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Rugged function meets luxury.

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Hero | CarMax

The 2021 Ram 1500 is a full-size half-ton truck that blends rugged function and luxury-grade appointments into a capable pickup that's well-suited for the job site or a night on the town. With five powerful engine options, the Ram 1500 makes easy work of your practical needs with gasoline and diesel variants. This model also features spacious Quad Cab and Crew Cab cabins with premium materials, high-tech conveniences, and plenty of stretch-out space for the ultimate in comfort.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Ram 1500s on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2021 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Ram 1500 with similar features.

Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Ram 1500 review:

Key Specs and Features:

MPG:

  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 2WD and the 3.0L diesel engine with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 4WD and the 3.0L diesel engine with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 2WD and the 3.6L engine (eTorque) with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 4WD and the 3.6L engine (eTorque) with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 2WD and the 5.7L engine (eTorque) with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 4WD and the 5.7L engine (eTorque) with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 2WD and the 5.7L engine with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 with 4WD and the 5.7L engine with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX with 4WD and the 6.2L engine with automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 12 mpg combined.1

Cargo Space:

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Trunk | CarMax
  • Quad Cab with six-foot four-inch bed
  • Crew Cab with five-foot seven-inch bed
  • Crew Cab with six-foot four-inch bed

Towing Capacity:

  • Ram 1500 towing capacity is an estimated 7,730 lbs. with the 3.6L V6 with eTorque on 2021 models, when properly equipped.2
  • Ram 1500 towing capacity is an estimated 12,560 lbs. with the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel on 2021 models, when properly equipped.2
  • Ram 1500 towing capacity is an estimated 11,610 lbs. with the 5.7L V8 HEMI® on 2021 models, when properly equipped.2
  • Ram 1500 towing capacity is an estimated 12,750 lbs. with the 5.7L V8 HEMI with eTorque on 2021 models, when properly equipped.2
  • Ram 1500 towing capacity is an estimated 8,100 lbs. with the 6.2L HEMI supercharged V8 on 2021 models, when properly equipped.2

Seating Capacity:

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Backseats | CarMax
  • Five or six-passenger seating configurations

Engine Options:

  • 3.6L V6 with eTorque makes 305 hp and 269 lb.-ft. of torque (standard in Tradesman, Big Horn, and Rebel trims)
  • 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel makes 260 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque (available in all trims)
  • 5.7L V8 HEMI makes 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque (standard in Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited trims; available in all other trims)
  • 5.7L V8 HEMI with eTorque makes 395 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque (available in all trims)
  • 6.2L HEMI supercharged V8 with 702 hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque (standard in TRX)

Tech Features:

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Cell | CarMax
  • ParkView rear backup camera (standard on all trims)
  • Uconnect® infotainment system with 8.4-inch display (standard on Laramie and higher trims)
  • Integrated navigation system with voice activation (standard on Longhorn and higher trims)
  • Available digital rearview mirror (included in Advanced Technology Group package for Big Horn and higher trims)
  • Available head-up display (included in Advanced Technology Group package for Big Horn and higher trims)

Rankings

The Ram 1500 has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Powertrain Options

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Exterior | CarMax

The 2021 Ram 1500 offers a wide assortment of engine options, providing the power you need to tackle big jobs. The 3.6L Pentastar® V6 (standard in Tradesman, Big Horn, and Rebel trims) and 5.7L HEMI V8 (available in all trims) include an eTorque mild-hybrid system, which optimizes shift changes for an extra boost of performance. You can also find 2021 Ram 1500s with the 5.7L Hemi V8 without the mild-hybrid system if you prefer a truck with a traditional powertrain (standard in Laramie, Longhorn, and Limited trims; available in all other trims). For a torque-rich engine that's also practical at the pumps, consider the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (available on all trims). When equipped with rear-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission, the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel returns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined.1

2. New TRX Trim

For 2021, changes to the Ram 1500 include a new TRX trim, which redefines the boundaries of what a pickup can be. Powered by a 6.2L HEMI supercharged V8 with 702 hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is a high-performance truck that can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new). This model also includes a launch control with launch-assist system, which regulates engine RPM and monitors wheel slip feedback to achieve fast acceleration rates. You can off-road in the TRX, too, with the standard 2.5-inch Bilstein® Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks, which continuously adapt to varied terrain for optimal body control.

3. Strong Towing Abilities

If you're shopping for a pickup to help you tow with ease, the 2021 Ram 1500 will impress you with its pulling abilities and smart technologies. For heavy loads, consider the 2021 Ram 1500 with the 5.7L V8 HEMI with eTorque, which can tow an estimated 12,750 lbs. when properly equipped.2 Available power-fold tow mirrors provide great visibility, while the available surround-view monitor uses five cameras to help you align the truck to a trailer. On the road, the available blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection scans blind-spot zones and automatically senses the length of the trailer for confident lane changes.

4. Comfortable Cabin

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Front seats| CarMax

The 2021 Ram 1500 has a roomy cabin with cavernous passenger space and functional cubby storage to keep belongings nearby. With room for five or six passengers, depending on the trim you choose, Crew Cab models boast 45.2 inches of rear-seat legroom and available reclining rear-seats for customized comfort on long trips. The available in-floor storage zone is also a great place to store tools or cargo out-of-view (Tradesman and Big Horn trims with Crew Cab only). You'll love how bright the cabin feels with the available dual-pane power-operated sunroof (standard on 2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn and higher trims with Crew Cab only), while leather seating surfaces with accent stitching add to the truck's luxurious atmosphere (standard on Laramie and higher trims).

