Yes, we’re calling our $91,185 2021 Ram 1500 TRX a good road trip vehicle in a time when the premium gas it guzzles costs nearly $6.00 per gallon near our office. No, we don’t believe things are better just by virtue of being expensive, but sometimes, an expensive thing is expensive because it’s actually good, and when it comes to long-distance travel, our Ram TRX long-term tester is king.
Let’s start with a few simple facts. If you can comfortably afford a $90,000 truck, you can afford the gas. You may not want to, but it isn’t hard to find another truck with better fuel economy if that’s the case. Either way, you know what you’re getting into. If you’re even considering a TRX, you want what it has to offer: big power, cushy off-road suspension, all the comfort features, and an overdose of truck attitude. More than anything, you want a truck. If you’re going to get a truck anyway, and you want to be king of the interstate on your next family vacation, the Ram 1500 TRX is your chariot. Those fancy Bilstein shocks might’ve been developed for desert racing, but they’re equally awesome on the highway. The TRX floats over the bad pavement left in the wake of 80-ton big rigs as easily as it goes down a trail.
Available only with the four-door Crew Cab, the TRX is as massive on the inside as it is on the outside. People riding up front get big, comfy captain’s chairs, and the folks in the back have all the legroom in the world. Blow $21,000 on options like we did, and you get everything from 12-way power leather heated seats, cooled front buckets, leather-wrapped grab handles, and a heated steering wheel to make the trip more comfortable. Before you even get in, you can pre-condition the cabin with the remote start function. That’s a great way to enjoy the Ram’s V-8 burble while making the cabin nice and comfy.
You can also make those long interstate slogs easier on the driver. Our Ram has adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind-spot warnings, automatic wipers, a head-up display, and more. That’s on top of the standard 12.0-inch portrait-oriented infotainment screen that does split-screen CarPlay or Android Auto so you can still use other functions at the same time.
Then, there’s the driver’s favorite feature: 702 supercharged horsepower, standard. Merging on the freeway? Going up a hill? Passing slow traffic? Got the truck loaded down with gear or a trailer? All of the above, simultaneously? Just apply throttle, and all your problems are solved.
You know how it goes. At some point in the road trip, there’s always that one car up ahead that’s camping in the left lane, pacing traffic in the right lane instead of passing. Once enough traffic stacks up behind the two, your options for getting ahead become scarce and don’t last long. With a 702 hp V-8, you can make the most of them.
We do, of course, have to talk about the gas mileage. If you’re coming out of a truck that’s 12 years old like the average new vehicle buyer in America, 10 to 14 mpg is nothing new for you. Might even be an improvement. On a recent trip to Phoenix and back, we set the cruise control at 80 mph, and the truck still self-reported more than 14 mpg (the EPA highway rating). Not great compared to other modern trucks, but not all that bad considering this thing is a flying brick with ample seating for five powered by a massive supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 being driven by people who can expense the gas.
Sure, filling the 33-gallon tank hurts at $6 a gallon (or sometimes more), so much so we advise people to fill up at a quarter-tank so they don’t have to run two transactions when the credit card cuts off— $175 fill-ups suck, but at least you can go nearly 400 miles on that gas, hopefully to a region with lower prices.
The TRX is wildly expensive and impractical in many ways, but if you’re going to buy one anyway, you’ll be happy to know it’s as pleasant to drive on the good old-fashioned family vacation as it is crossing the country off- road on the Trans-America Trail.
Looks good! More details?