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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 Limited Night Edition Eco Diesel

“Fit for any Occasion”

If there was an obsession in the car buying market most people would instantly say SUV’s, and they would not be wrong.  However, in pure statistical numbers the venerable pickup truck is king.  Across the border pickup trucks accounted for five of the top ten best sellers during the pandemic.  The remaining five were three SUV’s and two cars and this is during the pandemic! 

You might be asking “what were they?”

  1. Ford F-Series
  2. Chevrolet Silverado
  3. Ram Pickups
  4. Toyota Rav4
  5. Honda CR-V
  6. Toyota Camry
  7. Chevrolet Equinox
  8. Honda Civic
  9. GMC Sierra
  10. Toyota Tacoma

North of the border things look very similar.  Four of the top 10 were pickup trucks and looked a little like this:

  1. Ford F-Series
  2. Ram Pickups
  3. Toyota Rav4
  4. GMC Sierra
  5. Chevrolet Silverado
  6. Honda Civic
  7. Honda CR-V
  8. Toyota Corolla
  9. Hyundai Kona
  10. Nissan Rogue

Whichever way you cut it, the appetite for pickup trucks is insatiable and despite what the automotive industry underwent in loss of sales volume during 2020 and Covid-19 pickup truck sales actually saw growth in the south and only meager reductions in Canada.  Having been behind the wheel of the 2020/2021 Dodge Ram 1500 Eco Diesel Longhorn Edition for a week there is no question in my mind why the love for pickups runs so deep.

My wife is a very discerning car enthusiast.  It takes something very unique to change her mindset or catch her eye.  For the first time ever on the numerous tests I have done of pickup trucks, did my wife say, “Sunny, I can actually see us owning one of these,”  I was gobsmacked.   However, upon proper reflection her reasoning for reaching that conclusion is completely understandable.

Let begin with the exterior.  The Ram 1500 is arguably one of the most attractively designed pickups available.  Unlike many of the competitors the Ram’s lines are smoother and less edgy, but, not so much as to detract from the trucks masculinity, but, rather almost add to it.  The Limited Night Edition adds 22 inch black wheels, black dual exhaust tips and blackout accents around the truck.  The class exclusive Rambox gives you quick easy dry lockable storage outside the vehicle without having to store items in the cab or in the bed.  Take my word for it, this is a very useful option.  For 2021, the Ram also gets the Multifunction Tailgate, this allows you to open the tailgate conventionally or like a door side to side in a 60/40 split. The Night Edition also covers the bed in a trifold tonneau cover as standard.  The result is a menacing look that makes the Ram 1500 standout from the crowd.

As the door is opened, we really get to understand why the Ram shines.  This is a place that doesn’t feel like a work environment, but, rather an upscale luxury vehicle.  Occupants are greeted with ample amounts of soft touch materials, wood and leather.  The crowning jewel is a 12” infotainment screen powered by the awesome FCA group Uconnect System.  Slide into the seats that make you feel like you’re sitting in a Lazy boy recliner, they are plush, supportive and large.  Rear occupants are welcomed by heated and ventilated seats with a class first reclining rear seat with up to 8 degrees in incline and up to 6.6 inches more rear legroom than competing GM and Ford trucks.  To top it off, the spacious cabin is added to by an immense panoramic roof that increases the spacious feel of the greenhouse.

If you haven’t been impressed thus far, the clincher comes from behind the wheel.  The Ram 1500 Eco Diesel has at its heart a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6.  It produces 260bhp and a class leading 480 lb-ft of torque.  This translates into 12,560-lb towing capacity and 2040-lb payload capacity.  These numbers vary depending on what form the cab and bed are configured.  The Ram has a surprising car like driving manner.  This is due to coilover shock configuration upfront and five-link, progressive rate coil rear suspension rather than conventional leaf springs.  The Limited trim adds four-way adaptive suspension with active leveling air suspension which automatically levels the truck depending on payload or towing as well as driver selectable heights.  Overall, the Ram handles roadways admirably.  The twists are managed with relative ease and flatness despite a nearly 2800kg or 6173lb curb weight.

All of this class leading technology and convenience comes in at an as tested price of just under $89,000.00 after discounts and before taxes.  That’s significantly more than the starting price of the Ram 1500 Classic which starts at around $46,000.00.  However, the Limited Night Edition really ups the game in all facets of the Ram.

To say the light duty pickup truck segment is competitive is a colossal understatement.  The big three from Detroit apply massive amounts of resources to this segment.  The smallest additional feature, design improvement, payload and towing capacity increase or powertrain option can make the difference between being the 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  The Ram 1500 combines elements that users demand.  As owners and drivers begin to demand more and more from their truck, both from a work perspective, but, also from a leisure standpoint, it becomes amply apparent why the Ram checks those boxes.  It is no surprise how the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has snagged Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year two years running, AJAC’s Best Pickup in Canada Award and MotorWeeks’s Drivers Choice Award.  My fellow compatriots can’t all be wrong.

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