2018 RAM 1500 is eye-turning and fun to drive

2018 RAM 1500 is eye-turning and fun to drive

2018 RAM 1500 Sport Crew Cab

Whether drivers slide into the driver’s seat in jeans or a business suit, the 2018 RAM 1500 is a full-sized Chrysler pickup that delivers a robust portfolio of creature comforts.

Simply put, it has a nice balance of “pzazz” and “power” rolled into one inviting machine.

New looks this year for this RAM 1500 series include a special Harvest edition and the luxurious Limited Tungsten edition, which comes with an exterior sport hood, tungsten chrome pieces with eclectic finishes, and a premium leather interior with a faux-suede headliner. I just could not resist tooling around Miami in this new RAM 1500 Sport Crew Cab 4-by-2 with an eight-speed automatic 8HP70 transmission.

Boasting a cool True Blue Pearl or Hydro Blue exterior paint job with a black interior, this sporty vehicle was a magnet for the admiring gazes at stop lights. After all, it was tricked out with 22-inch painted black forged aluminum wheels, a sport performance hood, and “statement making” grill that is the same color as the body.

Carrying up to six people, this updated vehicle seemed incredibly roomy with 41 inches of legroom up front and 40.3 inches in the back seat. Clearly, it is perfect for hauling plenty of gear inside, protected from the weather, and also simply tooling around town with kids or friends.

As I nestled into the Sport model’s high-backed, leather trimmed bucket seat, I hit a power button to open the sunroof — basking in the welcoming rays of a South Florida winter. Adjusting the seat was a breeze with the driver’s side 10-way power control (six-way for passenger seats). Also impressive was the vehicle’s 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen with multimedia interface.

New this year, that screen displays in higher resolution. The system boasts 4C NAV, Google Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, and more. My vehicle also had Sirius Guardian, a good safety perk with SOS Call, roadside assistance, and vehicle finder.

Wondering what was under the hood? Let’s just say that I went for “the bold.” My test-drive vehicle was powered by a peppy 5.7-liter V8 HEMI MDS VVT engine with 410 pound-feet of torque, clearly a muscle machine choice within the RAM 1500 series. Yes, it was thirstier than other engine choices on the fuel side, with an 15 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. That said, though, pushing the throttle was a whole lot of fun.

Alternatively, buyers can opt for the series’ base V-6 with 269 pound-feet of torque or a series-class exclusive diesel at 420 pound-feet.

They also can choose among multiple RAM 1500 cab styles, trim levels, bed lengths, and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

Given Miami’s urban landscape and temperate climate, all-wheel drive likely isn’t needed unless you are heading off-road to play in the mud or maintain a rural property like in the Redland.

Motoring around town, I thought the ride for this RAM 1500 Sport pickup was quite comfortable, thanks to its four-corner air suspension. Even at speed, the cabin was relatively quiet too. Load-wise, Chrysler lists the maximum payload at 1,630 pounds or max towing at 10,190 pounds.

Base sticker price for the sporty beauty I drove was $40,795, but when adding in the Sport package, the V-8 engine and other equipment, the price tag was $53,690.

From my perspective, the RAM 1500 Sport is a “good looker,” peppy, spacious, comfy and, frankly, just fun to drive.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.

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