2025 Ram 1500

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Can 3.0 liters – and six cylinders – take the place of 5.7 liters and eight cylinders? That’s the question asked by the just-updated 2025 Ram 1500 pick-up, which is no longer available with the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 – but is available with a new twin-turbocharged in-line six in two different configurations.

Is it the replacement for displacement?

And will the government inevitably do to it what has already been done to the Hemi V8?

What It Is

The Ram 1500 is a half-ton pick-up available in Quad or Crew cab bodystyles with more legroom in the back. Quad cabs come standard with a short (five feet, 7 inch) bed; Crew cabs come standard with a long (six feet, four inch) bed.

A regular cab (just two doors) Ram is no longer offered.

Prices start at $42,270 for the base Tradesman trim in Quad cab configuration with 2WD.

As before, the Quad cab Ram is also available in two other trims: HFE and Big Horn (which is sold as the Lone Star in Texas). These all come standard with the same 3.6 liter V6 (and “eTorque” mild-hybrid system) that was standard last year.

However, this year you can choose a new engine option – a 3.0 liter, twin-turbocharged in-line six that makes either 420 horsepower or 540 horsepower. This is the engine that Stellantis -parent company of Ram, Jeep and Dodge – will be using in various models that used to offer V8s.

The 420 hp version of the Straight Six Turbo (SST) is a $2,695 option for Rams that otherwise come standard with the carryover 3.6 liter V6; it’s standard in Laramie ($62,025) and Rebel ($66,190) trims – which are Crew cab only. The High Output (HO) 540 horsepower version of the new six is standard in Limited ($77,150) and Longhorn ($77,645) trims as well as the new top-of-the-line Tungsten ($89,150) trim, which is also limited to the Crew cab configuration and comes only with the short bed.

4WD is optional with the V6 and the 420 horsepower version of the new six; it is standard with the 540 horsepower version of the six. 

What’s New for 2025

The Ram loses the previously available Hemi V8 but gets a new inline six, as per above.

In addition, the ’25 Ram gets an updated version of the UConnect system found in other Stellantis models that includes a larger 14.5 inch primary touchscreen along with a secondary 10.25 inch touchscreen for the front seat passenger, available on-board power inverter, massaging seats, a 23 speaker Klipsch Reference audio system and dual wireless phone chargers (Tungsten trims) and available Level 2+ automated driving capability.

What’s Good

The new six makes more power than the previously available V8 – and doesn’t burn any more gas than the old V8.

Available two-piece (and three-way) tailgate greatly improves access to the bed.

This truck rides like a luxury sedan – even with a pallet of bricks in the bed.

What’s Not So Good

No more V8.

Limited cab configurations – just two – and one of them (Quad) limits your trim choices to just three.

An eight-foot bed isn’t available – which means this full-size truck has about the same length bed as a mid-sized truck with a six foot bed.

Under The Hood

Quad cab/base trim Rams still comes standard with the same 3.6 liter V6 that was standard last year. This engine is paired with a mild-hybrid system called eTorque that cycles the engine off during deceleration and coasting and when the truck isn’t moving, with a 48 volt electrical system to power accessories during these times and a belt-drive system to quickly re-start the engine when its power is needed.

The Ram’s previously optional 5.7 liter V8 has been retired – because it’s no longer “compliant” with the latest federal regulations. Or soon wouldn’t be, so it had to go. (This is also why the Challenger and Charger sedan were retired last year; without the V8 these cars were like a hamburger without the hamburger.)

The replacement for displacement is a new 3.0 liter Straight Six Turbo (SST) that’s about half the displacement – just 3.0 liters – but makes more power than the 5.7 Hemi: 420 horsepower vs. 395 before. It also makes substantially more torque: 469 ft.-lbs (at 3,500 RPM) vs. just 410 ft.-lbs. (at 3,950 RPM) for the departed Hemi V8.

