Because work trucks
American truck sales have been on fire for a while. The Ford F-150 has been a best-seller for decades, and the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 aren’t far behind. In a recent comparison, we paired these three American trucks against one another in work truck form, and—spoiler alert—the Ram 1500 Tradesman took home the gold. Even in its base trim, the Ram has a lot to offer with cool features that stood out during our testing. These are our top nine:
Located under the second-row seats, the standard Ram Bins provide good storage not only for things you want to hide but also for tools or items that are dirty. There’s one on each side, and they’re easy to remove and wash. What’s even better is that ruler markings are molded into the top edge of each Ram Bin—handy when contractors forget theirs.
Payload and Towing Performance
The Ram 1500 is rated in the middle of the pack with a payload capacity of 1,773 pounds (804 kg) and a towing capacity of 7,280 pounds (3,302 kg). When we towed close to 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg), its performance was notable, and when we loaded the truck with 1,800 pounds (816 kg) of sand (yes, a bit over capacity), it showed good body control, power, and stopping. All in all, the Ram 1500 Tradesman was the best performer.
Center Console Storage
One of the advantages of a work truck is that it can seat up to six, but the front middle seat can sometimes lack valuable storage space. That’s not the case with the Ram, though. The bin under the front center seat and another spacious bin in the back of the center seat back provide ample room for your belongings. With the middle seat down, front passengers have access to two cupholders and ample storage space in the center console. There’s even a bin under the trailer brake controls where you can leave your smartphone when you’re at a job site.
Four USB Ports
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to know that Chevy only offers one USB port in its WT trim, and Ford offers three. Ram offers four USB ports—two in regular form and two Type C.
Yes, it’s a small touchscreen. But we’re talking about a work truck. The high-resolution display has multicolor graphics, and it works well when you’re wearing work gloves. The Uconnect system is also pretty simple to use. Ram offers SiriusXM satellite radio as part of the Level 1 Equipment Group ($1,555 USD), which also includes cloth seats, carpet floors and floormats, and a rear power sliding window.
Plenty of Standard Features
From a push-start button and automatic headlights to a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, the Ram 1500 Tradesman has a lot to offer. Its $39,640 USD base price for crew cab and 4WD is a bit high for a work truck, but for the number of standard goodies you get, it’s worth it.
Mild Hybrid Engine
Speaking of worthiness, the 3.6-liter V-6 eTorque engine is one of the best engines we’ve seen in a base truck. With 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, this powerplant is robust and works well with the eight-speed tranny.
The trailer-tow mirrors—part of the towing package on the Ram 1500 Tradesman—proved to be useful during our comparison. As features editor Scott Evans noted, “The towing mirrors with the big spotter mirrors are very helpful” during his commute back to El Segundo from the test track in Fontana.
Premium Cloth Seats
If you ditch the vinyl seats, the optional cloth seats look and feel a class above. They have a denimlike texture, which can make you forget you’re driving a work truck. Features editor Christian Seabaugh said it best: “It’s the first work truck in recent memory to be a completely livable daily driver. You aren’t suffering driving this one. Almost all the creature comforts you could ever want are on this truck.”