Once a certain price tag of a pick-up truck is met, it no longer becomes the workhorse that they live up to be. Instead, they become a showcase of triumph and prosperity, with the occasional run to the Home and Garden. Given that this is the last year of the RAM 1500 after nearly a 10-year run, we were in for a bit of treat.
There are 11-different variations of the RAM 1500 – from the $27,095 workaholic that ends up getting a dent in the bumper from your friends dresser to the $53,495 luxury expressway cruiser, there’s one for just about every lifestyle. Our sampler arrived in what would be the Mercedes-Benz of trucks, Laramie Longhorn. Filled with rich leather and premium, inviting materials, the cabin had a cowboy-isc theme without the smell of rawhide. With etched metal materials on the dash and instrument cluster, open pore matte finished wood, and belt buckles in the backseat – this is probably one of the most luxurious trucks on the market at mere starting price of $50,295.
Given that we’ve seen the same 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 for the last 9 years, driving it here doesn’t feel like a decade old piece of technology. In 2017, RAM upgraded the transmission to a new 8-speed that shuffled through the gears smoothly like a well-oiled machine. In return we saw 17 mpg on the highway with revs staying below 2,000 RPMs at 75 mph. While producing 395-horsepower and 410lb-ft of torque, this RAM 1500 is a bit slower than the competition taking just over 7-seconds to 60 mph – even though it doesn’t feel as such. Given at one point that 10,300lbs of towable weight was class leading at one point, it now falls short of being in the middle of the pack – something we’re sure will change with the 2019 model.
Driving the RAM 1500 is like driving an over sized car. Its light, unenergized steering just sways with the motions from the driver making it easy to park and maneuver around. While an available Air Suspension is offered on other models, its not something available to the Laramie Longhorn. However, considering how subtle the ride quality is, we can’t imagine how much smoother the air suspension could possibility get.
Sitting inside our Laramie Longhorn, is like staying at five-star Dude Ranch. There’s enough wood and metal to build our own mini-cabin and enough premium features to never feel like we’re secluded and out of touch with the modern world. The 8.4-inch touch screen Uconnect infotainment system features a high definition display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and is Wi-Fi capable. Every seat in the house is heated while the front seats are also cooled. The Laramie Longhorn also features a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, both driver and passenger power adjustable seats, and automatic diming exterior side power-folding mirrors.
During our long and tiring 500-mile drive, the Laramie Longhorn expressed very comfortable and supportive seats. With room for any sized adult, the rear seats are ambitious to fit all passengers. However, it was during our drive we started to notice little bits of technology missing, like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and LED/HID headlights – something the new 2019 RAM will be sure to feature feature.
Considering we didn’t get a full price break down on our RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn – we don’t know everything that it has come equipped with, what we can tell you is that our 4×4 carries an extra $3500 up charge that comes with Automatic Mode, that will adjust its 4×4 settings automatically based on how extreme the off-road conditions are. The nifty RAMBox costs $1295 – which turns out is surprisingly more useful than we thought. The tri-fold Tonneau Cover sets it back another $595. Then we had the $345 Single Disc CD player, $1095 Power Sunroof, $195 Rear Window Defroster, and $295 Trailer Brake Control, putting our out the door price some where around the $58,000 mark.
Sure the RAM 1500 is starting to show some of its age by lack thereof modern day technology and performance. Even though a new RAM is coming soon, the 2018 still offers plenty of luxurious appeal with a decent performance and exceptional ride quality. If the you’re not all about the latest and greatest, opting for the 2018 will still offer that new car smell, and considering most dealers need to push them out for the new models, you’re almost guaranteed one heck of a deal.
|2018 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn 4X4:||$50,295|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$55,590|
|5.7-liter V-8 HEMI – 395-Horsepower, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±7.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: Not Listed – SSB Average: 15.4 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±540 Miles|