Even casual readers will know that pickup trucks are important around Car and Driver HQ. They ferry testing equipment, haul toys and bodies on far-flung adventures, and generally prove useful in all the ways that trucks are designed to be. They also can be good ol’ fun. Case in point: the supercharged Ram 1500 TRX, which brings a hardcore long-travel suspension and 702 intoxicating horsepower to Ram’s 10Best-winning half-ton pickup. True, we recently put 40,000 miles on one of those—a luxuriously outfitted 2019 model—but the TRX is (almost) as practical as it is exciting, and Toyota has yet to grant us a redesigned Tundra for an extended stay, so here we are, welcoming the most powerful long-term vehicle C/D has ever tested.
The TRX nabbed that title from another supercharged vehicle, a 556-hp 2011 Cadillac CTS-V wagon. Despite weighing a crushing 6781 pounds and having more than a foot of suspension travel at both ends, the big Ram is a hulking poster child of contemporary performance. Once our 2022 model’s blown 6.2-liter V-8—702 horses, 650 lb-ft of torque—completed its initial 500-mile break-in period (Ram also recommends avoiding track events and similar abuse for the first 1500 miles), our truck clicked off a launch-control-enabled 3.8-second run to 60 mph and covered the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 110 mph. Those absurd times are in line with what we measured previously, when the TRX vanquished a 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor in a comparison test. The TRX’s 60-mph dash also makes it quicker off the line than some serious performance cars, including our previous 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport and Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 long-termers. It’s worth noting that neither of those vehicles could tow 8100 pounds or had a 1310-pound payload capacity.
Far less impressive yet wholly unsurprising are our truck’s understeer-inhibited 0.66 g of skidpad grip and its 195-foot stop from 70 mph, both consequences of the TRX’s prodigious mass and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory AT tires. Also raising zero eyebrows is the TRX’s abysmal 11-mpg average fuel economy thus far—and that’s including a roughly 1400-mile round-trip highway trek from Ann Arbor to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and back. Even with its big 33.0-gallon fuel tank, the TRX can go only about 360 miles between fill-ups. We accept that there’s no way to enjoy this truck’s potential without burning barrels of gas, but it is a significant cost of ownership.
The TRX comes rather nicely equipped at its $75,175 starting price. As many examples are flush with options, we added several to our Granite Crystal Metallic test vehicle, pushing its final ask to $91,030. The most expensive of those extras is the comprehensive TRX Level 2 Equipment Group, a $7750 package that bundles a head-up display, a 19-speaker premium stereo, and heated and ventilated front and rear seats, among other niceties. That package is a bit more expensive than when the TRX debuted, as it now includes a couple of previously separate option groups. Additional highlights include a set of $1895 18-inch beadlock-capable wheels, the $995 Advanced Safety Group with adaptive cruise control, $995 Mopar rock rails under the doors, and a $695 trifold tonneau cover.
Although the TRX is a known and highly entertaining quantity, having it around day after day has underscored a few facts. It is a massive thing—80.9 inches tall and 88.0 inches wide—towering over all but our tallest drivers and proving tricky to squeeze into parking spots and garages, even with our truck’s numerous exterior cameras and parking sensors. Which makes it all the more thrilling to feel it rear back and squish you into the seat when you mat the accelerator, the whine from its blower accompanying the beastly V-8 exhaust note that can be heard for blocks. This off-road-oriented truck also impresses with relatively good road manners, owing primarily to its all-coil suspension and sophisticated Bilstein adaptive dampers that keep body motions in check. The steering feels precise for something rolling on such large, heavy tires, making the TRX surprisingly easy to place on the road.
Still, initial comments in the TRX’s logbook point out that on pavement, the ride is sometimes choppy and not nearly as plush as the latest Raptor’s, particularly with the Ram’s dampers in their stiffest Sport mode. Technical editor David Beard, who helmed the Ram for much of its trip to VIR, also cited the tiring drone from the TRX’s exhaust, which contributes to a 70-decibel sound reading inside the cabin at 70 mph. Before you call us out for being soft, know that we love how this truck bellows with authority by default. But an active exhaust with a quiet mode would be a welcome—and reasonable—addition at this price point. Our other main gripe so far is familiar from our last long-term Ram: glitchy software for the 12.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which randomly affects Bluetooth phone pairing and causes the infotainment system to occasionally freeze up. Fortunately, the TRX has enough horsepower to occupy us while we investigate that issue over the coming miles.
Months in Fleet: 2 months Current Mileage: 3165 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 11 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 33.0 gal Observed Fuel Range: 360 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0 Damage and Destruction: $0
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