2022 Ram 1500: Pickups have a variety of talents, but the 2022 Ram 1500 is more talented than most half-ton trucks because it’s significantly nicer.
Sure, the entry-level models aren’t linked with the luscious materials and upscale features of the priciest trims, but they still ride better than the fanciest alternatives thanks to their more sophisticated suspension, which can be made cushier with the available air springs.
2022 Ram 1500 also offers 1500 with a massive 12.0-inch touchscreen, compartments built into the cargo bed, and a split-folding tailgate. Its roster of engines operates through a silky automatic transmission and includes a 395-hp Hemi V-8 (with or without hybrid assistance) and an eco-friendly diesel six-cylinder with 480 pound-feet of torque.
Since it requires either the Level 1 or Level 2 package, we think the latter’s roster of remote start, a 115-volt power outlet, front and rear parking sensors, power-adjustable pedals, passive hands-free entry, and more make it the one to get. We’d also nab the 33-gallon fuel tank that will enable fewer fill-ups during road trips than the standard 26-gallon tank.
ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION
Among its many trim levels, there are V-6 and V-8 gasoline powertrains that all pair with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Both engines are assisted by a 48-volt hybrid system, though the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 can also be had without electric support.
We’ve driven a couple of models with the latter and appreciated the engine’s baritone exhaust note and expeditious acceleration. We’ve also driven the Ram with the diesel 3.0-liter V-6 (called EcoDiesel) that develops 480 pound-feet of torque, which is more than similar diesel engines on the half-ton Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
The oil-burning six-cylinder is slower than the Hemi, but it’s refined for diesel and delivers better fuel economy.
For adventurous folk, the rugged Rebel model provides beefier looks and legitimate off-road capability. Every Ram 1500 has an impressive ride thanks to a rear suspension that uses standard coil springs or optional air springs, unlike the traditional leaf-spring setup found on domestic rivals.
Models equipped with the air suspension even have adjustable ride heights that aid fuel efficiency and off-road ability. Its light steering and strong brakes provide relaxed cruising and confident stops, too.
ENERGY AND REAL-WORLD MPG
With hybridized V-6 and V-8 engines as well as a diesel option, the 2022 Ram 1500 lineup has varied fuel economy. The EPA estimates that the most efficient V-6 Ram will earn up to 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, while the V-8 version is rated up to 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
The government estimates diesel-powered Rams will get up to 22 mpg city and 32 highway; those numbers are slightly lower with all-wheel drive. The Rebel we tested earned 24 mpg highway on our 75-mph real-world fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen.
That’s 6 mpg better than the gas-only V-8 Rebel and 4 mpg better than the nonhybrid V-8 Laramie we tested. For more information about the Ram 1500’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH
Inside, the 2022 Ram 1500 has supremely functional cubby stowage and cavernous passenger space. Higher trims add upscale materials and creature comforts that make the Ram feel more like a luxury vehicle than a pickup truck.
Most models can be equipped with upscale features such as heated and ventilated seats and a panoramic sunroof, while the fanciest versions have premium leather surfaces and genuine wood accents. As with most full-size pickup trucks, the Ram 1500’s crew cab is supremely spacious.
It also has vast amounts of interior storage and a unique split-folding tailgate. Both the five-foot-seven-inch and six-foot-four-inch cargo beds are available, but the extended Quad Cab only pairs with the latter.
IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS
Ram trucks have had one of the best infotainment systems and connectivity features in the class for a while. That continues on the latest trucks, with a responsive 8.4-inch or massive optional 12.0-inch touchscreen that is available on all but the base Ram model.
Too bad we experienced a lot of glitches with the huge display during the course of our 40,000-mile long-term test. The systems boast numerous power points as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a mobile hotspot. Thankfully, even the largest screen has physical knobs and hard buttons that complement the touchpoints.
PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS
The pickup also has a host of available driver-assistance technology that ranges from automated emergency braking to lane-keeping assist.