On check: Ram V8 pickup official UK import

 

Just like its landscapes, quick meals and waistlines, the USA’s pickup vehicles are of an epic scale.

To us Brits, with our slim ribbons of hedge-lined tarmac and quaint on-street parking, a Ford Ranger or VW Amarok might sound a lump of a car.

But these are mere toys in contrast with what’s tearing round on the opposite aspect of the pond. 

See additionally: On check: All-electric Jaguar I-Pace 4×4

Take the 1500 from Ram – this all-American juggernaut is greater than half a metre longer than an Isuzu D-Max, 200mm wider and 400kg heavier. And it’s one of many small ones. 

This bulk is the first motive why vehicles of this measurement have hardly ever been proffered within the UK, save for a handful of gray imports which have bypassed official channels. 

European importer KW Automotive has bucked that development although, making it doable to purchase a left-hand-drive Ram by an authorised supplier, full with a full guarantee. 

To discover out if that’s a smart proposition, we acquired behind the wheel of a mid-spec 1500 Laramie; probably the greatest sellers within the UK. 

Ram 1500 Laramie specs

  • Engine 5.7-litre Hemi V8 
  • Power 395hp/556Nm
  • Fuel Petrol or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG)
  • Fuel financial system Approximately 24mpg
  • Transmission 8-speed ZF computerized
  • Suspension Air system entrance and rear
  • Four-wheel drive system Part-time with computerized mode
  • Towing capability 3.5t
  • Vehicle tax £295/12 months
  • Dimensions (L/W/H) 5,916mm/2,084mm/1,971mm
  • Weight 2,404kg
  • Price as examined £56,500 

V8 energy

Like all common 1500s, the Laramie is hauled alongside by a 5.7-litre naturally aspirated Hemi V8 that’s good for 395hp.  

This form of firepower is remarkable in common European diesel pickups, the place the gutsiest fashions prime out at lower than 250hp.

Consequently, it will possibly propel its 2.4t bulk from 0-60mph in a sprightly 6sec and carry on hustling till it hits a restricted prime velocity of simply over 107mph.  

Tempting as it’s to gun it off the mark and let the engine sing, the modest exhaust and wholesome dose of sound-deadening means the V8 roar comes by extra like a delightful burble.  

This is ok, as a result of the V8 within the 1500 exists for easy cruising and towing potential, relatively than lairy noise making – there’s a 702hp supercharged TRX model if that’s extra your bag. 

Considering the Ram’s mammoth proportions and large engine, its thirst for petrol isn’t as voracious as one would possibly anticipate, returning as much as 24mpg on a motorway cruise and about 18mpg with combined driving.

This is due to its multi-displacement system (MDS) that shuts the engine right down to 4 cylinders when full V8 energy isn’t required. 

These operating prices are nonetheless onerous to abdomen for UK patrons, so many vehicles are specced with a Prins LPG conversion, full with 100-, 200- or 320-litre tank bolted below the pickup mattress.

At present costs, KW Automotive says this makes operating prices for the Ram akin to a car that does 40mpg on petrol alone. 

Transmission and operating gear 

Americans don’t do guide, so the one gearbox out there within the 1500 is an eight-speed computerized.

This is a clean shifter, giving the driving force nearly seamless acceleration, until the throttle is booted onerous to provoke kickdown.  

Drive modes are chosen utilizing a dial on the sprint, that means there’s no want for a guide lever cluttering up the centre console.

The part-time four-wheel drive system can be electrically operated, with the choice of excessive and low vary, plus an computerized setting that sends drive to the entrance wheels at any time when the rears begin to slip. 

As nicely as giving added reassurance on greasy roads, this turns out to be useful for growing stability when pulling a trailer.

Speaking of which, the Ram can tow the utmost UK restrict of three.5t with a braked trailer, or 3.7t if utilizing a fifth-wheel plate mounted within the again.

Both these figures belie its true skills, because it’s rated to tug 5.78t within the USA. 

Ram truck interior

© James Andrews

Interior and trim 

Inside, the cavernous cabin can accommodate 5 passengers in consolation, or six if the customer opts for a 3rd entrance seat as an alternative of a centre console. 

Rear occupants are notably nicely catered for, due to limousine ranges of legroom, reclining seats and cup holders sufficiently big for a supersized Slurpee. 

Up entrance, it’s clear the 1500 is equipped for mile-munching highway journeys, with a pair of doughy armchairs and a few well-positioned armrests that encourage you to droop in and benefit from the trip. 

There’s no scarcity of tech both, with an enormous 12in vertical show that includes all the same old entertainments, customary or adaptive cruise management, and a smattering of driving aids corresponding to lane departure warning and park help. 

A cavernous centre console separates the driving force and passenger, providing loads of storage for weapons and doughnuts, a few cup holders and several other charging sockets, together with an inverter for operating mains powered gear. 

rear seats in Ram truck

© James Andrews

Fit and end is respectable, notably for a pickup truck, however it doesn’t have the type or refinement of a swanky German SUV. 

There is an elephant within the room although, which is the left-hand driving place.  

You quickly get used to whizzing alongside hugging the verge, however there’s no getting away from the truth that it’s onerous to see when pulling out round parked automobiles and overtaking on single carriageways.

It shall be a deal-breaker for a lot of. 

An Australian agency presents right-hand drive conversions, which could ultimately make it right here. However, these will add about £25,000 to the worth, making the vehicles very costly certainly. 

Ram truck flatbed

© James Andrews

Carrying capability 

One of the Ram’s hallmarks is its potential to lug huge quantities of stuff. The main space for it is a capacious pickup mattress that’s sufficiently big to lie 8×4 sheets of ply flat within the again.  

It may also be specced with a bunch of novel storage gadgets, corresponding to toolboxes that swing out from the edges and lockable compartments built-in into the rear wings that may be accessed from exterior.  

On prime of this, patrons have the choice of a number of mattress liners, covers and canopies in order that it may be tailor-made to go well with completely different jobs.  

Which mannequin?

Most Ram 1500s have the identical mixture of engine, transmission and operating gear, with variations primarily restricted to exterior and inside trim. 

At the underside of the pecking order is the Bighorn, full with material seats, a smaller display within the sprint, and coil suspension.

The Rebel and Laramie come subsequent, including air springs and leather-based, with top-spec fashions such because the Limited and Longhorn getting the next degree of end. 

The latter presents the total rancher vibe with filigree embossed leather-based, saddle baggage on the again of the seats and Willy Nelson’s best hits onerous wired into the leisure system. 

Prices begin at about £54,000 for the Bighorn, £56,000 for the Laramie and a nudge over £60,000 for the top-spec editions. 

Sitting in a league of its personal is the spicy TRX. This is Ram’s reply to Ford’s F-150 Raptor, with a 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 that pumps out 702hp and a price ticket north of £100,000. 

Hemi badge

© James Andrews

FW verdict

The Ram 1500 appears enormous from the surface and feels equally enormous from the driving force’s seat.

Throw in the truth that the steering wheel is mounted on the fallacious aspect, and it’s a cumbersome beast to pilot down slim roads. 

But the surging energy of the V8 engine, silky clean trip and large quantities of storage quickly begin to win you over.

The truth it may be run surprisingly frugally on LPG is one other bonus, serving to to win over the top in addition to the center. 

Most patrons shall be those that need relatively than want an enormous US truck, however it may very well be a smart possibility if you happen to commonly tow heavy hundreds over lengthy distances.

The solely draw back is that UK guidelines forestall it from reaching its full potential.