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    RAM 1500 2022 review: Limited Crew Cab

    Does the RAM 1500 really eat utes for breakfast?

    Daily driver score

    4.3/5

    Tradies score

    4.3/5
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    RAM Trucks Australia’s success in carving out a small but sustainable niche in the highly competitive 4x4 dual cab ute market with its Texas-sized 1500 Series pickups is due to a number of factors. 

    However, there’s no doubt a pivotal selling point is that it’s the only Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-authorised manufacturer of right-hand drive RAM trucks in the world. So, they’re the closest you’ll get to driving a new RHD RAM pick-up off an FCA assembly line if that were possible.

    The latest addition to the fleet is the new DT series, which bring fresh styling inside and out along with many new features. We recently hit the road in the top-shelf model and discovered a full-size US pickup that combines huge towing performance with limousine-style comfort.

    read more about the Ram 1500

    Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

    Our test vehicle is the RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab, which is the premium grade in a three-tiered model line-up. With its 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8, eight-speed automatic and RamBox load tub storage system, the Limited has an RRP of $139,950.

    To say that this imposing vehicle - with its unique 22-inch alloy wheels and 285/45 R22 tyres with full-size spare - comes fully loaded is an understatement, given not only its numerous technical and safety features but also many luxury items combined in one lavish specification. 

    The 1500 Limited wears 22-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The 1500 Limited wears 22-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    We can’t list them all here, but just some highlights include a 4.5-tonne tow bar with 12-pin harness and trailer brake controller, full-length dual-pane panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated leather seats front and back, powered auto-side steps, powered tailgate, powered and heated door mirrors, powered slide-opening rear window, height/reach adjustable and heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and electronic parking brake.

    There’s also a premium 19-speaker (yes 19!) Harmon Kardon audio system with active noise cancellation that gives stadium levels of performance. Plus an enormous 12.0-inch fully configurable touchscreen for the latest U-connect vehicle function interface including climate control, 360-degree and reversing cameras, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto (but no DAB digital radio), voice-controlled sat-nav, wireless phone charging, nine USB ports, it just goes on and on. Needless to say, this premium model grade offers more than most could ask for, which is more than most could ever need.

    Inside is a 12.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image credit: Mark Oastler) Inside is a 12.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

    Our test vehicle has a sprawling 3672mm wheelbase, 5916mm overall length, 2474mm width including mirrors, 1972mm height and 14.08-metre turning circle, so it’s not ideal if you require lots of tight manoeuvring or parking in confined spaces. However, it does tend to shrink around you the more that you drive it.

    It has four-wheel disc brakes, electric power-assisted steering and traditional body-on-ladder-frame construction. The coil-spring twin-wishbone front suspension and five-link coil-spring live rear axle use the latest generation of RAM’s active air suspension, which not only provides excellent load-levelling and ride quality but also numerous ride height choices with the push of a console button. 

    The 1500 measures in a massive 5.9 metres long. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The 1500 measures in a massive 5.9 metres long. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    It's also claimed to be one of the most aerodynamically-efficient pickup trucks in the world with a drag co-efficient (Cd) of only 0.357, which is slipperier than many famous sports cars of the past including the Porsche 928. This is achieved not only by the truck’s smoother overall shape but also active grille-shutters and front air dam which minimise aero drag at highway speeds.

    The richly detailed DT series cabin has also been redesigned. It’s wider than its predecessor along with an 80mm increase in cabin length, enhancing its already class-leading interior space and particularly rear legroom. 

    Second-row seating feels more like a business lounge, thanks to an unusually wide and flat floor devoid of a transmission hump plus privacy glass, reclining backrests, individual rear cabin heating/cooling controls, reading lights and lots more. In other words, it sets benchmarks for luxury in US-size pickups.

    The second-row seats feel like a business lounge. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The second-row seats feel like a business lounge. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    Engine and transmission – What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

    The 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8 is a powerful and rugged unit producing 291kW at 5600rpm and 556Nm of torque at 3950rpm and is Euro 5 emissions compliant. Fuel-saving technology includes automatic cylinder deactivation and there’s a new mild-hybrid system comprising a belt-driven generator with 48-volt battery pack, designed to enhance engine efficiency and performance through brake energy regeneration, short-term torque boost and engine stop/start functions

    The 5.7-litre Hemi V8 produces 291kW/556Nm. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The 5.7-litre Hemi V8 produces 291kW/556Nm. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    The eight-speed torque converter automatic has overdrive on the seventh and eighth ratios for economical highway use. Drivers also have a choice of four drivetrain settings including 2WD, 4WD Auto (which on-demand sends drive to the front axle when traction is compromised), 4WD High and 4WD Low.

    Fuel consumption – How much fuel does it consume?

    RAM Trucks Australia claims a combined consumption of 12.2L/100km, but the dash display was showing 15.3 at the end of our test which covered just under 200km, driven mostly in 2WD on city and suburban roads, without a payload in the tub and with the engine stop/start disabled.

    The dash readout was very close to our own figure of 15.8, calculated from fuel bowser and tripmeter readings, so based on our real-world urban consumption you could expect a driving range of around 620km from its 98-litre tank.

    Practicality – How practical is the space inside?

    Its 2749kg kerb weight may seem enormous but it’s actually line-ball with the considerably smaller Land Cruiser 200 Series (2740kg) so it’s not flabby by any measure. And like the LC200, our test vehicle’s 3450kg GVM leaves a relatively small payload rating - in this case only 710kg. More than half of that could be used up by four large adults alone, before you could start loading anything else.

    Same applies to its 4500kg braked towing capacity, which is one tonne more than local 4x4 dual-cab ute rivals. However, towing that weight would leave only 464kg of payload capacity, which again could cater for an adult crew of four but not much more to avoid exceeding the 7713kg GCM (or how much it can legally carry and tow at the same time). 

