2011 Ram 1500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Best-in-class ride quality
  • well-made interior
  • clever storage spaces
  • powerful V8
  • lots of interior space.
  • Weak base-model engine with poor fuel economy
  • five-speed (not six-speed) automatic transmission.
List Price Range
$9,995 - $19,895

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Ram 1500 is a top pick in the full-size pickup truck segment thanks to its winning combination of strong performance, smooth ride and a classy cabin.

Vehicle overview

As American as college football rivalries, the full-size pickup truck segment has its share of staunch supporters. And those of you wearing the baseball caps and nylon jackets with the Ram symbol on them won't get any argument from us; the 2011 Ram 1500 is tough to beat. When it was fully redesigned for 2009, the Ram 1500 sported a few features never before seen on a big pickup. First of all, the ground-breaking adoption (for the truck world, anyway) of a rear suspension that combined a solid axle and coil springs delivered a smoother, more carlike ride. And lockable storage boxes integrated into the sides of the cargo bed became available as an option.

Beyond those trick features, the Ram 1500 has the basic requirements more than covered. The available V8s are impressive performers, the chassis is well suited to heavy work and the Ram's cabin is a class leader in terms of design, ergonomics and materials. Perhaps the only weak point is the base engine, a 215-horsepower V6 that has EPA fuel ratings no better than those of the top-dog engine, the 390-hp 5.7-liter V8. Provided you can swing the extra cost, the big V8's huge jump in performance and work capability without a fuel economy penalty is a no-brainer.

Honestly, all of the big pickups have more capabilities than most folks will ever need, as well as the option to outfit them like luxury sedans. But the one that goes the extra yard is the 2011 Ram 1500. Lined up against its 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, 2014 Ford F-150 and 2011 Toyota Tundra rivals in an Edmunds comparison test, the Ram took home the win thanks to its more well-rounded personality. This year's more powerful F-150 could shake things up a bit, but overall we still think the Ram is a great pick for a full-size truck.

2011 Ram 1500 models

The 2011 Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles and bed lengths. The regular cab seats a maximum of three people on its standard bench seat, and it can be had with either a 6-foot-4 bed or an 8-foot version. The extended cab ("Quad Cab") can seat up to six in two bench rows and comes only with the 6-foot-4 bed. The crew cab model expands rear-seat legroom even farther, but is only available with a 5-foot-7 bed.

There are four trim levels. The base ST model (available in regular and extended cabs) comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, vinyl floor covering, air-conditioning, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, vinyl upholstery, a folding rear bench seat (extended-cab only), a tilting steering column and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. Options include chrome-clad steel wheels, larger outside mirrors for towing, cruise control, cloth seats, a bedliner and satellite radio.

The SLT (available in all cab styles) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, heated outside mirrors, carpet floor covering, cloth upholstery, cruise control, full power accessories, a power-sliding rear window, keyless entry, a trip computer and satellite radio.

The Sport (available in all cab styles) adds a larger V8, dual exhaust, a body-colored grille, 20-inch chrome wheels, foglamps, auto-dimming rear- and sideview mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, unique bucket seats and console, a touchscreen display, Bluetooth, an upgraded audio system (with CD/DVD/MP3 player, USB port, HD radio, 30GB hard drive), a 10-way power driver seat and a split-folding rear seat with under-seat storage (for crew cabs).

The top-of-the-line Laramie trim level (available in extended and crew cabs only) comes standard with virtually all of the Sport's features, with a few differences (such as a front split bench seat and two-tone paint) and added luxuries in the form of power-folding exterior mirrors, rear park assist, additional exterior chrome trim, fender flares, power-adjustable pedals, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, a six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded audio with subwoofer, remote engine start and wood-grain/chrome interior trim.

Many of the upper trims options can be had on the lower trims. Other notable options (depending on trim level) include an integrated trailer brake controller, a spray-in bedliner, a sunroof, "RamBox" storage bins mounted on the sides of the bed, a rear parking camera, a rear-seat entertainment system and a navigation system with real-time traffic.

There are also a variety of packages available as well. The Outdoorsman (only available on four-wheel-drive trucks) includes highlights such as the 5.7-liter V8 (already standard on the Sport), all-terrain tires, underbody skid plates, limited-slip rear differential, bucket seats with console, two-tone paint and fender flares. The Lone Star (available in Texas only) and Big Horn (available everywhere but Texas) are similar in that they bundle together a bunch of the SLT's optional equipment along with special badging and trim.

