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Derek Shiekhi | Sep 01, 2020

RAM trucks congregate in mountainous terrain

The truck segment of the automotive market is a highly competitive environment. Automakers need to work even harder than their vehicles to make sure they offer pickups that can go further on a gallon of fuel, haul more, and pull heavier loads than rival models.

Since becoming a standalone brand a decade ago, RAM has done a great job of making attractive, capable rigs and turning prospective buyers into owners. But it's only going to keep on that upward path by making continuous improvements to its lineup. RAM seems to know that well because it's made several upgrades to its vehicles for the 2021 model year. Here are the highlights of what you can expect to see the next time you go to an AutoNation RAM dealership.

The newest generation of RAM pickups already had an impressive amount of available technology, but RAM has focused on the 1500 and given it even more useful and convenient features for 2021. That's not the only major change RAM has made to its light duty model, though. Look out for two new trim levels, too.

RAM 1500 trucks enjoy a picturesque lake view

2021 RAM 1500 Classic

Good news for all of you fans of the last-generation 1500. RAM has kept producing it since the all-new model came out for the 2019 model year and it plans to continue doing so for 2021. We just have to wait a while to learn about the '21 model. As of this moment, RAM hasn't released any details about it yet. A company representative told us to expect more information on the 1500 Classic closer to its on-sale date, which should be sometime around Halloween.

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A silver RAM 1500 shows off its towing capacity

2021 RAM 1500

RAM has kept the Laramie Longhorn trim level the same as it was before, but shortened its name to just Longhorn. The new Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition honors a decade of RAM's southwestern-themed luxury. You can tell it apart from its siblings by looking at the special badges on its doors and tailgate. The Mountain Brown-colored cabin has even more badges on the instrument cluster (which displays a unique graphic when you start the engine) and panel, laser-filigreed seats, floor mats and center console. Trim-specific metal accents, door bolsters, seat inserts, bezels, speaker grilles, Berber carpet and metal pedal covers complete the one-year-only look. Regular Limited Longhorn models keep the same visual enhancements, but drop the 10th Anniversary Edition markings on the badges and other related areas.

RAM trucks sport a snow plow add-on

When temperatures finally cool down, the 2021 RAM 1500 will be ready for them with an optional Snow Plow Prep package that includes a 220-amp alternator, plow wiring harness and power-sliding rear window with defroster. Trucks equipped with the 4x4 Off-Road Group now come with the cool Off-Road Pages you may recognize from the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Those show you useful information, such as your ride height, transfer case position, pitch and roll and other important gauge readouts.The rest of the improvements to the 2021 RAM 1500 fall into two major categories: towing and safety. All 1500 trim levels are available with a Wired Trailer Camera Prep Kit. You can keep an eye on that trailer with power-folding trailer mirrors, which are now available as a standalone option or as part of the 360-degree Surround View camera system.

The Trailer Package's new Trailer Light Check and Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring technology make it less stressful to pull heavy loads. RAM found even more room in the Trailer Package to fit Trailer Reverse Steering Control. Just punch in a few measurements, twist the dial in the direction you want the trailer to go and let the system do the steering for you.

RAM thoroughly overhauled the 1500's available safety equipment for 2021. It rolled Full-speed Collision Warning Plus into the Level 1 Equipment Group available on Tradesman and Bighorn models and made it standard on Laramie, Rebel, Longhorn, Limited Longhorn and Limited trucks. The Advanced Safety Group is even more…well…advanced thanks to the addition of Pedestrian Detection.

View of the RAM interior

For the first time ever, FCA is offering a Heads-up Display and it's using the 2021 RAM 1500 as its debut vehicle (sorry, Dodge muscle car fans!). Using the available 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, you can pick the five readouts you want the display to show, whether you want to see the navigation system's next route guidance suggestion, your current speed, the local speed limit or one of a few other vehicle-related updates. You can get a better view of what's behind you by checking the real-time video feed on the new optional digital rearview mirror's 9.2-inch-wide LCD monitor.

In case you didn't read about it already, RAM is finally making a true competitor to the Ford Raptor. Keeping with the dino theme, RAM calls it the TRX (as in, T-Rex). It's a true off-road beast that's eight inches wider than a regular 1500 and rides on a beefed up frame, upgraded suspension with active damping and 35-inch all-terrain tires. The TRX is a fast hunter because RAM engineers jammed a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque under its vented hood.

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2021 RAM 2500/3500 Heavy Duty

Give RAM's most capable trucks a dark and dapper look with the Limited Night Edition package, a monochromatic cosmetics bundle that combines a black grille, black badges and black 20-inch wheels with a variety of available body colors.

Don't be surprised if some or all of the cool tech that the 2021 RAM 1500 offers gets incorporated into the 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models in 2022 or 2023. We certainly won't be.RAM seems well on its way to another year of hard-working trucks with useful content, helpful tech and plenty of style. If you want to see and experience its 2021 lineup in person, plan a visit to your local AutoNation RAM dealership later this year.

Shop RAM 2500 Inventory

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**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.