If you always wanted a Ram pickup but couldn’t swing the price, there may be good news.
Since the 2019 Ram’s have been announced with a host of improvements in weight, fuel economy and a huge touchscreen to name a few, Ram dealers will be needing to move the 2018’s to make room for the 19s. As such, dealers will be forced to make discounted deals to “move the iron” as they say in the auto business. So the Ram of your dreams could be forthcoming.
We tested the 2018 Ram 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4X4 with top-tier Longhorn trim. A model whose interior is every bit as fashionable and comfortable as many luxury sedans. Only the latter can’t haul, tow or go where the 1500 can.
Ram’s are offered in five body styles, eleven trim levels, three engine choices and in 2WD and 4WD. Our tester was the Limited model in Longhorn Crew Cab 4X4. It was loaded with an exceptional number of standard safety features and amenities as well as $9,180 worth of extra cost options.
Aside from its tough, big-rig look, the Limited rides smooth and almost car-like. More so if opting for the optional air-spring suspension that can increase ground clearance for deep snow, mud or general off-roading. Plus, it can level a heavy load.
Ram is the best riding half-ton pickup on the market with its coil-spring and multi-link rear suspension. Handling too is good and its steering system, along with six parking sensors embedded in the bumpers, makes parking this full-size easier.
Ram is offered with three engine choices. There’s the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 putting out an impressive 305-hp and 269 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 16/23 mpg with 4WD and 8-speed automatic transmission. Then there’s the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 producing 240-hp and a whopping 420 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 19/27 mpg with 8-speed auto. Right now, Ram is the only half-ton pickup offered with a diesel powerplant, with Ford debuting one this year. If you need towing power, the diesel is the way to go.
Finally, a 5.7-liter, HEMI V8 with 395-hp and 410 lb/ft of torque gets EPA estimates of 15 city, 21-highway mpg with an 8-speed automatic. Aside from the sweet rumble emanating from the exhaust pipes, the HEMI is potent and uses the same engine that’s in Dodge’s Challenger muscle car. There is no want for power, either from a standing stop or highway passing maneuvers. And under hard acceleration, it sounds delightful.
Well worth the extra $1,295 is the Ram Box Management system. With internal dividers or long gun or two-piece fishing rod holders, these lockable and water proof bins are an outdoor sportsmen’s delight. They can also serve as drink or food bins when loading it with ice as it has drain holes. The option also includes a nifty, polymer, cargo bed divider/extender that uses compression to hold the divider against the bed walls at any spot along the cargo bed. Or, place it atop the lowered tailgate and it serves as a cargo extender. As for the locking tailgate, it’s not dampened like that on Ford’s and Chevy’s, but it’s lightweight.
Stepping into the cabin is a 23-inch stretch or 13 to the step rails. Once in, you’re treated to a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear comfy, supportive perforated leather seats. For drivers with short legs, the Limited came with power adjustable pedals.
The vertical stack houses an 8.4-inch touchscreen serving the rearview camera, audio, apps, navigation and UConnect infotainment system with Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Plus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
HVAC controls are large and easy to use. The auto transmission shifter is a rotary dial that takes some acclimating to, especially if coming from a console or steering wheel shifter.
Ram’s 4WD system consists of four push buttons of 2WD, 4WD Auto (nice to have during a snow storm or heavy rain), 4WD Lock and 4WD Low.
Back seats split and fold up against the bulkhead allowing a pair of cargo plates to be folded out that form a 29x57-inch sturdy load floor for protective gear or a hunting dog or two.
With an extremely long list of standard safety items and convenience features that’s contained in the Limited 26V package ($3,200), plus the Limited Tungsten Edition ($1,825) with a host of trim items, a tonneau cover ($595), 3.92 rear axle ($95), anti-spin rear axle ($435), power sunroof ($1,095), CD player ($345), Ram Boxes, trailer brake control ($295) and a delivery of $1,395, all brings the base price of $53,595 to $63,870.
With this comes a 5 year, 60K powertrain warranty and has been government 5-star safety rated at four stars for driver/passenger frontal crash, five for front/rear seat side crash and three for rollover.
If you can find a 2018 Limited or even a bare bones Tradesman or other model, it’s quite certain a dealer will offer a Ram to your financial liking.