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2023 Ram 1500: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 Ram 1500 full-size pickup stands apart from its rivals. While it doesn’t sell in the same numbers as the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, it has no issues matching, and in some cases besting, these trucks in the areas that matter most to pickup buyers.

The Ram offers an upscale appearance both inside and out. Its styling is elegant yet rugged, without going overboard. And although it doesn’t offer a regular cab model, there are several cab and bed configurations to satisfy the most demanding needs.

The Ram 1500 offers four engine options, including a fuel-efficient diesel, and boasts a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and a max tow rating of 12,750 pounds.

A note to diesel fans: The EcoDiesel V6 will only be available for order until January 2023, after which it will no longer be available.

2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman (starting at $36,820)

The entry-level Tradesman is a working person’s truck. It comes in a choice of Quad Cab or Crew Cab, with a 6-foot-4-inch bed. A 5-foot-7-inch or 6-foot-4-inch on the latter.

A 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 powers the Tradesman with a 48-volt eTorque mild hybrid starter/generator. This motor sends power through an 8-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.

Buyers can upgrade to 4-wheel drive (4WD) and choose between a 260-hp 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 with a 26-mpg EPA combined fuel economy rating or a 5.7-liter eTorque Hemi V8 producing a robust 395 hp.

The Tradesman’s equipment list is pretty straightforward. It has 18-inch steel wheels, a damped tailgate with a built-in LED hitch lamp, heated side mirrors with a wide-angle convex insert, a Class III bumper hitch, a bed lamp, variable wipers, and automatic on/off headlights.

Beyond the obligatory anti-lock brakes, electronic traction and stability controls, and airbags, the Tradesman includes trailer sway control and a system to help keep the brakes dry when it’s raining. Also included are roll mitigation and a rear seat reminder that prompts the driver to check the back seat for children or pets before exiting the vehicle.

Also standard is a tire pressure monitor that alerts when achieving the proper air pressure.

Inside the Tradesman’s roomy cabin, you’ll find manual air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, keyless entry with push-button start, a 40/20/40-split bench seat, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Cruise control comes standard, as does a 5-inch Uconnect touchscreen audio system with built-in Bluetooth, AM/FM radio, two USB ports, an audio input jack, and six speakers. Satellite radio is unavailable, but SiriusXM Guardian is available. With this service, you’ll gain access to safety and security apps, such as Automatic SOS calling, remote start, and roadside assistance. Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto is available.

Additional equipment offered on the Tradesman includes a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning (part of the Advanced Safety Group), and Trailer Reverse Steering Control.

Order the Level 1 Equipment Group, and you’ll get SiriusXM satellite radio, a 40/20/40 cloth bench seat, a power sliding rear window, full carpeting, and in-floor storage.

Various packages offer a spray-in bedliner, additional exterior chrome accents, upgraded wheels, a 33-gallon fuel tank, trailer brake control, and deployable bed steps.

Four-wheel-drive models offer an Off-Road Group that adds tow hooks, off-road shocks, an electronic locking rear axle, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, and skid plates covering the steering, front suspension, transfer case, and fuel tank.

Additional upgrades include air suspension, a max tow package (5.7-liter Hemi and 3.0-liter diesel only), a Trailer Tow Group, and a Snow Plow Prep Package with a 220-amp alternator, plow prep wiring harness, and a power sliding rear window with defroster.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab costs $38,615. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $694. See 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman includes:

  • Push-button start – No more trying to work a key with work gloves on. Just push a button, and you’re good to go.
  • 3.6-liter V6 – The Ram 1500’s standard V6 is a powerhouse, with an eTorque mild hybrid system that briefly boosts torque and helps improve fuel economy.
  • Heated side mirrors – Activated with the rear defroster, heating elements behind the glass prevent ice and snow buildup.

2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE (starting at $38,457)

The HFE is the Tradesman without many options. It comes only in 2WD with the Quad Cab and a 6-foot-4-inch bed. Over the Tradesman, the HFE gains 20-inch chrome wheels, cloth high-back bucket seats, and full carpeting.

