Road test: the Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab fuses both capability and comfort

Boasting a spacious interior and a 0 to 100kph speed of six seconds, this is one of the most useable trucks on the market

There is nothing subtle about the Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab. From its 22-inch chrome wheels and the three giant letters stamped across its shiny grille, to a cavernous interior that rivals full-sized limousines, this is not a vehicle for the shy. And yet, I found it surprisingly easy to live with.

I avoided shopping malls and anything that resembled a drive-through lane for fear of scraping its glossy rims or wedging its nearly six-metre-long body but, for the most part, city living with the immense Ram was easier than I’d anticipated.

Powerful statement

Away from the built-up, high-rise city, the Ram 1500 Limited felt like it was made to spec for the UAE. There's plenty of power from its 5.7-litre V8, backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as compliant air suspension (supported by coil springs instead of rear leaf springs) to soak up rural back roads, full-time on-demand 4WD, and a luxurious interior to challenge any top-dollar executive saloon for space and comfort.

The Limited is Ram’s flagship in a range that includes the Big Horn, Rebel and Laramie, though the Limited only comes with the four-door crew cab and the much-needed electric-folding side steps.

Fire it up and there’s a welcoming rumble from beneath, but it’s lower than you might expect owing to a massive amount of sound deadening. You’re more likely to hear the two huge exhausts as you press the accelerator than the 390 brake horsepower V8.

Gear changes are slick, though the kickdown response was awkwardly slow. I found it better to let its 556Nm of torque work with the eight speeds than push my right foot for best results, and it will get you from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in around six seconds.

Considering its size and weight of 2,749 kilograms, the Ram handled better than I expected, with its grip limited by tyres rather than the chassis.

The air suspension has four height settings, with Normal giving 221 millimetres of ground clearance and Entry dropping it by 51mm to only an inch above the tyres. An Aero setting, for better fuel efficiency at speed, places it halfway between Entry and Normal, helping with cornering; and then there’s the Off-road mode, which bumps it up to 273mm.

Despite its weight, the new Ram has lost 102kg thanks to changes to the chassis and body, with 45kg shed by using high-strength steel in the ladder chassis. Its vital measurements has the Ram weighing roughly half a tonne more than a Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger, but offers up to 4,500kg of braked towing capacity and comes in at 5916mm long, 2474mm wide and 1972mm tall.

Equipped interior

Its interior is wrapped in soft-touch materials, from soft plastics to stitched leatherette on the dash, doors and the centre console, with premium leather reserved for the 10-way power-adjustable seats in the front and the 60/40 folding bench in the back that’s also heated and ventilated.

The storage compartment between the front seats is enormous, large enough to house a decent-sized bag, and there are also two glove boxes and under-floor and under-seat compartments in the rear. A wireless phone charging pad for Android and Apple CarPlay is nicely integrated into the front console and there are four USB-C points and a USB-A port located throughout.

The Limited gets a 12-inch, vertical touchscreen in the centre, and there are still physical buttons for the main AC controls along the sides for quick reference without having to take your eyes off the road. It features Chrysler’s Uconnect platform that delivers connectivity, entertainment, navigation and communication with split-screen functionality, and links to a smaller multifunction display in front of the driver.

The screen also shows a 360-degree surround view and a rear camera helps with trailer direction. Sitting so high in the cabin, it’s impossible to see a low trailer such as an empty car or boat trailer attached, so with the help of the rear camera and a rotary dial on the dash to control the steering, the Ram’s trailer assist makes backing up a breeze.

For off-roading, the centre screen also has pages showing pitch-and-roll, ride height and the transfer-case mode for shifting into 4WD. It also operates the 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system to round out its versatile suite of driver aid and entertainment tools.

A trap I fell for more than a few times, though, was the volume knob on the console that looks suspiciously like the rotary gear selector, located next to it. My ears copped a 900-watt blast from the audio while the Ram remained in Park, much to the annoyance of the drivers behind.

The Limited includes, as standard, a stack of safety tech such as parallel and perpendicular park assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and emergency braking,

The cargo area features LED lights and a remote opening tailgate that softly lowers on gas struts. While it’s not as large as some at 1.5 cubic metres, its square shape makes it useable and comes with a fitted liner to protect the paint. A soft tonneau cover protects the tub, which measures 1712mm long at floor level, 543mm deep and has four fixed tie-down points with another four adjustable lugs in the bed.

When you add the bed divider and extender, which lets you partition the load, as well as several power outlets to run tools, outdoor showers, air compressors and more, plus the lockable storage boxes built into the side with drainage bung holes, the Ram is one of the most versatile, useable and comfortable trucks on the market.

The specs

Engine: 5.7-litre V8

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Power: 390bhp

Torque: 556Nm

Price: Dh232,000

Updated: August 4th 2021, 8:06 AM
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