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Pickups no longer hold the must-have status they did as recently as three or four years ago, but despite the swing in attitudes, trucks like the 2011 Ram 1500 are as well-built and capable as ever--or even more so.
A merger with Fiat has seen the trucks of the Dodge brand split off into their own separate Ram section, and a revised truck for 2011 comes with the name change. Already collecting awards, the 2011 Ram 1500 holds its own as one of the toughest, most composed pickups on the market.
Pricing for the new Ram starts at $20,810 for a stripped-down base model, and rises beyond $43,000 for the most decked-out Longhorn and Laramie models, competing against other stalwarts of the open-bed segment like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra.
The Ram has style in spades, and is possibly the best-looking truck on the market, inside and especially out. Basic models skimp on the details but keep the core macho look, while top-end variants have all the luxury and style of a high-end sedan.
Performance is also a strong suit for the Ram, as long as you stay away from the anemic 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Both V-8 options provide plenty of acceleration and tow/haul power, though the HEMI V-8 really brings the capable chassis to life.
Lots of standard safety equipment put the Ram 1500 about on par with the best in the class, though crash test results show conflicting ratings between the IIHS and NHTSA. An optional rear-view camera makes it easier to maneuver and avoid rearward obstacles, and large side mirrors make pulling a trailer a safer bet.
From basic stripper pickup to loaded-out luxury truck, the Ram runs the gamut with a wide range of available options, many of which are available even in lower-spec trims as upgrades or packages.
Fuel economy is never a strength for full-size pickups, but the Ram scores well within the class, if not relative to small hatchbacks and sedans. For the power and capability, it's a reasonable tradeoff, however.
- The best-looking full-size truck
- HEMI power, with better fuel economy
- Ride quality
- Extreme hauling capability
- Unique storage solutions
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- No Hybrid or diesel yet
- Wheezy, coarse V-6 engine
- HEMI automatic could use another gear