Car Reviews

2018 Ram 1500 Limited essentials: Expensive, useful and smart




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What is it: The 2018 Ram 1500 Limited is the outgoing version of Ram’s full-size pickup, loaded with luxury options and a premium midsize sedan price. Base models come with a 305-hp V6; this one has the 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Both get an eight-speed automatic and the option of two- or four-wheel drive. But don’t get it confused with the new Ram shown at this year’s Detroit auto show — that’s a 2019 model, and we’ll have a first drive soon.

Key Competitors: Ford F-150 King Ranch, Toyota Tundra Platinum, Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71

Base Price: $54,990 As-Tested Price: $63,870

Highlights: Ram standardized the backup camera for 2018. Also new for this year, an 8.4-inch display screen that includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Our example came with the Limited Package, which added 20-inch aluminum wheels, power front seats that also heat and cool and a heated steering wheel, among other things.

The 2018 Ram 1500 Limited gets extra luxury features like premium leather high-back, heated and ventilated bucket seats, power 10-way driver and power six-way passenger, power lumbar adjuster, premium full-length floor console, 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, heated 2nd-row seats; includes 60/40 split-folding premium leather rear bench seat with under seat storage and fold-flat load floor storage.

Our Opinion: Innovation: that’s what fills this half-ton pickup. Chockablock with usable features, the Ram is the only truck to offer the Ram box, a storage system that’s built around the truck bed surrounding the wheel flares. The bed itself has dimensions akin to a flareside. That space is rarely needed, which makes the Ram box essentially free space for things like tools, outdoor supplies or whatever you want to be protected from the weather, but not in the cabin. It’s lockable too. I used it to carry mountain bike stuff — fantastic.

Perfectly pleasant to drive around, the Ram saunters along with the help of a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and eight-speed automatic transmission. Air suspension makes it easy to glide over pockmarked roads. And I drove the truck in winter and enjoyed heated seats and steering wheel; for summertime, the seats cool too.

Trucks have traveled a long way past pure utilitarian life. There’s just as much luxury in here as a premium sedan. Unfortunately, that goes for price as well — this particular Ram costs $63,870. Unless you need, and I mean really need, a half-ton truck, know that a Porsche Boxster 718 starts at $58,450.

–Robin Warner, managing editor

Options: Limited Tungsten edition with 20-inch wheels, bi-function projector black headlamps, body-color door handles and exterior mirrors, body-color front steel bumper, tungsten chrome body-side molding, tungsten chrome exterior badging, tungsten chrome RAM grille, black with silver stripe rotary shifter, sport tail lamps, body-color RAM tailgate nameplate, body-color running boards, sport performance hood ($1,825), Ram Box cargo management system with four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks, bed cargo divider/extender ($1,295), power sunroof ($1,095), tri-fold tonneau cover ($595), anti-spin differential rear axle ($436), single disc remote cd player ($345), trailer brake control ($295), 3.92 rear axle ratio ($95), suede headliner delete credit (-$300)

Robin Warner

Robin Warner

– Robin Warner is Editorial Manager at Autoweek. He once tried and failed to become a professional race car driver, but succeeded in learning about debt management and having a story to tell. A former engineer, Warner loves cars for their technology and capability.

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On Sale: Now

Base Price: $54,990

As Tested Price: $63,870

Powertrain: 5.7-liter V8, 4WD, 8-speed automatic

Output: 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm; 410 lb-ft @ 3,950 rpm

Fuel Economy: 15/21/17 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Pros: From the driver’s seat it looks like a luxury sedan

Cons: Feels too expensive for grunt work

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