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2025 Ram 1500 First Drive: We Find Out if Less Is More

Is the refreshed Ram 1500's smaller engine actually an improvement?

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten front three-quarter
  • The old 5.7L V8 is out, replaced by a twin-turbo straight six-cylinder engine with two power outputs.
  • New looks and new tech for 2025, including a new hands-free Level 2+ driving system.
  • A new Tungsten trim tops the Ram 1500 lineup.

After Ford and Chevy recently updated their full-size pickup trucks, it was only a matter of time before Ram followed suit. Now those updates have finally arrived with the debut of the 2025 Ram 1500. Highlights include slight exterior styling tweaks, some new technology features and a modestly updated cabin. There's even a new top-spec trim level called Tungsten, and it's as luxurious as a pickup can get. But the biggest news for the 2025 Ram 1500 isn't what is being added — it's what's being taken away. 

What's under the Ram 1500's hood?

And what's departing is two cylinders. The stalwart 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is gone and the TRX has been discontinued along with its supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that it borrowed from Dodge's Hellcat vehicles. That means all of the 2025 Ram 1500's engine options will top out at six cylinders. We won't miss the old V8 all that much, as it had gruff power delivery and clunky engagement and didn't deliver sufficient power compared to its rivals. But nobody will accuse the new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, dubbed "Hurricane," of lacking any grunt.

The new inline-six will come in two outputs, a standard version producing 420 horsepower and 469 lb-ft of torque and a High Output version making 540 horsepower and 521 lb-ft of torque. Both engines offer more power than the old V8's 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. The base engine will remain the 3.6-liter V6 with a mild hybrid system, but that will only be offered on the bottom two trim levels (Tradesman and Big Horn/Lone Star).

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten towing on the road

How does the Ram 1500 drive?

We had a chance to drive both of the Hurricane variants on the street, and the lower-output version on an off-road course and while towing a 7,300-pound trailer. Both engines performed flawlessly, taking on everything we threw at them with relative ease. The Hurricane engines use two smaller turbochargers, each feeding three cylinders, instead of one larger turbo, and that eliminates turbo lag for the most part. While in Sport mode the engines are especially responsive (there's a hint of throttle lag in Normal), getting into their powerband quickly. The High Output is arguably overqualified for street driving. To add some perspective, it makes more horsepower and torque than the Ford F-150 Raptor's 3.5L turbocharged V6 (450 hp, 510 lb-ft) — a bit of trivia your Ford friends will love to hear about.

We navigated the off-road course and the towing test with Ram 1500s equipped with the standard-output engine, a decision that showed the company's faith in the standard Hurricane and not just the High Output version. Power delivery in the muddy, slick conditions was very easy to modulate. With the transfer case set to 4WD Lo, the engine put out consistent, predictable power that made it easy to climb hills at a smooth and safe rate. 

The 7,300-pound Airstream trailer hooked up behind the Ram 1500 was also easily managed. Our route was pretty flat, so we'll have to see how the engine does going up larger grades, but it navigated the roads in Texas Hill Country with ease, providing confident acceleration with a transmission capable of grabbing the proper gear. 

After a day with the new straight-sixes, I didn't find myself missing the V8 at all except for one way: the noise. There's nothing that sounds like a V8, but I'll trade those auditory delights for the better performance of these new engines in a heartbeat. We're just waiting for one more key bit of info: fuel economy. Ram says those estimates will be available closer to the truck's on-sale date in March 2024.


How comfortable is the Ram 1500?

Unsurprisingly, it's an extremely comfortable truck to drive around. Most of our day was spent in the new Tungsten trim, reveling in its new 24-way adjustable front seats with massage functions. Those seats (nay, thrones) were exceedingly comfortable and supportive, with even the headrests offering four-way adjustments.

Our test vehicle was also equipped with the air suspension, and we've previously found the Ram 1500's setup to be the most composed and comfortable among full-size trucks. That hasn't changed. You can still tell you're driving a big truck around with some body roll present at every corner, but road imperfections are dismissed with impunity and the ride quality for this segment remains top-notch.


