Consumer Reports Loves the 2022 Ram 1500, Hates the 2022 Ram Classic

The reviewers at Consumer Reports rate each model year’s cars and pickups. In a perplexing decision, the watch group named the 2022 Ram 1500 its favorite full-size pickup truck, while slamming Ram’s other offering–the Classic–with dead last place. Did Ram actually phone one of its models in, or is something else going on here?

Leather brown interior of a luxurious Ram special edition truck.
2019 Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition interior | Stellantis

Ram launched the fifth generation of its full-size pickup truck in 2019 to rave reviews. The 2019-present Ram 1500 is both a capable work truck and a comfortable daily driver.

The current Ram 1500 is distinguished by its segment-leading interior. The cabin offers top-tier materials and a thoughtful design. Its infotainment system is also one of the best in the class.

The Ram 1500 glides along on coil springs or available air suspension. The full-size truck also boasts relatively responsive steering. At the same time, you can still fit this truck with a traditional HEMI V8 and get a towing capacity of over 12,000 pounds.

Read more about Consumer Reports Ram 1500 review.

The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic earned Consumer Reports worst full-size truck score

Render of a mint green Ram work truck.
2022 Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman | Stellantis

You can’t order a 2022 Ram 1500 with an eight-foot bed, a “regular” two-door cab, or for less than $30k. But wait, there’s still a Ram for that.

The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic is a work-ready fleet truck. It competes with the Chevrolet Silverado Work Truck and Ford F-150 XL. The cheapest Ram Classic has 2WD and a 3.6-liter V6. But you can also upgrade it to 4WD, four-doors, and the 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

Every 2022 Ram 1500 Classic has modern features such as rear coil springs, an infotainment screen, and a backup camera. You can order the top-trim Ram 1400 Classic “Warlock” with blacked-out trim and even a performance package.

Despite the flexibility and affordability the Ram 1500 Classic affords to 2022 truck buyers, Consumer Reports rated it the worst of every full-size truck the publication tested.

Want to know more? See the affordable Ram Classic’s trim levels.

How could two Rams wins such different CR scores?

Black Ram pickup truck parked on a dirt race track.
2019 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

The Ram 1500 Isn’t a Dodge Pickup Truck Anymore

Here’s the rub. When Ram engineered its fifth-generation pickup truck it did not even bother designing a two-door configuration. This is because so few Ram pickup truck buyers were opting for the regular cab.

In addition, Ram chose to upgrade the interior and electronics that came standard on all its trucks. But the result was a higher starting price. The 2022 Ram 1500 starts at $35,900.

Chevy and Ford both offer a sub-$30k truck, Ram is obviously worried about losing business. Ram’s solution was not to cut corners on its new fifth-generation pickup truck. Instead, the automaker pulled out the stops on the new truck, but continued making the old one. The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic is actually a fourth-generation Ram, manufactured this year.

Truck buyers in need of a barebones work truck are likely thankful to have the Ram Classic among their options. But Ram began building its fourth-generation 1500 in 2010. The Ram Classic’s interior and styling are over a decade old. Consumer Reports noted all the ways this entry-level truck is outdated and gave it the lowest rating of any “new” truck.