The pick-up/light truck category has shown some tremendous growth in the last ten years. More than ever, trucks are becoming hybrid-functional vehicles – use for work during the day and a night out during the evening. With Ford comingout with an all-aluminum body for the F150,Dodge had to be innovative so that it didn’t get left behind. Thus, last year, the Ram 1500 became the first light-duty truck to be fitted with a diesel powerplant, and most of us loved this option. Now add the class-exclusive Active-Level Four Corner Air Suspension, Multi-Link coil spring rear suspension, and In-floor Storage system, and you’ve got a great truck.
For 2015, the Ram remains mostly unchanged from the 2014 model, with the exception of some minor cosmetic upgrades. It’s a great looking truck, and in my humble opinion, neck-and-neck with the F150 as the best looking truck on the market. My cousin, who owns a GMC Sierra, took offence to my top choices and I explained that the Ram and F150 have a more aggressive look, and thus, my personal favourites; my reasoning still didn’t satisfy him, though.
Even though the Ram 1500 is the baby of the Ram-series, make no mistake, it’s still a big truck, and based on your cab and box configuration, it can become a behemoth pretty quickly. Some of the things I really like include the front grille, projector headlamps and the RamBox Management System, which makes storage in the streamlined box area quite simple. On the inside, depending on your trim of choice, the cabin can be mistaken for that of a large luxury sedan. Supple leather seats, leather steering wheel and trim, and all the bells and whistles you can hope for with respect to technology, convenience, and safety. I’ve said it before; nowadays, almost every vehicle can configured with all the features that were only available in luxury cars, and these options are now available in trucks. Yes, trucks are no longer just your industrial workhorses and the Ram 1500’s interior is a great balance of workspace and luxury.
Where the Ram 1500 really shines is under the hood, where the fitted EcoDiesel powerplant is the same one found in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Fire up this baby and you’ll feel a slight rumbling in the floor boards, thanks to the 3.0-liter turbo diesel motor. While power is only a mild 240 horses, the EcoDiesel puts out an impressive 420 lb-ft of torque, all while delivering surprisingly great fuel economy. Dodge states that regardless of powerplant, the Ram series have the best highway fuel economy in its class. Stomp on the gas pedal and the 7,000 pound truck really moves; the only real hiccup is the minor turbo lag, but it’s only at low rpms. At cruising speeds, I found passing to be a breeze.
The Ram 1500’s ride is quite comfortable, thanks to the class-exclusive air suspension. Matched with the 20” tire and wheel package on our Laramie test vehicle, at times, we forgot we were riding in a truck. There’s minimal body roll under regular driving conditions and the suspension soaks up all road imperfections. Steering, for a truck of this size is also quite good. I could see myself taking my family in this vehicle on long road trips. In fact, one of my friends, who just got back from California in his 2014 EcoDiesel Laramie, said he loved the ride and comfort of the truck.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is not the most budget-friendly truck when it comes to initial investment. Sure, the diesel option will set you back an extra $4,500 compared to the base V6, but make the upgrade. With its high torque, great looks, tonnes of interior space, and impressive cab and cabin options, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is definitely worth it.