2025 Ram 1500 First Drive: That Thing Got a Turbo-Six?

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten © 2024 Stellantis

The full-size truck market is more than likely the most competitive and innovative in North America. Crew cab pickups have taken on the role of family movers, commuters, and weekend toy haulers. It’s a lot to ask of a vehicle, but modern trucks do it amazingly well, and manufacturers keep giving buyers more and more compelling reasons to jump on the pickup truck bandwagon. Ram’s current half-ton offering has been very competitive even as Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Toyota have kept firing salvos with increasingly advanced technology and capability. For 2025, Ram served up a major refresh for its half-ton that improves nearly everything buyers already loved about the 1500.

There’s just one thing missing this go-round: a V-8. The 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is gone, and in its place is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo inline-six named Hurricane. As fans of the Hemi, we wondered how the new model would fare with six-cylinder powerplants. We spent a day with Ram in Austin, Texas, with several versions of the 2025 Ram 1500 to find out.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel © 2024 Stellantis
Let’s cut right to the chase: The Hurricane isn’t just replacing the 5.7-liter Hemi, it’s outgunning it. The standard-output version, with 420 hp and 469 lb-ft of torque, is enough to make 5.7-liter Hemi fans forget all about the V-8. It’s smooth, responsive, and boasts abundant, immediate torque.

A high-output version of the Hurricane engine churns out an additional 120 horsepower and 52 lb-ft of torque with zero drivability drawbacks. The 540-hp version will only be offered on Ram’s three most luxurious trims—Limited, Limited Longhorn, and a new trim called Tungsten—where it will be standard. Eventually, this burlier Hurricane will also reach Ram’s new top-of-the-line off-roader, which is launching in the third quarter of 2024 to hoist the mantle for the Hellcat-powered TRX, which ceased production at the end of 2023.

Power arrives in a pleasantly linear fashion. And although the twin-turbo inline-six has a relatively low redline, the ZF eight-speed automatic, laudable as always, has no trouble keeping it under boost when the throttle demands it. The lower gearing (trucks with the stronger engine also get Ram’s lowest axle ratio of 3.92:1) only amplifies the effect of the additional torque, and all trucks equipped with the high-output 3.0-liter will get a beefier rear axle to hold up under the additional stress. Thankfully, Ram’s engineers declined to pump in additional—read: fake—engine noise into the cabin. The straight-six delivers a well-tuned exhaust note, but it’s more understated than bellicose throughout its operation.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten © 2024 Stellantis
A full-size, crew-cab Ram 1500 is not a small vehicle, yet both versions of the 3.0-liter six help make them drive like lighter vehicles thanks to the effortless power on tap. They’re still large and rather cushy, as Ram has refined its four-corner air suspension to suit both on-road and off-road driving. Think of a Ram 1500 as the twenty-first-century version of a fuselage-body Dodge Polara: roomy, luxurious, with a massive trunk, and made to eat up highway miles. In this case, the massive trunk is simply a truck bed.

The biggest updates in the 2025 Ram’s interior refresh are the even larger Uconnect 5 infotainment system screens. An improved version of the 12-inch Uconnect screen is now offered across more lower-rung trims, while Limited Longhorn, Limited, and Tungsten trims get a 14.4-inch center screen and a standard 10.25-inch screen directly in front of the front-seat passenger. Just like in the Grand Wagoneer, that passenger-focused monitor is screened from the driver’s view and can display camera views so the copilot can be a spotter in tricky off-road situations. The screen can also be used to control the audio system and navigation, which helps keep the driver distractions to a minimum by handing important road trip duties off to the copilot.

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten © 2024 Stellantis
The massive screens are highly customizable, allowing users to drag and drop windows for navigation, climate control, audio, and phone interfaces to different sections of the display, selecting which functions get priority. Traditional buttons to manage certain functions flank the screen, but the upper trim models, where dash real estate is at a premium, delegate more of the controls to the touchscreen.

2025 Ram 1500 Rebel © 2024 Stellantis
Gear selection for the eight-speed automatic happens via an intuitive dash-mounted dial that frees up space in the center console. Also reconfigurable, the roomy console is one of our favorites in the full-size truck arena, featuring wireless phone charging that keeps the phone visible and in reach, secured by a plastic clip.

