The new-generation Ram 1500, the DT Series, has arrived. This modern utility vehicle has a 5.7-litre Hemi V8, a very versatile load space, plenty of safety tech and it's able to tow 4.5 tonnes – all of that in a premium package. This is a prestige ute if ever you've seen one, but does a luxurious full-size pick-up truck deserve your attention?
The new-generation Ram 1500, designated the DT Series, has arrived.
This is a modern utility vehicle in the true sense of the word: it’s able to tow 4.5 tonnes, it sports a grunt-heavy 5.7-litre Hemi V8, it has a very versatile load space and it’s equipped with a stack of safety tech – all of that in a premium package.
I spent seven days with the Limited, the new top-spec Ram 1500 in the line-up, and it’s a prestige ute if ever I’ve had the pleasure of driving one.
So, does this luxurious full-size pick-up truck deserve your attention? Read on.
Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10
The MY2021 Ram 1500 DT is currently available in two variants – Laramie and Limited – but there are options on offer.
The 1500 Laramie Crew Cab has a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP, excludes on-road costs) of $114,950; the 1500 Laramie Crew Cab with RamBox has an MSRP of $119,900; both the 1500 Limited Crew Cab RamBox (Launch Edition) and 1500 Limited Crew Cab with RamBox (MY21) have an MSRP of $139,950.
The RamBox cargo-management system is standard onboard the Ram 1500 Limited, but it’s a near-$5000 option on the Laramie.
The 1500 Limited Crew Cab has an MSRP of $139,95.
The standard features list is extensive – which you’d assume so at this price-point – and includes active-level four corner air suspension, 12.0-inch touchscreen Uconnect with split-screen functionality & navigation, premium 19-speaker 900-watt Harman Kardon sound system, premium leather-trimmed seats, Ram exclusive re-configurable full centre floor console, heated and ventilated front and rear seats (four positions), rear 60/40 reclining seats with heated outer seats, Ram exclusive RamBox cargo management system, electric auto-deploy side steps, electronic park brake, 22.0-inch black rims, a fully damped tailgate with power release, and more.
Options include Metallic/Pearlescent Paint (including Flame Red) ($950), Driver Assistance Level 2 Package (Laramie only, $4950), and Power Side Steps (Laramie only, $1950).
The exterior paint on this is Billet Silver, but Diamond Black and Granite Crystal are two other options.
All international-spec Rams imported by Ram Trucks Australia are coded for the Aussie market and locally remanufactured from left- to right-hand-drive by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group in Melbourne, with more than 400 locally-sourced new parts used in the process.
Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10
The Ram 1500 is 5916mm long (with a 3672mm wheelbase), 2474mm wide, and 1972mm tall. It has a listed kerb weight of 2749kg.
It is a big, imposing vehicle but it carries its size well. It looks a lot sportier and outdoorsy than the previous generations, now designated Classics, and it feels very premium inside.
From the front to the back, this ute has just the right amount of chunky presence, but its design, with so many practical elements onboard, is the real impressive feat here.
The Ram 1500 is 5916mm long (with a 3672mm wheelbase), 2474mm wide, and 1972mm tall.
Don’t take my word for it – check out the accompanying photos and make up your own mind.
Particularly impressive though is the tub and how it’s been optimised for greater load-space versatility.
In the Limited, the space inside the panel over each rear wheel arch is now RamBox side storage, offering 210 litres of drainable, cargo space, with a 230-volt power outlet.
A tri-fold soft tonneau cover protects the tub, which is 1712mm long (at floor level with tailgate closed), and 543mm deep. Cargo volume is listed as 1.5 cubic metres.
The tub has been optimised for greater load-space versatility.
The tub has an LED load-space light, a grippy tub liner, and the RamBox cargo-management system’s moveable cargo-separation barrier/tub divider, which can be removed and placed either further back or forward in the tub to suit your load-carrying requirements.
The tub has four fixed tie-down points in the tub wall and four adjustable tie-down points along the bed-rail (just blow the tub’s top edge) and these can be slid back and forth, again to suit your load-carrying requirements.
The tub also has a handy pop-out rear step, but use your foot/boot to open and close it, don’t be tempted to use your hand to push it back closed, because that is a serious pinch point between the step as it’s closing and the bottom edge of the vehicle.
The RamBox cargo-management system has a moveable cargo-separation barrier/tub divider.
The tailgate is central locking, can be lowered via the key fob and is fully damped / assisted.
How practical is the space inside? 8/10
The Ram 1500 is packed full of features that have real-world practical applications inside and out, and we’ll crash-tackle a fair few of them right here.
Firstly, it is a massive interior, so there is ample room for numerous and well-thought-out storage spaces, among them an impressive full-length centre console (with sliding storage with Bombay door and wrapped leather lid), and a big fold-down centre console in the back seat, as well as the usual door pockets and cupholders (two upfront, two in the rear centre console), and a glovebox.
The Ram 1500 has a massive interior.