There is also an optional High Output version of this engine that makes even more power: 540 horses and 521 ft.-lbs. of torque (also at 3,500 RPM). The new six has enough of both to allow you to pull just shy of 12,000 lbs. with this rig.

An eight speed automatic is standard, as before. The last two gears (7th and 8th) are overdrive gears (0.84 and 0.67 respectively) that reduce engine speed at highway speeds and thereby also decrease fuel consumption at highway speeds.

Speaking of which . . .

Gas mileage is about the same as it was before – 18 city, 25 highway for the ’25 with the 420 horse version of the new six vs. 18 city, 23 highway for last-year’s Ram with the Hemi (and the mild-hybrid system). So the new six isn’t here for gas mileage reasons. It’s here because the V8’s “emissions” of gasses – of carbon dioxide – were too much to keep it in production. The smaller six “emits” less CO2 when it is not being boosted (to make power) by the pair of turbos that effectively and temporarily increase its displacement while it’s under boost – by pushing more air into the smaller cylinders.

But when it’s off-boost (as when idling, for instance), it reverts to being about half the displacement of the Hemi and so “emits” less gas. Compliance achieved. For now.

You have your pick of three different rear axle ratios: 3.21, 3.55 or 3.92.

4WD-equipped models have a 2.64 4WD Low range. Three different 4WD systems are available: Part-Time, On-Demand and Full-Time. Part-Time and On-Demand allow 2WD (rear-drive) operation; Full-time is always on, automatically engaging 4WD high when rear-wheel-slippage is detected.

All have the same 2.64 4WD Low range gearing.

On The Road

The new inline six pulls harder than the old V8 – but it doesn’t sound like it. There’s a muted crescendo rather than the previous bellow. And when you push the button to start the engine,  you get the sound of less engine.

But the power is there – and you can feel it.

Lightly push down on the accelerator and you get immediate and forceful acceleration. The six feels twice its size and makes you forget its almost twice as small as the V8 you can no-longer-get.

It is also smooth – which is something you don’t feel.

More finely, you don’t feel the background rumble you used to feel when there was a V8 under the hood. The six doesn’t vibrate at all – which is objectively good even though there are truck people who just like the rumble (and vibration) of a V8, for the same basic reason that Harley people want to feel the vibrations (and hear the rumble) of a big V-twin that isn’t balanced – on purpose – to cancel them out.

It’s part of the experience.

On the other hand, the lack of rumble – and the vibration-free idle – endow the ’25 Ram with sophistication in accord with its pricing. This is, after all, a $50,000 truck on the low end (base Tradesman optioned with the 420 hp six and 4WD) and by the time you are kicking the tires of a Tungsten, you’re looking at not-far-from a $100,000 truck. People with that kind of money to spend expect the kind of quiet – and power – they’ll get in this truck.

But it’s not entirely quiet.

There is still the sound of that engine – more quiet but more sophisticated –  and that makes all the difference vs. a dead-silent electric truck, that has all the personality of a corpse. And that “corpse” would need a range extender – i.e., a gas powered generator mounted in the bed – to approach approximate the 650 miles of highway driving range the gas-engined Ram (with the 420 hp inline six) has on a full tank (26 gallons). Even in stop-and-go city driving, the gas-engined Ram can go nearly 500 miles on a full tank – and it only takes about five minutes to refill the tank.

It’s worth a mention here that the Ram’s designers are not embarrassed by the sounds made by the new six – as evidenced by the absence of sound augmentation, to try to make it sound like the V8 that you used-to-be-able to get. Toyota did that with the new Tundra – which has a system that makes it sound like it’s still got the 5.7 V8 it used to have rather than the twin-turbo V6 it has now. The italics to emphasize the fact that while there’s nothing wrong with a V6, this type of six doesn’t sound like an in-line six. And there’s an important difference in those sounds – especially for this kind of money. Note that Mercedes and BMW and Jaguar favor the inline six over the V6. There’s a reason why. Several, actually.

One of them you can hear. The other you can’t feel.