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Ram 1500 sees a shuffling of trim packages but otherwise remains unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The standard engine on the two-wheel-drive Ram ST 1500 regular and quad cabs is a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 215 hp and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic is standard. Fuel economy is a meager 14 mpg city/20 highway and 16 mpg combined.

The standard engine on the four-wheel-drive Ram ST and all SLT and Laramie models is a 4.7-liter V8 coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission. Output is a healthy 310 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, while fuel economy with 2WD is 14/19/15 mpg (4WD drops it by 1 mpg).

Standard on the Sport and optional on the SLT and Laramie trims is a 5.7-liter V8 with a five-speed auto. Output is 390 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy with 2WD is 14/20/16 mpg (4WD is 1 mpg less). In performance testing, a 4WD 5.7-liter V8-powered crew cab model went from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. Maximum towing capacity when properly equipped is 10,250 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2011 Ram 1500 includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, hill-start assist, trailer-sway control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedure (the results of which are not comparable to past test results), the Ram received an overall rating of three stars (out of five). It got two stars for overall frontal crash protection, but five stars for overall side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the Ram its highest score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection, but side-impact protection scored the second-worst rating of "Marginal" because of the likelihood of injuries to the driver's torso.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Ram 1500 compares favorably with competing trucks, requiring 130 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph.

Driving

With its body-on-frame construction, the 2011 Ram 1500 exhibits the expected body jiggle over bumps. However, its rear coil-spring suspension virtually eliminates the harsh ride previously endemic to full-size trucks. The result is a much smoother, more sophisticated ride that sets the Ram apart from all other traditional pickups.

We would steer potential owners away from the Ram's base V6, which is not only underpowered for the pickup's heft, but also offers no fuel economy advantage. The 4.7-liter V8 is adequate, but given that it gets worse gas mileage than the 5.7-liter V8, it seems like a no-brainer to step up to the big engine.

We wish the five-speed automatic came with another gear, though, which might help optimize both fuel economy and towing ability just as a six-speed automatic does in the Ford, GM and Toyota pickups. One of the several optional axle ratios may be in order if you need to tow something, but keep in mind that this will come at the cost of fuel economy. The Ram's light-effort steering also lacks any sort of feel.

Interior

The Ram 1500's interior is as good as it gets in the pickup segment. The range-topping Laramie, with its wood-grain trim and leather upholstery, makes for a very posh pickup, but even the lower trim levels have an attractive design, intuitively placed controls and well-textured materials. The front seats, while rather soft, strike an adequate balance between support and comfort. The crew cab's rear seat is very comfortable, offering loads of legroom and an agreeable seatback angle.

The Ram provides plenty of standard and optional storage spaces. The center console bin is quite large, while the crew cab features watertight storage compartments under the rear floor as well as shallow bins under the flip-up backseat. Unique to this pickup is the optional RamBox feature, which places a pair of lockable compartments over the rear fenders inside the truck bed. It's a neat feature, though we've found the durability of the compartments isn't as sturdy as one might expect.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Ram 1500.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

