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2025 Ram 1500 First Drive Review: Refined Hurricane Replaces Raw Hemi

With a new engine and new tech, the 2025 Ram 1500 impresses. With those upgrades, along with more luxurious trim levels, comes big price tags, however.

2025 Ram 1500(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)
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When plans were announced for the 2025 Ram 1500 pickup last year, it was, on the whole, warmly received. The full-size truck has a lot more to offer, including an array of new tech features, a new, top-line Tungsten trim, and improvements to ride and handling.

But one topic, in particular, sent shockwaves roiling through the brand’s fan base. The new truck loses its Hemi V-8, something that has become as iconic as its distinctive styling.

After spending a long day driving the 2025 Ram 1500 through Texas Hill Country, however, that move proves easily understandable. Despite its loss of two cylinders, the new Hurricane straight-six is a welcome alternative, powerful, responsive, quieter — until you slam the throttle — and smoother.

Combined with all the other updates to the new 1500 line, the new engine transforms the truck into a serious alternative that even loyal Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC owners should consider next time they’re in the market for a light-duty pickup.

In short: As the upstart alternative to the dominant Ford and Chevy full-size trucks, Ram has had to work harder and deliver a little bit more with its 1500 pickup. And, it’s got a solid formula in place for the new 2025 model getting ready to roll into U.S. showrooms.

2025 Ram 1500


  • Engine options 3.6L Pentastar V-6 ETorque (305 hp and 271 lb.-ft.), 3.0L Hurricane Straight-Six Turbo (420 hp and 469 lb.-ft.), 3.0L Hurricane Straight-Six Turbo High-Output (540 hp and 521 lb.-ft.)
  • Transmission Torqueflight 850RE 8-Speed (Pentastar V-6), Torqueflight 8HP75 (Hurricane engines)
  • Drivetrain options RWD or AWD, available low-speed transfer cases and locking differentials
  • Cargo beds 5’7” on Crew Cab models, 6’4” on Quad Cab and available on Crew Cab
  • Payload Max 2,300 lbs.
  • Towing Max 11,580 lbs.


  • Updated design, including all-new interior
  • Two Hurricane engine options outperform old Hemi V-8
  • New top-line Tungsten model
  • Improved ride and handling


  • Touchscreen system can be confusing
  • Hands-Free Drive Assist isn’t a match for GM Super Cruise
  • Pricing

2025 Ram 1500 Review

The 2025 Ram 1500 doesn’t stray far from the outgoing pickup when it comes to design, but it adds a wealth of new tech features — including a hands-free “Driving Assist.” And, it adds an even more luxurious Tungsten trim package.

The big news, however, can be found under the hood. The new truck abandons the familiar Hemi V-8 in favor of the all-new Hurricane drivetrain. It will be offered in two versions, including one making a beefy 540 horsepower and 521 pound-foot of torque.

2025 Ram 1500: On Road & Off

2025 Ram 1500 Tradesman
2025 Ram 1500 Tradesman; (photo/Paul Eisenstein)

During my time in the Lone Star State, I clocked several hundred miles behind the wheel of the 2025 Ram 1500. More precisely, I drove virtually all of the different trim packages, starting with the base Tradesman all the way up to the newly introduced “luxury” Tungsten package.

The 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten goes up against the likes of the Ford F-150 Platinum and Chevrolet Silverado High Country. I also tested the mettle of the Ram 1500 Rebel on a tricky off-road course.

2025 Ram 1500
(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)

As with all the various Ram 1500 trim packages, the Rebel package adds some distinctive design cues meant to “reach the active lifestyle customer,” explained exterior design chief Mark Trostle. This includes bolder hood bulges, a unique front grille insert, and interior details such as red and black ombre mesh seating inserts.

But there were plenty of practical details, as well, starting with steel bumpers that are more rugged and designed to improve approach and departure angles. The Rebel I drove featured not only a two-speed transfer case but locking differentials, as well, mated to the “base” Hurricane engine.

It rode on 18-inch wheels shod with 33-inch all-terrain tires that were comfortably grippy on whatever surface we experienced, from mud to gravel to slick shale.

2025 Ram 1500
2025 Ram 1500 Rebel in the mud; (photo/Paul Eisenstein)

Truck With Car-Like Ride

While the Ram 1500 Rebel was clearly aimed at off-road environs, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it handled on-road driving, as well. There’s no question the huge tires compromised ride and handling, but nowhere near as much as one might expect. I could imagine heading off to some distant trail, yet feeling reasonably fresh after spending a long day behind the wheel.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten
2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten; (photo/Paul Eisenstein)

That was even more apparent with other trim packages, especially the new Tungsten line — which replaces the Limited as the Ram 1500’s most luxurious option. The Limited now becomes a sportier package.

Much of the credit goes to the updated double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension which has been retuned for 2025. My Tungsten featured a new air suspension with five different settings that not only adapt to various road conditions but that also lower the truck for easier entry and exit. It also automatically increases ground clearance when off-roading, while lowering at highway speeds for efficiency and stability.

A Category 5 Hurricane

2025 Ram 1500 Hurricane Engine
(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)

There was plenty of buzz on Ram 1500 forums when word came out that the truck would no longer offer the long-lived Hemi engine. Even Ford, as it migrates more and more toward smaller-displacement turbo engines, has maintained a V-8 option for F-150 traditionalists. But it didn’t take long to recognize that what Ram engineers have wrought should quickly make folks forget about the old and clearly dated Hemi.

