From a 10,000 foot view, I definitely live in 4×4 truck country here in Colorado, but zoom in closer on that map and I’m in the ‘burbs in Boulder, Colorado. A few of my neighbors have big trucks but I’m more in SUV land – with a healthy sprinkling of Subarus – than bigger trucks. That’s why it was fun when RAM Trucks reached out and offered me a week behind the wheel of the 2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4 in Billet Silver Metalic with a black interior:
For those of you unfamiliar with the RAM nomenclature, let’s unpack it. First off, RAM has a 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup truck in its lineup. The 3500 is for commercial use and even the 2500 is more of a commercial transport truck for people who need major towing and cargo capacity. While the RAM 1500 has about 7,700 pounds of towing capacity, the RAM 2500 has a maximum towing capacity of 15,400 pounds. It’s also powered by a much bigger engine: The 1500 I drove has a 5.7L V8 (you can also get it with a 3.6L V6) while the 2500 can go up to a 6.4L V8 for that extra pull. In other words, if your truck isn’t part of your job, you’ll probably want the RAM 1500.
This one’s also a “Crew Cab”, which means that there’s more space in the back seats for adults. The step-up is known as the “Quad Cab”, but as you’ll see, this Crew Cab configuration had some of the best rear legroom I’ve seen in any vehicle. The truck I drove was also a “Big Horn”, which is a trim level from RAM. The truck has quite a few configurations from Tradesman to Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Limited, and, at the top end, the TRX edition. This is the Big Horn edition:
It’s definitely big, and since mine didn’t include the optional 360º Surround View Camera, it took a day or two for me to be comfortable parking it in those suddenly narrow painted lines denoting a spot in the parking lot. What you gain for the overall size, in addition to cargo and towing capacity, is a surprisingly luxurious interior. It’s really comfortable inside and really a pleasure to drive with its big 5.7L V8 engine. When you’re ready to get up to speed on the highway, you’re ahead of the pack, not left eating someone else’s dust!
Here’s the front dashboard setup:
Notice how wide the armrest area is between the front driver and passenger seats. It’s also deep: I placed a half-gallon of milk in the compartment and only the very top stuck out, with space for a second carton if needed. If it were a bench seat in the front, there’d be plenty of space for 3 adults.
The RAM 1500 is also a complex vehicle with a lot of controls. This had the 4×4 configuration and even figuring that out required pulling out the manual to confirm the function of each button and option:
It is good to know that if you get into trouble you can invoke the Avengers Assemble feature (or is it on by default and pushing the button tells them not to Assemble?). I know, that’s not the purpose of the “A” with the arrow. It allows you to disable the remote auto-start if you prefer. But that middle button in the cluster with the “N”? It lets you drop the entire drivetrain into neutral if you’re being towed. Once you’re in gear, the 8-speed automatic transmission takes over, so pick 2WD for most terrain or 4WD AUTO and you’re ready for pretty rough driving. You can even lift up the vehicle for improved ground clearance as part of the towing setup.
The center console sports a glorious Tesla-size screen that ends up as the main display and control for all your primary comfort features, climate control, etc:
Notice the knob and buttons on the bottom, below the screen’s control bar: Those are all part of the (optional) tow package and really highlight the power and capabilities of the RAM 1500. You can even see the integrated trailer braking controls on the lower left (the “pinch” button is a manual braking option if your trailer supports it).
Featuring wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, the audio system was terrific and since the interior cab is well insulated, the overall listening experience was quite pleasant. No surprise, it featured a 9-speaker + subwoofer upgrade. The main gauge configuration offered a ton of information too, as you can see in this night view shot:
The 2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4 is rated by the EPA for 18-22mpg, but as you can see, my average MPG without towing anything was 16.4mpg. Big, comfortable, but you’ll be spending some major $$ on gas if you want to use this for a road trip. Then again, the RAM 2500 with its bigger engine would be even more fuel inefficient. Then again, people don’t get this vehicle because they want to compete with their hybrid or EV, which is why the EV pickups are becoming such a game changer.
Before we leave the interior, here’s that rear legroom I talked about earlier. Remember that the driver’s seat is pushed all the way back to fit my 6’3″ frame!
Finally, let’s step back outside for a shot of the rear truckbed with its tri-fold tonneau cover:
The rear has a dampened hinge so lowering it is slow and safe, not the alarming drop-clunk of OG pickup trucks. Opened, you can see the Mopar spray-in bedliner too:
And so what’s it like to drive? Quite fun, actually. With the bigger engine, this truck clearly shares some DNA with the Dodge Challenger with its performance, acceleration, and that great engine rumble. It’s also quite comfortable and quiet so I found it all too easy to be 10-15, even 20mph over the speed limit; cruise control is your friend in a vehicle like this!
It also garnered a lot of attention. My truck enthusiast friends actually came over to check it out and let me take them on a test drive, then jotted down the configuration details and pricing information. I might well have sold a truck or two. And it’s not a cheap vehicle by any means. If you’re looking for a truck / luxury SUV hybrid vehicle, though, you really can’t go wrong with the 2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4. Now if only I could squeeze it into my garage…
2022 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4 with 5.7L V8 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission in Billet silver and black. BASE PRICE: $44,900. Options Included: Big Horn Tech Package, Trailer Tow Group, Premium Lighting, Back Country Package, Level 1 Safety Group, Big Horn Level 2 Equipment Group, Rear Under-seat Storage, Tow Mirrors, Rear Wheelhouse Liners, Engine-Block Heater, 4-Corner Air Suspension, and much more. AS DRIVEN: $63,760.00
Disclosure: RAM Trucks loaned me the 1500 Big Horn for a week of driving in return for this review. Thanks, RAM!