Review: 4 days with the 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie

Review: 4 days with the 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie

(Mike Stapley)


28 photos

Estimated read time: 13-14 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2009, Chrysler decided to separate its car and truck divisions and the Ram brand was born. Since then, Ram has better expanded the commercial side of the truck business while Dodge better markets itself as a performance car brand.

Neither brand has looked back as Ram trucks continue to be known for their toughness, power and luxury. According to Gavin Tryhall, sales manager at Larry H. Miller Ram in Sandy, the interior quality is what sets Ram apart most.

“In addition to the toughness and engine choices Ram has always been known for, the interior luxury definitely helps our trucks stand out”, said Tryhall.

What struck me first and foremost as I pulled away from the dealership wasn’t just the quality of the interior but the room. The Ram 2500 Laramie crew cab is spacious with a capital S.

Overall Grade: B+

Exterior Styling

Truck design has gone through cycles and, of late, trucks have been aggressively styled with a great deal of plastic body moldings and large fenders. Sharp angles have been all the rage.

The 2017 Ram 2500 is refreshingly subdued. The trademark Ram two-level front-end is still present. The hood slopes down on each side and flares out to create the front fender ledges that house the headlight housings. The ledges blend seamlessly with the windshield pillars as they move rearward.

The front grill is prominent and this particular model contains blacked out logos, grill weave and 20-inch aluminum wheels, in addition to the body colored grill trim and bumper. The fenders are distinctive yet not overly styled. Black plastic is almost entirely absent.

The optional black tubular side steps complimented the subtle flare that runs the length of the bottom of each door along the side of the truck. This particular truck includes a tri-fold tonneau bed cover.

At the rear, the Ram logo was large, blacked out and located at the center of the tailgate. An attractive spoiler is featured at the top of the tailgate and the bumper was body-colored with a rubber step top. All in all, the Ram 2500 is an attractive package, the granite crystal metallic paint seeming to vary from black to grey depending on the light.

Interior Styling

First impressions had more to do with the size of the Ram, but the refinement came at a close second. There were also many noticeable quality luxury touches.

The massive center climate and entertainment cluster stands out right away, including a large 8.4-inch touch screen. It’s trimmed in tasteful wood and metal and protrudes prominently from the center of the dash. Four-wheel drive and towing controls are located at the bottom part of this panel in addition to heated/cooled seats and parking assist controls.

Seats are roomy and supportive and the huge center console is not only incredibly spacious but folds back to create a middle front seat. Rear leg and headroom is expansive. This vehicle will easily seat six adults.

The instrument panel is well laid out with a large physical tachometer and speedometer on either side. Smaller gauges for fuel level and coolant temperature are contained within each of the larger gauges. Above those are two more gauges for oil temperature and battery level. The animated driver control center, which can be controlled from the steering wheel, sits between the two large gauges.

I counted no less than six logos either spelling the word Ram or featuring the Ram logo in the front passenger area. Accent stitching is found on the seats, center console and dash.

Ram designers have done an excellent job of blending aggressive touches that signify strength with luxury and refinement. That refinement may disappoint some, however, as the quiet interior masks most of what could have been a more impressive exhaust note.

Technology

For campers and those using the truck for work, two 110V AC outlets are included in the front seat and rear and the heavy-duty 2500 is equipped with a tow package that includes a trailer brake. The 6.4-liter Hemi gasoline engine in this test vehicle can tow up to 16,320 pounds and has a maximum payload of 3990 pounds.

The available 6.7 liter Cummins diesel can tow an additional 1660 pounds. A smaller 5.7 liter gasoline engine is also available.

Power-extended towing exterior mirrors are included in the test vehicle. A convenient feature not found on some vehicles are the power mirrors that can extend or move inward while the truck is in motion, which proves handy when navigating tight spots or passing off-road traffic.

Fiat/Chrysler’s UConnect system is included, works very well and is simple to manage. In addition to media and phone controls, it can be controlled from the vehicle's touch screen or any physical buttons found in the vehicle.

Parking assist, navigation and an excellent 9 speaker Alpine audio system are standard on the Laramie. Sirius XM radio and traffic have been included for an impressive 5 years.

Performance and Handling

One thing all Chrysler products seem to share is a vagueness in steering and braking. The Ram is no exception. There is a lack of feel between the amount of brake pedal pressure applied and the degree of braking force that can be unnerving at times. While owners of the truck will no doubt adjust, four days is simply not enough time to get used to it.

For such a large truck, handling is quite good. Lane changes and cornering come with confidence. While a heavy-duty truck is not expected to be a highway cruiser, the ride in the Ram is particularly rough. A daily commute in this truck could be bone rattling at times.

The Hemi pulled well and power was never lacking. The transmission is very smooth and Ram uses a Next Generation Engine Controller that helps the engine and six speed transmission work better together.

Interior refinement helps in negating some of the negative impressions of the rough ride. While none of my off-road driving was particularly challenging, the Ram soaked up large ruts well but the rough highway ride carried over to smaller imperfections in the dirt roads and trails. Downhill speed control was impressive and minimized the need for excessive braking.

Conclusions

The Ram 2500 Laramie makes an excellent first impression. The exterior and interior styling are top notch and the creature comforts and technology make one forget they are driving a large truck.

However, there are plenty of features to remind one that this is a heavy-duty crew cab that can seat six. The aggressive styling cues perfectly balance the refined ones. Toughness is matched with elegance.

The ride is not daily driver worthy, which more people are using their trucks for these days. While it’s a blemish, the total package may outweigh it in the minds of many.

