The Competitive Trim Levels of the 2016 Ram 1500

January 13th, 2016 by

Ram trucks have been a popular choice by the working man for decades, and the 2016 Ram 1500 line-up is sure to make it an even more popular choice. With a slew of upgraded trim levels, the Ram 1500 lineup has never been more competitive. Whether you are looking for a truck that gets best-in-class fuel economy, or a truck that can perform in hazardous conditions on and off the road, Ram has you covered.

Aside from the basic trim levels offered, they even have a few special packages you can tack on if you want to make your Ram even more versatile and unique.


The Ram 1500 truck lineup was designed to work and look good doing it, and the Tradesman is a testament to that concept. The Tradesman comes standard with a single cab , but can be upgraded to one of the various other cab types available. Depending on the cab chosen, the Tradesman can seat anywhere between 3 and 6 people comfortably, and the bed length fluctuates as well. The bed length is sitting at just over 8 feet with the single cab, and just under 6 feet with the crew cab option.

Thanks to engineering ingenuity, the Tradesman not only has a decent size truck bed no matter what type of cab is chosen, but it also has the most legroom in the the entire 1500 lineup when equipped with the crew cab. Providing a work truck that is both comfortable and utility oriented.

Available RamBox Cargo Management System

But, if you don’t feel like you have enough room on the job site, the RamBox Cargo Management system can be added on. This is a system that offers a secure, well-lit storage space for everything you need room for that you don’t want in the bed. The RamBox adds storage units on top of each side of the bed, and the storage units are drainable and can be locked up nice and tight. The bed also gains a few extra feet; the tailgate can be lowered down, and an extra guard can be attached in order to keep everything in the extended bed from falling out. This bed extender also comes with a divider, keeping things in the bed from colliding with one another.

The Tradesman is the Ram that provides plenty of cargo room for whatever you need to carry around on the job site.

Performance and Engines

The base Tradesman trim comes standard with a capable and efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, and has two other engine options that continue up throughout the trims. The Pentastar is one of the most advanced V6 engines out there, and is available with Start-Stop technology to help with fuel economy. Thanks to the Start-Stop technology, the V6 engine is able have a balanced combination of both performance and fuel-efficiency. It’s able to put out 305 horsepower, and get up to 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The V6 is able to live up to the Ram 1500’s legendary towing capacity, and works well with the 4×4 capability provided.

The 5.7 Hemi V8 engine is a legendary engine in the Ram 1500 truck lineup, and it’s performing better than ever. The impressive combination of power and fuel saver technology lets the V8 engine balance performance and fuel efficiency like never before, and is the most powerful engine available for the Ram 1500. It’s able to put out 395 horsepower and 410 pound feet of torque, providing you with enough towing power to pull a small shack off it’s foundation.

The EcoDiesel engine can be paired with the Tradesman as well, and it provides even more torque than the Hemi. It also gets reduced CO2 emissions, and allows the Ram 1500 to get the best fuel economy of any full-size pickup truck. The EcoDiesel engine can get up to 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway while delivering 290 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This little engine is able to provide almost just as much towing capacity as the Hemi engine, which is impressive considering it gets even better fuel economy.

The Tradesman starts at a base MSRP of $26,145, and goes up from there depending on the features added. It’s well worth the price though, and this Tradesman has everything you need for working on the job site or out of your backyard.


The Ram 1500 Express trim comes in at a starting MSRP of $27,525, and is a more aesthetically pleasing version of the Tradesman. It has upgraded 17” aluminum wheels, and a redesigned hood. It also has body-color bumpers and grille, fog-lights, carpeted floors, and floor mats. The Express also loses the receiver hitch and bed-liner that are both standard on the Tradesman, but remains relatively unchanged. The same types of engine options are offered, along with similar features.

Active Air Grille Shutters

The one key performance difference for the Express is the introduction of the Active Air Grille Shutters, which is an important player in Ram’s new aerodynamic technology. The shutters open to cool the engine when necessary, and then shut when highway speeds are reached. This helps reduce drag and improves the fuel-efficiency of the vehicle while driving in city conditions.

Other than that, the Express and Tradesman are relatively similar. For just a $1,000 price bump, you are able to get a truck that provides the same utility as the Tradesman, but does it with a much more attention-grabbing exterior.

Big Horn

The Big Horn is being marketed as the king of the road and royalty at the ranch truck from Ram, and it’s easy to see why. The Big Horn gets the job done inside and outside the cab, with various comfort and technological upgrades, like a 115-volt power outlet and upgraded cloth upholstery. The Big Horn takes luxury and brings it up to the next level for the Ram trims. On top of the upgraded cloth upholstery, the Big Horn also gets a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and an adjustable 10-way driver seat. It’s equipped with shiny 20” chrome clad aluminum wheels, and has dual exhaust tips that poke out the back to round off the design.

For the upgraded comfort and technological features, the Big Horn comes in at an increased $33,760, just over a $6,000 price jump from the Express. But, the price jump is justified. The only other truck in the Ram lineup to outmatch it in luxury is the Laramie Limited model, and the Big Horn is a much lower price than the Laramie Limited.


The Sport is the truck in the 1500 lineup that’s performance oriented, and therefore comes standard with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine and a standard dual exhaust system. It comes in a quad cab mid box design, which means it has less space in the cab then a crew cab, but a slightly longer bed. Think of it as the middle child between the single cab and crew cab.

A Few Aesthetic Upgrades

The Sport sees some more aesthetic upgrades than the previous models, and is led by a more aggressive and metallic paint hue to match the sporty intentions of the truck, and it comes with shiny LED accent lights, taillights, interior lights, and headlights. All to give it a much more flashy appearance, inside and out, than the previous trim levels.

Note: with the R/T package added, the appearance is changed even further. It sports a unique hood compared to the other trim levels, and it has a black Grille with signature R/T badging.

Performance Changes

Since this is being piloted as a sporty truck, it’s no surprise that there are some performance upgrades. The Sport packs on 22-inch wheels, along with improved performance gearing and a limited-slip differential in order to provide it with smoother shifting than the previous trims.

A Ram sport equipped with its standard Hemi engine can make a 0-60 mph sprint in about 7 seconds, which isn’t too bad for a truck with a curb weight of almost 5,000 pounds. Seems like the attention to performance paid off with the Sport. The sport comes in at a base MSRP of $35,985.

A Truck for Everyone

Ram wasn’t lying when they said they have a truck for everyone. The Tradesman is for those who need a day-day work truck, and the Express is for those who want to work with a little more flair. The Big Horn is the king of kings when it comes to aesthetic appeasement and furnishings, and the Sport is for those who want a truck that’s focused a little more on fun rather than work.

With even more models and packages to choose from, the Ram 1500 truck lineup only gets better as the options get broader. From the Tradesman to the Sport, the models are all competitively priced, and offer unique irresistible features.

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