Like all of the other trucks in the half-ton class, the Ram rides like the big luxury cars of the past – just a lot higher off the ground.

And a lot wider through the hips.

It is so big – so thick – it can make the road you’re on seem narrow. To get some sense of this, the Ram is 81.2 inches wide – and it stands 77.5 inches tall. A mid-sized sedan like the current Honda Accord is 73.3 inches wide (or about a foot less thick) and so has six more inches to spare on either side of it as you drive it down the road. It’s more important than ever to pay attention to where you are in the road when you’re driving any new half-ton truck – because there’s less room for error on either side of these trucks.

That aside – and once you’ve climbed in – driving a truck like this is a luxurious experience, even though it is a truck. And that’s good-weird in the same way that finding out the girl you’re dating isn’t just good-looking; she’s also someone you like spending time with.

At The Curb

The fact that the Ram is no longer offered in regular cab/long (eight-foot) bed form reflects the fact that half-ton trucks are indeed the replacement for the two-ton luxury sedans you can’t get anymore.

Even the fullest-size of the new ones, models like the current Mercedes S-Class sedan – are smallish sedans in comparison with what full-size used to mean – in America – before the downsizing of Americans sedans (which happened because of pressure to comply with government-imposed “corporate” fuel economy standards that applied to passenger cars but not light trucks).

A ’25 Benz S-Class sedan is a mere 208.2 inches long – or some two feet shorter than a big American roller, such as an early ’70s Buick Electra 225 or Cadillac Sedan deVille. The Ram is 228.4 inches long and rides on a 140 inch wheelbase – vs. just 126 inches for the puny-seeming (in comparison) “full-size” Mercedes.

The Ram also seats six vs. five and has that bed in back as well as that hitch in back. Which makes it far more practical and useful than any big American sedan ever was.

But the take-home point is that the Ram and the others in the 1500 class have taken the place of the full-size sedans that Americans used to love to drive that were pushed off the market by the government. Ironically, that is exactly what pushed so many Americans into these big trucks – which use as much or more gas as the big sedans that were pushed off the road in the name of saving gas.

As mentioned, you can’t get a Ram with an eight foot bed, so you’ve got about the same length bed as you’d have if you bought a current mid-sized truck such as a Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier. These trucks are about the same size – the same length – as the half-tons of the not-so-distant past. But they aren’t as wide as the half-tons and neither are their beds. You can’t lay a 4×8 sheet of plywood flat in their beds. You can lay it flat in the Ram’s bed. You will have to lay the tailgate down – but you can still stack those sheets.

And the Ram is available with a trick three-way, two-piece tailgate. It can be laid down in one piece or you can open either side to the side. Or both sides to the side. The advantage here is being able to leave a tonneau cover on and still get stuff into and out of the bed.

A side-saddle Ram Box storage compartment built into the bedwalls  is also available.

The Rest

This new six is not just a replacement for displacement; it is an impressive (and appealing) engine in its own right.

But will the same regulatory pressure that effectively forced the retirement of the Hemi V8 also force the retirement of its replacement?

Almost certainly, yes.

The logic is inexorable. If a V8 produces too much C02 then they will inevitably say a six does, too. So this brilliant six may and likely will be around for just a few years before it, too, is retired.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key element of the Stellantis Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan. Stellantis is committed to cut its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030, all while achieving net carbon zero by 2038.”

And what will replace it? A turbocharged four?

Maybe.

But even that won’t be enough, eventually.

The Bottom Line

Beef is still what’s for dinner. But for how much longer is anyone’s guess.

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Large trucks with small beds are as useless as two lesbians on a beach or anywhere else for that matter. You ain’t getting any.

    The most useful class of vehicle, the large wagon, is no longer made. A large wagon could carry a ton of 4×8 sheets of plywood, could carry a washingmachine, and a host of other items that you needed. The stuff could stay locked up in the car instead of out in the open.

