2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Diesel Crew Cab 4X4 Review
The 1500 vies to be King of All TrucksNo Comments
When it comes to big tough trucks that are comfortable enough to make even an upper-upper middle class family feel at home, it's hard to top the Ram 1500.
The Ram 1500 is an excellent truck. It's no surprise that it's been showered with awards since its second generation, back in 1994. As the pickup market has evolved, with truck buyers wanting their vehicles to be good for more than hauling 2X4s out in farm country. For many American families, pickups have become the family vehicle. Not as roomy as a minivan, but not by much if you opt for the Crew Cab.
Unfortunately for Ram, 2015 is the year of the F-150, so the 1500 probably won't make it on many Truck of the Year lists, even though it pretty much matches the F-150 in pretty much every aspect truck buyers care about.
There's roominess for days in the 1500's cabin, whether you're 100 pounds soaking wet or big enough to drain the pool with a single cannonball. Comfort is similarly abundant, with heated and ventilated power front seats (even an optional bench seat, for nostalgic types), and thick, soft plastics arrayed in as attractive a manner as can be seen in any similarly tough looking pickup.
Controls are well arrayed, and the touchscreen UConnect control screen is one of the better infotainment systems on the domestic market. Only a needlessly cheap-feeling transmission knob lowers the lux-o-meter a few ticks: one for being thin plastic, and one for being a knob, which is a far-too-dainty means of control, not befitting a vehicle of such ruggedness. In a truck of this size and capability, you want to really 'throw' it into gear, you don't want to set the dial for D.
That aside, the Laramie Limited Crew Cab is a helluva comfy place to spend some time. With an impressive nine-speaker (plus subwoofer) sound system, copious storage everywhere, and even a very tall man's worth of legroom in the rear.
As mentioned above, modern trucks are expected to perform under a variety of conditions, from craggy off-road to freshly poured blacktop, and the Ram 1500 can not only handle them all, it owns them. The 8-speed automatic transmission is surprisingly unobtrusive and the V-6 diesel delivers enough power to keep you at the head of the pack on the freeway, unless of course you're under a full load of family and gear.
The 1500 feels far more composed than any truck its size has a right to. Steering is precise, handling is firm, but still trucky, obviously. As much fun as driving the 1500 at speed was in our tester, I can only imagine how much fun the V-8 Hemi version is.
However, if you're looking for fuel efficiency, the Ram is probably not your truck, unless you go for the diesel, which we prefer. With combined fuel economy of 22 mpg, the 1500 Diesels might not anyone's choice for green truck of the year, but it's still damn good, and chances are not a whole heck of a lot of Ram buyers are looking to join the Green Party.
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, part-time four wheel drive
Power Output: 305 hp / 269 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 16 city / 23 highway
Base Price: $50,080
As Tested: $59,060 (incl. $1,195 destination)
Limited Package: Wood/leather-wrapped steering wheel, 20-inch x 9-inch wheels, high back seats, leather-wrapped grab handle, rear 60/40 split folding seat, folding flat load floor storage, heated and ventilated power leather driver and passenger bucket seats, heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers 116-volt auxiliary power outlet.
Limited Appearance Package: Body color fender flares, bright front and rear bumper, chrome body side molding.
Additional Options: 3:92 Axle ratiok 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine, power sunroof, RAMBox cargo management system, trailer brake control.