“Light is right” as Colin Chapman founder of Lotus said. We truly think the weight is one of the key for fun to drive as a light car will always be more agile and responsive.
Well that’s now the time where you ask yourself, how the hell did they end up with a full size truck ?
Dodge Ram 1500: a truck review, really ?
To be perfectly honest we have never been interested in pick-up as we lived in Europe, and more generally in big cities. However it’s 2019, I live in Canada and Dodge kindly lent us a RAM 1500 Sport for 3 weeks so we thought that it would be the perfect occasion to test drive a truck in our day to day life and open our minds about something new (at least for us).
In addition, it’s winter in Montreal so we also realized that going over pretty much any amount of snow would be terribly fun.
Yes, pick-up are quite new for us, our oncle has a RAM 1500 for couple of years now but we always make fun of him because he’s a real estate broker and have absolutely no use of such a big truck.
This reflect a trend and even the car maker start to play with it. Trucks are becoming a lot more SUV. Smart move when we consider the increase in the SUV market size.
During 2018, more than 2.8 million trucks were sold worldwide. Quite impressive. On his side Dodge sold over 530,000 RAM which is 7% more compared to 2017.
What make people love trucks to the point that in the US alone, there is almost 10 times more RAM sold than Audi Q5 (61,000 in 2018) ?
Let’s jump into the truck world!
Dominating the road! with the Dodge Ram
The design didn’t evolve much since the last generation, the overall car does feel more quality and luxury. The 22 inches optional wheel evokes the increase in refinement of the truck.
The craziest thing about the RAM 1500 is the height of the car. We are 6”2 (1,90m) and we felt small, very small standing aside the RAM.
When you open the door a really useful step get out to help you jump aboard. It seems gadget but we can guarantee that considering the height of the cabin it’s not.
Inside you have plenty of space. This is one of the big plus of the car. The most impressive thing in this cabin? The centre compartment. It’s absolutely giant, you can store two winter jackets in it ! And probably a medium size dog with its favorite bed.
The cabin is really confortable with the heated and vented seats, more storage space that you can even imagine, and, a beautiful openable panoramic roof. We also enjoyed a very smart cellular support suitable for all sizes of smartphones.
The equipment is also very complete, the 8.4 inch touch display is very intuitive but you can also use buttons to control the entertainment system which is really cool in our opinion because when driving you don’t have to look at the screen to operate it. For all the screen lovers don’t worry, you can also have a 12 inch display in option.
From the outside this 2019 edition and specially this Sport version (only for Canada) abandoned chrome for glossy plastic.
Compared with the previous version, it looks bigger, more muscular, more aggressive, which makes it much more modern. The Sport edition is a kind of Ram Mach 1, with air intakes and accessories that make it more wild and more bourgeois than it really is.
The most useful technology of the car is however the 360 camera to help you park the 5.91m long truck.
Are we really reviewing a truck? If feels more premium SUV than rough truck to us…
On the road, from up there a Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90 looks like a Fiat 500, it’s absolutely crazy! If you follow a Smart, at the red light you barely see it in front of you because of its size.
One of the novelty on the 2019 RAM 1500 is the pneumatic suspensions, you can now choose among 5 suspension settings ranging from “exit/entry” to “off road 2”. The height of the car varies with the chosen setting and this helps with the aerodynamic of the car at high speed but also to increase the clearance for special conditions. This doesn’t prevent us from hard road feedbacks.
SUV or Truck ?
Under the hood the now legendary 5.7L HEMI V8 developing 395hp drags the RAM around.
The engine sound is really pleasant, it’s definitely an american V8, who can complain about that? However we do not really feel the 395hp because of the weight of the car.
The 2019 version is 102kg lighter than its predecessor which is a great move forward, but, the car still weights approximately 2,300kgs. Yes, you read it right : two thousand three hundred kilos.
The automatic gearbox is really good, you barely notice the gear changes. Its optimize your driving experience and give you the feeling that the car can tow pretty much anything.
The car is really easy to drive despite its weights even if in the city it feels a bit like a bull in a china store.
Alert major city issue : the height of the car makes it inconvenient to park in an underground parking. Actually, you have to choose it carefully and lower the truck as much as you can (entry/exit level) to make sure you don’t touch the garage celling. It was a new feeling for us, very unusual/unpleasant.
On the open road/highway the car is confortable and feels really safe. All the driving assistances and the dimensions of the car add a lot to this feeling. The RAM 1500 is surprisingly good on the road… like a real SUV.
However over 140km/h the wind noise in the cabin starts to increase which is a bit disappointing for a 60,000$ truck. Is it an Italian tribute? However the perceived quality is quite good overall for the money.
The consumption remembers you that the RAM 1500 is a truck more than a SUV. In 2,000kms we did not reach less than 17L/100kms on average which includes highway as well as city drives. Thanks god gasoline is half price compared to France.
The RAM incites you to cruise and enjoy the scenic drive more than pushing hard which is really good for your driving license and your gas mileage.
One annoying thing we noticed on a normal usage is that when you put something at the back it always move forward to the front of the 5”7 box and you have to get in the box to take the thing out. We therefore recommend to go for the optional box separations to add practicality to the box at the back.
The 2019 RAM 1500 is surprising in a lot of way. It becomes more and more SUV to target a all new type of buyers and this a quite a success. This car is not just a truck anymore. It’s technologically advanced and as confortable as a premium SUV. It’s definitely the missing link between pickup and SUV.
However spending 3 weeks with it confirms to us that’s it is not always practical and confortable if you live in a city. The size of the car is an handicap for a daily use.
We will not buy a truck of any kind soon, don’t worry. 2019 will be a year of adventure. To kick off the year what’s best than getting out of our confort zone and explore new types of cars…
Driving a truck was definitely a good/fun experience, we now understand better what make them attractive to the people. It gives you a feeling of dominating the road. Nothing can happens in such a car, you’re above everything on the road.
In which condition will we need a truck? To tow a race car to the track.
#FunToDrive score : 50/100
In this SUVs time even the trucks start to change and become more premium. A good V8, and more and more confort is the recipe of the RAM1500. It could have a more of character to make it a real beast. It surprises us with its outstanding capabilities but it’s not really fun to drive as it’s big and heavy.
It’s now time for you to discover our “Dodge RAM” story at the top of our Instagram profile.
In 2019, Keep it #FunToDrive.