2015 Ram 1500

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Ram 1500 receives only minor equipment adjustments, including a new R/T variant that's based on the Sport trim level.

Almost all of the light-duty full-size pickup trucks have received redesigns or updates in the past two years. These are exceptionally capable and versatile trucks, and it's fair to say that you're just not going to go wrong here when picking out a full-size pickup. But there might be subtle shades of "going right," and at that point you'll want to look at the 2015 Ram 1500.

With the only diesel engine offered in a light-duty full-size truck, this Ram can lay claim to the best EPA-estimated fuel economy in its class. But the "EcoDiesel" V6 is just one part of the Ram 1500's compelling story. Of course, some folks prefer a more traditional rumble under the hood, so Ram continues to offer its broad-shouldered 5.7-liter V8 as well. Even the base gasoline V6 is no slouch, delivering competitive acceleration and towing capacity for value-oriented shoppers.

Besides engine choices, the Ram 1500 has the nicest interior of any full-size pickup, with quality materials and an available 8.4-inch touchscreen interface that's impressively easy to use. We're also fond of the Ram's class-exclusive coil-spring rear suspension, which yields a composed, smooth ride both on- and off-road. Noise levels are remarkably low at speed, joining forces with the supple suspension to provide a luxury-grade experience on the highway. Whether you're looking for a basic work truck, a loaded-up family vehicle or a little of both, the 2015 Ram 1500 is a satisfying solution.

Exterior Highlights
Full-size pickup available in regular cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles. Available in Tradesman, Express, HFE, SLT, Sport and Laramie trim levels

The 2015 Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles. The regular cab generally seats three and is available with either a 6-foot, 4-inch or 8-foot cargo bed. The extended cab ("Quad Cab") can seat up to six and comes only with the 6-foot-4 bed. The crew cab increases rear-seat legroom and is available with either a 5-foot-7 or 6-foot-4 bed. There are six main trim levels: Tradesman, Express, HFE, SLT, Sport and Laramie.

The workhorse Tradesman comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, black bumpers/grille/door handles, a seven-pin wiring harness, a Class IV receiver hitch, automatic headlights, a locking tailgate, a sprayed-in bedliner, vinyl floor covering, air-conditioning, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, vinyl upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, cruise control and a six-speaker sound system with auxiliary and USB inputs. Extended and crew cabs also have power windows and locks.

The Express is similar to the Tradesman but deletes the receiver hitch and bedliner, and it comes standard with 20-inch aluminum wheels, body-color bumpers/grille, foglamps, carpeted floors and floor mats.

The HFE (high fuel economy) trim level comes only in the regular-cab body style with the 6-foot-4 cargo bed, rear-wheel drive and the gasoline or diesel V6 engine. It includes black bumpers/grille, automatic engine stop-start (not available on any other trim level), 17-inch aluminum wheels, a tonneau cover, keyless entry and cloth upholstery.

The SLT adds chrome exterior trim, heated mirrors, power accessories, an overhead console, dual gloveboxes, a 5-inch touchscreen interface, satellite radio and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Extended and crew cabs add a power-sliding rear window.

The Sport adds the V8 engine, dual exhaust, body-color exterior trim, 20-inch wheels, auto-dimming power-folding mirrors with puddle lamps and integrated turn signals, projector headlights with LED accents and smoked lenses, LED taillights, LED interior lighting, heated front bucket seats with driver power adjustments, upgraded cloth upholstery, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch driver information display, a full center console, power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone automatic climate control (except regular cab), "Uconnect Access" smartphone integration and online/emergency services (includes WiFi hotspot capability), an SD-card slot, a rearview camera and an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface.

Note that the regular-cab Sport is packaged as a special R/T model with the 6-foot-4 bed, 22-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, a unique hood, a black grille with R/T badging and a seven-speaker audio system.

The Laramie (extended and crew cabs only) reverts to the gasoline V6 by default, chrome exterior trim (with unique chrome grille inserts), clear headlight lenses and the front bench seat, but it otherwise includes most of the Sport's upgrades, adding chrome-accented 20-inch wheels, two-tone paint, leather upholstery, ventilated leather-trimmed front seats (vinyl rear seats), driver memory functions, a power passenger seat and a 10-speaker surround-sound audio system.

The Laramie is also offered in two higher sub-trims that take it into serious luxe-truck territory. The Laramie Longhorn (crew cab only) adds the V8, unique exterior styling cues, the spray-in bedliner, tow hooks, side-step bars, remote ignition, front and rear parking sensors, wood interior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, heated leather-trimmed rear seats, HD radio and a navigation system. The Laramie Limited adds monotone paint, automatic windshield wipers, automatic high beams, a self-leveling air suspension, keyless entry and ignition and even fancier leather upholstery.

It's best to think of these trim levels as starting points, as many of their standard items are optional on lesser trims. Also offered are two SLT-based sub-trims with extra accoutrements: the stylish Big Horn (Lone Star for Texan buyers) and the off-road-oriented Outdoorsman (includes the full center console and 7-inch driver information display plus a larger fuel tank, fender flares, underbody skid plates, tow hooks, all-terrain tires and a limited-slip rear differential). The Outdoorsman's upgraded hardware is available separately on other Ram 1500s. The "RamBox" weatherproof bedside bins are a stand-alone option on models with the 5-foot-7 and 6-foot-4 beds (except the HFE).

Attractive design, intuituve controls, comfrotable front and rear seats, two touchscreen interfaces, RamBox system and other storage spaces

The Ram 1500's cabin is as good as it gets in the pickup segment. Even the lower trim levels boast an attractive design, with quality materials and intuitive controls that are reasonably easy to reach, while the available wood trim and premium leather upholstery are predictably posh. Seasoned truck owners might be thrown off at first by the rotary shift knob on the dashboard, but it quickly becomes second nature, and it frees up useful storage space compared to trucks with console-mounted shifters. The front seats themselves are soft, yet strike an adequate balance between support and comfort. The crew cab's rear seat is very comfortable, offering loads of legroom and an agreeable seatback angle.

Two touchscreen interfaces are available (one measuring 5 inches, the other 8.4 inches) that do a great job of controlling simple and complicated tasks. The upgraded screen is particularly handy and appealing; it's one of our favorites in any vehicle. The virtual buttons are large and easy to see at a glance, while physical knobs and buttons provide much appreciated redundant control. Other modern convenience features include keyless entry and ignition, power-adjustable pedals, Bluetooth, voice controls, smartphone integration and even WiFi hotspot capability.

The Ram provides plenty of standard and optional storage spaces. The extended cab has a clever fold-out flat floor space when you flip up the 60/40-split rear seats, while the crew cab features watertight storage compartments under the rear floor as well as shallow bins under the flip-up backseat. A unique Ram feature is the optional RamBox system, which places a pair of lockable compartments over the rear fenders inside the truck bed. With the right equipment levels, these compartments can even be locked and unlocked via remote.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Ram 1500 includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, hill-start assist, trailer-sway control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A fully integrated trailer-brake controller is available, as are a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors.

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