There is one carryover engine from the outgoing truck, the 3.6L Pentastar V-6 ETorque. It’s a mild hybrid making 305 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. It’s a more than adequate engine for those on a budget who might opt for the base Tradesman model.

But for those with the extra cash — or more demanding cargo and towing requirements — the new Hurricane is the real deal. There are two options on offer for 2025. A 3.0L Hurricane Straight-Six Turbo making 420 horsepower and 469 pound-feet of torque and a High-Output version making 540 horsepower and 521 pound-feet of torque.

2025 Ram 1500 Powertrain Review

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

If it were the only option available, the standard output package would be a real standout. It’s gutsy. Power comes on quickly and confidently. It’s also a surprisingly smooth and quiet powertrain, from an NVH — or noise, vibration, and harshness — standpoint, it’s a huge improvement.

The High-Output package takes things a step beyond. Its aluminum block and head, cross-bolted main bearing caps, and various forged components are designed to stand up to the harshest demands truckers might make.

Yet, it is equally smooth and quiet under normal operating conditions. But when foot meets floorboards it lets you know what it can deliver with a refined and confidence-building roar.

All versions of the 2025 Ram 1500 feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. The various trims can be configured in either two- or four-wheel-drive. And, buyers get a choice of open, limited slip, or an electronic locking rear differential — again, based on the various trim packages.

The More Tech, the Better?

2025 Ram 1500
(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)

Gone are the days when full-size trucks were the automotive equivalent of a mule, basic machines with plenty of muscle and little more. The Ram 1500 Tungsten is loaded with all the comforts you’d expect of a high-end luxury sedan — like 24-way heated, ventilated, and massaging seats. It also boasts an upgraded Klipsch audio system punching out 1,228 W through 24 separate channels.

But, even the base Tradesman features plenty of appealing features, with an emphasis on technology. One useful feature is the available power-operated tailgate, which can be triggered with a touch of the keyfob. Then there’s all the digital tech. Even the Tradesman gets an 8.4-inch touchscreen and some useful infotainment features.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel interior
2025 Ram 1500 Rebel interior; (photo/Ram)

Upgrade and you’ll find a 14.5-inch portrait-oriented display that can be operated in split-screen mode to handle, say, navigation and audio simultaneously. Most models replace the Tradesman’s just-fine analog gauges with a 12.3-inch digital cluster. And, you’ll even find a 10.25-inch display available for passengers on high-end trims.

I’ve grown up with technology, but, as with so many other onboard infotainment systems, I wasn’t entirely smitten with the latest Uconnect system. There are clear improvements in some apps, notably the voice-activated navigation system. But, other features can be a little confusing and — for some less tech-savvy buyers — could prove onerous to operate.

Among other things, I’d prefer to see all climate controls, especially for heated seats and steering wheel, move back to conventional buttons.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel interior
2025 Ram 1500 Rebel interior; (photo/Ram)

Hands-Free Driving Assist

There are some other welcome new tech features. That includes wireless charging for two separate smartphones. And you can leave the keyfob at home, relying on either a credit card-sized smart card or your phone. And you can even assign a key to someone else remotely.

With the launch of the 2025 model, the Ram 1500 becomes the latest full-size pickup to add limited autonomous operation with the new Hands-free Driving Assist. In technical terms, it’s a Level 2+ system, meaning its suite of cameras and radar sensors keep an eye on the road around you, while also tracking vehicle location using super-detailed maps.

The system allows you to take your hands off the wheel on many limited-access highways — and Ram’s parent Stellantis plans to expand the list of available roads over the coming years. You will, however, have to continue to watch the road and be ready to retake control in an emergency.

The Driving Assist feature will be welcomed by many tech fans and it did work acceptably well. But it isn’t quite up to the sophistication of General Motors’ alternative. GM Super Cruise is getting upgraded to be operable on over 700,000 miles of North American roadways and can even execute passes automatically when approaching slower vehicles.

The good news is that the 2025 Ram 1500 features the capability to make smartphone-style over-the-air updates to not only the Driving Assist system but also to much of the rest of the truck’s onboard software.

2025 Ram 1500
(Photo/Paul Eisenstein)

2025 Ram 1500: First Drive Impressions Wrap Up

There’s a lot to like about the 2025 Ram 1500, starting with the design updates to what was already the most visually appealing full-size truck on the market.

The new Hurricane powerplants are a major upgrade from the old Hemi V-8, improving not only horsepower and torque, but also ride comfort. And, on the whole, even the base Tradesman with the carryover V-6 is a lot more pleasant to ride in.

If there’s one big complaint, it’s pricing. We’ve seen the cost of most new vehicles rise sharply in recent years, especially through the COVID pandemic. And that’s clearly the case with the new Ram 1500.

While the 2025 Tradesman officially starts at $40,565, the package I drove came in at $54,890. My Rebel off-roader was listed at $64,195, and the Tungsten 4×4 at $87,155. And, there are a couple more models coming that will push even further up the price ladder, notably the TRX Final Edition, which is expected to nudge $120,000.

Of course, we’ve seen similar moves by Ford and GM — as well as Toyota with its Tundra. So, let’s just acknowledge that there are really no bargain offerings in the full-size market anymore. With that in mind, what Ram is offering in 2025 offers you a lot for your money.

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