finder score: 86%
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of CarExpert, CarsGuide, Drive and Exhaust Notes to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
|CarExpert||86%||"The Ram 1500 Limited isn't so much a ute as it is a giant luxury family hauler that's equally as comfortable on a mud-laden work site."||Read more|
|CarsGuide||86%||"Ram Trucks Australia's success in carving out a small but sustainable niche in the highly competitive 4x4 dual cab ute market with its Texas-sized 1500 Series pick-ups is due to a number of factors."||Read more|
|Drive||82%||"There's a new Ram in town, and it offers up more technology, equipment and luxury in the form of an American-sized four-wheel-drive ute."||Read more|
|Exhaust Notes||90%||"It's big, brawny, American and ready for, well anything you throw at it. It's the 2021 Ram 1500 DT Limited and it's RAM-tastic. And thanks to a local dealer network, cheaper pricing and Australian remanufacturing, you can own one of these epic US trucks too."||Read more|
Ram 1500 pricing and specifications
Ram Trucks Australia sells 4 variants of the 1500, with 1 body style: a crew cab. Ram's website indicates a TRX model is coming down the line.
Ram 1500 Express
The range opens with the Ram 1500 Express. For this model, Ram asks from $105,000 (including ORCs).
Ram 1500 Express highlights:
- 5.7-litre V8 HEMI with fuel-saver technology
- 8-speed Torqueflite auto transmission
- 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen
- 7-inch driver's instrument cluster
- 2-inch alloys
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Power windows front and rear
- Charcoal cloth interior
- Black accents and badging
- Halogen headlamps
- Dual-zone A/C
- 6 speakers
- Reverse camera
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Cruise control
- Keyless entry
- Manual seat adjustment
- Cab-length side steps
- Steering-wheel-mounted phone, voice recognition, instrument panel, cruise and transmission control
This is a premium vehicle, wrapped in the body of a super ute.
Ram 1500 Warlock
Costing $19,000 more, the Ram 1500 Warlock is kind of like a performance version of the 1500.
Ram 1500 Warlock key features:
- Ram Rebel grille, sports performance bonnet, bumpers and fender flares
- 20-inch black alloys (unique to the model)
- 1-inch suspension lift
- Ram grille silver lettering
- Bi-function halogen projector headlamps
- LED taillights
- Auto-dimming, power-folding door mirrors with courtesy lamps and indicators
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Black cloth seat upholstery
- Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
- Leather-bound steering wheel
- Remote/starting, passive entry and proximity key
- Push-button start
- Illuminated vanity mirrors
In Diamond Black paint, this model looks downright menacing.
Ram 1500 Laramie
Ram calls this a full-size pick-up, with SUV-like comfort. It starts from $135,000 (inc ORCs).
Ram 1500 Laramie specs:
- Mild-hybrid system
- 20-inch polished alloy wheels
- 12-inch touch-enabled infotainment display (with split-screen function)
- 900W Harman Kardon audio system (19 speakers)
- Leather-clad seats
- Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
- Heated and ventilated 10-way power-adjustable front seats
- Heated outer rear seats
- Front and rear parking assist
- RamBox storage option
- Fully-damped tailgate with power release
This thing is near-enough in a class of its own.
Ram 1500 Limited Crew
Ram Trucks Australia says this serves as a luxury benchmark. It looks super sleek thanks to some key changes. The Limited model starts from $154,000 (including ORCs).
What does the Ram 1500 Limited Crew have?
- 22-inch black alloys
- Premium leather-trimmed seats
- Active-level 4-corner air suspension
- Rear 60/40 reclining seats
- Reconfigurable full centre floor console
- RamBox cargo management system
- 360-degree surround-view camera with parallel and perpendicular park assist
- SmartBeam intelligent headlights
- Electronic parking brake
- Auto-deploying power side steps
This truck is truly on another level in terms of tech and capabilities.
Click on a price to compare car loans for the Ram 1500.
|The above prices include on road costs (ORCs) for private buyers in NSW postcode 2000. They were supplied to us by a Ram Australia dealer in March 2022.|
Metallic and pearlescent paints cost $950 RRP.
Ram Trucks Australia sells the 1500 Express in:
- Diamond Black
- Granite Crystal
- Bright White
- Flame Red
The 1500 Warlock comes in the additional colours:
The 1500 Laramie, in addition to the 1500 Express palette, comes in:
- Billet Silver
- Delmonico Red
- Patriot Blue
The 1500 Limited Crew has a limited paint palette of:
- Diamond Black
- Granite Crystal
- Billet Silver
The Ram 1500 is a luxury, workhorse ute. That seems like an oxymoron, but it has heaps of storage for tools, a giant load bed, a ridiculous towing capacity, decent payload and a cabin that could be lifted straight out of a luxury passenger vehicle. If you need to tow up to 4.5-tonne trailers or caravans, then this is the ute for you. There are other companies out there converting Chevrolet Silverados and Ram itself is bringing the 2500 and 3500 utes here. Those can haul up to 8,000kg! Ford is also bringing the F-150 here next year.
