2018 Ram 1500 Diesel

2018 Ram 1500
2018 Ram 1500

Pros

  • Smooth-riding suspension provides plenty of comfort
  • Quiet and attractive cabin
  • Smooth and efficient eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rebel 1500 off-road package offers extra capability

Cons

  • Missing some of the latest driver assist technologies
  • Diesel engine's upfront cost is significant
  • Maximum tow rating falls shy of those of class leaders

Which 1500 does Edmunds recommend?

Thanks to buyer demand, trucks can be everything from economical to luxurious. Getting one that best suits your wants and needs is paramount, and the 2018 Ram 1500 gives you a broad range of options. We'd have to go with the Rebel, thanks to its off-road performance and street comfort. Just make sure to throw in the Protection and Luxury packages

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

Though the 2018 Ram 1500 is one of the oldest designs on sale in the segment, it's easy to make the case that the Ram is still our favorite light-duty pickup. One of the primary reasons is the Ram's smooth ride, which is best in class. It comes about from the Ram's class-exclusive coil-spring rear suspension and available self-leveling air suspension.

But that's not all we like. Another Ram strength is its excellent engine lineup. Although the Ram comes in below the class-leading towing numbers by a few hundred pounds, it's still abundantly capable. Its standard engine is a strong but efficient V6, and there's also an optional V8 with plenty of towing power and a turbocharged diesel V6 that returns excellent fuel economy in the class.

Once you've picked an engine, several variants are available for the Ram, from the bare-bones Tradesman to the top-of-the-line Limited and even the off-road-ready Rebel. The Ram also boasts a modern interior, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and lots of opportunity for even more customization.

Of course, competing trucks aren't exactly slouches. But even as the old guy of the group, the Ram is still standing strong.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Ram 1500 (including the Ram 1500 Diesel) as one of Edmunds' Best Trucks for this year.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup available in multiple body styles and bed lengths and with three engine options. The regular cab (two doors) can seat three and is available with either a standard bed (6 feet 4 inches) or an extended bed (8 feet). The Quad Cab (four doors) can seat six and comes only with the standard bed. The crew cab (also four doors, but bigger rear doors) increases rear-seat legroom and is available with either a short bed (5 feet 7 inches) or the standard bed.

There are 11 standard trim levels: Tradesman, HFE EcoDiesel, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star, Sport, Night,, Lone Star Silver, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn and Limited. A variety of special-edition models exist, one of which is the Harvest.

Most trims come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp, 269 lb-ft), while Rebel, Laramie Longhorn and Limited variants come standard with a 5.7-liter V8 (395 hp, 410 lb-ft). For fans of diesel torque, a 3.0-liter diesel V6 (240 hp, 420 lb-ft) will also be available on all but Express, Night and Rebel trims (delayed availability). Of course, the V8 is optional on all Ram 1500s, save for the HFE trim. And all three engines are paired with an eight-speed transmission and can be had in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

The Tradesman is the workhorse of the lineup, with minimal luxury accoutrements and amenities. Just about all of its exterior parts that aren't metal are black, but it does come with a Class IV hitch receiver, a spray-in bedliner and cruise control. Like the Tradesman, the Express is also a worker's truck, but it deletes the hitch and bedliner (they are offered as options) and adds body-colored exterior trim, carpeting and 20-inch wheels. Both have the most flexibility with bed and cab configurations and come standard with the V6.

The HFE EcoDiesel is a work truck that's outfitted with the 3.0-liter diesel engine and is intended to be the fuel economy standout of the lineup. It's available only in a Quad Cab configuration and comes with few features and fewer options.

But trucks just aren't about working, so the Big Horn (called Lone Star in Texas) adds more features such as a 110-volt power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system dubbed Uconnect Access. Upgraded cloth seating with a power-adjustable driver's seat and leather-wrapped steering wheel round things out.

Sport and Night models are similar and bring a street-truck flair to the lineup with 20-inch wheels, bucket seats, projector headlights, LED interior lighting and adjustable pedals. While Sport models have body-colored exterior pieces, Night models are in black, with black wheels to match. Regular-cab, rear-wheel-drive Sport models are referred to as the R/T and come with 22-inch wheels, a sport hood and a blacked-out grille with R/T badging.