Specs: 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

  • Price: $89,150
  • Powertrain: 3.0-liter, turbocharged DOHC inline-six, eight-speed torque-converter automatic
  • Output: 540 hp at 5700 rpm and 521lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm
  • Layout: Four-wheel-drive, four-door, five-passenger full-size pickup truck
  • EPA Fuel Economy: 15 MPG city, 21 MPG highway, 17 MPG combined
  • Competition: GMC Sierra Denali, Ford F-150 Platinum, Chevrolet Silverado High Country, Toyota Tundra Capstone

Ram’s existing trim levels of Tradesman, Longhorn/Lone Star, Rebel, Limited Longhorn, and Limited all return for 2025. They’re joined by the new range-topping Tungsten trim that takes Ram’s luxury truck game to new heights with interior upholstery in Indigo/Sea Salt, soft suede for the headliner and the A- and B-pillars, and unique textures on the trim. You can spot a Ram Tungsten easily, as it’s the only 2025 Ram trim that offers a fully painted front fascia rather than a separate bumper. Every Tungsten model will be a crew cab, short-bed 4×4, and every Tungsten will be pricey; the starting MSRP, including destination, is a hefty $89,150.

Tungsten trucks also pack a 23-speaker Klipsch Reference Premier audio system that puts speakers in seemingly every nook and cranny of the cab, including a pair that are in the back of the front seats. The 23-speaker Klipsch audio system looks great and sounds even better, but driving the Tungsten back-to-back with a Limited, the difference wasn’t striking. That’s not a slight to the Klipsch system, it’s just that to a casual, non-audiophile listener, the 19-speaker audio system in the Limited was great and perhaps it takes a more sophisticated ear to notice the subtleties. We were a bit surprised that this high-end system still only offers just a three-band equalizer for customizing the audio experience, but we didn’t have any issues adjusting the sound to match our preference. The current Ram Limited was already a very nice place to spend a long highway trip and competed well with the top offerings from GM, Ford, and Toyota, and the 2025 version maintains the same level of comfort and style, with soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels, along with massaging seats.

In addition to the on-road miles we racked up in the 2025 Ram, we got to play in the mud a bit with a more off-road-focused Rebel. The Rebel’s optional air suspension allows for a taller ride height for low-speed off-roading, adding a bit of ground clearance up front and increasing the breakover angle. The 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires performed admirably when things got sloppy. (Your mud may vary, of course.) Usually, the large voids between lugs that make a tire so good on thick mud come at the cost of howling or whining at speed, but the Rebel felt largely free of that penalty, delivering the same quiet highway driving we’ve come to expect from all Ram 1500s. The Rebel should be a popular choice as it packages impressive off-road capability and a comfortable and feature-packed interior.

Ram still has a few surprises in its pocket—an “RHO” version of the truck that won’t be unveiled until April. What “RHO” entails is still not certain (Really High Output?), but it seems to succeed the beautiful and brash TRX. We were already into the idea of Ram offering a 6.4-liter version of the TRX with the end of Hellcat production, because as fun as the Hellcat V-8 was, the real star of the show was the TRX’s suspension. We’d gladly take a 540-hp, Hurricane-powered off-roader as long as it delivers on the TRX’s legacy of off-road performance.

Leading with its twin-turbocharged engines, the 2025 Ram makes an impressive pickup even better. We have a feeling that drivers will not miss the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 once they try even the standard-output turbo-six, let alone the high-output version that pushes the Ram into new performance territory. With advanced new powertrains and a world-class interior that’s only gotten better, Ram has ensured that its next salvo will be heard loud and clear across the pickup truck battleground.

2025 Ram 1500

Price: $42,270/$89,150 (Base Tradesman/as-tested Tungsten)

Highs: Tungsten adds another level of luxury. New turbocharged powertrains are impressive. Ride and handling are still excellent. Interior is spacious and comfortable.

Lows: Fewer configurations are available. Big screens aren’t for everyone. V-8 soundtrack is the only thing missing.

