Ram 1500 Performance
Reviewers agree that the 2015 Ram 1500 has one of the most comfortable rides in the class. They say its base V6 delivers sufficient power and that both its optional V8 and turbodiesel V6 offer robust power for any situation. Additionally, the diesel-powered Ram 1500 gets excellent fuel economy for the class. Test drivers also like the Ram's responsive and smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
- "The Ram 1500 is really tough to beat for regular street driving. It rides better than most any other pickup, has a high level of refinement and features, and the base V6-which is plenty of engine for most uses-offers laudable fuel economy." -- Consumer Guide
- "Why no one thought of this sooner is beyond us. The Ram 1500's 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 is a master of all trades, providing 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque at just 2,000 rpm, yet still delivering a class-leading 28 mpg on the highway. Expect others to follow suit." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Whether you need a truck for towing, hauling or fuel efficiency, you'll find what you're looking for in the RAM lineup." -- AutoTrader (2014)
Acceleration and Power
The Ram 1500's base engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. An optional turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, and the optional 5.7-liter V8 produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on the base V6 and diesel models. On V8-powered models, a six-speed automatic is standard and the eight-speed transmission is optional. A base Ram 1500 gets an EPA-estimated 17/25 mpg city/highway, which is comparable with the ratings of similar trucks. With the diesel engine, the Ram 1500 returns 20/28 mpg, which is excellent for the class.
According to auto journalists, the base V6 provides sufficient power. They say the optional V8 and diesel engines both have impressive power and are plenty strong for towing or hauling. Some add that diesel-powered models are quiet and feel very similar behind the wheel to the gas-powered models. They add that the eight-speed transmission easily finds the right gear and shifts quickly and smoothly.
- "For light duty applications, we think the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is perfectly acceptable. However, those needing serious pulling power should look to either the mighty Hemi V8 or the 3.0-liter diesel, which not only crushes the Hemi in EPA ratings, it actually offers more torque." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "One of the best things about driving the new diesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 is that you'll barely notice any difference compared with the gasoline-powered versions in normal driving. The cabin remains peaceful, and typical of diesels, there's plenty of thrust for merging and passing, and it's accessible from low rpm." -- Edmunds (2014)
- "You might think with that many gears the 8-speed would be tripping all over itself, constantly swapping gears to find the optimal ratio. But the reality is this gearbox does a great job of quickly zeroing in on the right ratio. … The 8-speed's shifts are milliseconds quick and seamless to boot." -- Motor Trend (2013)
- "The 5.7 V8 is stronger yet, with impressive muscle for launches and abundant passing reserves." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Handling and Braking
Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional on the 2015 Ram 1500. Unlike most trucks, the Ram 1500's standard rear suspension setup uses coil springs, which reviewers say provide a more comfortable and composed ride than most rivals have. An adjustable air suspension that can raise and lower the Ram 1500 is optional. Test drivers say that the Ram 1500 has one of the most compliant rides on imperfect roads in the segment with either its standard suspension or the optional air suspension. Some add that it has strong brakes, though critics say the steering feels a bit too light.
- "Thanks to an ingenious multi-link and coil spring rear suspension setup, the Ram 1500 pickup truck for 2015 delivers one of the most comfortable - dare we say car-like - rides of any full-size truck." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Ram's tiller is precise and we're largely willing to write the Ram a free pass on steering feel and weight, being a truck and all. Yet we'd be lying if we didn't say that it all feels a bit overboosted." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
- "It doesn't ever feel like you're going to need to push through the carpet to bring this train to a stop, even with plenty of pounds stuck on the hitch." -- Autoblog (2013)
- "Not only was the ride smooth (even on bumpy surfaces), but the interior was quiet. The air suspension handled bumps well, and allowed for changing ride height to increase clearance for offroad driving and/or towing." -- Jalopnik (2013)
Towing and Hauling
The Ram 1500 can tow up to 10,450 pounds and haul up to 1,900 pounds when properly equipped. These ratings aren’t quite as good as the maximum ratings of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500 and Ford F-150. Test drivers say that both the diesel engine and V8 have ample power for towing, and they like that the available air-adjustable suspension minimizes any squat when the Ram is loaded down with a large payload or hooked up to a heavy trailer.
- "And while the Ram's available air-spring suspension may not deliver a notably stark contrast in ride comfort, it offers other advantages: Load leveling is always appreciated when the bed is full, and variable ride height helps to improve both fuel economy and handling, as well as ease of entry." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Of course, only lunatics like us will drive the 1500 EcoDiesel like a sports car. Playing the more suitable role of tow vehicle, it feels as relaxed as a slugger working with a 3-0 count. We had the opportunity to hook up 3,000 lbs. worth of boat and trailer, and can report that, while acceleration was predictably blunted, the truck otherwise seemed barely fazed, moving with a sense of steely inevitability." -- Left Lane News (2014)
- "Properly set up - in other words, with the V8 and air suspension - the Ram really shines as a tow rig. Most of the gadgets that make it so great pulling a boat or camper across tarmac would make me nervous thrashing the truck offroad, but aside from the fact that the acceleration is damped, you can't even tell the load is there. The Pentastar-powered truck boasts solid towing capability, too." -- Jalopnik (2013)