5. Advanced Technology

2021 Ram 1500 Review: Dashboard | CarMax

The 2021 Ram 1500 is a tech-rich truck, offering useful features for work or play. All models come standard with a ParkView rear backup camera to assist with tricky reverse moves, while Laramie and higher trims include a Uconnect infotainment system with an 8.4-inch display. The available head-up display (included in the Advanced Technology Group package for Big Horn and higher trims) lets you see stats, like turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, and incoming calls, without taking your eyes off the road. The 2021 Ram 1500 also features an available digital rearview mirror (included in the Advanced Technology Group package for Big Horn and higher trims) that improves driver rearward visibility by displaying real-time video from the rear-facing camera.


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What You Need to Know

Available Trims

  • Tradesman: Includes 18-inch steel wheels, Uconnect infotainment system with a five-inch display, ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic gridlines and centerlines, six-speaker sound system, tilting steering wheel, and more.
  • Big Horn: Adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, foglights, 60/40-split folding rear seat, available power-adjustable pedals, available heated front seats, and more.
  • Rebel: Adds underbody skid plates, LED exterior lighting, electronic-locking differential, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and more.
  • Laramie: Adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, power rear window, Uconnect infotainment system with 8.4-inch display, 10-speaker sound system, and more.
  • Longhorn: Adds side steps, power reclining heated front seats, front and rear park assist with automatic reverse stop, integrated navigation system with voice activation, and more.
  • Limited: Adds active-level four-corner air suspension system, power-deployable running boards, leather steering wheel with genuine wood, available ventilated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring with trailer coverage and rear cross-path detection, and more.
  • TRX: Adds 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks, Dana 60 solid rear axle, electronic locking differential, five skid plates, launch control, and more.

Available Colors

  • Billet Silver Metallic
  • Bright White
  • Delmonico Red Pearl
  • Diamond Black Crystal Pearl
  • Flame Red
  • Granite Crystal Metallic
  • Hydro Blue
  • Ivory Tri-Coat
  • Maximum Steel Metallic
  • Olive Green
  • Patriot Blue Pearl
  • Two-tone Billet Silver Metallic
  • Two-tone Diamond Black Crystal Pearl
  • Two-tone RV Match Walnut Brown Metallic

Interior

  • 10-speaker sound system (standard on Laramie and higher trims)
  • Leather upholstery (standard on Laramie and higher trims)
  • Spray-in bed liner (standard on Longhorn and Limited trims; optional in others)
  • Available dual-pane power-operated sunroof (Big Horn and higher trims with Crew Cab only)
  • Available in-floor storage (Tradesman and Big Horn trims only)

Average CarMax Prices

The 2021 Ram 1500 is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Ram 1500.3

  • 2012 — Average prices less than $19,5003
  • 2013 — Average prices less than $20,0003
  • 2014 — Average prices less than $22,5003
  • 2015 — Average prices less than $24,5003
  • 2016 — Average prices less than $27,0003
  • 2017 — Average prices less than $29,0003
  • 2018 — Average prices less than $29,5003
  • 2019 — Average prices less than $38,0003
  • 2020 — Average prices less than $40,0003

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Ram 1500, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

Safety

The 2021 Ram 1500 Crew cab with 2WD and 4WD both received an overall 5/5 rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Ram 1500, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Ram 2500

If you need a heavy-duty pickup for tough jobs, the Ram 2500 generates impressive power and torque from its lineup of robust powertrains. Redesigned in 2019, fifth-generation Ram 2500s come standard with a 410-hp 6.4L V8 that can tow an estimated 17,580 lbs., when properly equipped.2 You can also choose the 2019 Ram 2500 with an available turbocharged 370-hp 6.7L V6 diesel that can tow an estimated 19,780 lbs. when properly equipped.2 Even with its large size, the Ram 2500's coil spring rear suspension (2017-2018 models) delivers a cushioned and compliant ride, whether hauling heavy loads or driving with an empty bed. Standard features on the 2017-2019 Ram 2500 Limited include:

  • 20-inch wheels
  • Chrome exterior trim details
  • RamBox cargo management system
  • Black leather upholstery
  • Uconnect infotainment system with 12-inch display (2019 only)

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Whether you are searching for a practical work truck, a luxury cruiser, or something in between, you're sure to find what you're looking for with the Silverado 1500. With a two-door regular cab, four-door extended cab, and crew cab options on 2017-2019 models, you'll be able to choose a truck that fits your work team, family, or social group. A 6.5-foot bed comes standard on 2017-2019 models or there's an available eight-foot bed if you often carry longer cargo. With the available 6.2L V8, the 2017-2018 Silverado 1500 can pull your tool trailer with an estimated 12,500-lb. towing capacity when properly equipped.2 Chevrolet's 2017-2019 High Country trim also comes very nicely outfitted with these standard features:

  • 20-inch chrome wheels
  • Spray-on bed-liner
  • Power-up-and-down tailgate
  • Seven-speaker Bose® audio system
  • Wireless phone charging

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger was reintroduced for the 2019 model year after a long hiatus. It has seating for up to five passengers with a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, three trims, and a single-engine option. Standard driver assistance features include pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. On model years 2017–2019, you'll find these standard features on the Ford Ranger:

  • Auto on/off headlamps
  • Capless fuel-filler
  • Full-size spare tire
  • Two front tow hooks (four-wheel drive trims only)

The Bottom Line

If you're shopping for a truck with serious performance and luxurious features, the 2021 Ram 1500 is worthy of a spot on your list. With five robust engine options, seven well-appointed trims, and the new high-performance TRX model, you can configure the Ram 1500 to suit any job, whether it's towing heavy loads or cruising around in comfort and style.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
3Based on prices on carmax.com in January 2, 2019 through June 4, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.