It’s a hybrid
MotorTrend thoroughly tested three trucks and of these three, the Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE, which is the work truck trim of the Ram 1500, came out on top. The Ram 1500, in particular, has what MotorTrend called a “mild hybrid” engine. The Ram 1500 has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s supplemented by a small electric motor. Combined, they generate about 305-hp and this was the most powerful engine of the three trucks that were tested.
This mild-hybrid engine allowed the Ram 1500 to get the best fuel economy of all the work trucks that MotorTrend tested. The Ram 1500 got a combined 23 MPG. It also got the lowest carbon emissions of the three trucks tested. This great fuel economy didn’t come at the cost of its performance, either. Indeed, the Ram 1500 had comparable performance figures with the other trucks.
In other areas of the tests that MotorTrend ran, the Ram 1500 also excelled far above the other work trucks that were tested. MotorTrend loaded 1,800 lb of sand onto the beds of the trucks. This was actually slightly over the stated payload capacity of the Ram 1500, which is 1,773 lb according to MotorTrend.
Then, MotorTrend took the three trucks on a 10-minute drive around some city streets. Despite being overcapacity, the Ram 1500 shined above its competition. MotorTrend says that the Ram 1500’s suspension work was simply great, and despite being overcapacity, it handled the bumps of the roads the best of the three trucks that were tested.
The handling of the Ram 1500 was also praised by MotorTrend. Everything during these test drives felt smooth according to MotorTrend’s test drivers. In particular, one of the drivers really loved the Ram 1500’s eight-speed transmission. The driver praised the Ram 1500’s transmission as the best feeling and fastest one of the three work trucks that he drove for MotorTrend.
MotorTrend also did towing tests. MotorTrend attached a 3,398 lb trailer onto each truck and once again, the Ram 1500 performed well. According to MotorTrend, the Ram 1500 felt the strongest in this test, too. The Ram 1500’s performance also didn’t suffer while it was towing a mildly heavy load. The Ram 1500 was practically tied for first place in terms of its acceleration times while it was towing that load.
MotorTrend also tested these trucks empty, and it also examined them in other areas, such as interior features. In that regard, the Ram 1500 also came out on top. MotorTrend once again praised the Ram 1500 for its smooth and comfortable handling, even without hauling anything. One area where MotorTrend really praised the Ram 1500 though, was how quiet it was inside the truck.
On top of that, MotorTrend gave top marks for the Ram 1500’s interior, saying that it felt “upscale.” The Ram 1500 was also roomy and had a lot of other practical features like a touchscreen and bins. However, the Ram 1500’s rear seats didn’t have a 60/40 division that the other work trucks had. MotorTrend didn’t like that very much but it didn’t set the Ram 1500 back too far.
Lastly, in terms of cost, the three trucks were relatively similar but the Ram 1500 was the most expensive work truck by a small margin. The base price of the Ram 1500 that MotorTrend tested was under $40,000 but the trim that was tested was valued at over $44,000. This isn’t a cheap trick but it’s still pretty affordable compared to the competition.