2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven

The Ram 1500 TRX can pamper you with its luxurious interior and make you wet your pants with its brutal on- and off-road performance at the same time

LISTEN 21:33

For very many years, the Ford F-150 Raptor was the only off-road standalone model you could get straight from the factory. Ram, however, decided to come up with a rival for it and announced its intention by coming up with a concept performance off-road truck in 2016 called the TRX. Pretty much everything we saw there made it to the production version as well.

Fast forward to 2020, Ram launched the TRX as a Raptor-killer by upping the ante in almost every single department. The TRX was introduced with a supercharged V-8 that makes over 700 horses, impressive off-road equipment and specs, and an uber-premium cabin. Given all the bells and whistles Ram offered, there was no way this was going to be an inexpensive truck. Ram priced it at $69,000 at launch in the ‘base’ form. At that time, it was clearly positioned above the Raptor as they both had a significant price difference.

While this is a truck that you definitely want, is this a truck that you actually need? A white 2021 Ram TRX arrived at TopSpeed and we find out the answer to that.

  • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Eight-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    702
  • MPG(Cty):
    10
  • MPG(Hwy):
    14
  • Torque @ RPM:
    650
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    118 mph
  • Price:
    72000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Ram TRX Driving Impresions

Ram 1500 TRX Exterior

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002109

Up front, it features skid plates, steel bumpers, two tow hooks, a massive hood scoop, and a grille unique only to the TRX in Ram’s lineup. The hood scoop and the grille play a major role in the air intake. Ram noted that 50-percent of air intake to the engine will be through the massive hood scoop, and the rest through the grille. The truck also comes with adaptive LEDs.

The truck rides on 18-inch beadlock wheels wrapped in 35-inch, 325/65 section Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain Tires developed specifically for this beast.

It also features 15-inch brakes at the front. It comes with dual five-inch exhaust outlets and two tow hooks on its derriere. Ram offers the 1500 TRX in just one body style - Crew cab with a 5.7-foot cargo bed. Surprisingly, Ram has ditched its MultiFunction Tailgate in favor of a simple power tailgate.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 1002222

Our Ram 1500 TRX test truck was finished in Bright White and Diamond Black Crystal dual-tone exterior shade. The other colors on offer are:

  • Flame Red with Diamond Black Crystal
  • Hydro Blue with Diamond Black Crystal
  • Granite Crystal Metallic with Diamond Black Crystal
  • Billet Silver with Diamond Black Crystal
  • Single-tone Diamond Black Crystal

An Ignition Orange shade was announced at the truck’s launch as a late availability, whereas an Anvil Grey shade was offered exclusively on the TRX Launch Edition.

How Big Is The Ram 1500 TRX?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002174

The Ram 1500 TRX is 232.9 inches long, 88 inches wide, and 80.9 inches tall. The wheelbase measures 145.1 inches. The ground clearance, with the skid plate, is rated at 11.8 inches. As for the tracks, the front track is 74.5 inches wide whereas the rear track is 74.1 inches wide. To put things into perspective, this is roughly six inches wider than the standard Ram 1500.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX exterior dimensions
Length 232.9
Width 88
Height 80.9
Wheelbase 145.1
Front Track 74.5
Rear Track 74.1
Bed Length 67
Ground Clearance 11.8

When compared to the F-150 Raptor, the TRX is almost the same size. The Raptor measures 232.6 inches in length, 96 inches in width with the wing mirrors unfolded, and 80.7 inches tall. Although the TRX is 0.3 inches longer, the Raptor has a longer wheelbase by the same length. It measures 145.4 inches. The tracks are 0.2 inches narrower at the front as well as back, measuring 74.3 inches and 73.9 inches, respectively.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002142

The F-150 Raptor takes the cake when it comes to the angles. The TRX’s approach angle is rated at 30.2 degrees, breakover angle at 21.9 degrees, and departure angle at 23.5 degrees. The Raptor’s approach angle is rated at 33.1 degrees, departure angle at 24.9 degrees, and breakover angle at 24.4 degrees. Despite having a slightly longer wheelbase, the Raptor boasts of a better breakover angle because it sits 1.3 inches higher off the ground when compared to its rival. The TRX comes with a 5.7-foot cargo bed, whereas the Raptor features a 5.5-foot bed.

How Much Does The Ram 1500 TRX Weigh?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002110

The TRX is pretty heavy, weighing in at 6,350 pounds. This makes it 610 pounds heavier than the Raptor which stands at 5,740 pounds.

How Much Can The Ram 1500 TRX Tow and Haul?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002220

The towing capacity on the Ram 1500 TRX is rated at 8,100 pounds, whereas the payload capacity is rated at 1,310 pounds.

