Trucks

2018 Ram 1500 Review

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When you’re in the market for a new truck, what is it you’re looking for? Do you want a tough workhorse with tons of horsepower and towing capacity? Do you value comfort? Are you looking to avoid breaking the bank? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, rest easy knowing that the new 2018 Ram 1500 can deliver on all of them, and it can do it in style. We’re going to go over each of these in our 2018 Ram 1500 review.

Whether you need a sturdy, dependable pickup for the job site, or just want to stand out in your every day life with a well-designed and spirited vehicle that can ably handle any odd job you throw at it, this year’s Ram 1500 will deliver on all your expectations.

With confident towing, a trio of excellent engine choices, a spacious and luxurious interior, and an innovative suspension system that gives it a uniquely comfortable and smooth ride, the Ram 1500 combines refinement and grit into one to provide truck lovers with an experience they won’t soon forget. Oh, and it comes at a reasonable price, so you won’t have to decide between a truck you love and the weight of your wallet.

PROS:

  • Tows over 10,600 lbs
  • Fuel efficiency as low as 9.7/100 km
  • Sophisticated design
  • A more comfortable ride than its competitors
  • A great selection of powerful engines
  • Spacious, quiet, and luxurious interior
  • Updated infotainment system

CONS:

  • Lacks the advanced driver assist features of some rivals

GO AUTO PRICE:

  • $33,717 – $74,895

WHAT’S NEW IN 2018

The 2018 Ram 1500 adds some notable new standard and optional features.

  • The only pickup that offers the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6 engine
  • Remote exterior switch in the cargo box that activates LED bed lights
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Fleet Telematics Module for vehicle tracking
  • The 8.4 inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes with improved resolution
  • All trims are now equipped with standard rear-view backup cameras


PERFORMANCE & FUEL ECONOMY 

While the 2018 Ram 1500 may not present as many options as some of its competitors, the impressive trio of engine choices (carried over from the 2017 model) that it does put on the table can go toe to toe with the best of them.

Engine Options

3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6: The 2018 Ram 1500 is the only pickup that offers the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6, and it stands out. It’s a towing machine that presents an estimable 240 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque. But what truly puts it ahead of the competition are its fuel efficiency ratings: 13.5 L/100km in (city) and 10.9 L/100km (hwy) with all-wheel drive, and 13.5 L/100km (city) and 9.7 L/100km (hwy) with rear-wheel drive. This engine makes the Ram 1500 a prime option for those interested in having the most fuel-efficient full-sized pickup on the market.

3.6-litre V-6: Canada’s best-selling engine, the base 3.6-litre V-6 is standard to all trims, and can deliver up to 305 HP, 269 lb-ft of torque. In terms of fuel efficiency, it gets up to 16.6 L/100km (city) and 11.3 L/100km (hwy) when paired with rear-wheel drive, and 17.7 L/100km (city) and 12.3 L/100km (hwy) with four-wheel drive, placing it ahead of most of the base V-6 engines we see coming from its rivals.

5.7-litre Hemi V-8: If you need something with a bit more oomph, the top-tier 5.7-litre Hemi V-8 packs a punch delivering 395 HP and 410 lb-ft of torque, giving it a towing capacity of 10,600 lbs. It also features a cylinder deactivation that boosts gas mileage under light loads.



TECHNOLOGY

Maintaining Ram’s reputation for providing drivers with smooth, comfortable rides, this year’s Ram 1500 carries over last year’s unique multilink coil-spring rear suspension and has an available self-levelling air suspension system for upper trims that’s unrivaled in its class. Ride around in this pickup for long enough and you might start to think you’re in a car.

For many, the quality of the experience will begin and end with the infotainment system. Luckily for them, the 2018 Ram 1500’s Uconnect infotainment system is both advanced and intuitive – as good as any you’ll find in its competitors. Receiving a four and a half star rating out of five from Car and Driver, the system is extremely responsive, and the 8.4 inch Uconnect touchscreen has enhanced resolution as well as pinch-to-zoom functions.

With built-in Parking Assist Technology for the front and rear of the vehicle, the Ram 1500 will alert you when you’re in proximity of obstacles in your path.  The available Trailer Brake Control will work in your favour by keeping your trailer stable and properly aligned by modulating your trailer brakes in relation to your Ram. Plus, with the available Active-Level Four Corner-Suspension system that maintains a steady level regardless of the size of your load and raises or lowers your vehicle according to your preference, maintaining control when towing, hauling, or off-roading is a non-issue.

Most importantly, the 2018 model added sought-after features like 4G LTE mobile hotspot, HD radio, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. If a good infotainment system is one of your priorities when searching for a new truck, consider the 2018 Ram 1500. It has one of the most advanced and easy-to-use systems on the market today.



INTERIOR 

Regardless of trim, the 2018 Ram 1500’s interior is both luxurious and practical. Receiving a four-and-a-half-star out of five rating from Edmunds, the Ram 1500’s interior is comfortable and spacious, loaded with innovative and modern tech, and is completed with quality materials right down to the last minute detail.

Higher trims boast premium materials that venture into the world of luxury vehicles. Particularly noteworthy are the Laramie Longhorn and Limited Tungsten trims, with their fine leather trimmings and glossy wood panelling.

Although it may not have the same back-seat leg-space of some of its rivals, the 2018 Ram 1500 is still quite roomy and can easily handle five grown adults without them feeling cramped.



SAFETY

With a four-out-of-five star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, safety in the 2018 Ram 1500 starts with an advanced braking system with electronic stability control, which includes such subsystems as hill start assist, antilock brake system and trailer sway control. These kick in when needed to apply individual brakes and reduce engine power to help you keep control should sway a bit on the road.

What’s more, with Uconnect, the 2018 Ram 1500 can connect you with a 911 operator at the touch of a button, as well as track your vehicle if it’s been stolen. It also does a great job at making child seat installation an easy task.

Some features carried over from the 2017 models, such as rear-view cameras, are now standard on all trims. Parking sensors are standard to higher trims, and are presented as options for the lower trims.



AWARDS

Not only did the new Ram 1500 bring home the Canadian Truck King Challenge award for the third time, but it has been named AJAC’s best pickup truck in Canada for 2018.

The Texas Auto Writers Association named it Texas’ luxury pickup of the year for 2017.

All three engines–the 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6, the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6, and the 5.7-litre Hemi V-8–are winners of Ward’s 10 Best Engines.


FINAL VERDICT 

Everything considered, the 2018 Ram 1500 is simply an exceptional truck.

It’s solid and dependable, it has an excellent variety of powerful engines to choose from, and is without equal when it comes to comfort.

The 1500 is a workhorse that can handle the toughest jobs. It’s a good choice if you need a truck that can go through the ringer, no worse for wear. And thanks to its new tech, it even doubles as a family vehicle.

We strongly recommend you take a look at the 2018 Ram 1500


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