Sometimes bad news can turn into good news, my expected loan the 2024 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X was late back from an event so a different vehicle was dispatched to my house. It was a 2025 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Tradesman 4X4 and despite it being the entry-level model it was surprisingly well equipped.

The other good news was under the hood, instead of the now defunct HEMI V8 it had the all-new Hurricane I6 in standard output format. I had only previously driven the I6 (High Output) in a Grand Wagoneer which I found to be pretty quick despite weighing over 6,800 lbs.

I’ll admit with car and truck prices going through the roof, thanks in part to the pandemic in 2020 it’s tricky to find an affordable truck especially one that comes in under $50K. For 2025 RAM has every option for you with a dizzying array of trims starting with this Tradesman all the way up to the $90k Tungsten.

What’s New?

For 2025 it receives a minor exterior update with a larger grille, refreshed bumpers, and updated head and tail lights. No more incandescent lighting since all trucks now sport LED headlamps as standard.

The 2025 Ram 1500 can be had in Quad or crew-cab configurations with a 6-foot 4-inch or 5-foot 7-inch bed and two or four-wheel drive. The smaller Quad cab is available only on Tradesman and Big Horn trims.

There are no changes to the suspension, double control-arm front, and five-link solid axle rear suspension setups provide the smooth ride Rams have been known for since ditching leaf springs in 2009.  If you are looking to tow then this trim will tow up to 11,056 lbs and carry a payload of 1,910 lbs. Wheels are standard on this trim and are 18-inch wearing 275/65 all-season tires.

Under The Hood

The big story for the new 2025 Ram 1500 pickup is the pair of 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engines, which effectively serve as replacements for the Hemi V-8.  Ram refers to them as “SST” or Straight-Six Turbo engines.  You have 2 choices regular or high-output. The one in this one has 420 hp with 469 lb-ft of torque the High Output has 540 hp and 521 lb-ft.  There is also a base engine which is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 305 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, and is assisted by the RAM e-torque system.

As a comparison, the outgoing 5.7-liter Hemi eTorque V-8 made 395 hp and 410 lb-ft, which is 25 hp and 50 lb-ft less than the Hurricane. Both of them are driven through a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.

A pair of twin-scroll turbochargers are mounted to the cylinder-head-integrated exhaust manifold, with each unit being fed by three of the cylinders, which results in quicker-than-average spool-up time and therefore almost no turbo lag. Ram does recommend 91-octane fuel for the standard output engine but requires it to get the most out of the high output.

From a stop, the standard output engine is good for a five-second sprint to sixty and the High Output does the deed in a rapid 4.4 seconds, it’s one of the quickest trucks you can currently buy.


The Tradesman has several drive modes, 2 wheel drive high, 4 wheel drive high, and 4 wheel drive low however, my loaner didn’t have the RAM offroad package which would have provided skid plates, hill descent control, etc.

The truck gets away from a stop light cleanly but if you mash your foot it breaks traction after a 20-foot or so rollout. That makes sense because that’s when the turbos kick in so the back end does get a little lairy. In this Tradesman trim, I think the Standard Output engine is more than enough since it weighs some 600 lbs less than the Wagoneer which is already plenty quick.

If there’s any advantage to the HEMi then it’s the exhaust sound, in this trim the Hurricane sounds good but it’s fairly quiet and remains that way even under hard acceleration

Once the engine is on boost, though, it pulls like a train, on one uphill section of our drive it just kept going and was pretty capable of passing slower vehicles.  It’s an impressive powertrain from a performance standpoint.

The RAM’s suspension still remains one of the best with a supple and cushy ride but at the same time with excellent body control. For a vehicle that is over 20 feet long, it has remarkable handling.


The base Tradesman now gets an 8.4-inch display, and it steps up to an improved 12-inch screen on the higher trims while the top-level trucks get a 14.25-inch infotainment center with a 10.25-inch passenger screen.

Don’t expect too much luxury in the Tradesman trim, however, it has all the basics that you probably need. The front seats are very comfortable and covered in hard-wearing wipe clean plastic but you only get manual control and there’s no height adjustment.

This trim gets a middle seat that folds down to provide a center armrest and some storage space as well as decent-sized cupholders, Rubber mats are provided throughout so you don’t need to worry about muddy boots or ice-cream-eating kids.

The infotainment runs the latest version of UConnect, it’s fast and responsive and the menus are logical and easy to use.  A.C. controls sit below and are all physical but you don’t get climate control this is simply manual Below those switches are the towing controls.

The rear seats are very spacious with good head and legroom and there’s seating for 3 across the bench. Rear passengers get vents but no power.

Pricing + Options

The base price for a tradesman in this spec is $50,006, so less than the price of lunch over $50K. It has some options, the Trailer Tow Group is $1,395 which includes things like Power Trailer-Tow Mirrors with Manual Fold-Away, Trailer Brake-Controller, Trailer Light Check, and Trailer Reverse Steering Control.

It also has the Bed Utility package for $945 which includes this 400W Inverter, an  Exterior 115V AC Outlet, Cargo Tie-Down Hooks by Mopar, a Deployable Bed-Step, and a Spray-In Bedliner by Mopar®. It also has a Tonneau Cover for $945.

Finally, the Tradesman Level 1 Equipment Group for $1,695 gives you 2nd-row In-Floor Storage Bins, a Cloth Bench Seat, Front and Rear Floor Mats, a Rear Power-Sliding Window, and 3-Months of  Sirius XM. All that adds up to a total price of $54,980.



I promise you won’t miss the Hemi, this Standard output has 25 horsepower and 59 lb-ft over the old 5.7-liter V-8 which are significant in the way this truck drives. It’s smoother, faster and it won’t cost you a fortune. It’s still the truck to beat.

2025 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Tradesman Numbers

BASE PRICE: $50,015
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, 4WD, 5-passenger, 4-door truck
L Hurricane Straight six turbo Standard Output
POWER: 420 hp
TORQUE: 469 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

0-60 MPH: 5.0 sec
CURB WEIGHT: 5,250 lbs (est)

PAYLOAD: 1,900 lbs

OUR OBSERVED: 16.7 mpg
PROS: Hurricane 6 delivers on power and torque, Fantastic ride quality, great on and off-road
CONS: Can get pricey with options