Dodge RAM 1500 2023 Review: A luxurious pickup truck as elegant as a luxury SUV
If you are looking for a luxury vehicle that can confidently traverse any terrain, then the Dodge RAM 1500 won't disappoint you. Its spacious interior is equipped with a range of high-end and convenient features, but what really stands out is its smooth engine performance at average speeds and the exhilarating acceleration that feels like driving a classic American muscle car.
Overview of RAM 1500
Contrary to the notion of "big cars are inconvenient" or "expensive prices," the RAM is actually a popular model among car enthusiasts from the North to the South.
If the 1500 Laramie is the model for those who want to "live the RAM experience," then the RAM 1500 LongHorn is the model that appeals to those who seek luxury, authority, top-of-the-line technology, and cargo-carrying capabilities.
The brand "RAM" stands for Real American Manner, with a distinctively American style. RAM is a pickup truck brand that originated from Dodge - a powerful car manufacturer with a unique classic sports style.
Previously, these models of vehicles were called Dodge RAM, but in 2010, "RAM" was used as a standalone name for Chrysler's line of luxury pickup trucks, vans, and more. After many efforts and improvements, RAM vehicles have been highly praised by experts and users for their power and advanced features.
In the United States, the cumulative sales for RAM's three models - RAM 1500, 2500, and 3500 - in 2022 reached 468,344 vehicles, despite a 16% decrease compared to 2021. RAM still remains at the top of the global large pickup truck segment. It can be said that RAM is the strategic product line for FCA.
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RAM 1500 Exterior
The design language of the RAM 1500 is unmistakable, with its powerful, masculine presence evident in the overall shape of the vehicle. Unlike other large pickup trucks with straight lines and sharp angles, the RAM embodies a distinct American style.
The overall dimensions of the RAM 1500 measure 5,916 mm in length, 2,084 mm in width, and 1,971 mm in height. The wheelbase length of the 2023 RAM 1500 is 3,672 mm, and the ground clearance is 217 mm at the front and 220 mm at the rear. The wading depth of the RAM 1500 is 800 mm.
With these specifications, the RAM 1500 outperforms popular pickup trucks like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux.
The front of the Dodge RAM 1500 features chrome-plated details, from the grille to the front bumper. The grille is designed with horizontal bars, with the RAM logo placed in the center. The lower trims of the RAM 1500 have a grille that features a center highlight. The air vents are equipped with automatic open and close features.
The hood of the vehicle has multiple grooves, with a raised center that creates a unique look for the RAM. The LongHorn version of the RAM 1500 features four Bi-Function LED Projector headlights with chrome accents, which have automatic on/off and high/low beam control. The front bumper has two tow hooks and LED fog lights. Front sensors are also integrated into the bumper.
Both the Laramie and Longhorn versions of the RAM 1500 use 20-inch wheels with a 5-spoke design, while the Laramie Night Edition has 22-inch wheels. However, to make the vehicle more versatile and easily conquer different terrains, the vehicle in this article has replaced the wheels with FUEL rims measuring 18 inches and equipped with 285/65R18 tires.
The electrically operated footstep is a standard feature of the RAM 1500. The vehicle's suspension system is of the air suspension type, making it easy to raise or lower the vehicle depending on operating conditions and different terrains.
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The rear of the Dodge RAM 1500 is no different from its two Laramie and Laramie Night Edition siblings, still featuring a metal bumper and symmetrically placed exhaust pipes. The taillight cluster is designed to be sharp-edged, creating a difference when moving at night. The vehicle is equipped with a ladder at the rear to facilitate convenience.
The tailgate can be opened/closed in two modes, with a traditional up-down mode or a horizontal mode like large 7-seater SUV models. Despite being nearly 2 meters wide, the storage space of the bed is not really spacious. The reason is that RAM has arranged storage compartments called RAMBOX to open/close by pressing a button on both sides of the vehicle, with a power outlet inside.
Compared to the Ford F150 or Toyota Tundra, RAM is inferior in terms of cargo volume, but it still has enough capacity to carry goods or accessories for camping and outdoor activities thanks to the adjustable partition walls.
During the real-life experience, the group placed a Kawasaki Z1000 on the RAM 1500 bed. Thanks to the air suspension system, placing and removing the motorcycle did not encounter much difficulty.
In addition, the 2023 Dodge RAM 1500 has a small electrically operated window at the rear door, which makes it easier for passengers to access items in the truck bed. Additionally, the rearview visibility has also been improved.
RAM 1500 Longhorn Interior
With wide door openings and convenient step-in height, getting in and out of the RAM 1500, specifically the Longhorn edition or any other version of RAM 1500, is truly effortless, without the need to twist or crouch. While the exterior may have minimal premium details, the cabin is a completely different world.
The space inside the 2023 Dodge RAM 1500 truly defies the notion of a pickup truck, no matter how hard you try to search for truck-like qualities, what you receive is still a luxurious and sophisticated experience.
RAM engineers and designers have optimized every detail within the interior cabin to the extent that you will constantly exclaim "Wow" because there are so many surprising features on the RAM.
With such a large overall size, the cabin space of the 2023 Dodge RAM 1500 is spacious and features high-quality materials, particularly with some intricately engraved metal accents that give a feeling of sitting in a luxurious room, no less than that of high-end cars.
