Even Classic-ier: Old-gen Ram 1500 Soldiers On for 2021

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
even classic ier old gen ram 1500 soldiers on for 2021

Ram bucked the trend of offering a short-term extension of a previous-generation product, keeping its older-model 1500 pickup in production for longer than the typical year, let’s say.

Having the old model stick around after the new-for-2019 1500’s appearance paid dividends, with Ram muscling past Chevrolet’s Silverado in sales last year. Without a midsize pickup with which to tempt lower-priced buyers, the brand felt that an aging full-sizer with a pared-down price tag was the next best thing for boosted volume.

For 2021, that recipe hasn’t changed.

According to dealer order guides seen by CarsDirect, the Ram 1500 Classic will stage a return for the coming model year — its third year playing second-fiddle to its vastly updated new-generation sibling.

Debuting at the 2008 International Auto Show in Detroit, the fourth-gen Ram 1500/Classic has now entered its second recession. Rolling out of Fiat Chrysler’s Warren, Michigan truck plant, a facility the automaker infused with $1.5 billion in new funding back in early 2019, the 1500 Classic will soon gain company in the form of the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

The ’21 Classic doesn’t rock the boat, but base MSRP does grow a little. For the coming year, entry-level Tradesman 4×2 regular cabs carry an after-destination sticker of $30,145 — a hike of $250 over 2020. That’s still $3,800 cheaper than the barest-bones 2021 1500. Both field a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission.

Mid-grade Classics wear Express badging, while the Warlock picks up where the Rebel left off. Can’t have two generations wearing the same name concurrently.

As Ram doesn’t seem poised to offer a midsize pickup anytime soon (it’s on their radar, and CEO Mike Manley would like to have one), the Classic’s lifespan seems open-ended. That said, incentives on the newer, better-equipped 1500 and increased competition in the full-size field, coupled with the Classic’s advanced age (this is its 13th year), means it might have to work harder to gain buyers in ’21.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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2 of 28 comments
  • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jul 28, 2020

    From what I'm seeing there isn't that big of a difference in base pricing if you compare like trucks. What it is showing for my area right now for a Classic Quad Cab has a sticker price of $32,105 and after destination and listed discounts the net price $30,050 and a lease payment of $364. Meanwhile the new truck in Quad Cab form starts at $32,145 and the net price with fewer discounts is $31,840 and a lease payment of $362. They don't note the up front costs of either lease.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jul 30, 2020

    My problem with the latest gen trucks wasn't the interior, it was passable, but the buckets of ugly poured onto the outsides of them, holy shit, it's bad. A friend has a new Silverado. It drives fine, and the interior doesn't annoy me for the most part, but it's so damn ugly.

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