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For obvious reasons, pick-up trucks come in handy and can do things that even mammoth proportioned SUVs can’t. Within such a prided and competitive vehicle segment, manufacturers are finding creative ways to stand out in the crowd whether it be the use of lightweight aluminum body construction, having the largest towing number or possessing the most luxurious cabin. Rambling off just those three traits, you could easily categorize each of the big American automaker’s trucks in each of them. The latest Ram 1500 Laramie, this week’s test vehicle in my possession, has one of the better interiors of the wide array of full sized truck offerings in its price range.
The new 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie slots in as one of the ten trim levels offered for the full size truck with several configurable sizes from the regular cab to my test vehicle’s large 5-passenger Crew Cab with 4 doors and a bed up to 6.4 feet. With the latest redesign of the Ram for the 2013 model year, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has retained a design formula that is working well for their proven full size truck.
Receiving only minor refreshing and additional features leading up to the 2015 model year, the Ram 1500 retains its rugged look and remains to have a plethora of options, creature comforts, and above all, several powertrain choices mixed with ample size configurations.
My new 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab test vehicle happens to be equipped with the brand’s 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine producing 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers equate to a rather efficient full sized crew cab truck in that it is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Together, the V6 engine works in harmony with all 8 gears to move the Ram 1500 along with a good forward momentum getting up to 60 mph in just under 8 seconds for my two-wheel-drive test vehicle setup. With those performance numbers the Ram 1500 V6 Crew Cab 4×2 manages to get an EPA estimated 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. The city mpg figure was easily attainable mostly beating it with 17.8 mpg on my test drive while the highway figure came in around 23.8 mpg on a long 200-mile haul down the interstate at the pace of other traffic.
The V6 engine choice seems to be at the middle of the row with an EcoDiesel offering up additional fuel economy getting 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway but at the cost of acceleration time, while the larger 5.7-liter HEMI V8 serves up a robust 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque but only achieving 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway on the 2WD configuration.
I found the V6 engine to have just enough power and oomph to get the job done, more than I initially thought having tested the HEMI V8 1500 Sport Crew Cab a couple years ago. On the road the Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab V6 2WD does just fine to get out of the way and overtake when necessary. I never found a situation where the V6’s power wasn’t enough. In the area of towing the V6 in my test vehicle’s configuration is able to haul 1,460 pounds and tow up to 7,450 pounds with the (as equipped) optional 3.55 rear axle ratio.
The 20-inch aluminum clad wheels wrapped in beefy 275/60/R20 all-season tires do their job to grip the pavement or loose surfaces adding to the stability of the Ram 1500.
On the open road the Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab V6 2WD behaves nicely, reducing harsh suspension rebound and unwanted jiggle, an all-too common and discarded trait found on many full size trucks. Turn ins are confident until the handling threshold is reached, which comes on subtlety as to not surprise you in midstream of a exit off ramp or sharp turn. In all, steering effort and drivability is rather easy but never diminishes the sensation of piloting a full size truck with a little weight behind it to the tune of over 4,900 pounds.
The V6 in my Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab comes highly recommended for a perfect balance of power, capability and overall efficiency. Not to mention, having a cruising range of up to 650 miles make it an excellent vehicle to travel in, thanks to a 26 gallon fuel tank.
Speaking of traveling, the 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie V6 Crew Cab 2WD has an excellent ride quality, one that surpasses any other truck I have tested. Adding to the quality of the ride is the supple interior of the Ram 1500 Laramie where the optional leather trimmed bucket seats have just enough support and limit fatigue on long hauls. Additionally, the ventilation and heating of the front seats prove to be a necessary option in our unpredictable and astoundingly hot Florida climate. My test vehicle also featured optional heated second row seats with a full-length floor console to arrange items to store and go when the 5.6-foot spray-lined and organizer-equipped bed won’t do.
The dashboard layout is straightforward with a surprising amount of soft touch areas that carry through the door trim panels. The accented stitching found within the dashboard flows nicely to give the otherwise monotone theme of the cabin some character.
Culminating the high tech aspects of the new Ram 1500 Laramie is the optional Uconnect infotainment unit featuring the same 8.4-inch screen and quick-responding user-friendly interface found in other Chrysler and Dodge vehicles. Through the integrated large 7-inch multicluster color display there is a plethora of vehicle information displayed for the driver from engine/transmission temps and tire pressures to trip meters and pop-up navigation turn-by-turn directions when a destination is set. The integration is among the best in terms of usability and the countless feature settings available at your fingertips through steering-wheel-mounted controls. Everything just works. Even the dashboard-mounted rotary dial for shifting the transmission is welcomed – a bit odd at first but it completely makes sense in place of a dated steering wheel column-mounted shifter.
When it comes to hauling items or hitching nearly 8,600 pounds to tow, the Ram 1500 Laramie V6 4×2 Crew Cab is more than able to get the job done. The desirable optional spray-in bedliner, RamBox with a highly-adjustable cargo management system, and ability to haul 1,460 pounds out back, the Ram 1500 V6 4×2 Crew Cab doesn’t disappoint.
With a wide array of trim levels and configurations and the availability of three powertrain choices, the Ram 1500 can essentially be customized to your liking. A base Ram 1500 starts around $27,000 for a V6-powered regular cab. At the base end of the 2015 Ram 1500 Crew Cab, you can expect a starting price of around $33,000 and then making it to $39,025 as a starting point for the Laramie V6 Crew Cab trim, which includes a long list of upgraded feature sets. My 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie V6 Crew Cab 2WD with the added options of leather trimmed bucket seats (heated/ventilated front heated rear), Convenience Group package (auto highbeam control, keyless enter n go, rainsense wipers), 3.55 ratio rear axle, wheel-to-wheel side steps, body-colored fender flares, Uconnect 8.4-inch infotainment upgrade, Front/Rear ParkSense assist system, remote start, RamBox cargo management system, trailer brake control and a spray-in bedliner, the as-tested price comes to $46,915 including a $1,195 destination charge.
Copyright: 2015 AutomotiveAddicts.com
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