The 2021 F-150 Raptor beats the TRX on both counts. The towing and payload capacities are rated at 8,200- and 1,400- pounds respectively. This is an increase of 200 pounds in both capacities over the 2020 F-150 Raptor, which means the TRX had better ratings when it was launched. That doesn’t really matter now, though; does it?

Ram 1500 TRX Interior

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Interior
- image 1002128

It wouldn’t be wrong to say Ram revolutionized the truck segment when we speak of the interior. Ram started offering luxurious interior on trucks that can even put sedans to shame. In fact, the company recently launched a 10th Anniversary Edition of the Ram 1500 Limited, a model known for its plushness.

Step inside and you’ll be welcomed to a cockpit with a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters. You can spend extra money and get this finished in suede and carbon-fiber accents. Behind the steering wheels is an instrument cluster with a multi-information display. The seven-inch screen throws up more data than you would need most of the time. It comes with performance pages, too, to record your off-road and on-road performances. It shows stuff like:

  • Reaction time
  • 0-60 and 0-62 mph acceleration times
  • Quarter-mile time
  • Dyno page
  • G-Force meter
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Interior
- image 1002140
Going against the trend of offering slim bucket seats, Ram has offered heavily bolstered cushies for your tushies. They are designed well to keep you in place when you take this beast hard around the corners or during severe off-roading.

You can have them in cloth and vinyl, or leather and suede, or leather and suede with red and carbon fiber accents.

Fortunately, Ram has ditched the rotary knob gear shifter on this truck. Instead, you get the conventional floor-mounted gear shifter. You get a control panel in place of the knob and it features TRX-specific transfer case switches, like 4WD High/Low, Axle Lock, etc. Even the Drive Mode selector and Launch Control button are here.

Ram offers a dual-pane panoramic sunroof on the TRX. There are some other pretty sweet things, like ventilated seats, power-adjustable seats, etc. that you can opt for.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Interior
- image 1002136

On the center console sits a 12-inch UConnect 4C touchscreen system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Sirius XM. It can be upgraded to UConnect 5 software in the future. For now, it is slated to come in 2022. The upgrade would support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apart from this, the truck also comes with a wireless charger, five USB ports, including Type A and C ports, and a 10-speaker sound. For audiophiles, Ram offers a 19-speaker, 900-Watt Harman-Kardon audio system as an option.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Interior
- image 1002176

Apart from this, the other tech stuff that can be had includes:

  • A new color Head-Up Display
  • 9.2-inch wide Digital Rearview Mirror
  • Trailer Reverse Steer Control, similar to Ford’s Pro-Trailer Backup Assist

How Spacious Is The Ram 1500 TRX?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Interior
- image 1002196

On the inside, the Ram TRX is mighty spacious; just like any other pickup truck. In the first row, it offers 40.9 of headroom, 40.9 inches of legroom, 66 inches of shoulder room, and 63.4 inches of hip room. The Raptor is almost just as spacious. It comes with better legroom up front, thanks to the longer wheelbase. It offers 40.8 inches of headroom, 43.9 inches of legroom, 66.7 inches of headroom, and 62.5 inches of hip room.

In the second row, the Ram TRX offers headroom of 39.8 inches, legroom of 45.2 inches, shoulder room of 65.7 inches, and hip room of 63.4 inches. The Raptor offers 40.4 inches of headroom, 43.6 inches of legroom, 66 inches of shoulder room, and 62.6 inches of hip room.

Ram TRX vs Ford F-150 Raptor interior dimensions
Ram TRX Ford F-150 Raptor
1st Row Headroom 40.9 40.8
1st Row Leg Room 40.9 43.9
1st Row Shoulder Room 66 66.7
1st Row Hip Room 63.4 62.5
2nd Row Headroom 39.8 40.4
2nd Row Leg Room 45.2 43.6
2nd Row Shoulder Room 65.7 66
2nd Row Hip Room 63.4 62.6

Ram 1500 TRX Drivetrain

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Drivetrain
- image 1002213
The 2012 Ram 1500 TRX is powered by a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 HEMI Hellcat engine that churns out 702 ponies and 650 pound-feet of twist.

Power is routed to the wheels via an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic gearbox. The truck comes with a heavy-duty advanced four-wheel-drive system as well.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX specifications
Ram TRX
Engine 6.2-Liter V-8
Fuel Premium
Horsepower 702 HP
Torque 650 LB-FT
Transmission 8AT
Drive 4WD
Towing Capacity 8,100 LBS
Fuel Economy 10/14/12
Curb Weight 6,350
Fuel Capacity 33 Gal
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Drivetrain
- image 1002167

There are multiple pre-set drive modes on offer that control the throttle response, four-wheel-drive system, transmission, suspension, and electric power steering. The modes include – Sport, Snow, Auto, Tow, Custom, Mud/Sand, Rock, Baja. With all the power it makes, the truck can also fly, and Ram knows there will be times you’ll keep it off the ground for a few seconds. To make sure this doesn’t cause any adverse effects, the company has introduced something known as ‘Jump Detection’. Jump Detection derives wheel-speed and ride-height data from the sensors and accelerometers at each corner to identify when the vehicle is airborne and acts to prevent driveline-damaging power spikes.

