2025 Ram 1500 Review – No Hemi, No Cry

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Sometimes, less is more.

Or, in this case, fewer is more. That’s because the available cylinder count in the 2025 Ram 1500 is reduced by two, and as any grammar stickler will tell you, it’s “fewer” when it comes to things you count. Such as, you know, the number of cylinders in an engine.

The “fewer” here refers to the reduced cylinder count in the 2025 Ram 1500. No more V8 Hemi engines. Instead, the 3.6-liter V6 soldiers on in some trims while the stars of the show are the new kids on the block – two Hurricane straight sixes.

Both have more power than the outgoing Hemi. So as much as we might miss the V8 and its roar – as well as a tiny bit of towing capacity – the tradeoff is strong acceleration. I can live with that, and you probably can, too.

Unlike Florida residents, you can choose your Hurricane – you can go with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo, standard-output inline-six or a 3.0-liter twin-turbo, high-output inline-six. Both mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The change in engines is the biggest story, though the truck is also refreshed inside and out. The biggest non-engine news is the addition of the Tungsten luxury trim. All told there are now seven trims, with the top-trim Tungsten fetching close to six figures. Ram folks told me the Bighorn with a crew cab and four-wheel drive is expected to remain the volume trim.

(Full disclosure: Ram flew me to Austin, Texas and fed and housed me for two nights. The company offered a hat, which I did not take, and a notebook, which I did.)

We had to the chance to drive the trucks on-road and off-road and to tow an Airstream trailer. I didn’t have time to tow, but I took a Rebel trim around the off-road course. My morning was spent piloting a Tungsten with the afternoon spent behind the wheel of a Rebel.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve driven a Ram, but I did notice the additional power on tap, especially in the Tungsten with the H.O. There’s grunt a plenty – you can easily spin the rears from a stop if the bed is unladen. I had no issue getting around a pokey (and stinky) semi-truck on a rural two-lane outside of Austin.

The standard output engine is unsurprisingly not as potent, but that’s fine – there’s still enough thrust to handle most situations.

This truck handles gentle corners just fine, but there’s enough body roll here, as well as some in-lane wander, to remind you that you’re driving a truck. This was especially true with the all-terrain-rubber shod Rebel. On the flip side, both trucks rode smoothly on the mostly unbroken Texas pavement, with the Tungsten being quite pleasant yet never soft.

Off road, the Rebel got around just fine. The course was rather challenging, and minus one scraped skid plate, little of note or concern happened. A front-facing camera helps you navigate obstacles, and a speed-limiting feature helps you go downhill at just the right amount of crawl.

There are two off-road modes for the available adjustable air suspension. The basic suspension setup is a double-wishbone in the front and a five-link solid rear axle out back.

The Tungsten gets specialized treatment. That includes a power tailgate, unique RAM badge, and a different LED taillight design. Inside, it gets an Indigo and Sea Salt color scheme, metal accents with diamond knurling, and suede wrapping for the headliner, A-pillar, and B-pillar, and visors. The heated and cooled front seats are skinned with Natura Plus leather and offer a massage feature and lumbar support. Tungstens also get unique gauges, unique interior badging including a VIN plate, a crystal cap for the shifter, Klipsch Reference Premiere audio with 23 speakers, dual wireless chargers, and metal pedals.

It's a good-looking cabin with materials that feel price appropriate, though I must warn you – the Klipsch audio will distort songs on satellite radio if you crank it up too high. I am told this has to do with the size of the audio files used by SiriusXM – indeed, the audio sounded much better using Spotify.

All the trims have unique to them interior accents/colors. The trim walk goes like this: Tradesman, Big Horn (Lone Star in Texas), Laramie, Rebel, Limited Longhorn, Limited, and Tungsten.

The 3.6-liter with a mild hybrid assist remains available in the Tradesman and Big Horn/Lone Star, while the standard output is available in the Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Laramie, and Rebel.

Should you want more power, and the maximum towing capacity of 11,580 pounds, the high output is available in the Longhorn, Limited, and Tungsten.

There are two available infotainment screens, 12- and 14.5-inches, with the latter offering reconfigurable split-screen setups. The truck uses the updated – and Ram says, much faster – Uconnect 5 infotainment system.

