Are you in the market for a new truck and trying to decide between the Ram Tradesman and the Ram Big Horn? With so many options, it can be overwhelming to determine which is the right fit for your needs.
That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive comparison of the two models to help you make an informed decision.
First, let’s briefly overview the Ram Tradesman and the Ram Big Horn. The Tradesman is a no-frills work truck designed for tough jobs and durability. It’s an excellent option for those in the construction and agriculture industries and anyone who needs a reliable work truck that won’t break the bank.
The Big Horn, however, is a step up in luxury and features. It’s designed for those who need a truck for work and play, with a range of standard and optional features that make it a comfortable and capable choice for everyday use.
Choosing the right truck for your needs is crucial, as it will affect your productivity, comfort, and overall satisfaction with your purchase. We’ll review the key differences between the Tradesman and Big Horn to help you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and compare the two models!
1. Performance and Power: Ram Tradesman vs Big Horn
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a truck is its performance and power. In this regard, the Ram Tradesman and Big Horn have a lot to offer, but they have some differences.
In this section, we will take a closer look at the engine options, towing and payload capacity, and fuel efficiency of both trucks.
Engine options and specifications
The Ram Tradesman has two engine options: a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine that produces 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque and a 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engine that delivers 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque.
On the other hand, the Big Horn offers three engine options: a 3.6-litre V6, a 5.7-litre V8, and a 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6.
The 3.6-litre V6 produces 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, while the 5.7-litre V8 delivers 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque.
And finally, the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 makes 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.
Towing and payload capacity
A truck’s towing and payload capacity is another critical factor to consider.
The Ram 1500 Tradesman offers a towing capacity of up to 12,750 pounds and a payload capacity of up to 2,320 pounds.
The 1500 Big Horn, on the other hand, follows the same strength. Besides, you can always maximize your Ram’s towing capacity with the help of our guide here.
Fuel efficiency is becoming an increasingly important factor for truck buyers with soaring fuel prices. With the Ram Tradesman boasting the 3.6-litre V6 engine, you are looking at an EPA-estimated fuel economy of up to 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The 5.7L HEMI V8 Engine With eTorque gives you an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the Hw, according to Golander.
The Big Horn follows the same path as Tradesman for fuel economy, so there’s nothing extra to add. Make sure to also read this hands-on guide to get the maximum fuel efficinecy from your 5.7 HEMI vehicle.
2. Exterior Features
The exterior features can make a huge difference when choosing the right truck. The Ram Tradesman and Big Horn have distinct design and styling differences that can cater to different needs.
Here’s a breakdown of the exterior features of both trucks:
Design and styling differences
The Tradesman has a simple and functional design with a no-frills approach. Its blacked-out grille and steel wheels have a classic, rugged look.
On the other hand, the Big Horn has a more sophisticated look with its chrome grille and body-colour bumpers. It has a sporty and sleek appearance that can catch the attention of onlookers.
Wheel and tire options
The Tradesman has 17-inch steel wheels that are durable and perfect for heavy-duty work. The Big Horn, on the other hand, offers a variety of wheel options, ranging from 18-inch to 20-inch aluminum wheels, which not only add to the appearance but also provide a smoother ride.
If you ever plan to upgrade from stock tire then we recommend this tires for Ram 1500 for ultimate safety and comfort driving.
Lighting and safety features
Both trucks are equipped with LED lighting for better visibility in low-light conditions. When it comes to the Tradesman, it provides standard halogen headlights, while the Big Horn comes with LED headlights as standard.
The Big Horn also offers additional safety features such as front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, making it a safer option for those who prioritize safety.
3. Interior features
The Ram 1500 Tradesman and Big Horn models offer various interior features to enhance the comfort and convenience of drivers and passengers. Let’s dig deeper into interior features and take a closer look at some key highlights.
Comfort and convenience features
The Tradesman has a five-inch touchscreen display, cloth upholstery, air conditioning, and power windows and locks.
The Big Horn adds a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, carpeted floors, and chrome accents.
Both models feature rear under-seat storage compartments and a locking glove box.
Infotainment and technology options
The Tradesman includes a Uconnect 3 infotainment system with a five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and six-speaker audio.
The Big Horn adds an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a WiFi hotspot.
Optional features for both models include a larger touchscreen display, satellite radio, and a premium audio system.
Seating and storage capacity
The Tradesman comes standard with a regular cab and seats up to three people. Crew and quad cab configurations are also available, increasing seating capacity to six.
The Big Horn is available in all three cab sizes and seats up to six people with its front bench seat. Both models offer ample storage space, including in-floor storage bins and fold-flat rear seats.
4. Price and Value
After going through all the frills of comparing performance, power, looks and comfort, we finally get into the main business.
So how much should you expect to shell out for the raw power of Tradesman or for the comfort of big horns? Let’s have a deeper look.
Base prices and MSRP ranges
The base prices and MSRP ranges for the 2022 and 2023 Ram Tradesman and Big Horn models are as follows:
- 2022 & 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman: Base price starts at $32,595, MSRP range is $40,995 to $78,790.
- 2023 Ram 1500 Tradesman: MSRP range is $36,820 to $67,175.
- 2022 & 2023 Ram 1500 Big Horn: Base price starts at $41,945, MSRP range is $44,285 to $96,680.
- Ram 2500 Big Horn: Base price starts at $49,205
It’s important to note that these prices and MSRP ranges can vary depending on location, dealership, and any optional features or upgrades.