Summary: The updates made to the core of the 2025 Ram 1500 lineup refine what was already a great package, adding helpful technology and smooth, potent powerplants.


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    The real question is has the quality returned. Since FCA sold out their have been many issue with Mopar products. Many are electrical.

    Their models are not selling and many even at the dealer auctions are not selling.

    They will have many issue if there is nothing done soon.

    I am sure the Inline engine is great but too bad it fits so few vehicles well. Hight and length have always been an issue.

    A lot of negativity here. The Hurricane 6 does not have the Hemi sound, but it appears to be better in all other areas including slightly better fuel economy. Rather than focusing on the negativity, I think it is better to be thankful that ICE trucks are still here and we are not forced to be all-electric.

    Just being honest.

    The American market function on Cylinder envy. I personally have no issue with smaller engines have had a number of them. But Americans in the performance segment want that V8 sound.

    I Six is a better engine than most V6 but they just do mot fit most applications well.

    Ford did not crash with the Turbo 6 but one has to wonder how much better they would be off with a V8 being easier to buy.

    GM is coming with a new V8 so it will be interesting on how the market reacts.

    The Market as a whole is in for tough times and offering less for more is a tough sale.

    Add to this the quality issues since Stellantis took over. It is no secret and their sales have not been good due to this.

    They spent years on how the Hemi was great now it is forget that and now less is more. Not going to be popular in the Hemi fan groups.

    I wish them the bedt but there are some major chalk anges.

    Not sure where you are getting your information, but as the owner of a ’15 Charger SXT Awd (FCA) and a ’21 Charger GT Awd (Stellantis) I can tell you the ’15 was a great car and virtually trouble free and the ’21 is trouble free. Quality has only improved and my dealer can’t keep them on the lot!

    For what it’s worth, my 2021 Ram 1500 crew cab with 6’4″ bed (turbo diesel) has been bullet proof (zero problems or issues) and is the best truck I’ve ever had. Great quality and features. Couldn’t be happier. (I do think prospective buyers will miss the hemi option going forward…)

    Straight six is a great motor, inherently balanced and with the ability to sound really good (unlike most V6). The crankshafts and camshafts are pretty long though and it is challenging to achieve high RPM.
    We had six cylinder motorcycles over 40 years ago and my Honda had two shorter camshafts on each side instead of one long continuous one (so four cams total).
    But a modern straight six could run reliable and very smooth below 6000 RPM, all day long. Small bore and long stroke will improve efficiency and increase fuel mileage.

    Why does anything , especially trucks need fake piped in noise. A straight 6 turbo can sound good if they want sound without speakers.

    It still amazes me that the truck tested is more than twice as expensive as a base truck; essentially $47,000 in options. I want my ’95 Dodge Ram truck back!

    Besides the premiumnprice for essentially gadgets, my real question on these is durability, especially in towing applications. I have trouble imagining the turbos lasting much more than 100K miles. In contrast, normally aspirated V8s can go on forever if well maintained.

    I’m not gonna chime in on the V-8 vs. I-6 discussion. I want to bring up the looks. It seems to me that all pick-up trucks are morphing into the same appearance (like passenger autos have been doing for years). I used to like the distinctive look of a Dodge/RAM front end, but in looking at the pictures in this article, I think that if the name weren’t displayed across the grill, I might not be able to tell it from other brands.

    I know Dodge is owned by a different parent, but the engine seems similar to the Mercedes M256 3 liter I-6 turbo, which has been around for a bit. FCA uses twin turbos instead of the 48 volt starter / booster motor on the MB. Too bad they can’t get rid of the annoying stop / start system and use that high volt electric motor in the design. Exhaust note aside, the I6 has so many fewer parts than the V8, and better natural balance. Lighter and efficient, this could be a winner.

    No Hemi option, no sale! Now that’s simple enough. Since Hemi’s seem to last, not stressed like that poor 6. I should be ok on the used market. Is that a Hemi in that? Sadly no.

    A friend of mine is an auto mechanic that has been in business for about 20 years. His favorite engine is the 5.7 Hemi. (Because he makes so much money fixing them).

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