New-for-2018 Harvest trims are available in two unique colors and have additional ground clearance, all-terrain tires, black tubular side steps, skid plates and tow hooks, and a unique chrome grille as well as chrome bumpers and exterior trim.

The Laramie is similar to the Big Horn but also has auto-dimming mirrors, wood trim, heated and ventilated leather front seats with driver-seat memory settings, and a 10-speaker audio system.

The Laramie Longhorn (crew-cab V8 only) is the perfect blend of luxury and work truck. Added features include keyless entry and ignition, remote start, front and rear parking sensors, wood interior trim, upgraded leather upholstery and a navigation system.

At the top of the range, the Limited is only available with the V8 and adds monotone paint schemes, side-step bars, automatic windshield wipers, automatic high beams, a self-leveling air suspension and even fancier stitched leather upholstery.

The Ram is also available in an off-road-oriented variant called the Rebel. On the outside, you'll find features similar to those on the Sport R/T, but the Rebel has 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, black fender flares, Bilstein shock absorbers, tow hooks, LED foglights and keyless entry. The Rebel's interior is similar to that of the Sport, though with a few more features.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our drive of the Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab (turbo 3.0L V6 diesel | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2014, the current Ram 1500 has received some revisions, primarily around a new infotainment system and updates to trims and packages. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Ram 1500.

Driving

4.5
The diesel's strong suit is torque (it has only 240 hp), so the strength of this powertrain shines brightest when it's towing or hauling. Combine that with the excellent steering and handling of the Ram 1500 chassis, and you've got a winner.

Acceleration

3.5
The Ram 1500 diesel won't win many drag races. It takes 9 seconds to get to 60 mph. But that's not the point. Its immense torque (420 lb-ft) gives it a huge advantage when towing, hauling or climbing grades.

Braking

4
Our test truck stopped from 60 mph in 135 feet, similar to other trucks with all-season tires. The pedal feels reassuring, but it isn't overly abrupt — a good trait when towing or hauling.

Steering

5
The steering has a nice, direct feel and linearity. There's a crisp and predictable response with good feedback, even with a heavy load. The Ram 1500 goes arrow-straight down the highway, too. The top of the pickup class.

Handling

5
Body roll is reined in nicely. Good cornering stability, even when the trailer is wagging in the wind. Credit the coil-spring rear suspension's lateral link for that.

Drivability

5
Shifting is nearly imperceptible with the eight-speed automatic. The rpm jumps are small, and the diesel has more than enough torque to bridge the gaps. About as good as it gets for trucks.

Off-road

The EcoDiesel's smooth torque delivery and long range are pluses when you want to get away from it all. Its standard coil-spring suspension provides good articulation, so the wheels can always get power through its locking differentials.

Comfort

4.5
Optional air springs take the edge off the ride when the truck's unladen, but even the standard coil springs beat the competition. The cabin is admirably quiet compared to other pickups, and the rear half of the crew cab is every bit as pleasant as the front.

Seat comfort

4.5
The seats are supportive and well-shaped; we never tired of them, even after extended periods. That statement applies equally to the crew cab's rear seats.

Ride comfort

5
The standard rear coil springs (versus the typical leaf) on the Ram 1500 allow for the substitution of air springs all around. Our truck had this groundbreaking option, which makes for a plush ride over broken ground.

Noise & vibration

3.5
Road and wind noise levels are admirably restrained. The diesel does emit a bit of signature noise when accelerating, but it quiets down when cruising at steady speeds.

Climate control

The Ram 1500 is available with dual-zone automatic climate control. And it is easy to use, with the temperature information requiring just a glance at the screen.

Interior

4.5
Excellent ergonomics and front cabin airiness. The capable Uconnect infotainment system practically explains itself. The crew cab provides excellent rear seat space, more than enough for full-grown adults to settle in for long trips.

Ease of use

5
The air-conditioning and touchscreen radio controls are as good as any, and the driving position is comfy. The steering wheel buttons are small, but they call up an amazing array of data.

Getting in/getting out

4
The front seat access is good, partially thanks to handy grab handles on the front roof pillars. The wide-opening rear doors offer similar handles. The only issue is the 4x4 cab height, but all competing trucks share this basic trait.

Roominess

4
The front cabin is open, and the styling makes the dash feel airy, not monolithic. The crew cab's rear seat offers no-compromise full-size accommodations. Everyone onboard is a winner.

