Last week I told you about the maintenance and minor warranty issues that I have had with my 2016 Ram, this week I am going to get into what it’s like living with the truck on a daily basis. Since I have purchased the truck I have towed, hauled, taken it off roading, driven it in a bunch of snow storms, taken it on a few camping trips, road trips and taken it to the drag strip.
This is an easy vehicle to live with on a day to day basis. After you get used to the size which doesn’t take long at all, it is quite maneuverable thanks to a tight turning radius (for a vehicle of its size), excellent site lines and the high resolution back up camera. I average about 16 MPG in typical driving although I should mention that where I live is hilly and full of traffic lights. On longer road trips I have seen as high as 23 MPG to a tank which in my opinion for a full sized crew cab 4×4 truck with a V8 and 3.92 gears is nothing to sneeze at. Power is abundant making merging into traffic or overtaking a slow moving vehicle on a 2 lane road effortless. The Hemi V8 is buttery smooth and the ZF 8 speed transmission is almost undetectable in its operation.
While the interior isn’t up to the caliber of the 2019 Ram 1500 it has been in many opinions the class leader until the all new Ram debuted 6 months ago. Everything in the interior has held up well, feels high quality and thanks to a thorough detailing schedule and the addition of Husky floor liners the truck still looks brand new inside. There is no unusual wear on any of the controls and no squeaks or rattles to be heard. Seats are comfortable if a touch on the firm side but look great and leg room is plentiful in all seating positions. Lots of great tech features and the optional 506 watt Alpine stereo system make the cabin an enjoyable place to spend time.
In the time that I have owned my Ram I have only towed a few times with it. While my particular configuration has a J2807 compliant tow rating of 10,170 lbs I never got close to that. I towed a few trailers and boats that came in around the 5500lb mark and the truck just laughed it off. There was a bit more squat than I’d like if I was regularly towing but that can be easily and cheaply fixed with an aftermarket airbag solution, I am more than happy with the trade off for a better ride than a more traditional leaf spring rear suspension. If you’re regularly towing loads closer to the max towing rating you would be best served looking at a 2500 or 3500 but for most recreational boats and trailers the 1500 handles them just fine.
While this truck is mostly a pavement princess it has spent its fair share of time off road and in the mud. The first time I went out the truck still had the stock Goodyear Wrangler SR-As on it and while they are a comfortable tire for the street thats about where it ends for them. While I didn’t get stuck thanks to the excellent 4wd system the tires had a hard time maintaining traction. I have since replaced the Goodyears with a set of BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2’s and they fared much better in the slippery stuff. The truck hasn’t got stuck yet and has always got me where I needed to go, be it to a remote camping spot, playing around in the mud, or getting to the top of a mountain on a used up logging road.
Speaking of camping, a few weekends ago I completely loaded the bed of the truck up with gear, fit 3 people in the truck along with more gear in the cab and headed an hour and a half out of town to a campground located about 15km up a logging road. The truck didn’t even flinch and my passengers and myself made it up in complete comfort.
The drag strip
While not a natural place for a big heavy truck, more and more pickups are being taken to drag strips as power outputs keep increasing. I spend a lot of time in my youth on the drag strip and just for fun I decided to take the Ram out last year. I was expecting the truck to go Mid 15s but on my first run with traction control on and without touching anything the truck went 15.2 at 89 MPH. I was now dead set to get the truck into the 14s which I felt I could do. For my next 3 runs I turned the traction control off and selected 6th gear using the electronic range select (this only allows the transmission to use 1st through 6th gear). I went 15.013, 15.010 and 15.002 all at 91 MPH with lousy 2.2 second 60 foot times. I was so close to running a 14 I could taste it but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get another run in that night. I later learned that foot braking these Rams to launch actually causes the computer to pull timing, which in turn will result in a slower run. Unfortunately I was footbraking the truck all night and I’m hoping to go back this year and pull a 14 second pass out of it, but I have also since added larger and heavier tires. I plan to go back again this year and will document the whole night for you guys.
That wraps up the long term Ram update for this week, make sure you stay tuned to Mopar Insiders for more great content and check out our Forums section for much more.