    Of course, the wagon has been replaced by the minivan or the SUV which can do the same thing, maybe better, however, the wagon largely handled like a car of the time.

    There is no way in hell I would spend good money on a Dodge RAM or any other truck for that matter. Why buy the cow when you can rent the damned thing.

  2. I will say that the tailgate is really cool. Nice review, Eric. You are always very fair and you are the only one left who still likes cars.

    Incidentally, the dual turbo six in my F-150 has actually been really good. Fast, good towing,etc. Still, I’m not planning on keeping it forever. My old boring Tahoe had 250k on the original motor/tranny. I kind of doubt many of these new ones will.

    Even Toyotas: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a60992514/toyota-tundra-lexus-lx-engine-recall/

    Ouch.

    • Thanks, Yeti!

      It’s a nice truck and Ram (Stellantis) did a good job of making the best of a bad situation. I do worry, though, that they don’t understand the same forces that forced the Hemi off the road will also force this new six off the road, too.

      • I’m sure they understand, but they are engaging in wishful thinking. It’s no big loss to them. All they have to do to stay afloat is issue more stock certificates, sell mobility as a “service”, and they can attach themselves to unlimited liquidity.

        The lowly engineer may have a modicum of concern, but the people at the top of any of these companies are mindless, twisted awful people who don’t give a crap about the people who will pay $50k for their crap.

  3. A farmer was hauling a sick cow to the vet, the cow was in the pickup bed, he was in a hurry and caused an accident. A woman was turning left off of the two-lane highway when he tried to pass her, he drove her into the ditch. He wanted to leave the scene, I said no and to stay at the accident scene. It was 50 years ago or more, drove to a gas station to call the highway patrol to report the accident and where it occurred.

    Everybody makes mistakes. Stellantis will learn a hard lesson in the long run. Driving into the ditch is no fun and you will need some help.

    A person will need a Tommy Lift to help you get into the bed of the new truck.

    All that has to be done is to build a half ton pickup truck about one foot shorter in height and with a full bed. Have a bench seat all the way across from door to door, have gauges, just so you know, and more cowbell, might as well. It just might be a plus, a winner, something that will sell.

    Why not have it all enclosed with a roof over the bed and build it Suburban style? The seats in the rear of the cab can fold down and you’ll have lots of room for stuff. Name it so it has an appeal in the name too.

    It will probably sell, there will be buyers.

    I’m not on the research and development team, there are those that can do that kind of work. Power Wagon sounds good, so it can be the enclosed rooftop version or something.

    What do I know?

    • I think what you are referring to is an SUV. I think that SUV’s are actually useful vehicles. I prefer the old large wagon because of their length.

  4. This is ridiculous. The 6cyl Challenger had WAY MORE than enough horsepower for even the tiniest dick. A “full size” truck without a 8 foot bed? So what requires 500 horsepower?

    Oh yah.

    Braggin rots. . .

  5. If only that six was a modernized Slant Six…I’d go for it!

    Speaking of which, Mopar has a history of making really good I-6 motors, from the original flathead that dates back to 1924 to the Slant Six (especially the Hyper Pak and the Super Six) to the AMC/Jeep 258/4.0L six, many of which soldiered on into the 1990s and 2000s.

    Will this Hurricane 6 be among them? Only time will tell.

  6. I’ve always been a fan of the in-line 6. The engine looks very interesting. But since it is like the processor in a cell phone, way too much trouble to remove and use in any other vehicle, I’ll pass.

    It also occurs to me that they aren’t actually cutting displacement, as with cylinder deactivation that 5.7 hemi was a 2.8 much of the time. So double stuffed 3.0 vs half running 5.7 is not a really cut and dried comparison.

  7. Even mighty Toyota is having problems with their turbo 6 (granted, in this case, a V-6).

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/fox-news-auto/toyota-issues-recall-100000-suvs-pickup-trucks

    There is NO replacement for displacement. My Tundra with the mighty 5.7 V-8 is still going strong and will be around long after I am gone. It might lack the power of these overstressed turbo plants, but it is never stressed, even when I want to hear the lovely V-8 rumble.

