Mirror-like glistening alloy wheels and a hulking four-door physique outline the newest arrival within the intensifying conflict for the large ute greenback.
The Ram 1500 could also be a smaller brother to the 2500 and 3500 which were on sale right here for years – a part of the one factory-backed right-hand drive conversion on the planet – however its sub-$100Ok price ticket makes it extra interesting on the high finish of a section that is on hearth.
No marvel Ram Australia has chosen the tagline “Eats utes for breakfast”.
Stand subsequent to it and the Ram 1500’s bulbous bonnet rises to near-chest peak, its near-six-metre size confirming this can be a massive car.
Yes, the 1500 is smaller than its higher-numbered siblings, however it shades any of the common utes that now account for 1 in six new-car gross sales.
That’s a giant a part of the gross sales pitch, which begins with the 1500 Express at $79,950.
However, the Express is extra (massive) fundamental work car, getting a small centre display and a slim checklist of normal tools.
It’s the Laramie that’s extra generously appointed, additionally bringing with it a bigger cabin (its cabin stretches additional into the load space) for its six-figure asking value.
Those anticipating luxurious consideration to element could also be disenchanted, although; the Ram is first rate however has some low cost plastic finishes and a clunky foot-operated park brake.
Towing, not loading
The 1500 is all about hauling heavy issues.
Most utes can tow 3.5 tonnes, however the 1500 can tow as much as 4.5 tonnes.
That’s vital for these with massive caravans or boats.
However, regardless of its muscular positioning and larger dimensions, the smaller utes it’s going to compete with on value can all carry extra; the Ram’s payload is between 800kg and 845kg, effectively beneath the 1000kg-plus with the likes of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, Mercedes-Benz X-Class and extra.
But the Ram 1500 does have loads of room for issues of all sizes and styles.
Storage all through the cabin is plentiful, from the double layer door pockets to the broad centre console and binnacles peppered throughout the sprint.
For one other $4500 you may get totally different facet panels on the rear, incorporating a water-resistant and lockable “Rambox” on either side. It’s splendid for valuables – or can double as a built-in Esky.
Plus, it has some real smartphone cleverness, such because the versatile rubber bracket that completely holds 2 smartphones.
Plus, there are 2 USB connectors that mean you can toggle between 2 smartphones, relying on what it’s you wish to entry via the 8.4-inch touchscreen, full with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Fast or frugal
Options are commonplace with regards to shopping for a automobile.
But the Ram 1500 affords a no-cost alternative no different automobile in the marketplace does: the selection between sooner acceleration or decrease gasoline consumption.
For now, all Ram 1500s are powered by a 5.7-litre V8 (a V6 diesel will arrive late in 2018), making 291kW and 556Nm.
But you’ll be able to select a distinct last drive ratio, with decrease ratio translating to marginally sooner acceleration, finishing the 0-100km/h sprint in about 7.8 seconds.
Opt for the upper ratio and every gear change happens barely later, in flip permitting the engine to be extra relaxed. It implies that similar 0-100km/h sprint will take about 8.1 seconds.
Load ’em up
Just getting in to the 1500 requires a climb; the usual facet steps aren’t simply there for present.
Inside, it appears like a giant car, the bonnet bulging above the broad windscreen. You’re additionally sitting a great distance out of your passengers, the broad centre console reaffirming the substantial width.
However, that makes it straightforward to get 3 adults throughout the broad again seats; rear leg room is beneficiant within the Laramie, too.
Plenty inside is massive, too, from the seats and digital speedo to the sunvisors and centre console.
Rock and roll
Under method, the Laramie’s gentle (and lifeless) steering is direct and makes for simple manoeuvring, though you will always remember you are driving a giant car. It pays to go away loads of room for U-turns.
It comfortably disposes of enormous bumps, shuddering barely in response however by no means feeling flustered.
With coil springs throughout (most utes use leaf springs on the rear) it is surprisingly effectively behaved and there is first rate grip from the 20-inch Hankook tyres.
But push the boundaries and the entrance wheels scrub broad, the 2650kg heft lastly successful out.
The engine works finest in its center engine revs, the place there’s a great deal of muscle; rev it tougher and there is extra V8 noise for not as a lot reward.
The eight-speed auto – operated by way of a dash-mounted round controller – is intuitive and with clear shifts.
Luxury automobile tax is likely one of the most controversial taxes in our highly-taxed nation, primarily as a result of no different merchandise will get taxed for being luxurious.
But it would not matter how a lot you spend on a ute, you will not be paying any LCT.
They’re all exempt, even if you’re shelling out effectively into six figures.
It means an equivalently geared up ute may very well be 1000’s cheaper than an SUV with comparable functionality.
Little marvel extra gross sales of the “big trucks” are rising, particularly these eager to make a giant assertion.
Toby Hagon from executivestyle.com.au