Sunday, April 18

Ram 1500 Classic 2021: 50% of sales?

In 2019, Ram arrived with a new generation of its full-size pickup truck. More modern, spacious, technological and offering better capacities, the Ram 1500 had dazzled the public, even those who had previously only opted for rival pickups.

However, although 2019 was an absolute sales record for Ram, with 730,000 pickup trucks sold across North America, this success was not necessarily attributable only to the arrival of this new generation (DT).

Indeed, because the latter was only available on its arrival in certain luxury versions and that the regular cab models were also eliminated, several customers were going to set their sights on a previous generation model (DS), now dubbed Ram 1500 Classic. A transitional model that would allow the gradual arrival of the new, but which from then on was to experience unexpected success. And for good reason, a much more attractive price, which would directly compare to that of mid-size vans sold in particular at Ford, GM and Toyota. Having said that, you have to admit that the most recent generation of the pickup was expensive. Much more expensive than in the past, since we saw an average price increase of around $ 6,000 when it arrived in 2019.

Considering that the Ram 1500 was – and still remains today – the manufacturer’s most popular and lucrative model, one can understand the reasons that motivate the latter to continue producing a pickup truck whose design dates back to the mid-2000s.

Still relevant

Although initially suggested to be a transition model in 2019, the Ram 1500 Classic pickup quickly carved out a niche in the lineup, quickly reaching the top of the automaker’s sales.

In fact, in 2019 and 2020, FCA would sell more Classic models than new-generation Ram 1500s and Ram HDs. Information not being confirmed by the manufacturer itself, which obviously has no advantage in revealing these figures, but which was done by a dealer, very happy to be able to offer these three ranges in parallel. Moreover, also considering the arrival of the Jeep Gladiator, we can thus consider that FCA has the most complete range of pickup trucks on the market. And since sales of the Ram 1500 Classic are so high, don’t imagine that it will soon be phased out. In fact, the latter risks suffering the same fate as the Dodge Grand Caravan, which was sold for five years alongside the Chrysler Pacifica … which was technically to replace it.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Five versions

Naturally, the Ram 1500 Classic is not offered in the luxury trims, as was the case before the arrival of the DT model. So, forget about Laramie, Longhorn or Limited. We now only serve grinds offering a good equipment / price ratio, ranging from Tradesman to Warlock, via the Express version, the most coveted. Then, in the mid-range, the SLT and Black Edition models, which are also very successful.

True to form, FCA is not going dead hand with options, as numerous as they are expensive. As proof, our test truck came with nearly $ 15,000 in options, ranging from the V8 engine to the sliding rear window, including an electronic convenience package and optional paintwork.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Available as on arrival with a choice of single, extended or double cab, this pickup now comes with the eight-speed automatic transmission and a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, producing 305 horsepower. A reliable, durable and inexpensive engine to maintain. Now, although most units sold in Canada have all-wheel drive, this is an option on almost all versions except the Warlock.

Then, as the only other mechanical option, the must-have V8 HEMI, which commands an additional $ 1,600. In Quebec, this also implies an additional premium of nearly $ 200 per year for registration, considering the cylinder tax for any engine over 4.0 liters.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Always up to the task

It is obvious that the Ram 1500 Classic does not offer the level of refinement of the new generation model. For example, the noise level is higher there and, although it is not an irritant in any way, the degree of finish differs considerably. However, by looking at our subject from a different perspective, we quickly realize its advantages over its real competition. For example, faced with a Ranger, Colorado or Tacoma pickup truck of the same invoice, which certainly does not offer the same level of comfort, space and capacity, and for which the consumption compared to the Pentastar V6 is directly comparable. Then, even drawing a parallel with the base versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150, there is nothing wrong with the Ram Classic.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

In fact, we always appreciate its comfort, its stability, its overall ergonomics as well as the high efficiency of its powertrains. We have to admit that despite its age, this truck still looks great.

Rams have a maximum towing capacity of 10,680 lbs, as well as a load capacity in the box of 1,920 lbs. Capacities clearly greater than those of mid-size pickups, but today less than those of full-size pickups sold by Ford and GM. It must be said that Ram retains this now traditional coil-spring rear suspension, which, unlike that of the DT model (new generation), has not been revised.

On the road, we also notice that the deactivation of the cylinders is more strongly felt than on the most recent models, a sign that the engineers have worked to reduce these unsightly jolts caused by a technology which, in the end, does not give impression of being really efficient. And for good reason, consumption easily approaching 15 L / 100 km, in a context of quiet driving, without load and without trailer. Of course, we are talking about the V8 engine, powerful and very pleasant to the ear, which however results in a higher fuel consumption by about 20% compared to the V6.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

$ 15,000 discount!

As always, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price borders on indecency here. However, Ram is granting rebates of nearly $ 15,000 on both the 2020 and 2021 models compared to the MSRP. This therefore brings the price of our test vehicle back to its initial bill, without options, to $ 52,000 and dust. Not bad for such a powerful, efficient and well-equipped truck, considering in addition that its resale at a high price is almost guaranteed. Because know that the second-hand market is crazy about these models. Now, it would be wise not to exceed a 72-month financing term, the rate currently standing at 2.99%. And please, forget about leasing, the rate at 5.99% reminds us of certain practices at Toyota, which are hardly more recommendable.

In closing, a few things to know about the Ram 1500 Classic pickup truck. First, a certain vulnerability to corrosion forces us to recommend an anti-rust treatment, low resistance to the brakes and front suspension parts (to be replaced if necessary with higher quality parts not from Ram) , as well as any lighting of the headlights installed on the Tradesman, Express, SLT and Black Edition versions. To solve this last problem, the addition of a replacement LED bulb is strongly recommended.

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