Going up against the likes of the Chevrolet Silverado, the RAM 1500 sits at the more extreme end of the dual-cab ute spectrum, offering buyers a hefty slice of American motoring that translates pretty well to Australian roads.
Currently, there are two generations of the RAM 1500 on sale here in Australia, with the base model DS series recently joined by the flagship DT series.
The question remaining, though, is how well does the RAM 1500 perform on the road, and how well does it justify its lofty pricetag, and which is the best RAM 1500 generation for your needs? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $79,950
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Ram 1500 - EXPRESS (4x4) BLACK PACK Specifications
|Variant||EXPRESS (4x4) BLACK PACK|
|Body||QUAD CAB UTILITY|
|Fuel type||UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||8 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||VARIABLE OVERHEAD VALVE / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5600 / 3950|
|Fuel tank size||121.0|
|Fuel usage specs||12.2 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
For more details and other variants, check Ram 1500 car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The RAM 1500 DS Series lineup kicks off with the Express Quad Cab, which is priced at $79,950, while the Express Crew Cab is priced at $89,950. Opting for a Crew Cab with the RamBox brings the price to $94,450, while the Warlock Crew Cab with a Rambox is priced at $108,950.
For those looking for the latest and greatest, the 1500 DT Series kicks off from $115,950 for the Laramie Crew Cab, while the optional RamBox brings the price to $119,900. Stepping up to the Limited Crew Cab with a RamBox brings the price to $139,950, while the flagship Limited Launch Edition Crew Cab RamBox is priced at $139,950.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the RAM 1500 Have?
The RAM 1500 Express Quad Cab comes riding on a set of 20-inch alloys, and receives cloth upholstery, cruise control, automatic headlights, carpeted floors and a 5.0-inch infotainment system.
Stepping up to the DS Series Express Crew Cab adds a set of black alloys, dual-zone climate control, a sports bonnet, 7.0-inch trip computer and an upgraded 8.4-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
The DS Series 1500 Warlock receives specialised decals on the body, folding mirrors, a one-inch lift kit, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with leather upholstery and black bumpers.
Opting for the DT Series Laramie adds a 12-inch infotainment system, heated and ventilated front seats with heated rear seats, a powered boot lift, keyless entry & start, LED headlights, tub liner, tow hooks and a heavy-duty tow bar.
Finally, the DT Series 1500 Limited comes riding on 22-inch black alloys and receives leather upholstery, air suspension, a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated rear seats and retractable side steps for easy access to the cabin.
Cruise control 5.0-inch infotainment system
Sports bonnet (Express Crew Cab)
8.4-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto (Express Crew Cab)
One-inch lift kit (1500 Warlock)
Leather upholstery (1500 Warlock)
Leather steering wheel and gear lever (1500 Warlock)
Black bumpers (1500 Warlock)
12-inch infotainment system (1500 Laramie)
Heated & ventilated front seats (1500 Laramie)
Powered boot lift (1500 Laramie)
Keyless entry & start (1500 Laramie)
LED headlights (1500 Laramie)
Tube liner (1500 Laramie)
Tow hooks (1500 Laramie)
Heavy-duty tow bar (1500 Laramie)
22-inch alloys (1500 Limited)
Panoramic sunroof (1500 Limited)
Air suspension (1500 Limited)
Retractable side steps (1500 Limited)
RAM 1500 Colours
The RAM 1500 range is available in a choice of Diamond Black, White, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Delmonico Red and Patriot Blue.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The RAM 1500 is an exceptionally comfortable vehicle on the road, although its size does require you to make some considerable adjustments to your driving style.
Behind the wheel, it takes only a moment to realise just how comfortable the platform is thanks to that hardcore suspension system that makes light work of everyday bumps. This means that the 1500 is a pleasure to drive on long distance trips, and works wonders when it comes to smoothing out the rough road surfaces that we find so frequently here in Australia.
Of course, the main event in the 5.7-litre V8 engine which produces 291kW of power and 556Nm of torque in both the DS and DT Series, although the latter gains a 48-volt mild hybrid system and technology that shuts down cylinders in order to save fuel.
Power is put to the road through a smooth eight-speed torque-converter automatic, and offers a blend of smooth, effortless acceleration around town, while kicking down quickly when more power is needed.