It'll cost you more than a standard ute, but it's professionally converted to RHD here in Australia and its capabilities are almost unmatched.
Engine and performance
As you'd expect from an American-made truck, the engine in the Ram 1500 is colossal.
Ram 5.7-litre V8 engine
With a capacity of 5,654cc, Ram's V8 HEMI lives up to the old adage, there's no substitute for cubic inches (or centimetres). That we know of, only the Chevrolet Silverado, the Ram 2500 and 3500 have a larger engine (in a ute).
Power measures an engaging 291kW when hitting 5,600RPM. It sounds great (go have a listen on YouTube). Torque is decent, with 556Nm @ 3,950RPM. It has to be said that Toyota is able to squeeze out 500Nm from its 2.8-litre diesel engine, though that is turbocharged. On the HiLux, that's 181.4Nm per litre of capacity. Ram is managing only 98.33Nm per litre.
Interestingly, the Ram 1500 has fuel-saving technology, where the ECU can pause a cylinder or two to help improve fuel-efficiency. Two of the higher-level trims have eTorque Mild-Hybrid tech, with stop and start.
The transmission is an 8-speed Torqueflite auto box, which is actually a licensed version of the ZF 8HP automatic found in everything from the Alfa Romeo Stelvio to the Range Rover Sport.
Car reviewers' impressions of the Ram 1500 engine and transmission line-up
One of the testers went in expecting more excitement from such a giant engine. They said they had to bury their right foot to the floor and then it would pick up. They quickly added that it wasn't sluggish by any means though. Another stated it was too easy to get over triple-digit speeds, stating the truck had ample guts to get the big ute rolling.
Apparently, the Ram 1500 can cruise all day long at highway speeds, without even breaking a sweat. The rev gauge sits only a bit above idle at 1,700RPM, while travelling at 100km/h! It was also said you only need to tickle the throttle around town, but once you dab your foot on the loud pedal, it really shifts.
Supposedly the electric motor works seamlessly to provide additional power and torque assistance. It's good to know that reviewers said even though peak torque kicks in at a high rate of revs, the 1500 still has a good bit of power below that level. Crucially, the RAM is able to perform almost as well, while lugging 3,500kg. It all sounds highly impressive.
In summary, it seems the Ram 1500 has mountains of power under the bonnet (or should that be hood?).
Ram 1500 engine and transmission figures
Ram 1500 fuel economy
Normally, we use the Green Vehicle Guide to source official fuel economy figures for our reviews. Unfortunately, the Ram 1500 isn't included in the database.
Something you should know about fuel economy figures
Car manufacturers put their vehicles through a testing protocol, called WLTP, to ascertain the fuel use of a model. Because that test is standardised, it means you can compare vehicles from different brands, as they've gone through the same procedure.
However, the test takes place in a lab. So variables like traffic, weather, vehicle wear and the payload carried are only simulated. On real-world, public roads, all these variables (and heaps more) will impact the true amount of fuel you use.
After studying hundreds of reviews, we've noticed it is not uncommon to see a difference of 1.0L/100km from the brochure figures.
How much diesel did the Ram 1500 burn on test?
Even though technically some of the Ram 1500 models are actually mild hybrids, don't expect this thing to use fuel sparingly. As a trade-off for having that massive powerplant and the things it can do, you're going to be burning a lot of petrol.
Motoring journalists stated that the claimed fuel economy for the Ram 1500 was 12.2L/100km combined. However, on real-world roads, the figures they actually used ranged from "as little as" 15.4L/100km to an absurd 41L/100km in crawling-speed traffic. That's the highest figure we've ever seen when assessing reviews. While towing, that tester logged fuel use that was around 29L/100km. A separate motoring expert also recorded 30L/100km with a caravan on the back.
An extra source calculated they used 15.3L/100km around the city, though the Ram 1500 itself was displaying a figure of 15.8L/100km. The final motoring expert measured low 15s, with some spirited driving by their own admission.
On the higher end, this ute genuinely drinks the claimed fuel economy of some tractor trucks, vehicles designed to haul hundreds of tonnes. However, it should be known that at least one of the journos had to spend time doing a photoshoot. That would definitely have impacted fuel economy as it involved lots of accelerating, stopping, then turning around again.
However, it is in a niche corner of the ute segment, for buyers who want a luxury vehicle that'll tow huge capacities – far more than a standard ute, certainly.
Why would you review the handling of a ute?
A fair question. Utes are commercial vehicles, right? While that's true, buyers are increasingly purchasing them as dual-purpose vehicles. They might do some work during the week and tow a caravan at the weekend. Or not. But the point is, with people using them more as leisure vehicles or on a commute, they want a comfortable ride. Ute manufacturers have obliged, making them feel more car-like in how they handle.
