Skip to main content

Semi-truck drivers have long known that air suspension offers a very smooth ride without compromising your truck‘s trailering capacity. You can buy either a 2023 Toyota Tundra or a Ram 1500 upgraded with air suspension for just about $52,000. The Ram is a touch cheaper and offers air suspension at all four corners, while Toyota only installs air springs on the rear axle.

How much is a Ram 1500 pickup truck with air suspension?

Ram offers a $1,805 air suspension option on the Big Horn and higher trim levels. But you must also upgrade to a Crew Cab with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a “Level 1 Equipment Group” to get this “Active-Level” suspension. Your total will be at least $51,980.

Ram 1500 pickup truck with a transparent exterior so that you can see the air ride suspension
2022 Ram 1500 suspension | Stellantis

This net total includes Stellantis‘ destination fee but not any surcharges or registration costs levied by your local dealer. Adding air suspension to any trim level will require this same $1,805 surcharge. The technology is not standard on the “Limited Longhorn” trim, but does come standard on the top-of-the-line “Limited” trim. A 2023 Ram 1500 Limited starts at $64,545.

Ram introduced four-corner air suspension as an option in 2009. One benefit of Ram’s four-corner approach is that its Active-Level air suspension can adjust the entire truck’s height by four inches. The Ram 1500 with air suspension is engineered for a normal ride height (NRH) with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. But it can lift up to provide over 10.1 inches of clearance or drop down two inches to make it easier to climb in or access the bed.

How much is a Toyota Tundra with air suspension?

You can add air suspension to the Toyota Tundra’s SR5 trim. Though this is a very affordable trim level, the air suspension option is part of the $7,875 “Advanced Technology Package” so the total will be at least $52,345. This total includes the destination fee, but not dealership charges.

A Toyota Tundra truck with air ride suspension towing an Airstream trailer
2023 Toyota Tundra Platinum | Toyota

The Tundra’s air system was engineered by Aisin, just like the truck’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the Ram, the Tundra only has air shocks in the rear. This means it can drop the rear of the truck 1.2 inches or raise it 1.6 inches. It is not engineered for off-roading or ease of access, but is instead targeted at towing. Just like the Ram’s system, the Tundra’s air suspension can auto-level the truck even while it’s pulling a heavy trailer.

The half-ton Toyota Tundra’s air ride suspension setup has more in common with the Ram 2500’s optional air ride suspension. You can order the heavy-duty Ram with air springs in the rear, but not the front. Like the Tundra, the big Ram’s setup is designed for load-leveling while trailering and doesn’t have much impact on the truck’s off-roading or ease-of-access.

Is a pickup truck with air-ride suspension worth it?

Ram actually advertises its four-corner “Active-Level” air suspension upgrade as a fuel-saving device because the truck squats down to improve high-speed aerodynamics. In truth, it won’t ever pay for itself in fuel savings. But both the Toyota and Ram systems improve the experience of towing with the truck.

A close up view of the Ram air suspension compressor.
Ram air suspension compressor | Stellantis

It’s difficult to tell how much money you might save with air suspension because Ram has not released a fuel savings estimate. But the absolute maximum the Ram system could potentially increase your mileage would be one MPG during highway driving. That’s valuable, but almost certainly not worth nearly $2k over the lifetime of a regular truck. Add increased maintenance costs, and the air suspension won’t be a dollar saver.

Justin Wheeler is a diesel technician by trade and his job requires he crisscross the country with a truck full of tools. His 2019 V8 1500 Limited is the first known fifth-gen 200k-mile fifth gen Ram. He feels his “Active-level” air suspension has not saved him any money, but argues that it makes his truck a more hassle-free tow rig than any other half-ton he’s ever owned.

Next, find out the cheapest full-size V8 pickup truck you can get in 2023 or see more of Mr. Wheeler’s favorite things about his Ram after 200k miles on the road in the video below: