2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten First Drive Review: Tough Luxe

Ram adds a new luxury version of its light-duty pickup as part of a significant refresh for 2025.

Black Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern


With its high-output engine and ultra-luxurious cabin, the 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten may be one of the nicest trucks I’ve ever driven. Sitting in the big leather-trimmed seats with the massager on and music streaming through the high-end audio system, it is easy to forget the Tungsten isn't a luxury car. It's a fully capable truck that can tackle rugged off-road terrain and tow almost 8,000 pounds.

One of the bestselling vehicles in the United States, the Ram 1500 full-size pickup brings impressive capability, versatility, and utility to the intensely competitive U.S. truck market. Battling for market share with the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Ram 1500 should continue to hold its own with a significant update for the 2025 model year.

Perhaps the most noteworthy update to this refreshed Ram truck is what's under the hood — or what isn't. For the first time in more than 20 years, the Ram 1500 will not offer a Hemi V8 engine. As much as I miss the sound of that big V8, the new Hurricane Straight-Six Turbo (SST) and high-output version (SST HO) put out more power than the outgoing V8 with the promise of improved fuel efficiency. Perhaps that's worth the sacrifice of a V8 roar.

Ram also raises the bar for luxury pickup trucks with the all-new Tungsten trim. Residing at the top of the Ram 1500 lineup, the Tungsten features a long list of high-end features with a cabin that boasts the comfort and spaciousness of a proper luxury sedan.

Ram offers its light-duty 1500 pickup truck in extended cab (Quad Cab) and crew cab styles with your choice of numerous trim levels. Prices start around $40,000 for the base-level Tradesman Quad Cab, ranging up to around $90,000 for the all-new Tungsten, which comes only with a crew cab.

Black Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

What's New for the 2025 Ram 1500?

The Ram 1500 gets a significant refresh for the 2025 model year, and while the exterior design changes are subtle, the feature updates and powertrain upgrades are extensive.

Still easily recognizable as a Ram truck, the 2025 model gets a larger, forward-leaning grille with a unique look for each trim level. Stylish LED headlights are standard on all Ram 1500s, with adaptive twin bifunctional projector headlamps that can help illuminate around curves and corners on the top-level trims.

Display screens dominate the Ram's cabin, anchored by the available new 14.5-inch vertical touchscreen display running the latest version of the Stellantis infotainment system, Uconnect 5. Uconnect 5 is easily configurable, taking full advantage of the large display. It also uses Ram's new Atlantis electrical architecture, operating at five times the speed of the previous version. This results in an instant response to touchscreen inputs.

Front passenger screen in a Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

An optional 10.3-inch screen for the right side of the dashboard provides added functionality, allowing the passenger to operate the navigation system or see the outside camera views. The passenger can also manage devices with the option of pairing a phone while the vehicle is in motion.

An HDMI connection allows the screen to mirror a phone or tablet for streaming video or searching the internet. The screen is only visible from the passenger seat, so it doesn't distract the driver.

There's also a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation panel that is completely configurable, as well as a head-up display. Multiple USB ports and dual wireless phone chargers provide additional convenience.

While these features improve the daily drive, this is still a pickup truck, and its power and performance are equally important.

Engine bay in a Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

The 2025 Ram 1500 Gets a Powerful New Hurricane Engine

Ram invited me to Austin, Texas, to spend time in its new luxury pickup truck. The Tungsten comes standard with the high-output version of the new Hurricane engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder producing 540 horsepower and 521 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Because the Tungsten is one of the heavier versions of the Ram 1500, the maximum towing capacity is 7,820 pounds, and the maximum payload measures 1,050 pounds. If hauling is more important than luxury, other versions of the 2025 Ram 1500 can tow as much as 11,580 pounds or haul up to 2,300 pounds.

A new high-torque rear axle improves the ride quality and features a limited-slip differential that divides the torque between the rear wheels for maximum traction. An active four-corner air suspension is also available, which can lower the vehicle for easy entry/exit or raise it for improved ground clearance when venturing off-road.