As for the performance specs, it can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 118 mph, which is why the 1500 TRX is officially the “Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Mass-produced Truck in the World” for now. It comes with a Launch Control, too, in case you plan to take it to the drag strip. Ram says the truck can do a quarter-mile run in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. We have seen it in action in the past.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Drivetrain
- image 1002231

A truck that’s capable of doing all these things needs to have a strong suspension setup. The 1500 TRX comes with a front independent suspension system with active damping. It also features a Dana 60 solid rear axle. The TRX has a front-wheel travel range of 13 inches and a rear-wheel travel range of 14 inches. A BorgWarner transfer case and an electronic locking rear differential are also in place.

It also comes with 2.5-inch Bilstein Performance Black Hawk e2 adaptive shocks at the front and rear. According to the automaker, this will help traverse over harsh terrains even with speeds greater than 100 mph, thus making it a competent desert runner.

The Ram’s final drive ratio is 3.55:1 whereas the low-range four-wheel-drive ratio is rated at 2.64:1. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the truck has a crawl ratio of 44:1.

How Fuel-Efficient Is The Ram TRX?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002142

Asking how much a 6,000+ pound truck that features a 702-horsepower supercharged V-8 returns per gallon is a cardinal sin. But, if you really want to know, then the truck delivers 10 miles in the city, 14 miles on the highway, and 12 miles combined for every gallon of fuel consumed. Expect this to dip into single digits when going off-roading or driving with a heavy foot and expect it to burn a hole in your pocket.

If you want something more efficient, the Raptor V-6 will serve you better. It delivers 15 mpg in the city, 18 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined.

How Much Does The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Cost?

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002147

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX comes with a base price of $70,325 plus $1,695 destination. The cheapest exterior shade you can get is Diamond Black Crystal that’s priced at 100 bucks. So, the starting price of the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is essentially $72,120.

Our test model came finished in dual-tone Bright White and Diamond Black Crystal shade, which is a $250 option.

Ram 1500 TRX Competition

Ford F-150 Raptor

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 968765

Ford introduced the third-gen F-150 Raptor around the same time it launched the fourteenth-gen F-150. While it comes with a lot of new, impressive stuff, like the suspension setup, bigger tires from the factory, and exhaust system, Ford didn’t make any changes to the powertrain. It continues to be powered by the same 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, V-6 EcoBoost mill that puts out 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all wheels via the same 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. It comes with a whole lot of other stuff, like:

  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • Independent front suspension system
  • New five-link rear suspension setup
  • Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs
  • 3.1-inch Fox Live Valve dampers
  • Front suspension travel range of 14 inches
  • Rear suspension travel range of 15 inches
  • Available Torsen front limited-slip differential with 4:10 final drive ratio
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 968767

It is based on the 2021 F-150 and is available only in the SuperCrew body style now. The Raptor rides on 17-inch wheels shod in 35-inch tires standard. You can also have 37-inch tires as an option from the factory itself. On the inside, you get stuff like a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12-inch touchscreen SYNC4 infotainment system that supports wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, and 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, to name a few. You can even opt for Recaro bucket seats for extra moolah.

When the TRX was launched, Ford had the second-gen F-150 Raptor on sale. It started at $53,455 for the Regular Cab and $56,440 for the SuperCrew. This made it significantly cheaper than the Ram truck.

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 968769

The 2021 F-150 Raptor, however, saw a big price jump. It now starts at $65,840 including destination, which closes the price gap between the two to barely a little over $6,000. Ford is also working on a V-8 rendition of the truck called the Raptor R. It will most-likely be priced well over the starting price of Ram 1500 TRX. This way, the Raptor R won’t cannibalize into the standard Raptor’s sales, and Ford will sandwich the TRX between both these models. This way you’ll have not one, but two alternatives for the TRX – one cheaper, and the other even more expensive.

Ram 1500 TRX vs Ford F-150 Raptor specifications
Ram TRX Ford F-150 Raptor
Engine 6.2-Liter V-8 3.5-Liter V-6
Fuel Premium Premium
Horsepower 702 HP 450 HP
Torque 650 LB-FT 510 LB-FT
Transmission 8AT 10AT
Drive 4WD 4WD
Towing Capacity 8,100 LBS 8,200 LBS
Fuel Economy 10/14/12 15/18/16
Curb Weight 6,350 5,740
Fuel Capacity 33 Gal TBA

