2022 Ram 1500 Limited
Access for Aussies to American oversize utes took on a whole new scope a few years ago when factory-backed offerings became available through RAM Trucks Australia (RTA) and HSV/GMSV for Chevrolet products.
SILVERBACK BEAST OF TRAYBACK LUXURY
These vehicles are re-engineered to right-hand drive by Walkinshaw in Melbourne, and are as close as you can get to direct from the manufacturer here in Australia. In 2019, RAM released the new DT series 1500 in the USA which it sells alongside the older DS series vehicle. Australian buyers, though, have had to wait until now to get a DT through RTA.
The DT RAM is available in two specifications here; the RAM 1500 Laramie starts at $114,950 while the RAM 1500 Limited (on test here) starts at $139,950. RAM 1500 DS ‘Classic’ Express and Warlock variants are still available from as low as $79,950.
There’s no getting past the fact that the 1500 is a large vehicle; in fact it has to be the biggest luxury vehicle you can get in this country. Yes, even though it’s a truck, the 1500 Limited is all luxury, and nowhere is that felt more than in the cabin. Slip inside and you immediately appreciate it’s noticeably wider than a regular ute from the Ranger/Hilux class, and there’s room between the two front seats for another pew. In the Limited, that space is taken up by a massive centre console with multiple configurations and numerous available storage options.
The front seats themselves are 10- way power adjustable leather items with heating and cooling, while the rear seat easily accommodates three adults, something not so easy in regular 4x4 utes. Above them is a full-size sliding glass sunroof and cover.
In and around the centre console are five USB and four USB-C ports, 12-volt plugs and a wireless charging point for your compatible phone. Ahead of the console is a 300mm touchscreen A/V system which is new on the DT RAM. This massive system houses all the controls for the audio, navigation, seat heating and ventilation, Apple and Android links and configurable apps. All the cabin functions you need to control are accessed within this impressive system, although it can be annoying to have to go through menus to reach some functions that should be simple buttons or when switching between audio sources.
The audio system in the Limited is also worth a mention as it’s a 19-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon set-up. The Limited also benefits from active noise cancelling to block out unwanted road and wind noise meaning that when riding inside the RAM, the tunes are all you hear.
With the level of comfort and convenience features and the quality of the ride within the RAM Limited, the $140,000 price tag starts to look like good value when compared to any other such-equipped vehicles; and none of those can better the RAM’s 4500kg towing ability.
What the RAM can’t match is the payload of the smaller utes that are popular in Australia. While there’s heaps of space for loading cargo in the RAM you are limited by a relatively low payload of 701kg.
Just because it’s a truck doesn’t mean the RAM 1500 misses out on any safety tech. It features most of the latest electronic features such as forward-collision warning with active braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts, front and rear Parksense assistance, trailer sway control, adaptive cruise control, blindspot monitoring and six airbags.
All RAM 1500s sold in Australia by RTA are powered by the 5.7 litre Hemi V8 petrol engine and the DT models feature a mild hybrid system. This system uses 48-volt electrics and a belt-driven generator to improve stop/start operation and also send torque back to the crankshaft for brief intervals for a mild boost in performance.
Outputs for both the eTorque and non-hybrid version of the 5.7 Hemi is quoted at 291kW and 556Nm, and on the road, you’re hard-pressed to feel any difference in the performance of the eTorque Hemi over the regular version. What it does aid is the smoother, less noticeable operation of the stop/start system.
Curiously, fuel consumption for both hybrid and non-hybrid models is quoted at an identical 12.2L/100km (ADR combined cycle). During testing we saw 16.3L/100km throughout our week with the big rig.
The only obvious competitor to the RAM is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 from GMSV. In LTZ specification it’s a fair bit cheaper ($114K) and its 6.2-litre engine has more power and torque on paper, but in terms of features and refinement, the RAM 1500 stands as the current king of the super utes.
Below: top-spec Limited version of new DT series includes air suspension and shadow-chrome 22-inch wheels, among a load of other swag. If you don’t get it, you just don’t get it…
TECHNICAL DATA FILE
- Model Ram 1500 Limited
- Engine 5654cc V8 (900), ohv, 16v, mild hybrid
- Max power 291kW @ 5800rpm
- Max torque 556Nm @ 3950rpm
- Transmission 8-speed automatic
- Weight 2749kg
- 0-100km/h 6.8sec (estimated)
- Economy 12.2L/100km
- Price $139,950
- On sale Now
- PLUS + Unbeatable towing ability; huge cabin; rides well; loaded with comfort and safety equipment
- MINUS — Mild hybrid doesn’t make much real-world difference; inner-urban parking challenges