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A silver 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is kicking up sand while driving down a sand dune.

Should You Upgrade Your Pickup to the 2021 Ram TRX?

Ram has unveiled its toughest, most stylish Ram pickup yet – the 2021 Ram TRX. Eight inches wider than the latest Ram 1500, their popular standard pickup, and with supreme off-road control, the 2021 TRX is sure to dominate the market. Compare the 2021 Ram TRX vs 2020 Ford Raptor, and the TRX undoubtedly outperforms the Raptor. Simply put, the TRX is the truck to beat, and it has quickly earned quite the reputation.

After all, Ram’s special Launch Edition TRX sold out nationwide in a matter of hours. And it’s easy to see why. The launch trailer for the latest TRX was a veritable magic show of quaking earth, rockets launching into space, welding machinery shooting sparks, roaring dinosaurs, and other hypermasculine power motifs alongside their superpowered pickup. Ram hoped this would set the tone for their 2021 Ram TRX, but does it deserve this reputation?

Sure, you can rarely go wrong with a Ram truck. They’ve consistently churned out powerful pickups that are also comfortable to drive. But if you’re searching for a brand-new car, should you really invest in the latest TRX? Whether you’re a Raptor enthusiast, a veteran Ram driver, or just a shopper in search of a brand-new automobile and considering a Ram, here are the latest details before you test drive a 2021 TRX.

Overview

The 2021 Ram TRX is the latest from Ram’s line of high-performance pickup trucks. With a whopping 702-hp engine, 650 lb-ft of torque, and an acceleration of 0 to 60 in only 4.5 seconds, this pickup performs like a sportscar – one with a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds. There’s more to offer in the cabin, too.

The interior boasts superpowered technology and seriously comfortable upholstery that can stand a little rough treatment. Even better, the latest TRX is also designed to be the ultimate off-road pickup. Ram made it clear that they were developing a new Ram truck to face down Ford’s Raptor. But have they succeeded?

A red 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is kicking up sand while off-roading after winning the 2021 Ram TRX vs 2020 Ford Raptor comparison.

New in 2021

Ram’s new Ram TRX has been tweaked for superior off-road capabilities and sporty performance, with sleek beadlock-capable wheels, a 6.2-liter V8 engine, a reinvented steel frame, and a seriously tough suspension with an impressive 13 inches of travel. And thanks to the TRX’s new Bilstein Black Hawk e2 shock system, which Ram claims is the most sophisticated on any production truck, the TRX is easy to maneuver and handle, despite its impressive size.

With the ability to adjust your driving mode for travel on rocks, mud, snow, sand dunes, and more, the TRX is a monster wherever it goes. Ram even states that the new TRX can wade through up to 32 inches of water. All of this is part of Ram’s aim to engineer the most perfectly well-rounded truck around.

The new Ram TRX is also offering something else that few other pickups can: a luxurious interior. Its futuristic head-up display (HUD) projects information like your current speed, navigation information, and social notifications straight onto the windshield. The info on your virtual cockpit is customizable, too, so you can see what’s important to you or even clear your windshield completely when you just want to focus on the road ahead.

The interior also boasts features like sleek aluminum shift paddles right on the steering wheel, performance vinyl and cloth seats, suede accents, and an overall sporty but suave look that’s sure to impress. In this respect, the 2021 Ram TRX stands head-and-shoulders above the competition.

Ram refers to this model as “the most powerful production street-legal half-ton pickup ever built.” But does it actually earn this reputation, or is Ram just urging you to rush into buying their latest pickup? We think it has the stats to back up Ram’s claims. But, whether this truck is a good value is another story.

Is It a Good Value?

A blue 2020 Ford Raptor is off-roading on dirt with a dust trail behind it.

Value isn’t just about price. Sure, the 2021 Ram TRX starts at $70,095 – quite a high MSRP outside of the luxury car market – but remember to take into account what you’re getting for the money. Being an informed consumer in this respect arms you against aggressive sales tactics, which may push you into making an impulsive decision.

First, the 2021 Ram TRX’s towing capacity of 8,100 lbs exceeds that of the Ford Raptor, and its 1,310 lbs of payload is also more than Ford’s best. But believe it or not, these figures don’t set an industry-standard – in fact, Ram exceeds itself. A basic Ram 1500 can tow as much as 12,750 lbs. So if you’re actually searching for the most powerful towing machine – whether for a specific task or just for bragging rights – the 2021 TRX may not be the way to go.

And if safety is a concern, the latest TRX may not be for you. In order to get popular features like lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and other smart features that come standard in many less expensive vehicles, you’ll need to upgrade to the Level 2 TRX package. However, if the price isn’t an issue, the basic Ram 1500 is the safest full-size truck on the market.

However, if you want a high-speed desert runner or an unstoppable wilderness explorer, then the TRX is hands down the best in its class. The Ford Raptor was the previous king of performance pickups, but against the TRX, it doesn’t stand a chance. How long it will take for Ford to respond to Ram’s new model is open to question, but until then, the TRX is the new champion. And in comparison to what the Raptor brings to the table, the price tag of the TRX represents excellent value.

But in some ways, the power and features of the TRX have made it so capable that it is no longer even competing in the same segment as the Raptor. While the TRX is significantly more capable, the capability comes with a higher price tag, and the Raptor will run you significantly less. So if you are content with what the Raptor provides and are seeking to save some money, it is still an option worth considering.

Our Verdict

If you need a performance upgrade, the new TRX is certainly an attractive offer. It’s a simply amazing pickup, and the maintenance and warranty coverage are some of the best deals in the automotive business. With a luxury interior, unbeatable off-road performance, and a mighty Hellcat engine, there is simply nothing else like it on or off the roads. In many ways, the 2021 Ram TRX has entirely redefined what it means to be a performance truck in the same manner that the original Ford Raptor did when it was first released back in 2010.

So for those in the market for a brand-new pickup, who are looking for the best luxury feel and off-road capability, look to the 2021 Ram TRX. Just bear in mind that it’s a hefty investment and can run well over $70,000, depending on how you customize your truck. While Ford and Chevy may soon strike back with their own TRX competitors, for now, the Ram is the unchallenged champion of off-road trucks. And you simply can’t put a price tag on the best performance available.

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