Ram truck fans and dealers alike are thrilled that the 2022 Ram 1500 sits at the top of the full-size truck market. However, according to Consumer Reports, the bad news to go along with the good is that the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic comes in dead last among full-size trucks. How is that possible?
The 2022 Ram 1500 is the highest-scoring full-size pickup
The surprising second place on the full-size truck list is the redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra. It is the closest competitor to the 2022 Ram 1500 with an average score. The nearest competitor among the Ram, GM, and Ford is the Ford F-150, which scored slightly below average on its Consumer Reports review, while the Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 lag far behind with subpar scores.
A slightly above-average road test set the Ram 1500 apart from the rest of the field. Highlights from the Consumer Reports road test include a comfortable and quiet ride, improved rear seat leg room with up to 8% recline, simplistic and highly functional controls, impressive diesel fuel economy, and is known as “a kinder, gentler pickup truck in this crowded field.”
Kinder and gentler don’t seem like attributes of a truck but make no mistake. This standard 1500 has the rugged features truck owners treasure. A few of those are the 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque from its V6 turbo diesel, an 8,150 pound towing capacity with the ability to upgrade to 12,750 pounds, and an impressive 1,690-pound payload capacity.
The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic is the lowest scoring full-size Ram truck
In stark contrast to the 2022 Ram 1500, the 1500 Classic scored very low on its Consumer Reports review, placing it at the bottom of the full-size truck list. However, the road test is a bright spot in its rating, while reliability still lags far behind with a minimal score compared to the average score of the 1500. The review notes that this year’s 1500 Classic is even worse than the 2019 model, which was continued after the Ram 1500 redesign.
Additional low points of the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic included dismal fuel economy at just 15 mpg overall, low ratings for routine and emergency handling, and low environmental friendliness scores. The 1500 Classic’s predicted overall owner satisfaction was lower than the 1500 but out-scoring its sibling in the value category.
What are the major differences between these Ram trucks: the 1500 and the 1500 Classic in 2022?
When the Ram 1500 was redesigned in 2019, Chrysler decided to continue producing the older model as the 1500 Classic, appealing to the nostalgia of its fan base while continuing to offer a less expensive option to consumers. A 2022 Ram 1500 costs between $36,000 and $80,000, while a 2022 Ram 1500 Classic runs between $29,000 and $48,000, depending on package upgrades.
Routine and emergency handling performance separates the two 1500 versions, with the Classic scoring a point lower in both areas. The 1500 Classic scored lower in driving position, trunk/cargo space, and climate system ratings than its sibling. The Ram 1500 also offers more driver assist options, better crash protection and safety ratings, better payload (1,690 to 1,270 lbs.), and towing capacity (11,340 to 10,050 lbs.).
The 2022 Ram 1500 also offers four engine options, from a 260 hp 3-liter V6 turbo diesel to a 702 hp 6.2-liter supercharged, but the 1500 Classic only offers a choice of a 305 hp 3.6-liter V6 or a 395 hp 5.7-liter V8, to round out the differences between the two versions.
Is Ram 1500 Classic nostalgia worth it?
The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic had a higher score in the value category of customer satisfaction than the 2022 Ram 1500, according to their Consumer Reports reviews. That is reflected in the difference printed on their window stickers. Truck owners clinging to “the good old days” of Ram trucks can still find the satisfying features of owning a Ram 1500 Classic. Still, truck buyers looking for more power, payload, towing, or better handling and control features will be disappointed with anything less than the 2022 Ram 1500.