    Those turbo 4 cylinder plants in the Silveradoes are unreliable POS. Heard from my mechanic that he’s already seen several grenaded ones.

  8. Hi Eric, you nailed it (of course, you always do). This truck, and others like it, are replacements for the big luxury cars of the past (to me and many others). That is the reason I own two of them.
    Yes, they are big money, but once you own one (pay through the nose), you never get left behind if you trade up every 3-5 yrs. The typical owner though replaces their trucks every 10yrs (rot in the rust belt reasons) or so and they get sticker shock with our insane inflation. Which then helps me too because I buy 2 trucks every 4-5 yrs, low mileage, and the dealers drool over my not-old, low mileage unit, because the 10yr guys wants my truck bad. Easy for me to get a new one.
    I will be buying two of these over the next 1-2 years as my 20 and 21 warranty out.

    A few things:
    -the crew cab is not standard with the 6-4 bed. The 5-7 is std. (4th para.). I buy the 6-4 bed and love it.
    -the ram boxes are attractive as a semi-trunk, BUT they severely limit the inside bed width, so for me I can’t fit 3 dirtbikes in the back, and even two are very tight with the rambox so I don’t buy it.
    -Air ride suspension is a game changer for me. Optional on most trims, I think std on Limited and up. It allows me to lower the tail gate load height considerably. Love it.
    – the back seat room is unbelievable, like back seats of the old land yachts. In my units, the back seats even recline a little.
    -I do like the rumble and sound of the v8, and even Ram made a change from my 20 to my 21 to make it ‘rumble’ even more. cool. But now gone. We’ll see if it matters to me?
    -I’ve heard no dipstick too, but I have a different angle on this. If the sensor that says oil is low fails, then the damage is on them (in warranty). I likely will never open the hood.
    -The new engine specs are off the charts. Material specs like you were building a drag car engine. And yes, turbo pressures are off the charts compared to just 5+ years ago. Likely why the very high material specs.
    -as most will ask: But will it last 200K miles? IDK. highway, yes, beating it towing most of the time, doubtful. As with any new stuff with e-everything, it likely will age out before it wears out.
    -“The engine was developed at their technical center in Auburn Hills, Michigan, over the course of three years” It’s been built since November 2021 at their plant in Saltillo, Mexico, and has been in their Wagoneer models since 2022, with no known problems (so far).
    -“The foundation of the Hurricane twin-turbo is a meticulously crafted deep-skirt cast-aluminum block fortified with a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods. Plasma Transfer Wire Arc (PTWA) coating in the cylinder bores minimizes friction, enhances wear resistance, and optimizes fuel efficiency.” Ford and others have been doing this cylinder coating for years (vs old school steel sleeves). You will not be rebuilding and/or boring this engine. Will anyone take it apart after it wears out to re-coat the bores, new pistons, etc…. No way. Not in todays world.

  9. Bought my daughter a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 crew cab for $8000 (which she’s paying me back for). She’s been driving it for a couple of years now since she got her license. It’s got the 318 engine, it has a little V8 rumble.

    I’d buy 12 of these old used trucks before I ever bought a $100,000 6 cylinder, dual touchscreen, self driving, engine shutting off, transformer tailgate, push button start, not for the working man POS.

    • Depends on your point of view Philo. While I agree all modern cars are crazy e-crap everything, you couldn’t pay me to drive a ’98 truck from any Manuf. They rode like trucks, and my back has paid the price. No more.
      Eric said it best, “these are big luxury cars of he past” and that’s what I want(ed).

  10. Ford has been pushing the ecoboost HARD for 15 years to satisfy the government. They realized that despite relentless propaganda 25% of their customers will only buy a v8, so they wisely still offer one. Ram has it even worse after basing their entire brand on the v8 for 2 decades. 1/3 of their customers will walk over no v8 option, myself included.

