KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

The 2016 Ram 1500 pickup can go toe-to-toe with the EcoBoost-powered Ford F-150 and come out smelling like a rose. The Ram’s Pentastar V6 earns 25-mpg highway, while the torque-happy 3.0-liter EcoDiesel bumps that number to 28 mpg. Those who need maximum horsepower and towing can opt for a Hemi V8.

You'll Like The 2016 Ram 1500 If...

If you’re looking for a handsome, hard-working full-size half-ton truck with an edge in the areas of fuel economy, engine options, towing and payload, the 2016 Ram 1500 pickup is a worthy candidate.

You May Not Like The 2016 Ram 1500 If...

Many midsize pickups have grown in size and capability, almost matching the horsepower and tow ratings of their full-size counterparts. If you need something easier to park with a price starting around $20,000 or prefer a manual transmission, take a look at the Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado or Toyota Tacoma.

What's New

For 2016, the Ram 1500 builds on the upgrades to the Rebel and Laramie Limited with a new center console for the entire line, improved frame and body structure for small-overlap crash testing, and some new colors including a set of colorful customization options on the Sport trim.

Interior Features

The 2016 Ram 1500 full-size truck is a nice place to climb in, sit down and take a ride. Materials show a high level of quality, and panel gaps are notably tight. In the Quad Cab version rear-seat legroom is generous, but the Crew Cab models offer even more legroom for stretching out. The center cluster on the instrument panel includes a Multiview screen, which can display well over 300 readouts of pertinent vehicle information. We found the standard front seats to lack proper support for those longer rides – our suggestion is to upgrade to the available 10-way-power driver’s seat.

Exterior Features

Several years ago the Ram (then Dodge) was the first truck to take on the so-called “big-rig” look and it’s a style that, on the Ram 1500 for 2016, still stands out in a crowd. You can’t mistake the obviously big and decidedly bold chrome grille that looks for all the world like it came from an 18-wheeler. The 2016 Ram also offers features still not found on some competitors, such as the Rambox storage system that utilizes the tops of the rear fenders. Other exterior details include LED turn signals and taillights and an attractive assortment of available wheels.

Driving Impressions

If you’re looking for one of the most comfortable rides found on a big truck, the 2016 Ram 1500’s ingenious coil-spring and multi-link rear suspension delivers it. The Ram’s steering and road manners are among best-in-class, too. The optional air-spring suspension isn’t so much about improving ride comfort but rather providing optimal load leveling. When so equipped, the Ram can level a loaded bed, make cabin entry easier and even help improve fuel economy by reducing drag. Venture off-road and the air suspension permits maximum ground clearance. Our truck was equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which seemed fine for light-duty applications. However, if you need maximum power to tow or haul, either the Hemi V8 or torque-laden 3.0-liter turbodiesel is the better option, with the latter offering best-in-class fuel economy and more torque than the V8.

Pricing Notes

The 2-wheel-drive regular-cab Ram 1500 Tradesman (the basic model) has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $27,340. Sport models begin around $37,000, with a fully loaded Laramie Longhorn Limited Edition Crew Cab approaching $60,000. The V6 EcoDiesel engine with the 8-speed automatic transmission is priced between $3,000 and $4,000 – depending on trim – above a similarly equipped Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and 8-speed automatic. The base Ram 1500 remains one of the most affordable vehicles in its class, and the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can be expected to be priced somewhat higher. The Nissan Titan XD starts at $40,000. To see what buyers in your area are paying for the new Ram 1500, be sure to check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price before heading to the dealership. On the resale front, we expect the Ram to retain slightly below-average residual values.

Notable Equipment

For 2016, the Ram 1500 offers a wide range of body styles, cargo-bed lengths, powertrains and trim levels, all the way from a basic work truck to a fully loaded 4-door that rivals luxury sedans in its interior treatment. With so many variations and trim levels, the standard equipment list begins with a removable and locking tailgate, cruise control, automatic headlights and a USB port, and goes from there to a number of interior and trim features, upholstery choices, wheel options and powertrain and drivetrain selections. Standard equipment also includes hill-start assist, to aid when starting from rest on an incline.

Notable Options

With numerous options and packages from which to choose, the 2016 full-size Ram 1500 truck can be fitted to suit practically any individual. One item for consideration is the Uconnect Access infotainment system with its 8.4-inch touch screen and user-friendly interface. Additional options include a heated steering wheel, 10-way-power driver’s seat, rain-sensing windshield wipers, 115V household power outlet, LED bed lighting, air suspension and an engine stop-start system to help save fuel when idling. Since the steering wheel does not offer a telescoping function, taller drivers should consider adding the power-adjustable pedals. And don’t forget to consider the EcoDiesel engine.