Read our full review on the Ford F-150 Raptor

Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition

2021 Ram 1500 TRX Exterior
- image 929402

Ram had rolled out the TRX Limited Edition when the truck was launched. It came with numerous stuff that set it apart from the standard TRX. Priced at over $90,000, it didn’t seem worth the extra $20,000 at the onset, but it came with a whole lot of stuff. Not to mention, you would be the owner of an exclusive edition that’s limited to just 702 examples. It was sold out within three hours after the bookings opened. In case you’re curious what made it special, here’s the additional stuff it came with:

  • Exclusive Anvil Grey Exterior Shade
  • TRX Exterior Graphics
  • TRX Hood Graphics
  • 18- x 9.0-inch Beadlock-Capable Alum Wheels by Mopar
  • 19 Speaker Harman Kardon Premium Sound System
  • Four-Adjustable Cargo Tie-Down Hooks
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Deployable Bed-Step
  • Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof
  • Head-Up Display
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Leather and Carbon Flat-Bottom Steering Wheel
  • LED CHMS Lamp
  • Pedestrian Emergency Braking
  • Pick-Up Box Lighting
  • Real Carbon Fiber Interior Accents
  • Rear- View Auto-Dimming Digital Display Mirror
  • Spray-In Bedliner
  • "TRX Launch Edition" Console Badge
  • "TRX" Red Interior Accents
  • TRX Level 2 Equipment Group (more on it below)
  • Priced at $90,315 plus destination

Ram 1500 TRX Packages

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002165

The 1500 TRX is offered with many optional packages, something that’s not uncommon with the Stellantis products. Some of those include:

TRX Level 2 Equipment Group - $7,920

  • Body-Color Door Handles
  • Wrapped Driver and Passenger Assist Handles
  • Front Door Accent Lighting
  • Full-Length Premium Upgraded Floor-Console
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Instrument-Panel LED Ambient-Light Piping
  • Leather and Suede Flat-Bottom Steering Wheel
  • Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats
  • Luxury Front Door-Trim Panel
  • Pick-Up Box Lighting
  • Eight-Way Power Driver and Passenger Seats
  • Four-way Power Lumbar Adjustable Driver Seat
  • Four-way Power Lumbar Adjustable Passenger Seat
  • Four-way Front Headrests
  • Power Adjustable Pedals with Memory Function
  • Premium Wrapped Instrument- Panel Bezel
  • Rain-Sensitive Windshield Wipers
  • Rear-Door Accent-Lighting
  • Rear Under-Seat Storage Compartment
  • Rear Window Defroster
  • Sun-Visors with Illuminated Vanity-Mirrors
  • Universal Garage-Door Opener
  • Blind-Spot and Cross-Path Detection
  • Driver-Seat Memory
  • Exterior Mirrors with Memory
  • Heated Second-Row Seats
  • ParkSense Front and Rear Park-Assist with Stop
  • Driver-Seat/Radio/Mirrors/Pedals Memory Pre-Sets
  • Remote-Proximity Keyless –Entry
  • Remote-Start System
  • Remote Tailgate-Release
  • Rear 60 / 40 Folding Split Recline Seat
  • Surround-View Camera
  • Trailer Brake-Control
  • Ventilated Front Seats
  • Ventilated Rear Seats
  • Wireless Charging-Pad
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002172

TRX Carbon Fiber Package - $1,295

  • Leather and Carbon Flat-Bottom Steering Wheel
  • Real Carbon Fiber Interior Accents

Technology Group - $1,095

  • Head-up Display
  • Rear-view Auto-Dimming Digital Mirror
  • LED Center High-Mounted Stop Lamp

Advanced Safety Group - $995

  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Pedestrian Emergency Braking
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior
- image 1002170

Bed Utility Group - $845

  • Four Adjustable Cargo Tie-Down Hooks
  • Deployable Bed-Step
  • Spray-in Bedliner

Trailer-Tow Group - $395

  • Trailer Brake Controller
  • Trailer Light Check
  • Trailer TPMS

Ram 1500 TRX Warranty

Ram is offering a three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty on the TRX, and a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty on the powertrain.

Final Thoughts

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 1002100

So, to answer the question we posed at the beginning of this article – the Ram 1500 TRX is a fantastic buy if money is no object. It doesn’t necessarily perform as well as a conventional pickup truck or a conventional sports car. However, it infuses the characteristics of both the stark-different vehicles very well. It can tow and haul on a workday, and can be unleashed for quick sprints or desert runs over the weekend.

The 1500 TRX is well-loaded in the base form, but you can pamper yourself even more with the numerous accessories and packages that are available as optional. People looking for a frugal option will find the F-150 Raptor’s comparatively fuel-efficient engine better. The 2021 Raptor even comes with an improved suspension setup, a loud exhaust system, and massive tires from the factory. The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is manufactured at the company’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan.

  • Leave it
    • Not a cheap truck by any means
    • No MultiFunction tailgate
    • Single-digit fuel economy with a heavy-foot
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

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