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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Several styling iterations later, the big-rig design still makes the Ram stand out in a cowboy bar parking lot.
The redesigned skin doesn’t look vastly different
Big Horn and Laramie models get coated in chrome and can be had with chromed 20-inch wheels.
the Ram's cab, hood, front fenders and bed look no different.
The new interiors, across the entire lineup, are the most obvious example that the Chrysler leadership is giving the Ram Truck team a lot of room to experiment.
It's less distinctive, maybe, than it was when it first crashed the truck party back in 1994--but the Ram 1500's mas-macho grille and eighteen-wheeler aesthetics still have best-looking and gutsiest take of all the big trucks. It's more of a visual callback to big rigs than the straight-edged Ford, GMC, and Chevy trucks, and doesn't have the cartoonish quality that keeps the Tundra at a disadvantage.
Like any of the big trucks, the Ram's looks shift subtly as it moves between trim levels. There are five different grilles in all, each with its own texture and finish, even its own name. The rear taillamps are LED-lit, and so are the side-marker lights, but those are the minor updates applied to the business end of the truck since it was still a Dodge Ram, back in 1999.Last year, the Ram 1500's cabin was reworked even though it really didn't need to be. Its overall sense of high quality and upscale flavor were upgraded to an even higher level, making it even more attractive and desirable. New rotary controls for infotainment and climate systems clean up the center stack and free up more space, and a digital cluster replaces some instruments on some models--and even gets softly rendered numerals, so attentive are the details.
Those with simpler tastes have plenty of options in the Ram 1500 range, from the simple Tradesman to the extreme luxury of the Laramie Longhorn, which has some of the finest wood grain and contrast stitching available in a vehicle of its kind.
The Ram 1500 strikes a tough pose, but it's a big, cultured softy inside.