Model tested: Dodge
Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4
MSRP for model
reviewed: $53,885 (based model of Laramie Crew Cab: $46,415)
Competition in its
class: Toyota Tundra • Chevy Silverado • GMC Sierra • Ford 150
Okay, so it’s not a
traditional “Urban Mom” vehicle, but trucks are a little more prevalent as
family vehicles now with the availability of crew cabs. Trucks aren’t just for
men or meant to be strictly work vehicles anymore. They are increasingly more
appealing to females and are very also very versatile when it comes to
toting ruggedly transporting children, gear, and groceries.
The Ram 1500 is big, huge actually. The size alone is quite
intimidating, but it only took a few minutes to gain some confidence behind the
wheel. Equipped with Dodge’s ParkSense Rear Park Assist System (which beeps as
you approach a stationary item within the vehicle’s path, and increases in
frequency the closer you are) and the optional ParkView Back Up Camera,
reversing this truck was a lot simpler than I had anticipated, though gauging
the length of the hood took a little longer.
Most people would definitely benefit from a running board on
the exterior of this truck. The kids had a little harder time getting themselves
in and out of the backseat given the height; my dad and I even found ourselves reaching for
the grab handle to pull ourselves in.
The Ram 1500 boasts a number of fresh innovations that came
to fruition over a 3-year design and engineering brainstorm, yielding a bold
exterior finish – which is only slightly modified from its predecessors – and streamlined aerodynamics. From the newly designed
forward-leaning front grille to a re-tuned tailgate, the Ram has achieved one
of the lowest drag coefficients of any truck in its class, which means: There’s
no more need to lower the tailgate to help improve gas mileage!
Speaking of gas mileage: this 5.7L V8 can hold it’s own when it comes to highway driving, but if you’re spending more time city driving, you’re bound to get to know your local gas attendant quite well.
The Dodge Ram has always been a rugged looking truck. It’s
loud rumbling exhaust, intimidating size, and overtly manly appearance hasn’t
changed, but from a woman’s point of view this truck really does provide
everything we need too: space, comfort and storage.
The RamBox® Cargo Management System include two lockable
4-foot long bed rail weatherproof bins built into the side of the truck that
are perfect for hiding away extra tools or smaller items which may not be
suitable for storage in the bed itself – not to mention any smaller items
picked on a shopping trip or grocery run.
The RamBox storage compartments are a
decent size with the ability to hold a couple grocery bags of food, maybe some
skates, or a couple of soccer balls and a gym bag, but can also be converted to
a cooler with the ability to hold up to 120 cans. Simply pull the drain plug
when you’re done and the RamBox® compartment can once again be used to protect
your cargo from the elements.
Ram drivers also have the option of purchasing the spray-in
bed liner, which compliments the built in cargo rails and integrated bed
divider/extender that locks into position allowing for compartmentalized
storage areas, or with the tailgate lowered, allows for additional storage.
Even with the RamBox® compartments on the side of the truck
bed, no space has been compromised. There is more than enough room to haul kids
and their gear off to hockey practice, load up lawn chairs and soccer nets, or
pick up mulch and gardening tools. Heck, even loading up a snow blower in the
middle of summer was a breeze.
The interior of the Ram 1500 Crew Cab is big. They aren’t
lying when they say it can comfortably seat three adults in the backseat. Our
over-sized child car seats were no match for this cab where they typically take
over the entire backseat of a car or crossover. The bench allowed for more than
enough space between them. Enough, in fact, I was able to comfortably sit
between them with room to spare.
The Laramie model tested included Chrysler’s UConnect Voice
Command with Bluetooth as well as the touchscreen Media Centre and steering
wheel mounted controls, and power rear sliding window: everything readily
available to the driver. The well thought out console keeps everything within
reach of the driver, which is handy since again, IT’S SO HUGE.
Though I wasn’t a fan of the two-tone paint colour of the
vehicle I reviewed, Dodge has 10 different shades which are sure to please just
Overall, the Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab is an extremely
comfortable and versatile truck. I was pleasantly surprised by the RamBox®
compartments and the amount of space the truck bed still had for hauling. The
interior cabin space is fantastic and incredibly roomy and the amount of
storage is incomparable (did I mention there are second-row in-floor storage
bins as well?!).
If you’re in the market for new vehicle and have always wanted a truck but didn’t think they were practical for a family: think again. I know I have.