It offers a unique take on the typical pickup experience.
For decades the Dodge Ram has been roaming construction sites, pulling long-haul journeys in the countryside, and making ventures from side to side of many concrete jungles. It stands as the flagship for the Ram marque, a symbol synonymous with American craftsmanship. The new 2017 Ram 1500 Sport R/T brings an undeniably cool factor to the pickup truck lifestyle. A cabin made for two passengers brings back the image of the golden days when trucks were only built with a single cab. With a few upgraded styling cues, this Ram is reminiscent of a classic work truck, with many modern amenities and a few “sporty” accents.
The Ram 1500 R/T is definitely one of the better-looking pickup trucks in its segment. From the factory, it comes loaded with staggering 22×9-inch polished, forged aluminum wheels mounted on 285/45/22 BSW all-season tires. Dressed in the almost iconic Flame Red paintjob, the truck is immediately recognizable as being part of the R/T family.
At the front end, you’ll find a beefy front grill, with a colour-matched cross-section sporting the recognisable Ram logo, surrounded by black honeycomb plastic inserts. The R/T badge sits on the bottom right corner of the front grill, letting the driver in front of you know that they should promptly get out of your way. Acting as the cherry on top of the cake, the R/T is fitted with what Dodge calls their sport performance hood. As good as it may look, it is nothing but a slightly more aggressive hood with mock-vents, unfortunately.
The headlights consist of Ram’s upgraded assembly, with LED amber daytime running lights that also act as the truck’s front signal lights. These are combined with halogen projector bulbs for night-time low-beam lighting. The powerful halogen high beams are found just to the side (towards the centre) of the low beam assembly, for those country back roads with no additional road lighting.
Around the side, badging clearly states that this truck is packing some heat, with a big 5.7L HEMI V8, which happens to be the only engine available for this mid-level Sport trim, coupled with the ZF-sourced eight-speed transmission. At 395 horsepower, the truck does have some pull, especially when combined with its 410 lb-ft. of torque. The R/T does have a smaller stature than its bigger brothers, but make no mistake – it is still a heavy machine weighing 5106 pounds. With that said, it continues to propel itself forward from 0 to 100 km/h in an impressive 5.4 seconds. Apart from many aspects that point to a deep R/T bloodline, the truck sits comfortably on the same suspension setup as that of any Ram 1500 model.
The rear end bolsters two chrome exhaust tips, as part of the sports exhaust package. To its demise, as much as it looks like a sports truck, and drives like a sport truck, the 1500 R/T just does not have as much of a growl as one would expect from a sporty model designation. The R/T could use a bit more oomph coming out the back as the driver releases the 395 ponies out of that HEMI V8… there is definitely some potential there with aftermarket exhaust systems available.
The short box bed comes with two RamBox Cargo Management System ($1,195) storage compartments on either side of the truck. With these compartments being present, the overall size of the cargo area is made thinner than that of a standard bed. Whereas the standard size would allow for 5.2 feet of width, a bed equipped with the RamBox option reduces the available space to 4.5 feet from side to side. The functionality of the bed however, is not affected so much to become a nuisance when trying to load larger objects.
The RamBox compartments are rather convenient when storing smaller object that have a tendency of shifting around when placed in a larger area. Each RamBox has a total length of 60.2”, and varying depths of 18.6” at the front of the box, and 18.9” towards the back, with a shallower section where the wheel well gets in the way.
The Interior of the truck resembles that of a standard Ram 1500, with no hints of the fact that it’s an R/T. One might catch a glimpse of the word “Sport” making a quick appearance on the digital display found in the driver’s dashboard cluster upon start up. It would have been nice if Dodge opted to continue the R/T branding somewhere within the cabin to really add that extra bit of styling detail for the passengers.
The massive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment comes as standard equipment, along with a 506-watt Alpine premium sound system with seven speakers. Passengers can enjoy a comfortable drive in the two vinyl high-black bucket seats with sport mesh cloth inserts.
The storage capabilities of this truck certainly do not end where the bed meets the cabin, and the interior is equipped with an upgraded full-length storage bin with a two-tier storage compartment. There is also a behind-the-seat storage bin that runs across the rear wall of the cabin, perfect for storing medium to small items.
Our tester came loaded with a variety of packages and options, some of which include the Convenience Group ($475) that comprises of keyless Enter’n’Go push button start, automatic high beam headlamp control, rain-sensing windshield wipers and remote, the Comfort Group ($595) which adds a heating option for both seats and for the steering wheel, Remote Start & Security Alarm Group ($595), GPS Navigation ($700), ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera ($450), Soft tri-fold tonneau cover ($450), Rear sliding window ($200), Spray-In bedliner ($550).
The 2016 Ram 1500 Sport R/T has a base price of $42,995. All-in, our tester was loaded, and has a total price of $51,475. Truth be told, the Ram R/T is simply a Ram 1500 Sport, regular cab 4×2. It offers a unique take on the typical pickup experience, as it stands alone in the “Sport Truck” segment, since neither Ford nor GM do not make anything like it. It would, however, be nice to be able to carry more than 2 passengers, driver included. Even still, this truck is perfect for a young buck, who wants something fun to drive, while at the same time practical enough for hauling necessities for work, or weekend toys to the cottage.