Is the 5.7-litre V8, which makes 395 horses and 556Nm of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic, a good enough drivetrain for this 2019 Ram? The answer to that little conundrum is a resounding ‘yes’.
Keen-eyed readers will remember a couple of criticisms I had of the 2018 F-150 Limited; firstly, its new 10-speed auto felt like it would often search for the right gear at times and secondly, the Ecoboost Ford didn’t sound as good as the 5.0-litre V8. Well, no such complaints about this Ram; sure the Hemi lacks a few torques in comparison (the blown F-150 has 637Nm, that’s 81 more than the Ram) but it still has ample power at its disposal and it avoids the hesitation and peakiness of turbocharged engines. It is happy to oblige when you punch it to get past slower traffic and as an added bonus, the sounds emanating from the two chrome exhaust tips when you mash the throttle are like a combination of Metallica, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath at full volume. I had expected the fuel efficiency to take a real hammering because I’ve been driving with my foot floored, surprisingly though, it’s done the opposite and improved to 18 litres per 100km (it was at 19 last week). I’ll be rocking out to more of that heavy metal soundtrack until this handsome truck goes back. The mere thought of that is upsetting...
Speaking of handsome, the 2019 model year stands out a lot more thanks to the revised grille. The old traditional cross-hair nose has been ditched, and moreover, the new 1500 Laramie is lighter than the previous truck too by a whopping 102kg, and this really transpires to the way it drives and handles. The ride quality is really impressive thanks to the air suspension and new two-valve Frequency Response Damping shocks (they automatically adjust to changing road conditions) which help cushion you from all the road imperfections and maintains a smooth ride that some luxury saloons would be proud of. The chassis doesn’t just absorb bumps — with the redesigned and retuned front suspension, the handling feels tighter now too.
Even though it’s the size of a small country, you can park it in most bays — albeit with its nose sticking out — but with a sharp reversing camera and light steering, it’s easy to manoeuvre into the tightest of spots. More next week!
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