RAM 1500 pickup – bigger, meaner and more powerful than you average ute

There’s a new RAM Pick-up on the market the 1500. RAM already has two larger models in the Australian. The 1500 is smaller than the other two but it is still big.
RAM is a stand-alone division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.


So where does it fit into the Australian market.
As more and more people buy utilities, it is harder to stand out from the crowd.
As caravans and boats get bigger and weighed down with more features, some owners are pushing the limits of the towing capacity of the typical utility that dominates the segment.
And having a duel cab is a very popular choice among ute buyers, but you compromise the space for the rear seat passengers and the room for carrying loads.
So here is an opportunity for the bigger American pick ups.
The RAM 1500, is not a rough and tough, off roader. It has four-wheel drive, not for bush bashing but for big jobs and it makes a power statement. Operating modes can include 2 or 4 wheel drive and a low range in four wheel drive.
It’s 5.8 metres long and a little over two metres wide.
It has a 5.7 litre HEMI V8 petrol engine with 291 kW and 556 Nm. All this grunt goes through an 8-speed automatic gear box.
Depending on the final diff ratio it can tow up to 4.5 tonnes. That’s one tonne better than the best of the traditional utes on the market.
RAM Australia claims a fuel consumption figure of 9.9. l/100 km combined cycle which seems particularly good for a large petrol engine V8. This would be measured with the tallest diff ratio.
The fuel economy is helped by active grille shutters, which only allow the right amount of cool air to enter engine bay. This means more consistent engine temperatures, faster warm up from cold starts and less aerodynamic drag.
It has two body sizes and two trim/equipment levels.
There is the Express model that comes with what they call a quad cab. There are two rows of seats but the space in the back is a little cramped and you sit upright with a straight back. But then again this is similar to most dual cab utes on the market and with the RAM you get a tray that is a tad over 1.9m long which is 6 foot 4 inches in the old measure. It has a 912 kg payload in the tub.
The Laramie comes with what RAM calls a crew cab. This seats five people in comfort with a lot of leg room in the back. The rear tray is 1.7 m or 5 foot 7inches with a 885 kg tub payload.
The back of a utility is not always that useful if you have objects that can move around.
An option for the 1500 is the Ram Box which has two 240 litre lockers on either side of the tub that may be used as secure storage or as a pair of ice-filled cool boxes.

On the bigger RAM models, 30% of Australian customers have taken this option. This compares to less that 15% of American buyers. Perhaps in Australia we are selling to the practical end of the market when America sells to those who want to just look good.
The right-hand drive RAM 1500 has been refined for Australian conditions. It is built in North America and then remanufactured on a brand-new state of the art production line in Melbourne. This includes making it right hand drive.
The base model Express has a range of features including
• Side steps
• 20 inch alloy wheels
• Bed liner sprayed in
• Safety features include front rear side and curtain airbags
• stability control and traction control
• trailer sway control
• but it does not include autonomous emergency braking
• there is cruise control but not adaptive
• there is parking sensors on the rear
• a tire pressure monitoring
• cloth seats
• the air conditioning is manual

For the up market Laramie add in a number of extras including
• front parking sensors
• Adjustable pedals
• Rain sensing wipers
• Sat nav
• Heated and ventilated front seats
• heated rear seats
• Climate Control air conditioning and
• a remote start

The Express with quad cab has a driveaway $80,000.
The Laramie which has a crew cab is $100,000 plus on roads.
The Ram Box is an addition $4,450.
The warranty is three years/100,000 km as well as Three years road side assist and service intervals are 12 months/12,000 km
So who will use it?
• The tradie who needs to carry or tow some relatively heavy equipment.
• Someone with recreational activities that require large apparatus a big boat or a sizable horse float.
• One suggestion was a diving company that has to take a decompression chamber out to a variety of sites
• The Owner and/or manager that wants a vehicle that announces their presence
• The holidaying couple or family who wants to tow as big a caravan as they can.
With an advertising slogan of Eats utes for Breakfast and a desire to make RAM the Harley Davidson of utes it is obvious that they see the vehicle as providing a strength of character that is being lost in the all too common utility.

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