75k and going
mrish,06/03/2014
I'm just now hitting 75k miles on my 11' Outdoorsman. It has been completely reliable to date. No issues to report at all. the only thing I've done is change the oil, air filter, and plugs. Which by the way, has to be changed every 30k miles and there are 16 of them. I have a 30' travel trailer that weighs in at 6400# and it tows it great. I use it as my daily driver and it is absolutely comfortable. MPG is about 17, mostly interstate.
will drive it till one of us concedes
Theresa Davies,03/24/2016
Laramie 4dr Quad Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
bought my 2011 truck new after my beloved Tahoe got caught in a flood. I've driven the heck out of it. Its a truck it's suppose to be driven hard. I've got over 110k on it and I love it still. I love the looks I get when I pull up next to some business men and I hop out in my suit, heels and briefcase in hand. It puts their overpriced family vehicles to shame. Only issue I've had is tow mirrors make a whine when your driving over 40 and the wind hits them just right. Just recently I noticed a small oil drop on the driver side front. Oil checks out, nothing loose so ? Still driving my Ram and still love it! I've got 150K and no issues at all with it. I now have major issues with my Ram - it had intermitten starting issues. Battery fine, Fuel pump fine, everything checked out but it would not start at times. So I looked to see if anyone else was having issues. It turns out it is the fuel pump relay. A rather expensive repair. Because I don't give up that easily I researched further and found that IF your ram has the tire pressure monitoring system and you by chance get a flat and are unable to get the flat fixed right away or end up having a tire that does not support the use of the tire pressure monitoring system you will eventually run into electrical problems for other parts of your vehicle.
My experience is different than most
Tom K,10/10/2016
Laramie 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
I see a lot of very complimentary reviews on this truck. But I've owned mine for over 4 years now and my experience has been and continues to be that, although the truck performs very well and still turns heads--including mine--with it's looks, there's been a litany of reliability problems that have changed my word-of-mouth recommendation from glowing to questioning and now I just tell people that it's been unreliable. Let's review, shall we: rattle in the front door (can't find it, and I've taken that whole door apart), doormat light under the driver's side mirror flickers, vanity mirror lights not working (these last 2 are non-fused circuits, which means it's likely the general electronic module--read expensive), very annoying buzz in the stereo (try getting this troubleshot--impossible), dropped a lifter and the camshaft got chewed up (fixed under warranty, but still an internal engine failure at 58,000 miles), and now the power steering pump is going out. What's next? I had a Ford F150 for over ten years and didn't have a fraction of these problems. Plus the 16 spark plugs need to be replaced every 30,000 miles. ~$250 a service) I really thought I'd keep this truck for 10 years or more. But now I'm thinking "pay it off and sell it". Update: back seat rattles if no one is sitting in it and a new rattle in the center console. Second Update: TPS Sensors have become a recurring problem. Can't seem to go more than a couple months without and then another one drops out.
After 3 years, still a good truck, but a few flaws
gianofan,12/28/2014
After 3 years of owning this truck and putting 44k miles on it, I thought I share a few thoughts. First of all, this remains a very good truck overall and I'm still happy with it. That said, I'm eyeing a new 2014 or 15 Longhorn and considering a trade. This is primarily due to the new 8 gear transmission. The 2011 had only the 5 gear, and there is a huge performance difference between them (which I realized after a test drive of a 2014 model recently). There are also a number of other nice new features in the newer models....

Features & Specs

MPG
13 city / 18 hwy
Seats 6
5-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
310 hp @ 5650 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 6
5-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
310 hp @ 5650 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
Gas
215 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
13 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
390 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2011 Ram 1500 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall2 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat3 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover19.8%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Marginal
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Ram 1500

Used 2011 Ram 1500 Overview

The Used 2011 Ram 1500 is offered in the following submodels: 1500 Crew Cab, 1500 Regular Cab, 1500 Quad Cab. Available styles include SLT 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 4dr Quad Cab SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 4dr Quad Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A), ST 2dr Regular Cab SB (3.7L 6cyl 4A), Sport 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Quad Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 4dr Crew Cab SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 2dr Regular Cab SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 4dr Crew Cab SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 2dr Regular Cab LB (3.7L 6cyl 4A), ST 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 4dr Quad Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Laramie 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Laramie 4dr Quad Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), SLT 2dr Regular Cab LB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), ST 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Laramie 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Laramie Longhorn Edition 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A), and Laramie Longhorn Edition 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Ram 1500?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Ram 1500 trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Ram 1500 SLT is priced between $9,995 and$19,895 with odometer readings between 35519 and161957 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Ram 1500 Laramie is priced between $9,995 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 74570 and157145 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Ram 1500 ST is priced between $10,961 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 24065 and118872 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Ram 1500 Sport is priced between $15,995 and$19,850 with odometer readings between 83563 and99528 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Ram 1500s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Ram 1500 for sale near. There are currently 31 used and CPO 2011 1500s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,995 and mileage as low as 24065 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Ram 1500.

Can't find a used 2011 Ram 1500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ram 1500 for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $21,183.

Find a used Ram for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $7,706.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ram 1500 for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $9,988.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ram for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $16,773.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Ram 1500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ram lease specials
Check out Ram 1500 lease specials