Other key pieces of available tech include a digital camera rearview mirror with a towing mode, a digital key, on-board power inverter, and head-up display.

There are also two different semi-autonomous driving features available. One is a “hands-free” mode that allows drivers to go mostly hands-free – you still need to maintain a light touch on the wheel. This one is called active-driving assist. The second is called Hands-Free Driving Assist, and like Ford’s BlueCruise and General Motor’s Super Cruise, it works on certain roads and provides Level 2 autonomous driving on those roads if the driver chooses.

Other tech and advanced-driver assist features include automatic emergency braking +, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, full-speed forward collision-warning plus, parallel and perpendicular park assist, active lane management, 360-degree camera, drowsiness detection, traffic-sign recognition, trailer reverse-steering control, adaptive cornering fog lamps, a cargo bed lamp, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Available comfort/convenience features include a dual-pane power sunroof, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and starting, RamBox, bed extender, spray-in bedliner, skid plates, tow hooks, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, tow-specific navigation, rear electronic locking axle, and more.

You can get a quad cab with a 6’4” box, a crew cab with a 5’7” box, or a crew cab with a 6’4” box.

Base pricing is as follows: $40,275 for the Tradesman, $44,935 for the Big Horn/Lone Star, $64,195 for the Rebel, $60,030 for the Laramie, $75,605 for the Limited Longhorn, $75,155 for the Limited, and $87,155 for the Tungsten. Destination is $1,995.

The pre-production Tungsten I tested came in as-tested at $90,535 while the Rebel I drove on the off-road was $81,835 as-tested.

Fuel economy is still officially TBA – we saw about 15.5 mpg in both trucks.

The refreshed Ram improves on what is already the best interior in the class, adds a high-falutin’ fancy-pants trim, and drops two cylinders while gaining power. The 1500 continues to offer a strong package.

Less – or fewer – sometimes really is more.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com, Ram/Stellantis]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 98 comments
  • 3-On-The-Tree 3-On-The-Tree on Feb 25, 2024

    Lou BC

    I drive my V8 2021 Tundra to work everyday 30 Miles round trip 16-18 mpg highway In addition to the 2009 C6 Corvette LS3 6.2L that gets 32mpg highway . Honestly I’m not worried about mpg.

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Feb 26, 2024


      I pay attention to fuel range. MPG or litres per 100 km is something one needs to know.

      I haven't been as concerned about range with my ZR2 diesel because fuel consumption is pleasantly low. Last summer I did an extended 4 day overlander trip with friends. My fuel consumption was 1/2 of a V6 Jeep and around 25 - 30% better than a turbo 4 banger Jeep. I could have done the whole 600 km trip on one tank.

      My dual sport bike on the other hand is good for 240 km under ideal conditions. 200 km under hard use. I've ran dry several times within range of a fuel station.

      I pushed my luck once with my old 2010 F150 (5.4) towing a Jeep. My count down gauge ticked to zero as I pulled up to the pumps. My 136 litre tank took 136 litres to fill.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Feb 27, 2024

    No pictures at all of the Hurricane six?!? Did they not let journalists open the hood?

  • FreedMike Very nice.
  • Rna65689660 I am beginning to believe that manufacturers purposely make the top of doors hard so that we stop resting our arms on them. Getting T-boned with your arm there would result in 2 elbows on the same side of your body.
  • 1995 SC I'll hold out for the VW Tassos
  • Gsc65794753 Volvo parts were rediculously expensive. That's what I remember.
  • Creekrat85 The right to work on your own stuff shall not be abridged. It's common sense. It's unAmerican to be authoritarian. A corporate authoritarian? Isn't that fascism? If the government colludes with a corporate authoritarian to restrict owner's manuals or not to be allowed to show how to make simple repairs or you cannot buy the parts yourself? That's what is wrong. It's benign neglect of the government and it is at the heart of Boeing and their problems, so they let Elon do more of the same over at Tesla ?... The analogy is poor. None of us passengers are going for a wing walk to repair something on a 737 Max. Using John Deere and the farm equipment for the right to work on your own stuff is the better analogy .... Just say no to the corporate authoritarian fascists, wherever they roam...