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A grey 2022 Ram 1500 TRX is shown from the side off-roading through the desert.

2022 Ram 1500 Poses the Question: Rugged Power or Luxury Performance?

Truck shoppers are probably used to selecting from a limited line-up of trucks that center around very stereotypical archetypes within the pickup category. For example, you go with a half-ton super cab with rear-wheel drive for max towing capabilities, or you go with a crew cab and four-wheel drive for off-roading or carrying multiple passengers. However, Ram decided to mix things up a bit for the 2022 model year line-up. It’s not just about towing, off-roading and expensive packages; it’s about giving distinction to a luxury line-up of performance-driven pickups while still offering the raw performance that people expect from Ram. In this regard, those eyeing a 2022 Ram 1500 are being posed with the question of whether they want a truck that delivers raw power with rugged capabilities or a truck that embraces a rarity within the realm of pickups when it comes to luxury performance?

Distinction Through Trims

New for the 2022 model year is the G/T package option for select trims of the Ram 1500 series. It’s not a huge departure from what you would expect from the truck, but it fits in line with Ram’s separation of class performance based on trims. The G/T trim was and still is quite popular with Dodge vehicles and typically signified a performance option of that brand. Well, the same applies here to the Ram brand. The 2022 Ram 1500 G/T is available for the Rebel and Laramie.

So if you wanted that rugged horsepower for off-roading, but you didn’t have the budget for the incomparable Ram 1500 TRX, you could still get your kicks with the Rebel G/T. If, however, you wanted luxury performance and all of the accouterments that come with it, you could very easily nab yourself the Laramie G/T.

The package comes with some exterior detailing and modifications to the fascia, along with performance exhaust and airflow intake for improved power. Minor additions to the infotainment in the form of performance pages help give the G/T packaged-trims a slightly different identity from the rest of the line-up, along with manual gear shifting in the form of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It all comes back to the Ram 1500 being the pickup focused on giving truck drivers options in how they embrace life on the road with the half-ton Hemi.

A 2022 Ram 1500 TRX is shown from the front off-roading through a desert.

Do You Want More Luxury?

Let’s be honest; when you think about a luxury-oriented pickup, most people defer to GMC’s Sierra brand, or more specifically, the Denali trim. Sure, Ram has the Limited and Laramie trims, but they never seemed to quite compete in the same realm as the Sierra…until now. The powerhouse performance brand seems to want shoppers to know that if they want luxury performance, they should consider a 2022 Ram 1500, especially the Limited, Longhorn, and Laramie trims.

The Limited, in particular, has been outfitted with an overhaul thanks to the 10th Anniversary Edition, which comes with an entire suite of upscale interior modifications. This includes a leather-trimmed center console, leather steering wheel, two-toned color cabin with suede inserts, a 19-speaker surround sound system, and a special metal pedal. The multi-functional tailgate also adds to the appeal, so it’s for more than just looks; it’s also about functionality.

The feature list reads like something you would expect from a sports car or high-end sedan. But in many ways, it’s Ram’s way of saying, “Hey, we can compete with the luxury cars, too!” The 10th Anniversary Limited trim also comes in a very eye-catching Blue Shade livery, earning it some flavor of praise in the form of being called the “fanciest” trim yet. It’s hard to argue that point when you look at the feature list for this year’s outing of the 2022 Ram Limited trim.

But as the headline to this article states, luxury doesn’t come at the expense of performance. It is luxury-performance. Even the luxury trim is still outfitted with an eTorque-powered 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that outputs 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Alternatively, if you needed more torque than raw horses, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is an available option that produces up to 480 pound-feet of torque for that extra towing capacity.

Rugged Power Hasn’t Gone Anywhere

At the end of the day, the 2022 Ram 1500 is still all about that rugged, masculine power. The special editions and attention to luxury for this model year’s outing don’t distract from the fact that in addition to the G/T package adding some extra oomph to the Ram 1500’s capabilities, there’s another special treat in the form of the BackCountry Edition. This particular outing takes the Big Horn/Longhorn and spruces up its performance capabilities, mostly in the off-road department.

The package gives the Big Horn/Longhorn trim improved suspension for its four-wheel drive configuration, which includes off-road capable shocks, and skid plates to protect the undercarriage. An electronic locking rear differential for maximum traction control is also included in the package. A few extra bed options have also been added to increase the efficiency of the cargo facilities. This includes a deployable bed-step, LED bed lighting, a bed extender, a spray-in bedliner, and adjustable tie-down hooks.

This is a nice little compromise for people who wanted the rugged performance capabilities of the Ram 1500 Rebel but without paying out the extra $10,000 for those options. In this case, the BackCountry Edition package outfits the Big Horn/Longhorn with the Rebel’s ruggedness but at a much lower price. And, the best part about it is that you still have access to the iconic power that Ram is known for. The Big Horn/Longhorn trims come equipped with variations of the 5.7-liter Hemi V8, either in standard gasoline or making use of the hybrid eTorque, the latter of which can deliver some instantaneous torque for improved off-the-line performance.

A white 2022 Ram 1500 is shown from the rear off-roading in a desert.

Are You a Rugged Power or Luxury Performance Trucker?

The dichotomy between a rugged pickup that oozes bravado from its exterior qualities and tried-and-true under-the-hood power versus a luxury pickup with a classy interior and expensive cabin materials is quite apparent with the 2022 Ram 1500’s line-up. There’s a lot of variation in the trims and packages that make the distinctions quite clear. But the question is whether you’re more for the former or the latter? Are you all about that rugged power or luxury performance? Or maybe you’re a trucker who likes something in between?

A lot of people made it clear how much they enjoyed the half-ton Ram’s raw power when the 1500 TRX went on to become a sales phenomenon for the company and really helped redefine the expectations of a performance-driven light-duty truck. The options made available for the 2022 Ram 1500 seem to be keeping in line with those expectations, as the company is targeting truckers who either really like the Ram’s rugged capabilities or would prefer something extremely luxurious.

The options in between are still stock and standard fare. So if you weren’t interested in either of the contrasting options, you could still stick with a Tradesman or HFE and call it a day. But I imagine the team at Ram was looking to entice people on the fence about a pickup and the role it might play in their day-to-day activities. For the adventurous and boisterous weekend warriors, you have the Rebel and Rebel G/T. Can’t afford the Rebel? Fine, opt for the BackCountry Big Horn/Longhorn. Want luxury with an edge? Go with a Laramie G/T. Want refined luxury? 10th Anniversary Limited edition gets it done. The only question now is, where do you fit along that spectrum as a truck enthusiast?

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