What does the RAM 1500 Laramie cost?
The RAM 1500 Laramie will set you back $119,900 plus on-road costs. If that sounds a lot, consider it’s more expensive sibling the Limited is $142,950.
In its home country the 1500’s pricing starts below US$50,000, so clearly there’s a fair old impost for local buyers.
On top of the exchange rate and shipping costs there’s the significant matter of pulling the RAM apart and switching the steering wheel to the right-hand side when it lands in Australia.
This is an engineering program performed in Melbourne by a company called Walkinshaw Automotive Group and it really does a great job. That process is fully approved by RAM, as is distribution to dealers by one of Australia’s most reputable independent auto companies, the Ateco Group.
By the way Walkinshaw also converts the RAM’s arch-rival, the Chevrolet Silverado, to right-hand drive for the local General Motors subsidiary, GMSV.
Anyway, I digress. For all that money, you get a vehicle with a 5.7-litre petrol engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, permanent four-wheel drive with low range, a five-seat cabin and a mega 4500kg braked towing capacity.
That’s 1000kg more than the best claims for the most popular dual cabs such as the Ford Ranger. But conversely, the RAM 1500 can’t carry as much payload. Its limited to about 830kg, where the Toyota HiLux and the like can haul a tonne or more.
Key equipment fitted to the RAM 1500 Laramie include a huge portrait-style 12-inch touch-screen that dominates the centre stack, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control with rear vents and rear seats that recline 10 degrees and have ventilation and heating outboard. Of course, there’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection.
The RAM 1500 comes with only a three-year/100,00km warranty, which is a bit underwhelming for a work-and-play truck like this. Service intervals are 12 months/12,000km.
How safe is the RAM 1500 Laramie?
The default measure of safety in the Aussie auto market is an ANCAP rating. The RAM 1500 Laramie doesn’t get one and is unlikely to. Instead we can refer to reputable equivalent US testing which shows it is a very solid performer.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the RAM a 2021 top safety pick. It earned a Good rating in all crashworthiness tests. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the RAM four or the maximum five stars across its criteria.
So far so good, but it’s when you delve into the safety equipment list the RAM 1500 Laramie looks a bit average. While it comes standard with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), six airbags and a reversing camera, there’s a whole heap of other worthy stuff such as a 360 degree camera wrapped up in a $4950 driver assistance pack.
Worse, you can’t even order it at the moment because of the global semiconductor shortage that’s seriously impacted the auto industry.