The only options for the HFE are the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine and a 33-gallon fuel tank.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE Quad Cab costs $40,252. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $723. See 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman HFE models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Big Horn and Lone Star (starting at $42,035)

These Big Horn and Lone Star are nearly identical. The different names come from a marketing strategy that sees the Lone Star sold exclusively in Texas. Cab, engine, and bed configurations mirror those of the Tradesman.

Standard equipment builds off the Tradesman, adding more chrome and exterior flash and more substantial upgrades, including front and rear stabilizer bars, heavy-duty shocks, front fog lights, and 60/40 folding rear seats.

What makes the Big Horn and Lone Star so attractive is their extensive list of available equipment, allowing far more customization over the base Tradesman trucks.

The Big Horn equipment groups are Level 1 and Level 2. Highlights in the Level 1 Equipment Group include power-folding exterior mirrors, an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, power-adjustable pedals, and the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Also in the group is a Class IV hitch receiver, an upper glovebox, a 3.5-inch color display, and an auto-dimming interior mirror with a universal garage door opener.

The Level 2 Group adds to the Level 1 Group with Park Sense front and rear parking sensors with reverse stop, remote start, a security alarm, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, plus front and rear 115-volt outlets.

Also in the Level 2 Group is a 400-watt inverter, a 7-inch programmable cluster display, a power sliding rear window, and a damped tailgate.

The Technology Group on Crew Cab models includes a head-up display, digital rearview mirror, and LED cargo bed lights. New this year is an available 12-inch digital instrument cluster with nearly two-dozen different menus and five reconfigurable tiles.

Several option groups include upgraded towing packages, exterior appearance enhancements, a 10-speaker premium audio system, LED headlights and fog lights, Uconnect 8 with navigation, a larger 12-inch infotainment screen, and a power sunroof (dual-pane on Crew Cab models).

Other features of note include several bed upgrades such as adjustable tie-downs, a deployable bed step, a multifunction tailgate, and a spray-in bedliner.

The 4×4 models include electronic on-demand 4-wheel drive.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Big Horn and Lone Star Quad Cabs cost $43,830. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $788. See 2023 Ram 1500 Big Horn models for saleand See 2023 Ram 1500 Lone Star models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Laramie (starting at $51,985)

For those who prefer a more luxurious work truck, the Laramie trim adds features and options worthy of a high-end luxury SUV while maintaining the ability to tow, haul, and get dirty.

The Laramie’s upgrades begin under the hood, where the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel remain optional. The Laramie comes only in Crew Cab.

Standard driver aids include forward collision mitigation and automatic emergency braking.

Building off the Big Horn, the Laramie adds 8-way heated and ventilated front seats with power lumbar support, a power sliding rear window, power-folding mirrors with puddle lights, memory for the driver’s seat and mirrors, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Also standard are two 115-volt outlets, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, and an advanced keyless entry system that allows the doors to unlock simply by touching the handle.

The audio system consists of an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Ram Connected Services, and a 10-speaker premium audio system.

Like the Big Horn, the Laramie features two primary option groups: Laramie Level 1 and Laramie Level 2.

Level 1 highlights include automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a blind-spot monitor that extends to cover a trailer, and a rear cross-traffic alert. Additional equipment includes a power tailgate release with a tailgate-ajar warning, front and rear parking sensors with automatic rear braking, and a split 60/40 front seat with a massive fold-down center console.

The Level 2 Group builds from Level 1, adding a wireless charging pad, rear under-seat storage, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Leather bucket seats are a standalone option.

The Laramie is the first of the Ram trims to offer the Advanced Safety Group, which adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with trailer coverage, rear cross-traffic alert, and a head-up display.

Also in the group are lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, a surround-view monitor, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, and ParkSense parallel and perpendicular parking assist.