Visibility

4
Visibility out the front and to the sides is quite good. The large mirrors help. The crew cab's longer rear windows aid blind-spot visibility. The optional backup camera on our truck is well worth the cost.

Quality

5
Exterior gaps and paint quality are good. Inside, solid materials and design choices give off a premium vibe. The quietness suggests there's no scrimping in unseen places.

Utility

4.5
The EcoDiesel's approximate 9,000-pound tow rating isn't tops but is still quite stout. And it burns far less fuel, towing or not. The range is unmatched. In the cabin, there are generously sized storage pockets in all four doors. The rear seat bottoms fold up to reveal a flat surface.

Technology

Ram's standard audio system doesn't support much in terms of smartphone connectivity, but opt for the 8.4-inch system and you get complete integration with Android or Apple smartphones.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Ram 1500.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

big blue
bobby snow, 09/12/2018
What a fabulous truck exceeded all my expectations Big Blue as she is named after the bright NEW HOLLAND BLUE paint Took her on a 3000 mile trip 4 days after purchase and she offered up 33.5 miles per gallon even through the mountains.
Write a consumer review of your vehicle for a chance to WIN $100!

Features & Specs

MSRP
$37,895
MPG
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 6
8-speed shiftable automatic
Diesel
240 hp @ 3600 rpm
See all 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite 1500 safety features:

Electronic Stability Control
Helps maintain control of the truck in low-traction conditions. Uses the brakes to mitigate wheel slip and trailer sway.
Side Curtain Airbags
Helps mitigate side-impact injury to the driver and passengers by deploying from the area above the windows.
ParkView and ParkSense
Warns the driver through visual and audible cues when the truck is getting close enough to potentially impact an object.

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More about the 2018 Ram 1500

While the 2018 Ram 1500 has a unique rear suspension design that sets it apart from the competition, it fundamentally follows a familiar full-size truck recipe: Offer a plethora of body styles, engine options, bed lengths and features. From fleet use to near-luxury spec cruisers, the Ram 1500 can be configured the way you need it.

Many of the Ram 1500 variants comes with a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp, 269 lb-ft) as standard equipment, although a 3.0-liter turbodiesel (240 hp, 420 lb-ft) and a 5.7-liter V8 (395 hp, 410 lb-ft) are also available.

All Ram 1500s come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and are available in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Like other trucks in the segment, you can order your truck with different gear ratios, and some models offer locking differentials.

The Tradesman and Express represent your traditional worker's truck, while the Lone Star and Big Horn variants add a few more features. The Sport model features full body-colored front and rear fascias, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable pedals, heated bucket seats and steering wheel, and a larger 8.4-inch Uconnect system. The Night model follows suit, except it comes with gloss black 20-inch wheels and a black honeycomb grille.

Harvest models come in colors matching industrial farm machines from Case IH and New Holland. An additional inch of ride hight, all-terrain tires, skid plates and tow hooks increase usability over rough terrain.

Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models are luxury-oriented trucks, with the Longhorn offering the 5.7-liter V8, a spray-in bedliner, a 32-gallon fuel tank (vs 26), body-colored fascias, a chrome Ram logo on the tailgate, running boards, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, full-size floor console, and heated and ventilated 10-way power-adjustable bucket seats wrapped in leather. At the top, the Limited is equipped like the Laramie Longhorn, but it adds an active air suspension and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with gray inserts.

The Ram 1500 Rebel is an off-road-oriented truck that comes standard with a shorter final drive, locking rear differential and off-road Bilstein shocks. Front and rear bumpers are powder-coated in black, and black fender flares set off 17-inch aluminum wheels shod with all-terrain tires.

No matter which variant you choose, make sure to visit Edmunds to ensure you build the right 2018 Ram 1500 for your needs.

2018 Ram 1500 Diesel Overview

The 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel is offered in the following styles: , and HFE 4dr Quad Cab SB (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A).

What do people think of the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 1500 Diesel 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 1500 Diesel.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 1500 Diesel featuring deep dives into trim levels including HFE, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new 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 2018 Ram 1500 Diesels are available in my area?

2018 Ram 1500 Diesel Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Ram 1500 1500 Diesel you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Ram 1500 for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $9,696.

Find a new Ram for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,074.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel and all available trim types: HFE. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Ram 1500 Diesel include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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