Dodge Ram 1500

The Dodge Ram 1500 is a half-ton version of the classic full-size Ram pickup truck. While Dodge has offered half-ton Ram 150 pickups since 1981, the Ram 1500 designation officially debuted in 1994.

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Dodge Ram 1500 Origins

The first Dodge Ram 1500 quickly gained popularity with its muscular new body, selection of powerful engines, and comfortable cab. First generation Ram 1500s come in four trims: the Work Special, LT, ST, and Laramie SLT. Engine choices range from a 175-horsepower V-6 to a 300-horsepower V-10.

By 2009, Dodge revised its trim lineup to include ST, Tradesman, SLT, Express, Sport, and Laramie. Engine choices evolved to include a 215-horsepower V-6, a 310-horsepower V-8, and an optional 5.7-liter, 390-horsepower V-8 Hemi. A 2009 redesign outfit the Ram 1500 with a multi-link coil rear suspension to provide a smoother ride.

The Dodge Ram 1500 comes as a regular cab model with room for three people or as an extended Crew and Quad cab versions that can seat up to six. Crew Cabs offer 125.3 cubic feet of passenger space, while Quad Cabs provide 116.6 cubic feet.

About the Dodge Ram 1500

The Dodge Ram 1500 is known as a muscular yet comfortable pickup truck offered with a wide selection of engines and amenities.

Like most full-size pickups, the Ram 1500 comes in numerous trims. Three bed sizes and three engines are offered. A base V-6 and V-8 offer modest power; upgrading to the top-level 5.7-liter, 390-hp V-8 allows the Ram 1500 to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds and tow up to 10,450 pounds.

The top-level Laramie features luxuries such as leather upholstery and wood trim. However, even the lower trim levels offer conveniences such as ample legroom, built-in storage compartments, and power accessories. Standard upper-trim options such as Bluetooth, a navigation system, and an entertainment system can be added to lower trim levels.

Dodge Ram 1500 Features

The 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 comes in six trims: the base ST, Tradesman, SLT, Express, Sport, and Laramie. Models have either front-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive systems.

2012 Ram 1500 models feature the same dual exhaust, wraparound bumpers, and forward-leaning grille that debuted in 2009. The only significant new feature for 2012 is a revised steering wheel.

The Dodge Ram 1500 ST contains a base 3.7-liter V-6 engine paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, and can be upgraded to a 4.7-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic. Base models come standard with a 72-inch box and a front-wheel-drive system. Buyers have the option of upgrading to four-wheel drive and a regular cab with an eight-foot box, Quad Cab with a 72-inch box, or Crew Cab with a 67-inch box.

Standard equipment on ST models includes 17-inch steel wheels, black grille and bumpers, a locking tailgate, a vinyl split-bench seat, a six-speaker audio system with CD player, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, a behind-the-seat storage bin, side airbags, front airbags, side-curtain front airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, a seven-pin wiring harness, and trailer tow wiring. Packages add features such as keyless entry, power windows and locks, cloth upholstery, and cruise control.

Upgrading to the Tradesman adds heavy-duty shock absorbers, halogen headlamps, tire-pressure monitoring, and a 12-volt auxiliary power outlet. The Express gains a body-color grille, body-color rear bumper, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and fog lamps. The SLT comes standard with folding heated mirrors, keyless entry, power locks, an electronic vehicle information center, satellite radio availability, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a tire carrier winch. The Sport features 22-inch chrome wheels, a floor-mounted shifter, and bucket seats. The top-level Laramie carries over the Sport’s features, but adds chrome trim, fender flares, wood interior trim, leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats with driver-memory settings, power-adjustable mirrors, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a premium audio system.

Dodge offers several packages as well. The Big Horn (called the Lone Star in Texas) adds the SLT’s features, additional trim, and unique badges, while the Outdoorsman outfits four-wheel drive models with the 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi, bucket seats, two-tone paint, skid plates, all-terrain tires, trailer-towing upgrades, and a trip computer.

Individual options include a 10-speaker audio system, a navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a rearview camera.

Dodge Ram 1500 Evolution

Dodge’s half-ton truck became officially known as the Ram 1500 in 1994. The 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 debuted with new standard features ranging from a driver’s-side airbag to four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Club and Quad cab styles were also introduced.

Between 2002 and 2008, the Dodge Ram 1500 received upgrades including new audio systems, available navigation and entertainment systems, numerous specialty packages, and a Mega Cab option. Dodge added a 4.7-liter V-8 engine; replaced the previous 5.9-liter V-8 with a more powerful 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi; and added a 215-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 in place of the 175 horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6. A six-speed automatic transmission also debuted during this time.

In 2009, Dodge expanded its trim lineup and introduced a unique coil-spring rear suspension. Third generation Dodge Ram 1500s feature more muscular lines, a wraparound bumper, and an optional RamBox cargo storage compartment. Available engines include a 3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8, and 5.7-liter V-8. The Mega Cab was eliminated, while the Club Cab became the Crew Cab.

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