We bid farewell to the 4th generation Ram Truck
Words by: Adam Allen
“Don’t let the Sun go down on me…”
We found ourselves humming a few bars of the famous Elton John ditty as we climbed aboard into the luxurious confines of the Ram Limited’s new Tungsten Edition. As the most well outfitted example you can buy right now, we thought it was fitting to be behind the wheel of the ultimate expression of Ram 1500 before the sun goes down on this current generation. There’s no need to get too nostalgic, however- there’s a 5th generation that’ll be on its way to showrooms shortly, and after checking out its vital statistics, it looks to be a fairly excellent continuation of what you see here.
So…that thing got a Hemi?
Yes. Yes, it does. And it sounds awesome.
Trucks are blurring the lines between themselves and luxury cars. Do people actually use these things for work?
You may have reservations subjecting your $76,345 pickup to the copious filth and devil-may-care attitudes of the workers that make up your average construction site. If that doesn’t bother you, your luxury laden workhorse will prove itself quite capable. Towing capacity is a maximum of 4,826 kilograms (10,640 lbs) and you can haul 853 kilos (1,880 lbs) of whatever payload you like. There’s plenty of other places for your stuff both inside and out as well. The Front Centre Floor Console is cavernous enough to swallow a laptop computer and other bits and the ingenious RAM box Cargo Management System integrated into what would otherwise be a missed opportunity to turn the rear box rails into lockable, weatherproof storage. With good ground clearance and robust suspension components working in concert with four-wheel drive endow the Ram with the chops to navigate even the most gnarly jobsite. When you’re not working or your ferrying around your non-work crew (that would be your family) around on weekends, no one’s going to complain about spending time inside this truck. What we can’t figure out is why people by trucks like this when the most challenging task they ever ask is to traverse a cottage access road or pickup large furniture at Ikea. The Ram, like most pickups, is capable of doing so much that it’s just a waste to relegate it to the status of glorified grocery getter. Plus, the ravenous fuel consumption which you might justify in a work context is a tough pill to swallow if you’re just running errands. We managed 16.8L/100km, and that included a good amount of highway cruising.
Does it drive as luxuriously as it looks?
The pickup space is one the most fiercely contested in the entire industry- just look at how far the humble pickup has come in the last 20 years. One area the Ram has the others beat is the ride when you’re not towing anything or don’t have anything in the bed. Thanks to its air suspension, the Ram offers an absolutely outstanding ride, so much so that were it not for the increased ground clearance and pickup bed stretching out behind you it’s fully possible you’d forget you were driving a truck. It’s nicely subdued inside and only when you push the Hemi V8 does any engine noise permeate the cabin, and it’s a nice noise at that. Only when the engine shuts off four cylinders under light loads does the sound become less musical. Some folks might gripe at this, but we say that’s the sound of saving money. Braking and steering are typical for a pickup- which is to say, deliberate and somewhat imprecise- but that shouldn’t shock anyone. For a something that is expected to face a lifetime of abuse, the Ram drives exceptionally well, trailing only the Ford F-150 in terms of dynamic polish.
What might go wrong?
We have a few gripes, but admittedly none of them would be enough to chase you away from a Ram showroom if you’re considering putting one in your driveway. We’ll start with the most pedantic complaints and work our way upwards, starting with the antenna. We have long bitterly bid farewell to the fixed antennas that protrude clumsily from the front fenders. Why does the Ram need one, especially when it could be integrated into the vastly more tasteful shark fin piece mounted to the roof? Perhaps Ram engineers could crib a page from the Mazda playbook, located in the index under ‘knobs’. The Mazda’s infotainment control knob turns through its detents with oily precision whereas the Ram’s rotary gear shift feels less substantial and plasticky. Moving right along, we like the looks of how the truck purposefully squats on its wheels when parked- we wish we could specify the lowest ride height for most occasions. Lastly, the standard halogen headlights light the way acceptably- but at this price point, we expected Xenon HIDs or even LED’s which perform better and would add to the night aesthetics of the Ram Tungsten.
Should I buy a Ram Limited Tungsten?
Truck owners are fiercely loyal, so if you fancy yourself a member of the Mopar tribe chances are you’ve already answered this question in the affirmative. Those coming from other brands or buyers who have never owned a truck in the past should be suitably impressed by what this most luxurious ever Ram has to offer. This is the last of a celebrated generation of Ram trucks, and despite the promise of the 2019 model’s excellence, those that shy away from being an early adopter will find reassuring familiarity with the last of the breed like you see here. Although it’s too late for the current generation, we’d strongly suggest that Ram product planners look into shoehorning a Hellcat engine under the hood of the newest version. We can admit that our addiction to horsepower makes us resort to questionable behaviours, but before you write us off as hopelessly incurable fiends we ask you to remember the Ram SRT-10, which had the Viper’s monstrous V10 crammed into the engine bay. With that thought kicking around giddily around in our brains, we looked over our shoulders while nodding in respect to the Ram that has served so admirably and quietly bid it farewell.
2018 Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten Edition Crew 4X4- Specifications
- Price as tested: $76,345
- Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger truck
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/four-wheel drive
- Engine: 5.7 litre V8, OHV, 16 valves
- Horsepower: 395 @ 5,600 rpm
- Torque (lb-ft.): 410 @ 3,950 rpm
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Curb weight: 2,440 kg (5,379 lbs)
- Observed Fuel consumption: 16.8L/100km (14 mpg)