2021 Ram 1500 Limited 7

What is it?

Ram Trucks Australia’s all-new Ram 1500 DT models are now coming off the production line at the company’s Melbourne manufacturing facility and are on sale at Ram dealers across the country.

The DT version means there are now five models on sale here, the Express Quad, Crew Cab, Warlock II, and now DT versions of LaRamie and Limited.

All Ram Trucks Australia vehicles are international-spec vehicles coded for the Australian market and the local build process.

There are over 400 locally-sourced new parts involved in its transformation from left to right-hand drive.

The Ram 1500 is a full-size pickup truck and is significantly larger than other vehicles in this class.

We’ve borrowed a Ram 1500 DT for a week’s road test and our findings and thoughts are here.

2021 Ram 1500 Limited 2

What’s it cost?

The top of the line Ram 1500 Limited 5.7 petrol Crew Cab is priced at $142,950 plus onroads.

Getting in and out of this tall vehicle is far simpler than you would expect, thanks to a very clever trick.

When you open the doors, side-steps flick out from under the vehicle, so instead of just one step up to the cabin — there are sort-of two stairs.

There’s plenty of space in all five seats, with legroom in the rear that owners of other utes can only dream about.

The second row has 60/40 stadium folding and reclining seats that can slope back by up to eight degrees.

There’s stretch out space for two in the back and even the person in the centre rear seat has good space and comfort.

The Ram 1500 has a full-length dual-pane panoRamic sunroof, along with heated and ventilated leather seats.

In the load area, a 1.5 cubic metre tray can be specified with the excellent RamBox Cargo Management System for added usability.

A powered tailgate allows ease of access.

The infotainment screen is as big and bold as the rest of the Ram.

Being a 12.0-inch vertical unit, it provides a huge number of functions and is easy to use — because most of the movements you make on the screen with your fingers are instinctive.

Audio comes from a premium Harman/Kardon system, with 900 watt surround amp and 19 speakers — including a 10-inch subwoofer.

Active noise cancellation further improves the luxurious feeling within the cabin.

The sound quality impressed us and the audio guys have obviously put a lot of effort getting the best from the layout.

Ram 1500 safety systems include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, ready alert braking and trailer-sway damping control, lane departure warning, park-sense parallel/perpendicular park, hill-start assist and LED intelligent headlights.

2021 Ram 1500 Limited 11

What’s it go like?

Every petrol Ram 1500 is powered by a 5.7-litre Hemi pushrod V8 engine with power and torque outputs of 291kW at 5600 rpm and 556Nm at 3950 rpm.

In addition, the 1500 DT LaRamie and Limited models now come with the new eTorque mild hybrid system to improve efficiency and drivability.

This system combines a belt-drive motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack to enable start-stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration.

Cylinder deactivation when the engine is under very light load is a fuel reduction feature.

Transmission has eight forward speeds and there’s a Borg Warner torque-on-demand transfer case.

You can choose to operate it in two-wheel drive through the rear wheels or four-wheel drive.

There are also high and low ranges – this really is a genuine, hard working off-road vehicle.

This is a big truck and while not exactly filling the Aussie-width lanes on motorways, it does demand that you pay attention to avoid creeping into other lanes.

Similarly, on very narrow country roads the Ram 1500 takes not only its side of the road but pinches a bit from the other side.

So you may have to put the left-side wheels just off the road if something is coming the other way.

Cornering isn’t exactly sport-truck, but it’s safe and predictable.

Overtaking is simple thanks to all the grunt offered by that big V8 with its clever electrical torque.

It has new generation Active-Level Four Corner air suspension that’s adjustable to offer the best combination of ride, handling, off-road capability, load-levelling and entry/exit convenience.

Official fuel consumption is a 12.2L/100km, which might seem high, but don’t forget you’ve got close to three tonnes of vehicle to haul.

On test we found it used 9.0-11.0L on motorways and flat-country cruising.

That jumped to 15-17L around town.

Not too bad for a big V8 truck and surely not many people would buy this for a daily suburban driving.

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What we like?

  • Genuine hard working off-roader
  • Significantly larger than other utes
  • Clever side-steps make entry easier
  • Plenty of room even in centre rear seat
  • Powered tailgate allows ease of access
  • Impressive sound quality from 900 watt system

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What we don’t like?

  • Expensive
  • Too big for narrow roads
  • Cornering isn’t exactly on par with sport-trucks
  • Fuel consumption jumps around town

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The bottom line?

Ram pickup trucks are as much about status as transporting loads.

They look great, go hard, but don’t mind a drink. If you’ve got a budget that’s in the region of $150,000 — there’s probably nothing else on the market that beats this big American.

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CHECKOUT: RAM van thankyou mam

CHECKOUT: Ram hits the road to validation

 

1500 Limited 5.7 petrol Crew Cab, priced from $142,950
  • Looks - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 8/10
    8/10
  • Safety - 8/10
    8/10
  • Thirst - 6/10
    6/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
    8/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
    7/10
  • Tech - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 5/10
    5/10
7.4/10
Ram 1500: Nothing else like it

Ewan

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.