Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: November 30, 2017
It’s my first time behind the wheel of a RAM. I’ve driven a handful of pickup trucks before like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, so its daunting size and unwieldy proportions don’t frighten me, but there’s always something about piloting a truck that automatically stimulates my situational awareness, and keep in the mind I was driving a petite BMW 2 Series just the day before.
Driving the RAM 1500 through city traffic means braking earlier than you would in a smaller four-door sedan, and keeping your massive castle within the confines of your lane so you’re not stuck with the massive bill of a broken side mirror. It also means being careful with the throttle, as this RAM harbours a potent 5.7-litre HEMI V8 capable of punching out 395 hp and 410 lb-ft. Linear acceleration is laughably quick and smooth with its 8-speed transmission, and the bellowing rumble from the dual pipe exhausts are emotionally stimulating and exciting as well. I’d even go so far as to call it the muscle car of pick up trucks. Think of a jacked up Challenger with 4WD and a flatbed out back. Both are albeit a bit porky when flinging around the bends but notoriously quick when going in a straight line. The lungs of this unobstructed RAM sounds better than the twin-turbo V6 in the Ford F-150 Raptor too, a missed opportunity for the latter.
The specific RAM 1500 I’m testing is the Tungsten Edition, a $1,995 special package over the top-of-the-line Limited model, to one-up everybody and let them know you’ve got the reserves to plunk down more cash than them. Because a standard Limited is for fools. RAM even goes so far as to call it the most luxurious truck in their lineup. You can opt for this package in the 1500, 2500, and 3500 models.
And while the misleading name might lead you to believe there’s actual tungsten molded into the truck, it’s all just colour and aesthetics. Other metals like platinum does sound better, but a certain someone already took that honour. The Tungsten Edition adds a few notable features like tungsten-coloured chrome accents on the grill and wheels, a body-coloured tailgate badge, front bumper, exterior mirrors, Mopar running boards, and a sport performance hood with some air inlets. The transformation is subtle, but all the meticulous details impose quite a presence on the road - that gargantuan grill says it all, offering a more aggressive look than the Rebel but one that is more mature than the Raptor.
The interior also gets some unique stitching on the seats, door panels, and glovebox cover, and a segment first suede-headliner, but nothing that will noticeably wow your passengers - think of Ford’s King Ranch trim. But experiencing a RAM in this expensive trim does spoil me quite a bit. There’s almost Range Rover levels of materials in here. Leather runs rampant throughout, with wide seats that bounce my slender frame around, a beautifully trimmed steering wheel with wood veneer on the top circumference, and massive oh-sh** handles on the A-pillars for when the road gets rough. The instrument panel and its silver analog gauges are fascinating to look at, and surprisingly enough, the overall build quality is excellent with stellar panel fitment, a trait I’ve never associated with other FCA vehicles like the Jeep Compass or Chrysler Pacifica.
And don’t think just because it’s a truck that it doesn’t come equipped with creature comforts. In fact, it feels more like a luxury yacht up in here. We’re talking heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, a friendly infotainment interface (upgraded for this year and much better resolution than before), and one of the most high quality rear view cameras in the business. What I love is how RAM makes sure all the high-traffic buttons are large in size and easily accessible even if you have your gloves on. While I do miss having a proper shifter to wrestle into gear, relocating the device to the center stack does free up a ton of real estate. I’ve learned to just throw everything into that center square cubby and call it a day.
The RAM 1500 comes equipped with a four corner air suspension that does a phenomenal job nullifying the bumps and undulations even on the roughest of roads, quelling the ride into a comfortable state on the highway where it will also lower the springs for better fuel efficiency. You will feel the truck rocking back and forth, but it settles well and body motions are kept in check. The steering is noticeably heavier than the F-150 and Silverado.
A few things I would have liked: a 360-degree camera for better distance awareness when parking in tight spots, adaptive cruise control for trucking down the long haul, and blind spot monitoring (though the RAM does have massive mirrors that might relegate that feature moot). The lack of these safety and driver assistance features does show the RAM’s age in the market, where they are offered in the blue oval and bowtie competitors, but as convenient as these features may be, I don’t believe it will be a dealbreaker with this type of clientele.
The RAM 1500 was a delightful companion throughout my week-long tenure. Not only did I deny the delivery fee on my new television purchased on Black Friday, but I was also able to toss a new mattress and couch in the back and make it home in one piece thanks to clear sightlines, excellent outward visibility, and large side mirrors. The Tungsten Edition doesn’t add much appeal nor does it spice up any emotions for the buyer, but it does is offer a convenient one-up to every other RAM driver on the road. Complete with a V8 soundtrack and cosseting ride, I’d go so far as to call one of the most exciting and comfortable trucks on the market.
型号 Model: 2018 RAM 1500 Limited Tungsten Edition
顏色 Paint Type: Maximum Steel Metallic
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $63,895
試車售價 Price as Tested: $74,450
引擎 Engine: 5.7-litre HEMI V8
最大馬力 Horsepower: 395 hp @
最高扭力 Torque: 410 lb-ft @
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km:
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 18.8