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The benchmark of toughness

The benchmark of toughness

The American pick up has always been one of those rare sights on NZ roads, with many of us that grew up with seeing them on TV at a young age on shows like Walker Texas Ranger, or in motocross videos where factory and freestyle riders getting around with their bikes and gear loaded up and heading for the hills living the dream!

Here the closest we could get in reality was a Ford or Holden ute, but they had limitations and compromises.

It was the quite nostalgic when I started the Ram 1500 Limited for the first time and heard that rumble of the 5.7L V8 Hemi engine, only now I was also getting to experience the modern equivalent.

Modernity steps into the familiar old V8 rumble, the engine is an efficient mild hybrid with it’s eTorque system that seamlessly charges itself and extra features like auto stop/start and in light driving it will shut off four of eight cylinders to do an efficient job of moving all 2670kg of truck around.

The Hemi produces 291kw at 5600rpm and 556Nm torque at 3950rpm which is actually quite similar power figures to a 3.0L Raptor, but in this case there’s the added benefits if you need more passenger space, a huge deck and a whopping 4500kg towing capacity.

I was actually surprised to see fuel consumption while I had the Ram at just over 14L/100km

Despite its size, the Ram is actually pretty good to manoeuvre around town car parks. Parking sensors and 360 degree cameras help make it quite easy!

Off road capability of a Ram is very good, one of my favourite features is the adjustable air suspension, having the ability to adjust ride height to suit whatever you’re doing at the touch of a button, road height which I noticed had a huge effect on fuel consumption and then when hitting the gravel or off road the truck could be lifted right up for the best ground clearance.

In all conditions that I was able to try it in, the Ram handled it smoothly and with ease.

If using off the highway there’s the choice to leave 2WD and select 4WD auto, 4WD High and 4WD low at the touch of a button.

Getting in and out of the truck is easy for anyone at any height because of the automatic folding side steps, which also is useful off-road because there’s the peace of mind they’re tucked up out of the way where they won’t get bent.

Inside the cab it’s easy to appreciate it is the largest in its class and easily the most comfortable, even the rear passengers can enjoy all the leg room and reclining seats for long trips.

There’s no shortage of storage, cup holders and USB ports. Even wireless charging for phones in the front.

The leatherwork definitely makes you appreciate being in an opulent luxury vehicle along with the quality you can’t see in the 900 watt Harman Kardon sound system that has 19 speakers.

On nice days opening up the electric panoramic sunroof is a great experience.

On the key it’s very useful to have remote engine start and a tailgate open feature, a point of difference is that the engine will stay running once the truck is unlocked and you hop in to drive off, it bugs me with other vehicles that the engine shuts off when the door is unlocked.

Many things like that are quite easily customisable with the Ram, to get it dialled in to how you want it and quite rightly so with a vehicle of this calibre.

Back outside on the deck has the very useful Rambox built into the wellside, well sealed lockable storage that can hold 69kg and we could just about get the lid shut with my 9yo daughter lying in them!

Theres even drain bungs in them if you wanted to fill with ice to keep drinks cold, but mostly they’d be very handy for keeping all the things like strops and tools close at hand instead of rolling around in the deck.

If you’ve been thinking about whether a Ram would fit into your life aside from needing a big rig for towing, and if the $172990 price tag for the Ram Limited gets you the value of a tough workhorse as well as a high level of luxury, then it absolutely does tick all the boxes!

Alternatively Euromarque in Christchurch can get you into the Ram truck ranging from the Warlock at $108000 right up to the TRX at $250000 bearing mind they’re all cheaper now there’s no ute tax!

As always, feel free to get in touch with me if you want to know more.

By Duncan Humm, NZ Farming