Performance fans will appreciate the G/T Package, which adds a performance hood, blackout grille, and a sporty exhaust. Inside, the cabin gains sport bucket seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a floor shifter, performance screens, and metal pedals.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab costs $53,690. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $966. See 2023 Ram 1500 Laramie models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Laramie includes:

  • Ventilated front seats – Where heated seats keep you warm in winter, the ventilated seats circulate cool air to keep you comfortable and dry on hot summer days.
  • Premium audio – With nine speakers and a powered subwoofer, this audio system will please music lovers of all stripes.
  • Available adaptive cruise control – This advanced cruise control system maintains a set speed and can slow or accelerate with traffic, keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

2023 Ram 1500 Rebel (starting at $52,800)

The Rebel trim is one of two off-road-ready trims in the Ram lineup, the other being the TRX. Unlike the TRX, the Rebel’s price remains within reach of most pickup buyers. While the Rebel is not as powerful or well-equipped as the TRX, it’s no slouch when tackling rugged terrain.

The Rebel offers a choice of rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4WD, and it comes exclusively as a Crew Cab with a 5-foot-7-inch bed.

The 3.6-liter V6 comes standard, with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel optional.

The Rebel stands out with a sport-performance hood, 33-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, additional skid plate protection, and oversized black wheel flares.

Not just a pretty face, the Rebel adds the hardware to back up its off-road image, including an electronically locking rear differential and an off-road suspension that raises the truck’s ground clearance to 8.3 inches.

The Rebel’s raised suspension gives it an 18-degree approach angle, 19-degree breakover angle, and a 25.1-degree departure angle, all of which are appreciated off-road.

New for 2023 is Selec-Speed control, which acts as a kind of low-speed cruise control when off-roading.

Because the Rebel builds off the Big Horn, the 5-inch touchscreen and single-zone air conditioning are part of the standard roster. However, the Rebel does gain vinyl and cloth bucket seats, an 8-way power driver seat with 4-way power lumbar support, and a 115-volt outlet.

Automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning are both standard equipment.

Along with the other trims’ towing and appearance packages, the Rebel has four groups that offer the most content.

Highlights from the Rebel Level 1 Equipment Group include power-folding mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and the Uconnect 12-inch-touchscreen infotainment system.

The Rebel Level 2 Group adds remote start, keyless entry, ParkSense front and rear park assist with rear braking, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a back seat 115-volt outlet.

The Advanced Safety Group adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Finally, the Rebel 2 Equipment Group adds the 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, rain-sensing wipers, and a security alarm.

There’s also a G/T Equipment Group for the Rebel Crew Cab with the 5-foot-7-inch box (see the Laramie trim for details), the Advanced Technology Group, and the towing and snow prep groups.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab costs $54,595. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $981. See 2023 Ram 1500 Rebel models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Rebel includes:

  • Off-road suspension – This setup includes firmer springs, shocks, and a raised ride height to better tackle unforgiving off-road obstacles.
  • Locking rear differential – This axle ensures both rear wheels get power, an essential feature for off-roading, low-speed towing, and traversing deep snow.
  • Automatic emergency braking – Monitors vehicles and pedestrians in front of the Ram, warns of danger and applies the brakes if necessary to help avoid a collision.

2023 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn (starting at $58,745)

2023 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn Front Right

An offshoot of the Laramie, the Longhorn comes only in Crew Cab configuration. The V6 is standard, but certain configurations come with the V8. As in the Laramie, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is optional.

Additional standard equipment for the Longhorn includes heated rear seats, a 10-speaker premium audio system, automatic high-beam headlights, a navigation radio, and a spray-in bedliner. The 12-inch configurable digital instrument cluster is also standard.

Options for the Longhorn include the Advanced Safety Group, the Bed Utility Group, the 4×4 Off-Road Group, and the Advanced Technology Group.

The Longhorn Level 1 Equipment Group adds the Harman Kardon audio system, wireless charging pad, blind-spot monitor with trailer coverage, rear cross-traffic detection, ventilated rear seats, power running boards, and the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn Crew Cab costs $60,540. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $1,088. See 2023 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 Limited (starting at $63,160)

The Limited is a more feature-filled version of the Limited Longhorn, adding upgrades like a standard 5.7-liter V8 and four-corner air suspension.