Comparison of standard and optional features
The Tradesman and Big Horn models have different standard and optional features that can affect their overall value. Here are some key features of each model:
- Standard 3.6L V6 engine with eTorque | Optional 5.7L V8 HEMI engine with eTorque
- Standard 18-inch steel wheels | Optional 18-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard 5-inch touchscreen display | Optional 8.4-inch touchscreen display
- Standard Uconnect 3 infotainment system | Optional Uconnect 4 infotainment system
- Standard cloth upholstery | Optional leather upholstery
- Standard 5.7L V8 HEMI engine with eTorque | Optional 5.7L V8 HEMI engine with eTorque and mild hybrid technology
- Standard 18-inch aluminum wheels | Optional 20-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard 8.4-inch touchscreen display | Optional 12-inch touchscreen display
- Standard Uconnect 4 infotainment system | Optional Uconnect 4C NAV infotainment system
- Standard cloth upholstery | Optional premium cloth or leather upholstery
Long-term cost of ownership
The long-term cost of ownership for the Tradesman and Big Horn models can depend on fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and depreciation.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2022 Ram 1500 has a 5-year cost-to-own of $51,222 for the Tradesman and $54,710 for the Big Horn.
Some of the factors that affect the long-term cost of ownership include:
- Fuel efficiency: The Tradesman model with the standard 3.6L V6 engine has a combined fuel economy rating of 22 mpg, while the Big Horn with the standard 5.7L V8 engine has a combined rating of 19 mpg. The optional mild hybrid technology on the Big Horn can improve fuel efficiency.
- Maintenance costs: Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake pad replacements, can impact the cost of ownership. The Tradesman may have slightly lower maintenance costs since it has fewer standard features than the Big Horn.
- Depreciation: The vehicle’s value over time can impact the long-term cost of ownership. According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2022 Ram 1500 has a 5-year depreciation rate of 37.6% for the Tradesman and 36.5% for the Big Horn..
5. The good and the bad of Ram Tradesman & Big Horn
Pros of Tradesman
- Lower base price and wider MSRP range compared to the Big Horn
- Standard 3.6L V6 engine with eTorque for improved fuel efficiency
- 5-inch touchscreen display and Uconnect 3 infotainment system comes standard
- Slightly cheaper average cost of ownership compared to the Big Horn
- Great for buyers looking for a basic work truck without any frills or upgrades
Cons of Tradesman
- Limited standard features and options compared to the Big Horn
- Absence of mild hybrid technology or larger touchscreen display
- It may not be as comfortable or luxurious as the Big Horn
Pros of Big Horn
- Standard 5.7L V8 HEMI engine with eTorque for more power and performance
- More standard features and options compared to the Tradesman
- A larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display and Uconnect 4 infotainment system come standard
- Optional mild hybrid technology for improved fuel efficiency
- Optional premium cloth or leather upholstery for added comfort and luxury
Cons of Big Horn
- Higher base price and narrower MSRP range compared to the Tradesman
- Potentially higher cost of ownership compared to the Tradesman
- More features and options can drive up the final price of the truck
- Not as budget-friendly for buyers looking for a basic work truck
6. Considerations for different use cases and preferences
For budget buyers looking for a basic work truck without any frills or upgrades, the Tradesman may be the better choice due to its lower base price and wider MSRP range.
The standard 3.6L V6 engine with eTorque can also improve fuel efficiency for those who prioritize saving on gas.
However, if more features and options are desired, such as a larger touchscreen display or mild hybrid technology, the Big Horn may be the better choice.
On the other hand, if more power and performance are desired, the Big Horn’s standard 5.7L V8 HEMI engine with eTorque may be more appealing to you.
The Big Horn also comes with more standard features and options, such as the larger touchscreen display and Uconnect 4 infotainment system, which may be necessary for buyers who prioritize technology and convenience.
However, the Big Horn’s higher base price and potentially higher cost of ownership may not be ideal for those on a tighter budget.
Ultimately, the choice between the Tradesman and Big Horn will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.
It’s essential to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each truck, as well as the various use cases and preferences, before making a final decision.
Whats next? Go over and compare that 1500 Tradesman with Ram Express pickup here.
Over to you!
In conclusion, the Ram 1500 Tradesman and Big Horn models are both great options for anyone in the market for a reliable and durable truck. The Tradesman offers a more affordable starting price and an efficient engine. At the same time, the Big Horn comes with more advanced technology and a more powerful engine.
Depending on individual needs and priorities, one truck may be a better fit than the other. We recommend taking both for a test drive to get a better sense of which one suits you best.
Whether you choose the Tradesman or Big Horn, the Ram light-duty lineup provides a truck that can handle any job. If you have any questions, drop them down below in the comments.
What is the difference between a Ram Tradesman and Bighorn?
The Ram Tradesman and Bighorn are two different trim levels of Ram trucks. The Tradesman is a basic, no-frills model. At the same time, the Bighorn offers more features, such as nicer cloth seats and exterior chrome trim, but comes with a higher price tag.
The Tradesman is the base trim in the Ram 1500 lineup, while the Bighorn is a higher-level model. The Ram 2500 Tradesman and Bighorn also have similar differences in terms of performance and features.
Is Ram Tradesman a good truck?
The Ram Tradesman is a good truck and has received positive reviews for its performance, practicality, and durability. Its basic features, ample storage space, and strong engine make it a good choice for people needing a practical and dependable truck.
However, the exact level of satisfaction with the Ram Tradesman may vary based on individual preferences and requirements.
What is different about the Ram Tradesman?
The Ram Tradesman is the base model of the Ram 1500 truck lineup. It comes with a 3.6-litre V6 engine with a mild-hybrid 48-volt electric starter/generator that produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
This powertrain is paired with an eight-speed transmission and can tow 7,740 pounds. The Tradesman comes with a black-coloured grille, front, and rear bumper and is equipped with a bed liner and hitch as standard equipment. The interior features cloth seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. However, the Tradesman does not come with front fog lights.