    The load tub has a 1712mm-long floor, 1.5 cubic metres of total load tub volume (plus 210 litres in each RamBox) and a 1270mm internal tub width, which means it can carry both Aussie and Euro pallets. 

    Each RamBox offers 210 litres of storage. (image credit: Mark Oastler) Each RamBox offers 210 litres of storage. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    It's also protected by a tough spray-in tub-liner and there’s a choice of four fixed load anchorage points at floor level or higher slide-adjustable anchorages on each side. The cleverly designed tonneau cover can be removed and installed in seconds and there’s also tub lighting and a handy adjustable load divider.

    • The load tub has a 1712mm-long floor. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The load tub has a 1712mm-long floor. (image credit: Mark Oastler)
    • The tray features a load divider. (image credit: Mark Oastler) The tray features a load divider. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    The cabin offers a whopping 150 litres of storage capacity, starting with large bins with bottle/cupholders in the base of each front door and smaller second-tier storage above them. There are also upper and lower gloveboxes and the huge centre console is capped by a padded lid/elbow rest on a sliding upper tray containing two more bottle/cupholders, that sits above a cave-like storage compartment. 

    There’s also two levels of storage and a single bottle holder in each rear door, plus flexible pouches on each front seat backrest and two more bottle/cupholders on the rear of the centre console. Folding down the centre seat backrest reveals another large console with two more bottle/cupholders, an open tray and lidded storage compartment. 

    Each door features a storage bin and bottle holder. (image credit: Mark Oastler) Each door features a storage bin and bottle holder. (image credit: Mark Oastler)

    The 60/40-split rear seat bases can swing up through 90 degrees to access more storage compartments beneath them. The seat bases can also be locked in this vertical position against the backrests to create an enormous cabin cargo space if required.

    What’s it like as a daily driver?

    You’re greeted by the rich scent of leather each time you open the door, along with the neatly concealed electric side-step which automatically extends from under the floor to assist your entry using the big grab handles on the A (and B) pillars. 

    Once aboard there’s good vision all-round for the driver thanks to the large door mirrors supplemented by the 360/reversing cameras. It’s impossible not to find a perfectly comfortable driving position, given the combination of a sumptuous driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustments and memory settings, a nice thick leather-rimmed steering wheel with height/reach adjustment and a big left footrest which is ideally positioned.

    The variable-ratio steering is outstanding, being featherlight at parking speeds but increasingly firm and direct as road speeds increase. The overall steering feel is exceptional for such a large vehicle. Unladen ride quality is also commendable thanks to its four-coil suspension and active ride inputs. It’s supple yet well planted on the road, with disciplined suspension movement that largely eliminates the ponderous feel often associated with vehicles of this size and weight.

    The Hemi V8, aided by its mild hybrid system, has more than enough punch to quickly reach triple-figure speeds from standing starts, along with an intoxicating soundtrack that only a hard-revving V8 can deliver. It will also cruise effortlessly at highway speeds with only 1700rpm at 100km/h and less than 2000rpm to maintain 110km/h.

    Fact is, with its 556Nm mountain of torque, you can drive around town with only the weight of your big toe on the accelerator if you want to, comfortable in the knowledge that a sizeable burst of V8 performance is only a harder press away. The eight-speed auto is a delight to use, with all-but seamless shifting and shift calibrations that get the best from this engine at all times.

    If considering this vehicle as a daily driver, you have to be realistic about what you need it to do and particularly where you need to park it on a regular basis (worksites, school runs, grocery shopping, childcare centres etc) because its formidable dimensions could make it impractical for many daily tasks.

    What’s it like for tradie use?

    We didn’t get to load-test the Limited but we have previously forklifted a near-maximum payload into the closely related RAM 1500 Express. On that occasion there was considerable compression evident in the big rear coil springs and noticeable squat in the tail, yet still with ample rear wheel travel remaining and it refused to bottom-out on notoriously rough sections of back road. 

    Given that the Limited has a lower payload rating, we would expect a similar result. However, there’s no escaping the fact that our test vehicle’s 710kg payload limit is conspicuously small for a vehicle this large, given that numerous smaller mainstream 4x4 dual-cab utes have genuine one-tonne-plus payload ratings.

    The Hemi V8 also displayed strong engine-braking on steep descents without us once having to touch the brake pedal, which would be particularly useful when carrying and/or towing heavy loads particularly in hilly terrain. 

    So, given that the Limited can easily accommodate up to five large adults in supreme comfort, has an enormous tray with RamBoxes and the ability to tow up to 4.5 tonnes of braked trailer, it could be ideal for some tradies depending on their work requirements. 

    Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

    No ANCAP rating, but the latest DT series offers more than 90 safety and security features including (on Limited versions) adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, ready alert braking, trailer sway control, lane departure warning, parallel/perpendicular park assist, hill start assist and LED intelligent headlights. 

    These in addition to blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, 360-degree/reversing cameras and dozens more. There’s also driver and front passenger front and seat-side airbags plus full side-curtain airbags and three child-seat anchorage points including ISOFIX on the two outer rear seating positions.

    Ownership – What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

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    The latest DT series RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab is unmatched for imposing presence, cabin space, limousine-style luxury, Hemi V8 performance and 4500kg braked tow rating. However, its substantial six-figure price tag, vast length and relatively low payload limit could be deal-breakers. So, like any major purchase, you need to carefully consider if this vehicle will genuinely suit your requirements. And if it does,  you won’t be disappointed.

    $139,950

    Based on new car retail price

    Daily driver score

    4.3/5

    Tradies score

    4.3/5
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    Price Guide

    $139,950

    Based on new car retail price

    This price is subject to change closer to release data
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