Ram Laramie 2500
American as GI Joe and the Superbowl, pick-up trucks dominate US motor vehicle sales.
Did you know the third highest-selling brand, RAM, is available for sale in Australia, fully ADR-compliant and in right-hand-drive?
The RAM range is imported by American Special Vehicles, a venture of Ateco Automotive and the Walkinshaw Automotive Group. Produced with full volume import approval, they are converted from left-hand-drive in Melbourne and sold through an Australia-wide dealer network with a three year/100,000km warranty.
Our test vehicle, a Laramie 2500, is the archetypal American truck. A 4x4 dual cab, it measures up at a tad over 6.0m long and 2.0m wide and has a GVM of 4490kg. Payload is 913kg.
Big numbers – but they get bigger. Check out the rated towing capacities: 3500kg (with a 50mm tow ball), 4500kg (with a 70mm tow ball) and a whopping 6989kg (with a pintle hook). Compare this with the 3500kg capacity of the best of conventional dual cab utes.
Providing the pulling power is a massive 6.7-litre Cummins, turbo-diesel, six-cylinder engine putting out 276Kw @ 2800rpm and a mountain of torque – 1084Nm @ 1000rpm – mated with a six-speed auto transmission. On test, it returned a reasonable – considering the size of the engine – 14.5 litres/100km.
As our road test showed, the vehicle’s sheer size is not only its strength (pun intended), but weakness. There are places you just can’t take it – a CBD underground car park, for example. And a 13.38m turning circle means making a U-turn is a challenge, so too low-speed manoeuvring and reversing – even with the assistance of rear park sensors and a camera.
So, around town, it’s a bit of a handful. Ditto changing direction on a twisty back road. But, hit the highway and the RAM is in its element, loafing along at the speed limit with a surprising level of smoothness and ride compliance.
In keeping with its exterior girth, the interior is ultra-spacious and stacked with creature comforts, way too extensive to list here. The leather-trimmed seats are heated and ventilated up front, with 10way power adjustment for the driver and six-way for the passenger. A nice touch is the centre front console, which flips back to provide a sixth seat. However, not so user-friendly is the awkwardly-located park brake.
By any standards, you can’t deny the RAM’s ability to stand out in a crowd. And therein, we would imagine, is another reason for buying one.
ENGINE: 6.7-litre, turbodiesel 6-cyl
ANCAP SAFETY RATING: N/A
TAILPIPE CO2 (g/km): N/A
FOR: Presence, towing ability, individuality.
AGAINST: Sheer size, turning circle, manoeuvrability.