The girls had dance classes all day, so my son and I had the day to hang out. On the agenda was a bike ride, kayaking and a beach swim before picking up the girls and heading back home for dinner.
If being conspicuous is your thing, then the Ram 1500 might be just your cup of tea. It comes with a ridiculous amount of street presence. Dressed in 'Brilliant Black', the Laramie’s exterior is adorned with thick slabs of chrome everywhere you look - with much of it used to create the immense grille up front, no doubt designed to intimidate. It’s high, too, with the top edge of the bonnet sitting almost shoulder height (I’m 180cm tall).
The chrome details extend from the grille to the huge wing mirrors, door handles and 20-inch wheels, and to the chrome bumpers and full-length side steps. It conveys a more metro-bling look than that of hard working rugged work horse.
The kids thought this truck was the greatest thing ever, and before even venturing inside the cabin they had decided the 1500 should become the new full-time family taxi. With space and ride height at the top of their family taxi wish-list, the 1500 was their equivalent of Christmas on four wheels.
Climbing in, we loaded up the 1712mm long tub (1.4 cubic metres of storage space) with our bikes and gear. The soft tri-fold tonneau cover looks good and was easy to unlock, folding back neatly with minimal effort.
There’s a bulky cargo divider in the tub, which, in theory, is a smart way to segregate your gear, but it can take up much-needed space, particularly when you need make use of the entire tray. The Ram Boxes located either side of the tub above the rear wheels are a handy additional storage solution which we made good use of over the weekend.
Inside, we discovered a spacious cabin well suited to large humans. The backseat easily fits three large adults with inches of head and legroom to spare. What’s more, it’s actually incredibly comfortable back there, with leather heated seats accompanied by air vents and a flip-down centre armrest with cup holders to match the pair on the floor in front of the seats.
Up front, there is an excellent amount of storage, with big door pockets including bottle holders, cup holders between the front seats, as well as an enormous centre-console bin. The heated and cooled power adjustable front seats provide decent levels of comfort and provide a commanding view out all sides of the vehicle.
The Laramie was easier to manoeuvre around the suburban back streets than expected, with a smooth ride on all road surfaces and good composure around bends for its size. The brakes had a progressive feel and provided plenty of confidence to pull the big ute up when needed. There was obviously no getting around the feeling of size, but it managed to account for itself surprisingly well.
After dropping off the girls at dance, my son and I spent the day in and out of the Laramie on various trips between the bike track, the lake and the beach, allowing me plenty of opportunities to park this monster. Overall, it was not as painful as I’d anticipated.
The 1500 Laramie comes with responsive electric power-assisted steering, with 3.5 turns lock to lock, which, along with the reversing camera and parking sensors (front and rear), helped slot the Laramie with little fuss into most street parking spots. Length wasn’t the issue so much as width (2017mm), which proved tricky in local council and shopping centre car parks, in some cases leaving us with barely enough room to get in or out.