    • I’ve been debating those numbers myself. I’ve theorized the 1/3 number won’t buy it either. We’ll see.
      Personally I am not one of them. I will buy the new engine, just haven’t decided on SO or HO yet, need to drive them, but about a year +/- away. I think the SO will be fine for what I need/do.
      After playing with the numbers, the HO is about $8K more to get (because of trim level BS), I doubt it’s worth it, to me. But, if the HO gets $6K of that back at trade, then maybe……….

      • I wouldn’t have a problem with the 6 if they did it ford style and offered the v8. Not to be cliche but voluntarily castrating yourself to please the government pisses me off and I refuse to buy a downsized engine partly out of principal. The Hemi replacement should have always been some sort of modern 4.0TT v8 that would make similar hp and mpg, the 6 is mostly an image thing.

  11. Some car video bloggers have looked over the new 6 cylinder engine and stated that this engine doesn’t have an oil dipstick but only an oil level monitoring system. If that is correct, that definitely makes me want to stay far away from it. Eric, have you seen that with your test drive and review?

  12. ‘the government … pushed so many Americans into these big trucks – which use as much or more gas as the big sedans that were pushed off the road in the name of saving gas.’ — eric

    With breathtaking audacity, fedgov ‘crats began classifying vehicles as either cars or trucks, including some such as SUVs which can qualify as trucks by meeting several arbitrary criteria.

    Then these same ‘crats wrote the rules such that cars are incentivized to get ever smaller, while trucks actually get a reduction of their CAFE mileage targets as they pork out into gigantic land whales. Like Crazy Eddie, the ‘crats are insaaaaaaaaaane!

    Sixty years ago, we’d be looking at transplanting the Hurricane Six into all kinds of vehicles, from hot rods to dune buggies. After all, 540 HP from 183 cubic inches is 3 horsepower per inch — triple what was available back then. That’s an astounding engineering achievement.

    Sadly, a tightly-integrated onboard web of proprietary black box controllers makes it essentially impossible for this inherently-balanced straight six — probably the ideal engine layout — to be transplanted. And I don’t want it in no honking great fat-ass truck with an 8-8-8-8-8-8-speed automatic. That ain’t the way to have fun.

    Supposedly the Hurricane Six will be deployed in the 2025 Dodge Charger SIXPACK, in either a 2-door or 4-door configuration. MADD ain’t gonna like the implicit reference to beer packaging. Stellantis probably thinks it’s ‘edgy.’ Just keep Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light away from it, and things may turn out okay.

  13. Re: small displacement very high output turbo engines….

    This guy says….because these engines are running at such a high stress level.. just one little error…. like using the wrong oil….. will destroy the engine….they are very fragile….

    Compared to some older engines that were so under stressed and over engineered…they would run almost forever….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yx1-50iqnA

  14. GM tried a turbo four in their half ton pickups. During the last Christmas before the pandemic in 2019, those would go out the door of the big Chevy dealer here in Austin on $500/month 80 month loan deals, sold to anyone who wanted a manhood statement … until the engines went kaput mated to that 10 cylinder transmission

    I don’t know how many turbo four Silverados get sold these days.

    BTW, @Eric – Capo Gecko of the insurance mafia now owns the big Chevy dealer through his auto dealer group. That’s something else worth looking into.

    • GM tried a turbo four in their half ton pickups…another over stressed engine waiting to blowup….

      These ice engines will be replaced by EV’s soon…so the ice engines only have to last a few miles now….

      • Quite a few did blow up. Go back to 2019, and the Austin airport had plenty on the rental car lots for make pretend cowboys and cowgirls arriving for one of the big drinking -er- “culture” events in town.

        The “culture” in Austin is getting wasted. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

      • GM’s TurboMax 2.7L-4cyT engine is still avail. and is std. on lower trim levels.
        The funny part is that no where does it say 4cyl-T. They’re obviously trying to hide what it really is.

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