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When you think of driving a pickup truck, “smooth ride” probably isn’t the first phrase that pops into your head. But reviewers of recent Ram pickup trucks agree that they have an exceptionally smooth ride. One secret to this comfortable pickup truck is Ram’s use of rear coil springs. But this “multi-link” rear suspension setup has its critics–and for good reason.

Owners say the Ram 1500 rides ‘smooth as my Mercedes’

A 2024 Ram 2500 HD Limited Longhorn pickup truck driving on a country highway framed by rocky mountains
2024 Ram 2500 HD Limited Longhorn | FCA

The website compiles owner reviews of various car and truck models. Overall, 2022 Ram 1500 pickup truck owners gave their trucks a 4.8/5.0 for being comfortable.

In November 2022, Ricardo called his Ram 1500 Limited “The best pick truck in the market (sic).” He also gave it five stars. Here’s his full review:

I’ve purchased the Limited 4WD model and this truck rides as smooth as my Mercedes Benz S580. The luxury and accessories of this truck surpass any other truck in this category. I used to be Ford F150 Truck person till after I leased a 2021 RAM Limited, where I knew that I had to purchase this truck. If you are in the market for this category truck, buy the BEST, the RAM 1500!!!!!!!

Ricardo from Miami lakes, Florida

Ricardo was not alone in his positive review. In March of 2023, Martin said of his 2022 Ram 1500 Rebel pickup truck, “Even with an off-road emphasis and 33” all-terrain tires, the ride is very quiet and comfortable.” Overall, he concluded, “Interior comfort is better than many cars.”

A Laramie owner from Rocklin, California, said, “Comfort and convenience is incredible. Highly recommend that you test drive before buying something else.” A Limited Longhorn driver from Long Island, NY added, “It rides with the comfort of a car and has all the features you reasonable need. Interior space is plenty big for us and our two young kids to travel in. I would recommend this truck to anyone who wants the benefits and functionality of a truck, but the feel and features of a car.” And another owner, this time in Anchorage Alaska put it bluntly, “My first truck at 61 years old, but what a jewel. What have I been waiting on?? Drives and handles like a luxury car, only better.”

Todd from Tampa, Florida, put his finger on the technology that Ram uses to achieve its signature smooth ride: “I’ve had several Chevy Silverado’s in the past but after driving a Ram with the five link coil rear suspension I was sold.”

Ram owners certainly have complaints: some say the price is too high, while others wish the truck’s engine options were better on fuel mileage. Few find any faults in the way the truck rides or handles. But some motorheads have concerns over how durable the Ram pickup truck’s latest rear coil spring suspension setup will prove in the long haul.

What is Ram’s five-link coil rear suspension system?

Ram trucks go against the norm. Most pickup trucks have had a solid rear axle suspended with leaf springs. The Ram 1500 and 2500 pickup trucks have a solid rear axle suspended with coil springs. Multiple suspension arms, or links, stabilize the axle.

A blue Ram 1500 TRX shows off its rear coil spring suspension, a feature it shares with the Classic, the cheapest full-size 4WD pickup truck.
2023 Ram 1500 TRX | Stellantis

The benefit of “multi-link” suspension is that the automaker can optimize it for multiple uses–all at once. But in a traditional leaf spring setup, any modification (such as stiffer leaves) affects every aspect of the truck’s handling. Long story short, this coil spring setup is the secret to the Ram 2500 claiming a 4,000-pound maximum payload capacity while maintaining one of the smoothest and most comfortable rides in the pickup truck segment.

A multi-link rear suspension setup allows the rear wheels to flex more than a leaf spring. Early multi-link adopters were off-road racers, and Ford’s SVT engineers ditched the F-150’s rear leaf springs for a five-link coil spring rear suspension when designing the latest Raptor pickup truck. The new Toyota Tundra pickup truck–which shares a chassis with the Land Cruiser–also uses a five-link coil rear suspension setup instead of springs.

But some critics worry rear coil springs won’t hold up to heavy use in the long term.

Is there a downside to rear coil springs in a truck?

Rear coil springs and a multi-link setup cost more than leaf springs for several reasons. There is also a chance they will wear out sooner–especially in a climate where frame rust is an issue.

A man and woman load items into a Ram 1500 pickup truck bed.
Ram 1500 Multifunction tailgate | Ram

General Motors is an interesting example: it experimented with rear coil springs in its Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks between 1960 and 1972. Then in 1973, the automaker quietly swapped back to rear leaf springs. Some claim GM was trying to save money. But others say GM was chasing durability.

The high cost of building a multi-link rear coil suspension system comes down to components and chassis tuning. Both parts and research and development costs can drive up the price of a truck with rear coil springs.

Rear coil springs may also drive up the long-term costs of owning a truck. A leaf spring spreads out the force exerted on a vehicle’s frame across a long span of that frame. But a leaf spring concentrates that force on a single point. When restoring my 1988 Ford F-150, I found the front coil springs had nearly worn through the brackets that held them to the frame. If the truck had rear coil springs, I would have been forced to replace twice as many parts.

Next, find out whether the Ram 1500’s air ride suspension is worth the upcharge, or see the Ram 1500’s ride quality reviewed in the video below: