2018 Ram 1500 Expert Review

4.4 Overall Score
Performance 4.3 Comfort 4.2 Styling 4.2 Value 4.1

Editor's Overview

Available in a wide variety of configurations, including three body styles and 11 trim levels, the 2018 Ram 1500 is an extremely capable and comfortable full-size pickup that’s ready to work, tow or play. Buyers can choose among three engines, including a Hemi V8 and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6, which delivers class-leading fuel economy. Rivals include the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra and the best-selling Ford F-150.

You'll Like The 2018 Ram 1500 If...

If you want a capable, comfortable and luxurious full-size pickup that looks tough, rides smooth and packs plenty of power, you’ll like the new 2018 Ram 1500. Until the Ford F-150 diesel comes out this fall, the Ram is the only half-ton truck to offer diesel power, which delivers class-leading fuel economy, and its Hemi V8 is one of the most powerful engines available in the segment.

You May Not Like The 2018 Ram 1500 If...

If you’re shopping for the ultimate tow rig, the 2018 Ram 1500 will disappoint. Both the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado have higher towing capacities. The Ford also offers more tow technology, like an advanced trailer-back-up assistance system, and the Chevy’s 6.2-liter V8 is larger and more powerful than the Ram’s optional Hemi.

What's New

For 2018 the Ram 1500 has been improved with a switch in the truck bed to activate LED bed lights. A rearview camera is now standard on all models and the 8.4-inch touch screen has been improved with greater resolution, pinch-to-zoom, 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi, HD Radio, Android Auto and Apple Car Play.

Interior Features

Roomy and comfortable, the interior of the 2018 Ram 1500 features large seats and simple, easy-to-use controls. Ram uses a unique rotary shifter for the truck’s automatic transmission. It looks a bit weird at first, but it works great and frees up space on the console for storage and cup holders. There are also large knobs for radio volume and tuning. The Ram’s large 8.4-inch touch screen makes up most of the dashboard, and offers simple menus and clean graphics. It’s improved this year with better resolution, and the Ram's Uconnect infotainment system adds onboard Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Exterior Features

The new 2018 Ram 1500 is the best-looking full-size truck in this class. Bold and brash with big-rig style, the Ram is more curvaceous than the hard-edged Ford and Chevy. It looks imposing and has presence, but its proportions are sporty and its detailing is sophisticated. Check out the subtle rear spoiler built into its tailgate. That’s pretty cool. The Ram pickup line ranges from a basic regular cab to quad cab and crew cab with your choice of short or long beds. The brashest of the Rams is the Rebel, which includes blacked-out elements, beefy all-terrain tires and other macho bits. Higher-end Rams get big chrome grilles.

Driving Impressions

With its unique coil-spring and multi-link rear suspension, the 2018 Ram 1500 rides as comfortably as a car. It isn’t as sporty as the Ford F-150, but the Ram’s ride is smooth and relaxed with little jiggle and no trucky bounce. The Ram’s steering and road manners are among best-in-class, too. The base 3.6-liter gas V6 makes 305 horsepower and gives the truck plenty of acceleration and passing power. The 8-speed automatic transmission is also among the best in the class with smooth shifts and manual control. The Ram’s optional 5.7-liter Hemi V8, also used in the Dodge Challenger muscle car, packs 395 horsepower and an intoxicating V8 rumble, but if fuel economy is your highest priority you’ll like the Ram’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. It delivers 29 mpg on the highway, which is impressive, and has a total fuel range of over 700 miles. The optional air-spring suspension can level a loaded bed, make cabin entry easier and increase ground clearance for off-roading.

Pricing Notes

As a basic 2-wheel-drive regular-cab Tradesman model, the 2018 Ram 1500 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $28,490 including a $1,395 destination fee. Prices go up depending on trim level and cab/bed configuration. Plan to spend about $35,000-$40,000 for a mid-trim truck, which includes the Express, Big Horn, Sport and Harvest trim levels. The popular Ram Rebel model costs about $46,500 with 2-wheel drive. All-in as a 4-wheel-drive Limited model, the Ram 1500 can surpass $60,000. At these prices the Ram is in line with its Ford, Chevy and GMC rivals, and beneath the starting price of a Toyota Tundra, which has more standard equipment and a standard V8. It also undercuts the all-new Nissan Titan. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new truck. The Ram 1500's resale value is expected to continue to trail that of the F-150 and the class-leading Toyota Tundra.

Notable Equipment

With 11 trims, the 2018 Ram full-size truck spans from basic work truck to loaded hauler that could be mistaken for a luxury truck. At its most basic in Tradesman form, the new Ram comes with a locking tailgate, automatic headlights, a tilt -- but not telescoping -- steering wheel, air conditioning, and a basic 6-speaker radio with USB and auxiliary inputs. Note that you'll have to crank your own window and manually adjust the mirrors. If you want more than a very basic work truck, we recommend climbing trims or opting for a quad-cab or crew-cab version, which includes more amenities. A rearview camera is also standard.

Notable Options

With numerous options and packages from which to choose, the 2018 full-size Ram 1500 truck can be fitted to suit practically any individual and a variety of budgets. One item we recommend 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 and air suspension. Since the steering wheel does not offer a telescoping function, taller or shorter drivers should consider adding the power-adjustable pedals. And don’t forget to consider the EcoDiesel engine and the RamBox cargo system.

Favorite Features

RAMBOX CARGO-MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Incorporated in the Ram’s bedsides, the optional RamBox bins are large, lockable and lighted. They’re durable for tools and designed to drain water so you can throw in wet clothes and gear, or better yet, toss in some ice and make the world’s coolest built-in beer cooler. Perfect for the big game.


PARK SENSE FRONT-PARK-ASSIST SYSTEM

Most people would rather wrestle A.J. Styles than park a full-size pickup in a crowded mall parking lot. This optional system fixes that problem with six parking sensors mounted in the Ram’s front bumper. Get too close to another car or object and it warns you with audible chimes and graphics.


Under the Hood

Three engine choices are offered for the 2018 Ram 1500. The base engine is a 3.6-liter Pentastar gasoline V6 with 305 horsepower and an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of up to 25 mpg. 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 and laudable fuel economy. This turbodiesel is unique to half-ton trucks. All engines are available with 2-wheel drive (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard with the gasoline and diesel V6 engines and optional with the Hemi V8, which otherwise uses a 6-speed automatic.


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), 16/23 mpg (4WD)


3.0-liter turbodiesel V6

240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm

420 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 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: 15/22 mpg (2WD, 8-speed automatic), 13/18 mpg (4WD, 6-speed automatic), 15/21 mpg (4WD, 8-speed automatic)

Editors' Notes

Available in a wide variety of configurations, including five body styles, the 2018 Ram 1500 is an extremely capable and comfortable full-size pickup that’s ready to work, tow or play. Buyers can choose from three engines, including a Hemi V8 and a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that delivers 29 mpg on the highway. Buyers can also choose between 2- and 4-wheel drive. For 2018 the Ram 1500 is offered in 11 trim levels, many with cool names like Big Horn, Rebel, Sport and Night, with prices starting around $28,000 for the standard-cab Tradesman model. The standard 3.6-liter gas V6’s 305 horsepower and the Ram’s unique coil-spring multi-link rear suspension give it the smoothest ride in the full-size pickup class, which also includes the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra and the best-selling Ford F-150.

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Owner Reviews

4.7

100 Reviews

75% 20% 5% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Great miles per gallon. 38 mpgs.

I got my 2018 RAM 1500 eco diesel and love it. It's a big horn package 4x4. I was a bit nervous at first but it has been getting 23.5 miles per gallon city and 30 to 38 highway. With this truck it's quiet and does not have the diesel smell. It does use blue def but it's inexpensive and makes your exhaust smell almost like soap. I will say this I almost went with the tradesman package but the seats where awful. I suggest the big horn all the way. Better seat seats and more technology. But most of all its mpgs are awesome. May buy another!

- Joshua S

Some issues that I have with my 2018 Ram 1500.

No manual on/off switch on the overhead dome light. I am 6'1" tall and weigh 240#. The front seats have no lower lumbar support which causes lower back pain on long drives. This puts you in a "hunch back" position. I had to purchase a lumbar support type pillow to alleviate this issue. I believe this is caused by the over extension of the head rest. The truck "slams" into park when you open the door while backing. Yeah, I do use the mirrors to back up but, I like to open the door to look back on occasion.

- Gl A

It's great for people who need to get places no matter what the weather and road conditions may be. Also perfect for those who make a living doing any sort of manual labor and need to carry their supplies.

Unfortunately my boyfriend was a bit too anxious and antsy to get a new truck so he was unable to get any special features. It is so so roomy and comfortable and it's travels beautifully in the snow, hard rain, and so far any weather conditions I've come across with this truck. I just wish that we waited a little longer ger to get the truck so that we could afford even simple features like a light switch somewhere on the inside, or mirrors with lights on the sun blocker fold-down.

- Jillian B