Does the Ram 1500 or Ram 1500 Classic Have a Better Consumer Reports Road Test Score?

The 2021 Ram 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500 Classic seem like similar trucks, but just how similar are they really? Their likenesses only go as far as their names. When it comes to their road test, safety and reliability, Consumer reports says the Ram 1500 is the clear winner. 

A black 2021 Ram 1500 driving down a dusty road.
2021 Ram 1500 | Ram

The Ram 1500’s road-test score is higher

The Ram 1500’s road-test score is an 83, while the Ram 1500 Classic only gets a 74. The reason for this is in the test scores. 

Consumer Reports gives both the 2021 Ram 1500 and 2021 Ram Classic a 4/5 for acceleration. Both pickups can reach 0 to 60 in 7.1 seconds. Both trucks also score 5/5 for transmission. 

Braking is fair in both the Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic, at a 3. The Ram 1500 takes 137 feet to brake from 60 mph on dry pavement and 150 feet on wet pavement. The Ram 1500 Classic takes 141 feet to brake from 60 mph on dry pavement and 154 feet on wet pavement.

Both Rams’ headlights score a 3/5.

The similarities end there. The Ram 1500 score a mediocre 3/5 for routine and emergency handling. The Ram 1500’s max avoidance speed is 48 mph. On the other hand, routine and emergency handling receive a fair 2/5. The Ram 1500’s max avoidance speed is 47 mph.

Although the Ram 1500 doesn’t come standard with a ton of safety equipment, the Ram 1500 Classic comes with even less

The 2021 Ram 1500 comes standard with a minimal amount of the Consumer Reports recommended advanced safety features. Only a rear view camera, anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights are standard. 

If you want additional safety equipment, you’ll have to pay. Forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist are all optional. Blindspot warning, automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic warning are also optional. 

In the Ram 1500 Classic, only a rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights are standard. 

If you want additional safety equipment, you’re out of luck. Forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist are not even optional in the Ram Classicl. Neither are blind spot warning, automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic warning. 

The IIHS crash-tested the 2021 Ram 1500, and gives it all good marks. The NHTSA also crash-tested the 2021 Ram 1500 and gave it five stars for its overall crash and overall frontal-crash, driver side. However, overall frontal crash and overall frontal-crash on the passenger side get four stars. The overall side crash, side-crash driver and rear passenger side, and side pole-crash all get five stars. The rollover rating for both the 4WD and 2WD score is only four stars.

The crash-test results in the 1500 Classic are mixed. It scores a good for its front moderate overlap, side crash, and rear crash. The front small overlap, driver rating as well as the roof crush ratings are just marginal. There is no score for the front small overlap, passenger. 

The NHTSA also crash-tested the 2021 Ram 1500 Classic and gave it four stars for its overall crash and overall frontal-crash, driver side, overall frontal crash and overall frontal-crash on the passenger side. The overall side crash, side-crash driver and rear passenger side, and side pole-crash all get five stars. The rollover rating for the 2WD score is only four stars. Even worse, the 4WD rating is just three stars.

Neither truck has great reliability

Both the 2021 Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic score a 2/5 for reliability. Reliability for the 2019 and 2020 Ram 1500s isn’t great. Major problem areas in the 2019 include the power equipment and in-car electronics. The worst rating for the 2020 1500’s reliability is for the climate system.

There aren’t any reliability scores for the Ram 1500 Classic in 2020, but the 2019 has only mediocre reliability ratings. Problem areas in the 2019 include the engine major, drive system, suspension, brakes, and exhaust. The power equipment and in-car electronics are other problem areas.

Although the Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic share a similar name, it’s clear they’re different trucks. If you’re in the market for a new pickup truck, the 2021 Ram 1500 is the way to go.

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