New for 2023 is the Limited Elite Edition, which adds a multifunction tailgate with a tailgate-ajar warning lamp, adjustable cargo tie-downs, and a cargo divider. Inside the cab, the Elite touts a jeweled rotary shifter, premium leather seats, heated and ventilated 12-way front seats, a suede headliner, and a heated steering wheel.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab costs $64,955. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $1,167. See 2023 Ram 1500 Limited models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 TRX (starting at $79,355)

The TRX is part performance truck, off-road adventurer, and capable pickup. It comes only as a Crew Cab model with a 5-foot-7-inch bed, a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 good for 702 horsepower, and 4WD. A high-performance exhaust lets everyone know this is no ordinary pickup.

With Bilstein shocks and active dampers, the TRX can handle curves surprisingly well, but its suspension also can help the TRX negotiate deep sand at high speeds. The standard electronic full-time transfer case includes seven modes that adapt to various surface conditions: Baja, Rock, Mud/Sand/Custom, Snow, and Sport.

Ram equips the TRX with 18-inch wheels fitted with 33-inch all-terrain tires. It also adds the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen, 10-speaker premium sound system, launch control, a traditional floor shifter, and customizable instruments to track various performance parameters.

Additional standard equipment includes LED headlight, LED fog lights, and a 33-gallon fuel tank.

Optional equipment in the TRX Level 1 Group includes leather seats, 8-way power front seats with 4-way power lumbar, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a surround-view monitor, power-adjustable pedals, and rain-sensing wipers.

The TRX Level 2 Group adds ventilated outboard seats, remote start, proximity key fob keyless entry, ParkSense front and rear park assist, ParkSense rear park assist with stop and release, a blind-spot monitor with trailer detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Also in the group are power adjustable pedals, a power tailgate release, a wireless charging pad, LED bed lighting, off-road and on-road performance monitoring screens, memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, and radio presets.

Optional packages for the TRX include the Advanced Safety Group, Advanced Technology Group, and the Bed Utility Group.

A RamBar lightbar and bed-mounted tire carrier round out the TRX’s available features.

With the $1,795 destination fee, the 2023 Ram 1500 TRX costs $81,150. With no money down, the monthly payment on a 60-month loan at 3% financing works out to about $1,458. See 2023 Ram 1500 TRX models for sale

2023 Ram 1500 TRX includes:

  • 6.2-liter supercharged V8 – Plucked from the Dodge Hellcat lineup, this impressive Hemi engine delivers insane off-the-line performance and an abundance of power for off-roading.
  • Bilstein shocks – Help maximize performance with automatic dampers that keep the tires planted on the road, regardless of surface conditions.
  • Available RamBar lightbar – Mounts to a bar directly behind the cab, helping provide illumination far beyond the headlights’ range.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 Ram 1500 trim?

We’d pick either the Ram Big Horn or the Laramie for an everyday truck with a healthy dose of comfort. The Big Horn offers a Quad Cab for those who prefer it, but both trims come nicely equipped and can be optioned to the nines.

Luxury buyers will be most interested in the Limited Longhorn, while off-roaders should go for the Rebel. Sure, the TRX will impress your friends, but its limited production and high cost somewhat limit the buyer pool.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 Ram 1500 get?

When equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 and 2WD, you can expect EPA fuel economy figures of 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined. Adding 4WD lowers those figures to 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway/21 mpg combined.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, likely in its last year in the Ram 1500, earns an impressive EPA rating of 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/26 mpg combined. Fuel economy drops slightly on 4WD models, to 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 mpg combined.

The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 2WD gets 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20 mpg combined, while 4WD models are rated at 18 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19 mpg combined.

As for the supercharged TRX? It gets mere 10 mpg city/14 mpg highway/12 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Ram 1500 trim offers the most safety?

In crash testing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Ram 1500 top marks in all crash tests and awarded it a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick accolade.

While we wish more driver assists came standard, the safest trims are those that offer the Advanced Safety Group.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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