The Tungsten has a long list of standard features, but my test vehicle also included the Trailer Tow Group and Bed Utility Group for a total manufacturer's suggested retail price of $90,535, including the $1,995 destination charge.

Ram hasn't released acceleration times for the truck, but the new SST HO engine is powerful enough to get the Tungsten moving quickly. Acceleration is strong from a stop or when passing at cruising speed, and while the accompanying sound isn't a throaty V8 roar, it still sounds powerful. The eight-speed automatic works well with smooth, almost imperceptible shifts.

Dashboard and steering wheel of a Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

It may be quick off the line, but the Ram 1500 Tungsten is not a sport truck. The steering is agreeable, and the brakes are strong, but this is not a truck for carving up a twisty back road. However, a Ram Tungsten is perfectly comfortable cruising along a country road or down the interstate.

Accelerating onto the freeway is no problem, and moving along at 70 mph, the Tungsten delivers a smooth, comfortable ride, even with an empty cargo bed. The cabin remains surprisingly quiet, with little wind or road noise. Even on rough pavement or dirt roads, the Ram 1500 Tungsten feels utterly stable and planted, the air suspension keeping the bumps to a minimum.

As of publication, official EPA fuel-economy figures were not available for the new Hurricane engine, but during my drive in the Tungsten, the trip computer indicated the SST HO twin-turbo engine averaged 15.5 mpg in a mix of freeway and city driving. While this is a reasonable figure, it is lower than the EPA rating for the 2024 Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter V8, which is 18 mpg.

Infotainment screen in a Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

Living Large in the Luxurious 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

Ram has never offered a truck at the level of the new Tungsten, and this top-of-the-line trim features the latest advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) as well as high levels of luxury.

New to the 2025 Ram 1500 is Active Driving Assist, a hands-on system with Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capability. It uses the adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist and did a great job of keeping the truck in the lane while smoothly maintaining a set distance from the vehicle ahead. I used the system on a multilane open-access highway with stoplights, and the truck slowed to a stop behind other vehicles at intersections and then started again when traffic began moving.

The Tungsten is also available with Ram's first hands-free semi-autonomous driving system, available on select limited-access highways. Unfortunately, our route did not take us to any appropriate roads to try out this technology. Still, this is a significant advancement for the Ram 1500, helping it to catch up to Ford and General Motors, both of which offer a hands-free system on their trucks.

My test truck had the Tungsten's signature Indigo and Sea Salt interior, two colors that play well together. The front seats offer ultimate comfort and style, trimmed in quilted Sea Salt Natura Plus synthetic leather with nice side bolsters and cushioned headrests. They feature 24-way power adjustment, heating, ventilation, and massagers.

I spent several hours behind the wheel, and the seats remained comfortable for the entire drive. Leather covers the center armrest, doors, and dashboard, while soft suede wraps the headliner.

Rear seats in a Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

The rear seats are just as elegant with the same attractive treatment, as well as heated and ventilated outboard cushions. The rear seat is comfortable for three adults, and passengers will enjoy more legroom than in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Tungsten trim also includes an exceptional Klipsch Reference Premier audio system with 23 speakers. This is the first use of a Klipsch audio system in a production vehicle, and the sound quality is excellent.

Black Ram 1500 TungstenPerry Stern

The 2025 Ram 1500 Brings Strong Competition

The Ram 1500 has always been a strong competitor in the full-size pickup truck market, and with the changes for the 2025 model year, it deserves to make gains against the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado. The powerful Hurricane SST engines, new ADAS, and upgraded multiscreen infotainment technologies help make what was a good truck even better. The exclusive, luxurious Tungsten trim is just the cherry on top.

Ram provided the vehicle for this 2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten review and paid for airfare, lodging, and meals during the evaluation period.

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Perry Stern
I have loved cars and trucks since childhood, and that fascination with anything that drives is just as strong today. As a teenager, I knew I wanted to become an automotive journalist, and during the past three decades, I have driven, written about, and photographed all manner of automobiles ranging from affordable econocars to exotic supercars. With the idea that there is a perfect car, truck, or SUV for everyone, my goal is to help consumers determine the right one for their wants and needs.