classic work truck means vinyl flooring, 17-inch steel wheels, bland cloth interiors, and no Bluetooth, for starters. But the interiors are far from those plastic strippers in days of yore. Bumpers remain in black and so does the grille.
The base engine is the 305 hp V6, but if you have a few extra dollars to spend there is the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and also a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Any of these will give you 10,000 lbs of towing capacity. Would we prefer the Hemi? Sure, but if the cost is the object then the V6 should do fine. But you’ll always be reminded you could have had a V8.
Many basic features of the Ram Classic are similar to the Ram 1500
Fuel economy is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles highway. Safety ratings are four stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side impact. Those are the same figures as the newer Ram 1500. Many of the basic features of the Ram Classic are similar to the Ram 1500. But besides Bluetooth not being available in base models Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not as well.
One thing heavily in the Classic’s favor is that all of the kinks and recalls are solidly in the past. After 13 years of production, there is little left to sort out. Our choice would be a stripper with a Hemi and alloy wheels as the only options. That way you have the cheapness along with the same power and fancy wheels of the Ram 1500. Then proudly drive you stripped Ram Classic knowing you cheated the new-truck-price.