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RAM 1500 – Big and bold with some clever technology

Drive in the United States these days and despite all of the talk of the future of motoring, electric vehicles and the environment v8-powered trucks or super-sized utes are the vehicle of choice – the top three sellers in America are trucks, Ford’s F150 the market leader followed by Chevrolet’s Silverado with RAM third. I recently tested the new RAM 1500 ute which recently joined the larger 2500 and 3500 models here – converted in Melbourne to a high standard at the rate of 5 a day – two dual cab 4WD models, Express and Laramie, with two tub lengths from a sharp $79,950 drive-away. The 5.7-litre V8 eight-speed automatic with up to 4500 kg towing capacity makes motoring effortless and one can see why on America’s road system they are the vehicle of choice. Visually, the RAM is big, bold and imposing even in this smaller 1500 model however it’s a surprise package – more manageable to the larger models, comfortable, powerful, with some clever technology. A load of top soil for the garden really showed what a workhorse the RAM 1500 can be and it handled it with ease, the electric rack and pinion power steering well calibrated making handling a breeze – it’s loaded with electronic safety features, plus for towing, adds trailer sway control and ready alert braking plus the higher grade Laramie gains trailer brake control. One dislike is the awkward foot-operated park brake – high mounted and hard to access the result of the right-hand-drive conversion. I’m David Berthon

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