The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic starts at $31,310 in the U.S. and at $40,335 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
Affordable, good engines, decent tow and payload capacities.
Not reputed for its reliability, fuel economy isn’t great, lacks overall refinement compared to newer models.
The Ram Pickup was the second best-selling vehicle in Canada and in the United States during the 2021 calendar year, split up between the 2022 Ram 1500, the Ram 1500 Classic and the heavy-duty Ram HD, or if you prefer, the 2500/3500/4500/5500 models.
Although the fifth-generation Ram 1500 was almost entirely redesigned for the 2019 model year, the previous-gen truck, which was introduced for the 2009 model year as the Dodge Ram 1500, is actually still on sale, now branded as the Ram 1500 Classic.
The Classic, known internally as the DS gen, has a streamlined lineup as to not compete directly with the newer, DT-gen Ram 1500, which is more modern and better truck in almost every regard. It’s still available in Regular Cab, Quad Cab and Crew Cab configurations, with three bed lengths and, of course, 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains.
The trim level range in Canada consists of the Tradesman, the SLT, the Express, the Night Edition and the Warlock, while the U.S. lineup is down to the Tradesman, Express and Warlock editions for the 2022 model year.
Under the hood, two engines are available, both managed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base 3.6L Pentastar V6 develops 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, allowing for a maximum towing capacity of 7,660 pounds or 3,475 kilograms, in addition to a payload capacity of up to 1,930 pounds or 875 kg. The 3.6L V6 4×4 boasts city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings of 14.5/10.2/12.6 L/100 km in Canada, 16/23/19 mpg in the U.S.
Moving up to the 5.7L HEMI V8, buyers get 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, along with a max towing capacity of 10,620 pounds or 4,817 kg, and a payload cap of up to 1,810 pounds or 821 kg. The V8 engine gets city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings of 16.2/11.6/14.1 L/100 km in Canada, 15/21/17 mpg in the U.S. Stellantis recommends that the 5.7L V8 be fuelled up with midgrade gasoline, which further raises the bill.
The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic rolls on 17-inch steel wheels in base Tradesman trim, while 17- and 20-inch alloys are offered across the other editions of the truck. The lockable RamBox bed-mounted storage bins are available, as are fog lights, LED bed lighting, power-folding mirrors, a power sunroof, tubular side steps, a power-sliding rear window, remote engine start, and more.
Inside, the 1500 Classic can be spruced up with premium cloth upholstery on a bench or bucket seats up front, heated front seats and steering wheel, Uconnect 4 and Uconnect 5 infotainment systems with 8.4-inch touchscreens, a 4G LTE on-board Wi-Fi hotspot (data subscription required), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a nine-speaker Alpine sound system, among other things.
Pricing for the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic ranges from $31,310 to $61,895 in the United States, and from $40,335 to $59,630 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included. The Classic competes with other full-size pickup trucks such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Ford F-150, the GMC Sierra 1500, the U.S.-only Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra.
What The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic Does Well
- The Classic is obviously a several thousand dollars more affordable than the current-gen Ram 1500 and the other pickups in its segment, although it’s on par with the base variants of the F-150. This two-tier lineup also allows the 1500 Classic to rival mid-size pickups in price. That is, until Ram introduces a smaller model of its own, which is rumoured to appear this year.
- The two available engines do the job, and the HEMI V8 sounds wonderful in addition offering very good performance.
- Despite its age, the 2022 Ram 1500 Classic can still pull a load of more than 10,000 pounds, which is good.
- The Uconnect infotainment systems are among the easiest to use on the market, with big and reactive touchscreens, big button zones and plenty of features.
- The DS-generation Ram has been around for a while, which means accessories and parts will be generally easy to find.
What The 2022 Ram 1500 Classic Doesn’t Do Well
- The truck’s design dates back to the mid-2000s, and lacks the refinement of the new-gen pickups. Before the new Ram 1500 came along, the old one was available with an air suspension, which did wonders for ride quality, but wasn’t very reliable. The 1500 Classic doesn’t offer the air suspension anymore.
- While the engines are fine for the daily ground, they’re not exactly fuel-efficient. The EcoDiesel 3.0L V6 is now reserved for the new-gen Ram 1500. Darn.
- As expected, since this is considered the entry-level pickup for Ram, there’s a general lack of upscale comfort and convenience items such as leather seats, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats, for example.
- The Ram 1500 Classic may have been around for more than a decade now, it struggles in overall build quality. Consumer Reports gives it a reliability rating of 1 out of 5, citing issues with the engines, the fuel system, the brakes, paint and trim as well as electrical components. That said, the Silverado and Sierra have the same 1/5 rating, while the F-150 is slightly better and the newer Ram 1500 gets a 3/5 rating.
- Since the Classic’s design hasn’t changed much since the DS generation went on sale back in 2009, driving a 2022 model home likely won’t impress the neighbours, who might think you bought a used truck and not a brand-new one.
What We Tell Our Friends
It’s interesting that Stellantis is keeping the Ram 1500 Classic in the lineup alongside the newer model. As mentioned previously, it provides the brand with a midsize pickup competitor that has the advantage of offering full-size dimensions and capacities.
The fact that it’s still on sale today, and still attracting customers, is a testament to how good the truck was when it was introduced back in 2008 as a 2009 model. However, all good things must come to an end, and today’s pickups are all more modern, more fuel-efficient and offer a more decent ride for only a few thousand dollars more. The Classic can fill the bill for some consumers, but for a few dollars more a month, we’d step up to the newer Ram 1500. In addition, those midsize models such as the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Ford Ranger will all receive redesigns for 2023, and will be better than ever.