My drive in a Ram 2500 Laramie
So you want to tow heavy things? You’ve looked at the 200 Landcruiser and the Y62 Patrol and are wondering “Is there something better?”
Here is the answer – the Ram 2500 Laramie!
This vehicle was built to tow, not built as a wagon you can tow with. Standard features like exhaust brake, towbar configurations which allow for towing trailers ranging from 750 kg to 6,989 kg, built in proportional trailer brake control with in-dash adjustment and instrument panel display of gain and effect, in-dash 100w 240v inverter, cameras for cargo area as well as reversing, 913 kg payload, up to 450 kg drawbar loading and don’t forget 1,100 Nm torque for easy towing.
Big? YES! Bold? YES! American? YES! Effortless? YES! Capable? YES! Comfortable ? YES! Economical? YES!
Yes, this is a big vehicle. It isn’t something to take to a suburban shopping centre or down narrow city laneways. It is built for the wide open spaces, something we have in abundance in Australia.
Yes, this is a bold vehicle. It turns more heads than a blonde in a Lamborghini.
Yes, this is American. How often do you see innovative design come from America, then to be copied by the Japanese?
Yes, this is effortless. 276 kW and 1,100 Nm, the numbers speak for themselves. 6 speed automatic with tow / haul settings to make the job that much easier. Massive vented disc brakes all round bring any combination to rest without fuss.
Yes, this is a capable vehicle. It is at home on steep, rocky, gravel tracks as it is on the open highway. Part time 4 wheel drive system with low range will take this vehicle over just about any obstacle.
Yes, this is a comfortable vehicle. Leather seating with heating and cooling and full electrical adjustment to the front seats. Tilt adjust steering column, electrical adjustment of pedal position. Dual zone climate control air conditioning. Any feature you can think of has been incorporated.
Yes, this is an economical vehicle. We aren’t talking Prius fuel miserly here, it is relative to the job in hand. In testing we towed trailers up to 4,100 kg over testing 4WD tracks and returned 19-20 l/100 km. Compare that to 26-28 l/100 km for a Landcruiser with less load.
Granted this is a niche vehicle which won’t appeal to everyone. It is however built for a purpose and it meets that purpose exceptionally well. Over two days testing we towed an excavator on a custom built trailer with a total weight of 4,100 kg and a 19’ 6” caravan weighing 2,300 kg. We traversed river crossings, steep gravel slopes and rocky, rutted tracks – nothing could stop this amazing machine! Freeway driving and regular gravel roads were a breeze.
While I have waxed lyrical about the merits of the Ram, not all is pecan pie and cream! Unless you were not fazed by bush pin stripes in the paint, you wouldn’t take this bad boy into the high country – it could certainly handle the terrain but is rather wide for many of the tracks you would encounter. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t your local shopping cart either. I feel that the 117 litre fuel tank is rather undersize as this truck can eat up the highway miles very easily so why restrict it with a small tank? There is certainly room to fit a 200 litre tank. The external mirrors are a little small for the job in hand and it would be good to see extending mirrors as a standard feature. Any other minor faults come down to nitpicking!
Overall this is a fantastic vehicle and if you tow heavy machinery, a large caravan or 5th wheeler, then this is the truck for you!
Read our full tow, onroad and offroad test of the 2016 Ram Laramie 2500.