Secondly, it is a comfortable interior. All seats are partial premium leather and all are heated and ventilated, except the centre seat in the back – poor him/her/them.
There is a soft-touch surface seemingly everywhere you look and touch, even the sections that look like they’re able to cop a real bashing during real day-to-day life are premium.
The front seats are comfy bucket seats with plenty of support, and both are 10-way power-adjustable with memory settings. The rear is a 60/40 stadium-style folding bench with manual recline. The back row of seats can be folded back – one or all – to open up a generous load space in that section.
All seats are partial premium leather and all are heated and ventilated, except the centre seat in the back.
Thirdly, it is a user-friendly interior. The 12.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen dominates upfront, and it is very easy to use, with split-screen functionality and navigation.
The 7.0-inch multi-view six-gauge driver information display is also clear and simple to operate on the fly.
What are the key stats for the engine and transmission? 8/10
The DT series variants have the Ram’s 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8 engine – 291kW at 5600rpm and 556Nm at 3950rpm – but this time, as well as cylinder-deactivation tech, which switches off cylinders when they’re not required, these all-new RAM 1500 Laramie and Limited variants have an eTorque mild hybrid system aimed at improving fuel efficiency and all-round drivability. This system combines a belt-drive motor generator unit with a 48-volt battery pack engineered to enable the vehicle’s start/stop function and provide short-term torque assist, and it is regenerated via vehicle braking.
The DT series variants have the Ram’s 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8 engine.
What's it like to drive? 8/10
Living with this big unit is good fun and that starts even before you start the engine.
When you open the doors, the electric side steps* auto-deploy for your ease of entry – but make sure you don’t smack your shins on them! – and then they return to their resting place once all doors are closed. (* The auto-deploy electric side steps are standard on the Limited, but an option on the Laramie.)
The steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable and the driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable with memory settings.
Ground clearance is listed as 217mm (front axle) and 221mm (rear axle). It’s worth noting that the Ram’s air suspension can be lowered by 51mm below its normal ride height to help passengers get in and out of it or, if you’re tackling some tough 4WD-only terrain, it can be raised by up to 51mm above that normal ride height to help the Ram get through serious terrain. I wasn’t doing any off-roading this time so was happy to leave the ute to automatically settle at its own programmed height for optimised aerodynamics. With this aerodynamic goal an aim, the steps tuck away automatically once the doors are closed, as mentioned, and the Ram grille shutters close while this big ol’ US of A ute is on the move.
Before you head off though, you can then dial-in your driving position with pinpoint precision as the steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable and the driver’s seat is 10-way power adjustable with memory settings. Nice.
At just under six metres long, just under two metres tall and weighing in at 2749kg, the Ram 1500 is a surprisingly nimble beast.
There’s a welcoming rumble from the 5.7-litre Hemi petrol V8 when you fire it up, but that’s kept to a low-level backing track due to a cabin that’s so well-insulated from any noise, vibration and harshness that you feel like you’re cocooned for the entire duration of your travels.
The steering is well-weighted and, at just under six metres long, just under two metres tall and weighing in at 2749kg, the Ram 1500 is a surprisingly nimble beast, always feeling highly manouvrable even when suburban streets become a little bit congested with parked cars and through traffic.
The Ram’s sheer bulk and 3672mm-long wheelbase add to that feeling of total and consistent stability.
Visibility is plentiful, and the driver’s position is commanding as the Ram sits high.
The cabin is so well-insulated from any noise, vibration and harshness that you feel like you’re cocooned for the entire duration of your travels.
The Hemi and six-speed auto is an unfussed combination, never stressed, and consistently produces an even-handed delivery of power and torque (291kW and 556Nm) across a wide rev range.
There’s plenty of punchy go about the V8 from a stop-start and while on the move for overtaking but, better still, this ute simply trucks along on the open road, no doubt with that aforementioned cylinder-deactivation tech, switching off cylinders when they’re not required to reduce fuel consumption, doing its bit when needed.
Ride and handling are superbly well sorted, with coils springs all-round, as well as that finely calibrated air suspension set-up yielding a comfortable experience for driver and passengers.
The DT Series has a 701kg payload, 750kg (unbraked towing capacity), 4500kg (braked towing capacity, with a 70mm ball), a 3450kg (Gross Vehicle Mass), and a Gross Combined Mass of 7713kg.
I’m looking forward to load-testing and towing with the Ram 1500.
The DT Series has a 701kg payload, 750kg (unbraked towing capacity), 4500kg (braked towing capacity, with a 70mm ball).
The Ram 1500 Limited is refined, comfortable and practical, with a real luxurious look and feel about it, inside and out.
It has truckloads of grunt, plenty of tech, and it drives like no ute has ever driven before – well, nothing I've steered around anyway. it really has set the gold standard for full-size pick-up trucks in Australia, but for the hefty price-tag you'd certainly hope it does.
This big purpose-built ute is very impressive on-road and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes off-road, as well as with towing duties – and, rest assured, we have those reviews in the pipeline.
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication. Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.