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From the leather-wrapped details, wood and unique brown-yellow steel materials, it's really hard to imagine this is a pickup truck. The 4-spoke leather and wood-wrapped steering wheel cluster has visible stitching, function buttons with similar yellow steel-like edges and patterns.
The tachometer and speedometer are displayed on the back of the steering wheel, in the middle is the full display of technical information such as fuel gauge, battery, compass, oil temperature, etc. The arrangement of the display creates a very classic impression.
The seats of the 1500 Longhorn are power-adjustable, with integrated heating/cooling functions for both the front and rear. The premium leather seats, along with the snug design, provide a stable and comfortable journey for long trips. The 8-way power adjustment combines with the ability to adjust the spine in 4 directions for both the driver and passenger seats.
The rear seats can be folded in a 60/40 split and the seatbacks can be adjusted up to 8 degrees. The RAM 1500 has a spacious interior, so even someone who is 1.7m tall can sit comfortably.
The accelerator and brake pedals of the Dodge RAM 1500 can be adjusted for height, and the Start/Stop button area is covered in interesting wood trim. Other features include a digital rearview mirror, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, a three-zone climate control system, and wireless charging.
The vehicle's entertainment screen is 12.5 inches and can connect to Apple/CarPlay. When looking at the screen and the air conditioning vent cluster, the Dodge Ram logo can be seen.
One of the highlights of the Dodge RAM 1500 is the 19-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (18 speakers and 1 900-watt subwoofer) that comes with Active Noise Cancelling technology, resulting in excellent sound quality. The taplô and door panels are covered in high-quality metal-trimmed leather.
The traditional gear shift is no longer available on the RAM 1500 and has been replaced with a rotary dial. The vehicle also comes with 2-speed/4-wheel drive, 1-speed drive, hill descent control, and an AXLE Lock differential.
The RAM 1500 offers ample space for storage, ranging from the area in front of the passenger seat to the compartment beneath the second-row seats, the armrest bin, and the footwell of the second row. Convenience, luxury, and sophistication are the distinctive features of the RAM 1500 Longhorn, a high-end SUV disguised as a pickup truck.
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Engine and Operation of RAM 1500
All versions of the 2023 RAM 1500 share the same HEMI engine with a capacity of 5.7L, a V8 with a power output of 395 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a maximum torque of 556 Nm at 3,950 rpm.
Combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission ZF 8HP75 and 2-wheel drive. According to the manufacturer, the fuel consumption on the highway is about 9.8 liters/100 km, mixed 13.53 liters/100 km and in the city is 19.73 liters/100 km.
In reality, the RAM 1500 travels on the highway with 4 adults and 1 motorcycle behind for a distance of 200 km, and the fuel consumption displayed on the dashboard is 13.3 liters/100 km. Unfortunately, the group drove in a deserted urban area and did not notice how much actual fuel was used, but for the RAM owner, the fuel consumption is not a problem.
After many days of driving the RAM 1500, this is not just a luxurious SUV in a pickup truck body, but it also contains the power of a sports car ready to conquer the speed that can also transport cargo.
The sound of the exhaust echoing in the car after every acceleration is truly stimulating, the ZF transmission is always ready, just gently press the accelerator and the car accelerates superbly. Even when carrying the motorcycle behind the bed, the RAM 1500 still has enough power to overtake other vehicles and smoothly accelerate beyond 100 km/h.
The most attractive feature of the RAM 1500 is its suspension system. If you are prone to motion sickness or dislike the feeling of bouncing around, the RAM 1500 with its air suspension system can solve this problem in a few seconds of activation. When driving on the highway, it is recommended to lower the center of gravity to its lowest level to increase traction and reduce passenger fatigue.
Driving the RAM 1500 on the highway, in addition to its powerful engine and excellent suspension system, its large size also helps to confidently compete for space with trucks and containers. This confidence is evident in the quick acceleration. However, when driving in the city or maneuvering in tight spaces like gas stations, the RAM requires more time and space to turn.
Luckily, the RAM 1500 Longhorn has an electric steering system that provides precise and stable feedback, light steering, and is combined with a 360-degree camera and sensors around the vehicle to make maneuvering easier.
In addition, the 2023 RAM 1500 Longhorn is equipped with a range of safety technologies such as blind-spot monitoring and warning, parking sensors, parallel/perpendicular parking assist, adaptive cruise control (ACC), hill start assist (HAS), hill descent control (HDC), trailer brake control and monitoring, adjustable trailer backup steering angle, 360-degree surround-view camera, forward collision warning and assistance, lane departure warning - LaneSense, advanced brake assist, ESC, TSC, ERM, and airbags, ...
If we only look at the price of the car, it's safe to say that the RAM 1500 Longhorn is expensive. However, in the large pickup truck segment, the price of the RAM is acceptable. In addition, the RAM has a more attractive and captivating appearance than the Ford F-150 or Toyota Tundra.
For RAM owners, this super pickup truck is not the only one in their garage, and they consider it a "toy" for weekend trips, outdoor activities, and camping - a new trend among young people.
With a price tag of over $37,000, the RAM 1500 Longhorn promises to be a practical, sophisticated, and luxurious super pickup truck for those who love American cars, prefer a flashy style, and don't care about the price!
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Video 2022 Ram 1500 Review