This is part 3 of my review series of the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX. If you missed the first part, explaining why we are doing a review series and looking at the one downside to the TRX, click here. If you are familiar with the series, here is a look at the stunning interior of the supercharged super truck.
TRX Cabin Entry and Layout
While the body, chassis and drivetrain are engineered to delivery high performance excitement, the interior of the Ram 1500 TRX is more like a luxury vehicle. My tester was equipped with the TR2 package, which adds all of the premium interior goodies like heated leather seats and a heated leather steering wheel, both of which were greatly appreciated in the freezing cold Michigan winter weather. Using the key fob, I was able to start the truck in my driveway, so by the time I was ready to leave, the interior was nice and warm.
Getting into the TRX can be tough for shorter adults and small children, so I would definitely recommend some sort of exterior step setup. Ram offers the Mopar running boards, but my test truck had the Mopar rock rails. These don’t stick out anywhere near as far as the running boards, as they are intended to protect the body more than help the driver and passengers get a leg-up, but they do offer some side-step function. With both boots and tennis shoes, I had no issue stepping on the rock rails when I climbed into the TRX, but I can also step directly up into the truck. On the other hand, my wife is about a foot shorter than am I, so the extra step makes a big difference. Even though the rock rails are tight to the body, she was able to comfortably use them as a stepping point to get into the truck with several different kinds of women’s shoes, even when the rails were piled high with mud and snow.
Once in the TRX, there is loads of leg, head and shoulder room in the front and outboard rear seats, so those spots will all comfortably accommodate taller drivers and passengers. More importantly, the driver’s seat offers a huge range of positioning relative to the steering wheel, so those folks who are vertically challenged will be able to adjust the seat to get the best view of the road.
The Ram TRX front seats have relatively deep base and back bolsters that keep you in place during stints of hard cornering on the road, or when sliding around a turn in the dirt. The front buckets have sporty design, but they are nicely padded for long drives. This is a truck that you can comfortably drive for hours, with the passenger enjoying the same level of comfort. The outboard rear seats aren’t as deep as the front, but there are similar base and back bolsters that create the bucket seat feel. The back seating area really is gigantic, so between the padded cushions and the massive amounts of legroom, the rear riders will enjoy long drives as well. The middle rear seat is actually pretty wide, so if you have three smaller passengers in the rear seat, they will all fit comfortably. If you are putting three adults in the back of the TRX, they will need to be friendly, but they will fit more comfortably than any other half-ton cab.
Finally, if you need more interior cargo space, the rear seat flips up in portions to create the huge, flat rear floor. This rear area will easily hold my ice hockey goaltender’s bag, which is probably one of the biggest pieces of “luggage” you will ever see. I only have one golf bag, but if a TRX owner is going golfing with a friend, both bags will easily fit in the rear seating area. Also, the door openings are large enough for a 75-inch flatscreen to comfortably fit, so the interior can accept plenty of large cargo.
Another area where the TRX grossly outshines the competition is in the area of interior technology. The two biggest pieces of this puzzle are the optional heads-up display and the stunning 12-inch infotainment touch screen. The heads-up display puts all of the key information right in the driver’s line of sight, most notably including vehicle speed, the speed limit and the transmission gear when in manual shift mode. The display is bright and easy to see in broad daylight, making it one of the best heads-up systems I have used. You can also adjust brightness and the location on the windshield, allowing drivers of different heights to enjoy this slick feature.
The bigger deal is the segment exclusive 12-inch infotainment screen that features controls for just about every aspect of the vehicle. The large screen allows for huge virtual buttons on the screen, making it easy to make changes while driving without having to hunt around for a small digital button. The system offers all sorts of customization, including a split-screen layout with more than one menu displayed at once.
Standard “buttons” along the bottom of the TRX touchscreen include Media, Controls, Climate, Apps, Navigation, Phone and Back Cam. The media screen offers access to all of the various music systems, including AM/FM, satellite and multiple auxiliary inputs, along with adjustments to the booming 19-speaker Harman Kardon system.
The Controls screen includes the heated and cooled seats, the heated steering wheel, the impressive rearview mirror camera system and the exterior camera system. The function of the Climate button is obvious, while the Apps button includes a long list of different options. The Navigation, Phone and Back Cam buttons are all pretty self-explanatory.
My favorite aspect of the touchscreen is the Performance Pages section, which has displays all sorts of performance metrics. This includes an array of acceleration timers, braking distance, G forces, the engine dyno screen and a collection of additional gauges (all of which are also available in the adjustable gauge cluster).
The timing system allows you to measure real world performance, which we will discuss later in this review series. The Performance Pages menu also has the buttons for the Drive Mode system, but there is also a dedicated TRX button on a small panel between the steering column and the center stack. The TRX button allows you to toggle between drive modes without using the touchscreen, making it easier to switch modes on the fly.
In addition to the touchscreen, there are HVAC buttons flanking both sides of the big screen, so you can make quick adjustments to the heat or A/C while driving without switching to the Climate screen. There is also a large knob on each side of the screen, one for power and volume while the other handles radio station tuning. There are also buttons on the back of the steering wheel to change the sound system volume and the radio station.
Below the touchscreen is the integrated trailer brake controller switch and an array of other switches for things like Hill Descent Control, Traction Control and the Parking alert system, along with the six auxiliary buttons. Just below that panel is the bank of USB ports and the Ramcharger – a wireless charging pad that is large enough to accommodate every cell phone that I’ve ever seen.
The final piece of technology is the gauge cluster, which has two large analog gauges with a large information screen in the middle. This screen offers a ton of different readouts, from fuel economy and acceleration timers to the trailer brake system and the off-road gauges. There is also a digital speedometer, an on-board diagnostics screen and a navigation screen.
Oh, one thing that many TRX owners will take for granted is the proper shift level in the center console. The other Ram 1500 pickups have a rotary shift dial, but most people don’t like that. TRX owners are absolutely going to appreciate the proper shifter, with up and down action for manual mode, in case you don’t want to use the steering wheel mounted shift paddles.
The collection of the heads-up display, the 12-inch infotainment screen, the adjustable gauge cluster and the premium HK sound system makes the TRX the most tech-heavy truck on the market today. When coupled with the premium surfaces and materials, the plush sport seats and all of the space, the TRX interior is truly unrivaled by any other truck in the world. Buyers are obviously getting into the Ram 1500 TRX for the performance, but the luxury-level interior makes this a great truck for the daily drive or a long cross-country trip.
If you missed part 2 of our TRX review, where we looked at real world fuel economy numbers, click here for a closer look at that piece.