r.p.m. 3.6-L V-6 305 hp at 6,400 r.p.m., 269 lb-ft at 4,175
Eight-speed automatic Anti-lock four-wheel discs 275/60/20 $44,395 base/$60,665 as tested Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.1 city, 14.6 highway
Advanced multistage front airbags, side-curtain front and rear airbags, supplemental side airbags, electric shift-on-the-fly transfer case, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring system, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, heavy-duty shock absorbers front and back, remote keyless entry, locking tailgate, electronic vehicle information centre, halogen quad headlights, trailer-tow four-pin connector wiring, engine block heater
Think of it as an SUV with the added utility of a truck bed Fantastic ride quality, lots of room Not that powerful when working
Reasonable, but the price climbs
4WD light-duty pickup truck
Rotary shift dial is a bit
I’d forgo the Luxury Group ($725), Remote Start Group ($595), side steps ($850), tonneau cover ($450) and power sunroof ($1,395)
More than just a conceptual boundary, the highway we call “No. 7” is the backbone of my hometown. A bisecting axis of recreation and commerce, it connects east to west and divides north from south. As the city’s main drag, it’s the strip where most stoplight tableaus play out on any given Saturday night.
This far north of the metropolis, it’s nothing out of the ordinary to see trucks used as daily drivers. While young urbanites roll in neon-hued imports, up here where the dialect is Wayne’s World- meets- Fargo, the ride of choice is the jacked-up pickup. “Pumpkins on display” I call them, their undercarriages laid bare by elevated chassis, gigantic treads thrumming on the pavement, accompanied by the calving-heifer bellow of dual tailpipes.
My Ram 1500 seems quite modest by comparison, the country equivalent of a family sedan. In navy blue with discreet chrome trim, it blends in when parked on my street as well as it does in front of the barn.
We’ve recently driven the entire Heavy Duty lineup and the impressive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. This truck, a Ram 1500 Crew Cab SLT, is powered by the base Pentastar V-6. In the world of trucks, where bigger usually equals better, is there a place for a V-6-powered pickup? Ain’t no better place to find out than here, north of seven, where even if all you haul is air, you’re at home.
Compact and moderately powered trucks were losing ground for a while to the ever-more-useful crossovers, but their increasing levels of comfort and technology have lured buyers back. There’s a reviving market for people who don’t really need the power of a V-8, but still have occasional need for a truck’s capability. There’s really no substitute for a genuine pickup bed to get a dirty job done.
My tester is a mid-range SLT trim, but it’s loaded with more than $5,000 of optional mechanical and convenience extras. Outwardly, it features more lashings of chrome, 20-inch aluminum wheels, wheelto-wheel side steps and a neat, tidy tri-fold tonneau cover.
The cabin isn’t as opulent as the branded leather Laramie models, but its chocolate and cream trim is rather attractive. Seats are upholstered in premium cloth rather than leather, but they’re an interesting blend of textures and contrasting colours. The Crew Cab configuration is as spacious as any full-size SUV; rear passengers have plenty of room to stretch out their legs, and a 60/40-split seat bottom flips up to create an impressive flat cargo area.
There are also watertight storage compartments cleverly hidden beneath the rear floor and bins beneath the rear seats. The optional RamBox cargo management system ($1,195) features two remotelockable storage compartments integrated in the
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