For an industrial-sized truck, RAM has done a great job in making the weight of the steering wheel more accommodating and user-friendly for drivers new to vehicles of this size, although you can’t escape the sheer size and extremely large turning circle around town.
To sum it up, the RAM 1500 is a very approachable vehicle to drive once you’ve made the adjustment to its proportions and you remember to take each and every corner far wider than you would in a typical car.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The RAM 1500’s sheer size translates well when it comes to occupant comfort, space and practicality, with the American-based platform lending itself perfectly to Australian buyers looking for even more room than the existing options in the dual-cab segment.
Up front, there’s a heap of headroom and acres of space for the driver and front passenger to get comfortable, making for a great cockpit for long journeys.
The high-rising dashboard offers a heap of storage options, too, with two storage areas on the passenger side, while the central console offers an immense amount of storage inside the folding armrest and where you’d typically find the gear lever, which has enough space to accommodate pretty much anything you can throw at it.
Moving to the second row of the cabin, you’ll find a comfortable set of seats that can be easily folded up to make even more space in the rear, and there’s even a set of under-floor storage areas for any loose items.
Those sitting in the rear of the 1500 are treated to a heap of leg and headroom, making for a great place to sit on a long-distance road trip, and can even slide forward and recline to get nice and comfortable for a long trip.
Overall, though, RAM has done a great job in maximising space and practicality from the admittedly massive platform that it had to play with, but it’s good to know there’s no wasted space in the cabin filled with practicality bonuses.
In terms of practicality, the folding RamBoxes on either side of the tray are a particular highlight that separates the 1500 from its competitors, offering some decent storage options - up to 210L of either side - that can be locked away from the public.
In the DS Quad Cab, you’ve got 1,950mm of tray space, which decreases to 1,740mm in the crew cab. For the DT Series, there’s 1,500L of tray space that measures in at 1,712mm.
Is the RAM 1500 Good for Towing?
While the RAM 1500 might trail its rivals when it comes to the limited 700kg payload in the flagship Limited variant, while the payload of the Quad and Express Crew cab stands at 845kg and 830kg respectively.
Thankfully, the RAM 1500 absolutely excels at towing heavy objects thanks to its tough chassis and incredibly powerful V8 engine.
With an official braked towing capacity rated at 4,500kg, the RAM 1500 is the most accomplished vehicle on the market for towing, beating out the likes of the Isuzu D-MAX, Ford Ranger and fan-favourite Toyota HiLux by 1,000kg.
Unbraked towing capacity is capped at 750kg, while the gross vehicle mass (GVM) and gross combination mass (GCM) are rated at 3,450kg and a massive 7,713kg respectively. These figures, combined with the RAM’s hardcore underpinnings make it perfect for long-distance trips towing hefty items.
Is it Safe?
The RAM 1500 is yet to receive an official ANCAP safety score, and in its cheapest form, is fairly limited when it comes to safety equipment. In the DS Series, you’ll find a reversing camera with parking sensors, as well as airbags around the cabin, but little else in the way of safety tech.
Step up to the DT Series and you’ll find smart safety tech like adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warnings, but you’ll need to pay extra on the Laramie, or step up to the Limited to get these features as standard.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
With a fire-breathing V8 at its heart, fuel economy isn’t a strong selling-point of the 1500.
Officially, the RAM 1500 is rated at 12.2L per 100km on a combined cycle, but the reality of driving a vehicle of this size in stop-start traffic will likely see these figures rise pretty substantially.
Our Verdict: Is the RAM 1500 Worth it?
When it comes to size, interior space and sheer towing power, the RAM 1500 really is in a class of its own when you put it under the microscope.
While it might feel unnervingly large when you first hit the road, once you’ve made the adjustment, the RAM 1500’s silky-smooth and torquey power delivery feels right at home on the open roads of Australia, making for one of the leading options for long-distance trips towing a boat or a caravan.
If you’re looking to head into the Great Outdoors, we’d recommend adding the RAM 1500 to your shortlist. On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925
Five Specs You Need to Know
- 4,500kg braked towing capacity
- Three-year/100,000 KM warranty
- No official ANCAP safety rating
- 12-month/12,000km service intervals
- 12.2L/100km fuel economy
Class-leading towing figures
Spacious and smart, practical cabin
Powerful V8 engine
Thirsty V8 engine
Lack of safety tech
Limited warranty coverage
OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10
RAM 1500 Competition
|Volkswagen Amarok W580|