Favorite Features

ECODIESEL V6 ENGINE

A diesel engine in a half-ton truck seems as natural as chocolate and peanut butter. Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 delivers fuel economy approaching 30 mpg and offers 420 lb-ft of torque (more than the Hemi V8) and 240 horsepower. Only the Nissan Titan XD offers a similar oil-burner option.

AIR SUSPENSION

Ram’s 2016 1500 pickup offers an air suspension that improves ride, handling and ground clearance. Simply push a button and the Ram’s cabin can be lowered to permit easy entry or raised to clear obstacles less than 10.7 inches.

Under the Hood

The standard 3.6-liter Pentastar gasoline V6 is rated at 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, and has an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of a commendable 25 mpg; it will probably be adequate for most general-purpose use. The well-known 5.7-liter Hemi V8 cranks out 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, but the fuel economy is, not surprisingly, only average at best. The 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel V6 may be the best choice, with 240 horsepower, 420 lb-ft of torque (more than the Hemi, and at only 2,000 rpm) and exceptional fuel economy; the EcoDiesel may very well be the main reason for many Ram purchases. An 8-speed automatic transmission is available with any of the engines.

3.6-liter V6

305 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm

269 lb-ft of torque @ 6,175 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (2WD), 12/17 mpg (2WD, E85), 16/23 mpg (4WD), 11/16 mpg (4WD, E85), 18/25 mpg (2WD, HFE trim)

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6

240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm

420 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (2WD), 19/27 mpg (4WD)

5.7-liter Hemi V8

395 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

410 lb-ft of torque @ 3,950 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg (2WD, 6-speed automatic), 15/22 mpg (2WD, 8-speed automatic), 13/19 mpg (4WD, 6-speed automatic), 15/21 mpg (4WD, 8-speed automatic)

Editors' Notes

With fuel prices at record lows, one might think truck makers wouldn’t care about fuel economy, but not Ram. In the 2016 Ram 1500, the truck division has created a rugged, handsome full-size pickup with a number of engine choices, including a fuel-efficient turbodiesel. With Ford’s EcoBoost-powered F-150, new Nissan Titan and the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra twins squarely in its sights, the Ram 1500 pushes the technology envelope with an available 8-speed automatic transmission, an air-suspension setup that can adjust vehicle height and, in the name of better aerodynamics, active grille shutters. As with its full-size counterparts, the Ram 1500 offers the options of 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD, 4WD), numerous bed and cab configurations and an options sheet long enough to rival "War and Peace."

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Ram 1500 Owner Reviews

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Highlights of the ram 1500 Lone Star.

2016 Ram 1500 Lone Star

The ram 1500 Lone Star really gives great performance. It is a pleasure to drive, the seats are comfortable, the dash is very easy to read, the screen has many options such as climate, navigation, radio and phone connection. I like the knob as opposed to a gear lever. One can use the remote start to warm up your truck before entering. The mirrors are powered so you can fold them in for example at a shopping mall or car wash. I like the stepping board on either side of the truck. This truck is comfortable for both long and short distances. There are closed bins on either side of the floor at the back handy to put tools in or wash clothes.There is a lot of room between the front and back seats, both portions of the back seat fold up for extra room and there is a special shopping platform to place purchases on. The middle of the back window slides open for anyone in the back seat who wants air. The air conditioner is adjustable both front and back. This truck has ample pockets for papers, maps etc and cup holders both front and back. I would certainly recommend the ram 1500.

- Ann S

Great truck with some very minor concerns. Great price for what you get.

2016 Ram 1500

When I first bought my vehicle I had 2 problems. The two problems were a tail light was out which shows the lack of inspection prior to the purchase and the second problem was a sensor issue. I love this vehicle, it drives amazing. The only thing that worries me is it is a very electronic heavy car. The big horn package has the two big screens, one in the center and one on the dash. The crew cab trim is very spacious. I have plenty of room in the front seats and the rear seats. The most impressive thing about my vehicle is that I have the v6 where I get 24 mpg highway which is just remarkable for a full size pickup truck. There are many other features about my truck that I love. It drives very smooth, the towing is still exceptional for a v6, has good acceleration, etc.. However there are some negatives. It sucks that it does not come with stock side guards. It does get old quick having to get up in this truck with no side guards already installed. I had to pay my own money to get these installed which is just a lot on top of my 400 car payment.

- Austin S

My 4 door spacious luxury 4x4 truck that feels like a car

2016 Ram 1500 Big Horn

The only thing I would like different with my 2016 Ram 1500 Big Horn is the gas mileage if the newer Dodge trucks. It is better than the older ones. I average about 18 mpg. The headrest on the back seat are my only real issue. They are made just so that you can't see out of the back window on each side. It also makes it difficult to clean the glass. The bed cover that comes stock is a piece of junk. It didn't last a full year. The things I like about it are the comfort and the space. The seats are the best ones I've had over the years. The leg room in the back is as much if not more than a 4 door luxury vehicle.

- John G

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