What's the Ram 1500 like to drive?
Ram engineers had a lot of work to do disguising the 1500's giant dimensions. One of the testers said it was the largest vehicle they've driven on public roads, besides a 10-tonne truck. Apparently, the surround view system fitted to the top-spec Limited is well worth having, if you can stretch for it.
The Ram 1500 is at least 600mm longer than a ute like the HiLux. Think about that – nearly 2 feet longer. You'd be forgiven for thinking that a ute so large would handle more like a boat.
That's not the case. One of the motoring experts described the Ram 1500 as the best-riding ute they'd got their hands on. One of the other reviewers described the ride as well-mannered and quite decisive. They remarked how surprised they were, considering the 1500's size. It was suggested by one tester that the Ram 1500 felt like you were wafting along on a cloud, which is impressive for a vehicle with such high towing capacities.
Apparently, the steering feel is airy at parking speeds, making the big truck easier to park. However, that same reviewer did go on to say it required a little more thought as to where you would park, just because of the sheer size of it.
Even when loaded up, journos said the big ute didn't bottom out on its bump stops, although it did sag down at the rear.
In summary, the Ram 1500, especially the Limited grade model, appears untroubled by rough roads and has a luxury-level ride.
Interior and equipment
What's the interior of the Ram 1500 like?
It's nothing like a ute, by the sounds of things. Reportedly, it's more like an expensive luxury sedan.
One of the motoring experts reported that internally the DT generation is wider than the previous Ram 1500. It wasn't a small amount either, a noticeable 3.14 inches (80mm).
It's a comfortable ute, said the reviewers. One of the testers suggested the seats were as good as the premium pews they have at some cinemas. They aren't entirely flat like a cinema seat either, with a bit of bolstering that one tester said was the right amount to keep you in place.
Evidently, the Ram shows its 'Murican roots with some of the trims exuding a kind of cowboy ambience, thanks to hand-stitched upholstery.
Even base model Ram 1500s have a large 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. Laramie and Limited models get a 12-inch touchscreen, which drew a number of Tesla comparisons. Additionally, testers liked the operating system it runs on, describing it as premium.
By all accounts, the second row is more like a lounge for business class flyers. Others said it was like travelling in a limo. This was most evident because there's no transmission tunnel, you can recline the backrests, there's separate heating and cooling controls and there's privacy glass on some models. If you're buying a ute to carry people in the back, this one sounds like the best one in the class. On Laramie and Limited grade 1500s, the rear outboard seats are heated and ventilated, which is pretty much unheard of in the ute market. It was stated that no other ute had as much rear occupant room, with 3 large people able to sit in the back in comfort.
Internally, there's a ridiculous 150 litres of storage cubbies, bins and cupholders. You shouldn't go short on places to put things, you might find you're losing stuff it's so big. One of the reviewers described the centre console as cavernous. There's under-seat storage for the second row, too.
The 19-speaker (!!) sound system on Laramie and Limited 1500s is apparently epic. It's supplied by Harman Kardon and is rated at 900W. Combined with acoustic glass, reviewers said it outperforms cars that cost way more money. They added it was the quietest ute in existence, in their view.
This thing is so lush that it has a powered tailgate (on Laramie and Limited models). The RamBox is a pretty awesome and unique feature. When fitted, you get 2 lockable bins integrated neatly into the tray's sides. Because there's a drainage plug, you can chuck anything you want in there: muddy work or gumboots, soaking wetsuits, ice for camping, tools you want to keep out of sight. Naturally, it has illumination.
A motoring expert said that the Ram 1500 was like a ute built by Rolls-Royce: essentially, the crème de la crème.
One reviewer perhaps summed things up best, when they said the Ram 1500's interior is comparable to some of the top-flight LandCruisers, Defenders and even some of the Range Rover line-up – which is good, as it's certainly comparable on price, too.
Ram 1500 safety, security and driver assists
Ram 1500 interior and comfort features
Ram 1500 exterior highlights
Jack-of-all-trades comes to mind when talking about the Ram 1500. Maybe it should be called the king-of-all-trades, though. It'll tow. It'll gobble up long trips. It's luxurious. It has American-sized dimensions. It's a serious ute that makes normal Aussie utes look like half-scale toys.
Somehow, it manages to do everything very well. It's even one of the most aerodynamically slippery utes, thanks to clever active aero tech. It's not frugal, it's not cheap, but for some people, it's genuinely in a class of its own (for now) for their motoring needs.
This guide is a result of us carefully analysing 4 reviews. Our motoring expert then combines them to help you save time, form a general consensus and cut through the waffle. While you're here, we can help you compare car insurance and car loans. It's worth doing, as sometimes you can save hundreds of dollars between the most expensive and least costly deals.