How's the Ram 1500's interior?

Because this is just a refresh, the inside of the 1500 hasn't changed too much; the general layout of the interior is very similar to the pre-refresh 1500. But, just to make sure the 1500 keeps up with the Joneses, there is a new (optional) 10.25-inch passenger screen on higher trims, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a larger center touchscreen display offered — up to 14.5 inches. That's a nice bump from the old Ram's 12-inch display, which remains the dominant size in the mid to upper trim levels. A new row of permanent buttons on the touchscreen replaces a few functions that previously had dedicated physical controls (such as the height selection for models with the air suspension). The climate controls, however, still have both digital and redundant physical buttons down the side of the screen, a design we endorse.

2025 Ram 1500 interior dash

How's the tech?

All the tech you'd expect of a modern pickup is present and accounted for in the 1500. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly, and a vast number of USB ports (both A and C) are all standard. A full color head-up display is optional. A number of advanced driver aids, like forward collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, blind-spot warning, and a digital rearview mirror, are available for extra coin. The current Ram 1500 offers adaptive cruise control, but the 2025 model takes it one step further. Now available is what Ram is calling Hands-Free Active Driving Assist, a Level 2+ semi-autonomous driving system. The system offers the capability of hands-off driving at freeway speeds and lane centering on approved roadways. Ram tells us that it currently has 125,000 miles mapped, enough to cover the vast majority of major interstates throughout the country. But it has a ways to go to catch up to the 750,000 miles of roadways that GM has mapped for its Super Cruise system. The Ram system comes with three free years of use but will require a subscription after that

Turning the system on is incredibly simple: You hit a button on the steering wheel and then set the speed. Green lights in the cluster and an icon let you know that the system is in hands-free mode and a small camera on top of the steering column watches the driver's eyes to make sure the driver is paying attention. We've had extensive experience with the other currently available Level 2+ systems and this new one fits right in with the best of them. It turns on quickly and does a great job of staying on, and it also alerts the driver effectively when you need to retake control via subtle seat vibrations and chimes. Lane changes can also be done autonomously via a bump of the turn signal, and those are executed smoothly (as are accelerating and braking). 

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten front three-quarter in woods

What is the 2025 Ram 1500's pricing?

The 2025 Ram 1500 will be offered in these trim levels: Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Laramie, Rebel, Limited, Limited Longhorn and Tungsten. The Tungsten model joins the Ram lineup as the new top-spec truck for 2025. The Tungsten offers a new Sea Salt and Indigo color scheme that I loved. It features vast amounts of leather, including on the window pillars and headliner. Many cows died to make this interior — many cows. There's also a new, very impressive 23-speaker Klipsch audio system, dual wireless chargers and metal pedals. The Tungsten also gets a new molded front bumper instead of a more traditional steel one. The Ram 1500 already offered the best cabins of any of the full-size pickups and the Tungsten just takes it to another level.

It also takes the Ram's pricing to another level, with the Tungsten starting at $89,150 (including a $1,995 destination charge). The prices for all of the trims have gone up with this redesign:

  • Tradesman: $42,270

  • Big Horn/Lone Star: $46,930

  • Laramie: $62,025

  • Rebel: $66,190

  • Limited: $77,150

  • Limited Longhorn: $77,645

The Rebel and Laramie both feature the Hurricane engine standard, with the High Output engine standard on Limited and above. In case you're wondering why the Rebel isn't offered with the High Output engine, there's another Ram 1500 variant, dubbed the RHO (perhaps Rebel High Output?), due late in 2024, and it will likely remedy that omission.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten front three-quarter in woods

Edmunds says

The only thing we'll miss from the old V8 is the sound because the new six-cylinder engines perform better on the street, while off-road, and even while towing. Plus the interior on the new Tungsten trim is so swanky, luxury automakers should take notes.