Trucks & SUVs

The 2016 Ram 1500 Is Attractive and Defective

As a new model, the  2016 Ram 1500 shined for its family-friendly accommodations and, of course, for its work capability. But as a used model, we have to give the 2016 Ram 1500 the side-eye. While this pickup is luxurious, it’s speckled with recall actions, and it’s safety scores are below average. But it’s up to you if the Ram’s highs outweigh its lows. 

What went wrong for the 2016 Ram 1500?

A Ram 1500 being debuted at an auto show
A 2015 Ram 1500 | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The 2016 Ram 1500 isn’t the most complained about version, but its list of recall actions causes concern. There are 13 NHTSA safety recalls on this Ram. The first one had to do with the truck’s rear axle shaft; if it wasn’t properly treated, it could fracture and increase the risk of a crash. 

Other potential issues related to the Ram’s emergency spare tire, its power steering assist, and its airbags. There are also recalls for the pickup’s electrical wiring, tailgate latch, and engine. Furthermore, the complaints on the Ram led to a formal NHTSA investigation regarding the truck’s powertrain. The 2016 Ram 1500 is also a part of a recent class-action lawsuit initiated by a group of owners. 

What the owners say

A red Ram 1500 pickup parked in front of a brown shed.
Ram 1500 Ecodiesel | Guide Auto

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Consumer Reports gave the 2016 Ram 1500 a two out of five for reliability based on the truck’s past performance and owner feedback. According to CR’s survey, the most common trouble spot owners experienced apply to its fuel system. Other potential trouble spots include the Ram’s power equipment and its exhaust. 

However, the 2016 Ram 1500 is award-winning

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Even though the Ram 1500 is problematic, there are many bright spots on this pickup. The Ram draws buyers because of its smooth and satisfying power. There are three engine choices available on this pickup, each with unique benefits. 

Base trims have a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6; an eight-speed automatic transmission is also standard on the Ram. The most powerful option is a 5.7-liter V8 that makes 395-hp. And for a unique blend of power and fuel-efficiency, there’s the available 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that puts out 240-hp.

For the third year in a row, the 2016 Ram 1500’s turbodiesel engine was a Wards 10 Best Engines award-winner. This award represents the engine’s performance capabilities as well as its smoothness. Judges even compared this turbodiesel to a Tesla because of its quiet nature. 

The Ram also won U.S. News’ 2016 Best Full-Size Truck for the Money award. This award reflects Ram’s focus on quality and value. Additionally, the Ram also stood out for its refined, comfortable cabin, making it a worthy option as a family hauler too. 

But we still don’t recommend this truck 

Like we said earlier, it’s tough to recommend the 2016 Ram 1500 because of its questionable reliability and safety recalls. However, we do suggest that you consider the Ram’s rivals, like the Chevy Silverado 1500. The Toyota Tundra is worth a look too.