The 2020 Ram 1500 is taking a beating amongst some reviews, but that doesn’t mean that every model has a bad rep. The award for the best Ram 1500 model may be a source of contention, however. CarComplaints.com reports that the 2018 Ram 1500 is the best used model because it has the fewest consumer complaints, while Consumer Reports gives the title to the 2011 model. We’re going to take a look at why Consumer Reports considers the 2011 model to be the most reliable Ram 1500 on the market.
2011 Ram 1500
Consumer Reports gave the 2011 Ram 1500 a four out of five for reliability. It was highly impressed with the smooth, quiet ride. In spite of the fact that it’s nine years old, the 2011 model has an 8-inch Uconnect infotainment system.
Unfortunately, it only gets 15 mpg. If you don’t mind shelling out money for gas, then this isn’t a big deal, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t bleed fuel, you may want something more fuel-efficient.
According to Consumer Reports, owners give it a three out of five, but most of the reviews seem positive. Owners agreed that the Ram 1500 is very quiet, and many thought that it’s great for long trips. One driver hates the headlights and stated that they weren’t bright enough, but everyone else seemed pleased overall.
It’s important to note that the 2011 Ram 1500 does have four recalls on it from the NHTSA. The first has to do with a faulty gas tank that can leak. The others involve a transmission that can shift without pushing the brake pedal, a rear axle nut that comes loose, and a bearing that causes the truck to stall.
What critics think
Edmunds was very impressed with the 2011 Ram 1500. They bragged about the best-in-class ride quality, huge interior space, the clever storage options Ram implemented, the well-made interior, and the 1500’s powerful V8 engine. The only complaints Edmunds had was a weak base model engine and the five-speed automatic transmission.
U.S. News wasn’t quite as impressed, and stated,
“The 2011 Ram 1500 has one of the most comfortable rides in the class and a range of strong engines, but other trucks earn better safety scores.”
Naturally, Kelley Blue Book has its own take on things. Its major warning for potential new buyers is that this Ram 1500 may be ‘too pretty’ for drivers who want a truck that can take a beating.
2020 Ram 1500
Overall the 2020 Ram has improved. It now gets up to 17 mpg, has a 12-inch touch screen, and the ride is better than ever. So what’s the problem? Consumer Reports gives it a one out of five in predicted reliability.
The brakes were one of the reasons why the Ram 1500 got such a low score, as well as the in-car electronics, power equipment, and the body integrity. Since all the other scores were the highest Consumer Reports gives out, it seems like it should have a higher reliability score. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports has not given out many details about why the 2020 model scored so low.
Owners gave the 2020 a four out of five, and seems to like the new Ram. The one area consumers weren’t pleased with was the value versus the price. The 2020 Ram 1500 already has one recall on it due to disabled airbags.
Why the critics disagree
Considering what Consumer Reports had to say, it may come across as surprising that so many critics actually like the 2020 Ram 1500. Most have nothing but positive things to say, and expect it to be one of the best Rams built to date.
U.S. News placed it near the top of its full-size truck rankings. The only complaint U.S. News had was that other competitors are better off-road.
Another critic that can’t stop raving about the 2020 Ram 1500 is AutoTrader. According to them,
“The new 1500 is just so civilized and confidence-inspiring.” They do think that the diesel is a little overpriced, but otherwise, they love it.
Whether the 2020 Ram continues to rack up the praise remains to be seen, but for the moment, the reviews are mixed. Hopefully, Consumer Reports will provide more details about why they found the Ram lacking. But for now, if you’re in the market for a used Ram 1500, look no further than the 2011 model.