Full-Size trucks are the bread and butter behind the names of Ram and Ford alike, for 2016 the Ram is available with a special heart that is truly unique so let’s take a look.
The tester we have here is the Longhorn edition, with it comes with a few things that will appeal to a certain few, starting with the dual-tone paint scheme on the outside that matches the interior leather and dash. The longhorn exclusive badging are though-out the vehicle, mats, seats, tailgate it is all there. The best addition is probably the behind the front seats the seat-back pockets looks similar to the saddle bags. But is this just tinsel to create a cover up this aging truck? Quite possible, this fourth generation Ram has been on the same platform since 2009 and throughout the years it’s gone through some minor changes but nothing too significant until now that is.
Class exclusivity is something that always stands out, with the Ram, it’s no different. The Heavy Duties have Cummins Diesel powertrains but that was never available on the 1500 but now they have the EcoDiesel, and it has never made more sense. The Ram is the only half-ton with a diesel option. During the week in snow and traffic, I was able to achieve 11.5L/100km in mostly city driving. Considering that the Ram weighs in at 5662lbs this is astonishing. With 240hp and 420lb-ft of torque available at 2000rpm the Ram hauls when needed and it settles down to a nice cruise on the highway. With all this torque the ram is capable of towing up to 10,640lbs and it’s able to keep the truck level thanks to another class exclusive air suspension on all four. Normally trucks with no load ride relatively stiff but the Ram uses Multilink Coils in the back to soften the whole truck so even with no weight, the truck’s ride is soft and pleasant.
Behind the wheel, the Ram can feel a little intimidating being so tall and with relatively big blind spots in front and behind the vehicle. But they have to try to solve this with parking sensors up front and back to aid with any obstacles that can’t simply be rolled over. Once you get use to sitting up high the driving position isn’t bad though shorter drivers might have a hard time adjusting to a comfortable position because the steering wheel can tilt but does not feature any telescopic adjustments. Up front is a pair of wide leather seats that are heated and cooled for individual comfort, are flat but supportive. For the rear outboard passengers, they also get heated leather surfaces and room with wide opening doors getting in and out is easy. Under the rear seats is a storage area for the driver’s side but taking by a subwoofer on the other. Their seat bottom also has a led light to help illuminate the rear area which is thoughtful.
The interior is simple and well laid out controls are big so even with gloves it’s easy to control, bust when inside gloves are optional with the big heated steering wheel and leather surfaces you won’t want to miss a spot. The big screen in the center features Chrysler’s Uconnect system, although it can be sluggish at times it’s pretty well laid out. Items such as changing radio stations and setting presets are easy to change on the fly.
Overall the Ram is special because of it’s heart, the EcoDiesel powertrain won me over with its efficiency and compliance. Gone are the days of cold chatting diesel, and in its place is a more upscale ride and comfort that can be felt throughout the cabin. Personally, I would say the Longhorn edition wouldn’t be the model to pick as the EcoDiesel is available at a lower trim level but I’ll let you be the judge of that.