2021 RAM 1500 TRX
When people talk about the fastest cars on the road, usually no one thinks of a pickup truck. This Ram 1500 is no ordinary truck; it's a full-on beast. It may look like a regular pickup, but there's a Hellcat engine hidden underneath the hood. Before going any further, our test model came from the Sterling Heights plant in Michigan and had an MSRP of $119,135.
The Ram TRX is based on the fifth generation that launched back in 2019. On the outside, you will find the design cues from the Ram Rebel. The big front grille and a rear tailgate with Ram spelled in big black letters, the front and back headlights and the two-toned colour, to name a few points of comparison. The two most notable differences are the massive air intake on the hood and the TRX sticker on each side of the bed facing outwards.
Inside, this truck is equipped with most of the Rebel interior, but the steering wheel is slightly different; a mix of leather and Alcantara makes it easier to grab when your hands become sweaty. You will find all the necessary functions within reach and aluminum paddle shifters. The three letters that you know at this point are printed on the black and red leather seats. The rear seats are roomier than those in the Rebel we previously tested, obviously coming at the cost of a smaller bed, which is hampered by the huge spare tire mounted while taking about half its size. A word about the ISOFIX ports; they are present, but they're not easily accessible as in other models. Back inside, you will have a huge panoramic sunroof that covers almost all of the interior.
About the technology, as you may expect at this price point, this truck is equipped with pretty much any driver assistance available such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning. The Ram was also equipped with a cluster, a physical tachometer and speedometer and a big enough screen that showed helpful information. We liked the change of scenery that the screen procures when you switch the drive modes. You will also find in the center the big 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen. It's a great system, one of the best in the business with the quality of the screen and the impressive amount of information you can find on it. We're not fully on board with all the climate controls being on the screen, including the heated/ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel, as it may be a challenge in winter when you're using the screens with gloves, for example. The Harman Kardon sound system is an excellent addition too. You make no compromises with useful technology coupled with an out-of-this-world performance in a pickup truck.
Moving on to the reason why anyone would buy this particular version in the Ram pickup truck lineup, its performance! First of all, let's talk numbers because they are mind-blowing. The V8 6.2L supercharged engine coupled with the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission produces 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. A 0-100kph time of around 4.5 seconds, 9 different drive modes, including Baja, Sport and Track to name a few, Bilstein Black Hawk e shock system, thunderous exhaust, 35-inch Goodyear all-territory tires mounted on 18-inch Beadlock capable wheels and this list goes on. All these features procure two different feelings on the road compared to on the trail. On the road, in Normal mode, we like the fact that you can really module the acceleration very easily; this is particularly great in traffic where you don't need all the power. But in Track mode, you are glued to your seat when you floor the pedal since it's so powerful. It's never going to be as brutal as a lower car, like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat; since such vehicles have a lower center of gravity, it is still very impressive. In corners, the pickup remains somewhat stable, we expected more body roll, but the Bilstein shocks do a good job of keeping the TRX on its path. Inadvertently, we made a jump at about 80kph, and the pickup stayed stable during the moment it was in the air. Braking wasn't as convincing though, the feeling of the pedal isn't optimized for the size. The vehicle will eventually stop, but we wish they would add more muscle in this category because it is part of the whole performance package. On-Trail mode, we wanted to know how this mammoth would fare with rock crawling. The incredible amount of power makes it hard sometimes to gauge appropriately how much gas to apply to effectively crawl over rocks; besides that, the TRX was agile and never felt too bothered.
In conclusion, it is the most capable Ram truck ever by a country mile, but all this performance comes at a steep price, more so in Canada, where gas prices can be very high in some places. After a week of testing, we had a fuel consumption average of around 25L/100km, and we put in a little more than $300 of gas (91 premium minimum) while not even completing 1000km. In other words, you need a deep wallet to fuel this beast, but if you do, you get the whole package. In conclusion, the Ram 1500 TRX is a magnificent beast. Unreal acceleration and insane off-road capabilities mean this is the most competent Ram pickup ever, and with a price tag of $119,135, you should be getting your money's worth. If you do, you will be like us, a smile every time you floor the accelerator and hope that you don't get caught by the police
Additional photos by Vince P. Szigeti
RAM has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Stellantis Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above. #ram #ram1500 #ramtrx #hellcat #ram1500trx