Specs

  • Vehicle Type: 4 door, four-wheel drive, heavy duty pickup truck
  • Engine choices: 5.7 liter Hemi gasoline, 6.4 liter Hemi gasoline, 6.7 Cummins Diesel
  • Transmission: 6 speed automatic
  • Wheelbase: 160.5 inches
  • Power: (5.7 liter V8) 383 horsepower/400 foot pounds of torque
  • Ground Clearance: 8.5 inches
  • Gas Mileage: EPA rating not listed, averaged 13.8 combined over four days of driving
  • Warranty: 3 year/36000 bumper to bumper; 5 year/60,000 mile drivetrain; 3 year/36,000 roadside
  • Price as tested: $57,550


Mike Stapley

About the Author: Mike Stapley

Mike Stapley is a father of two, a business sales manager for a telecom company and an aspiring novelist living in Salt Lake City. Contact him at mstapley4@gmail.com.

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2009, Chrysler decided to separate its car and truck divisions and the Ram brand was born. Since then, Ram has better expanded the commercial side of the truck business while Dodge better markets itself as a performance car brand.

Neither brand has looked back as Ram trucks continue to be known for their toughness, power and luxury. According to Gavin Tryhall, sales manager at Larry H. Miller Ram in Sandy, the interior quality is what sets Ram apart most.

“In addition to the toughness and engine choices Ram has always been known for, the interior luxury definitely helps our trucks stand out”, said Tryhall.

What struck me first and foremost as I pulled away from the dealership wasn’t just the quality of the interior but the room. The Ram 2500 Laramie crew cab is spacious with a capital S.

Overall Grade: B+

Exterior Styling

Truck design has gone through cycles and, of late, trucks have been aggressively styled with a great deal of plastic body moldings and large fenders. Sharp angles have been all the rage.

The 2017 Ram 2500 is refreshingly subdued. The trademark Ram two-level front-end is still present. The hood slopes down on each side and flares out to create the front fender ledges that house the headlight housings. The ledges blend seamlessly with the windshield pillars as they move rearward.

The front grill is prominent and this particular model contains blacked out logos, grill weave and 20-inch aluminum wheels, in addition to the body colored grill trim and bumper. The fenders are distinctive yet not overly styled. Black plastic is almost entirely absent.

The optional black tubular side steps complimented the subtle flare that runs the length of the bottom of each door along the side of the truck. This particular truck includes a tri-fold tonneau bed cover.

At the rear, the Ram logo was large, blacked out and located at the center of the tailgate. An attractive spoiler is featured at the top of the tailgate and the bumper was body-colored with a rubber step top. All in all, the Ram 2500 is an attractive package, the granite crystal metallic paint seeming to vary from black to grey depending on the light.

Interior Styling

First impressions had more to do with the size of the Ram, but the refinement came at a close second. There were also many noticeable quality luxury touches.

The massive center climate and entertainment cluster stands out right away, including a large 8.4-inch touch screen. It’s trimmed in tasteful wood and metal and protrudes prominently from the center of the dash. Four-wheel drive and towing controls are located at the bottom part of this panel in addition to heated/cooled seats and parking assist controls.

Seats are roomy and supportive and the huge center console is not only incredibly spacious but folds back to create a middle front seat. Rear leg and headroom is expansive. This vehicle will easily seat six adults.

The instrument panel is well laid out with a large physical tachometer and speedometer on either side. Smaller gauges for fuel level and coolant temperature are contained within each of the larger gauges. Above those are two more gauges for oil temperature and battery level. The animated driver control center, which can be controlled from the steering wheel, sits between the two large gauges.

I counted no less than six logos either spelling the word Ram or featuring the Ram logo in the front passenger area. Accent stitching is found on the seats, center console and dash.

Ram designers have done an excellent job of blending aggressive touches that signify strength with luxury and refinement. That refinement may disappoint some, however, as the quiet interior masks most of what could have been a more impressive exhaust note.

Technology

For campers and those using the truck for work, two 110V AC outlets are included in the front seat and rear and the heavy-duty 2500 is equipped with a tow package that includes a trailer brake. The 6.4-liter Hemi gasoline engine in this test vehicle can tow up to 16,320 pounds and has a maximum payload of 3990 pounds.

The available 6.7 liter Cummins diesel can tow an additional 1660 pounds. A smaller 5.7 liter gasoline engine is also available.

Power-extended towing exterior mirrors are included in the test vehicle. A convenient feature not found on some vehicles are the power mirrors that can extend or move inward while the truck is in motion, which proves handy when navigating tight spots or passing off-road traffic.

Fiat/Chrysler’s UConnect system is included, works very well and is simple to manage. In addition to media and phone controls, it can be controlled from the vehicle's touch screen or any physical buttons found in the vehicle.

Parking assist, navigation and an excellent 9 speaker Alpine audio system are standard on the Laramie. Sirius XM radio and traffic have been included for an impressive 5 years.

Performance and Handling

One thing all Chrysler products seem to share is a vagueness in steering and braking. The Ram is no exception. There is a lack of feel between the amount of brake pedal pressure applied and the degree of braking force that can be unnerving at times. While owners of the truck will no doubt adjust, four days is simply not enough time to get used to it.

For such a large truck, handling is quite good. Lane changes and cornering come with confidence. While a heavy-duty truck is not expected to be a highway cruiser, the ride in the Ram is particularly rough. A daily commute in this truck could be bone rattling at times.

The Hemi pulled well and power was never lacking. The transmission is very smooth and Ram uses a Next Generation Engine Controller that helps the engine and six speed transmission work better together.

Interior refinement helps in negating some of the negative impressions of the rough ride. While none of my off-road driving was particularly challenging, the Ram soaked up large ruts well but the rough highway ride carried over to smaller imperfections in the dirt roads and trails. Downhill speed control was impressive and minimized the need for excessive braking.

Conclusions

The Ram 2500 Laramie makes an excellent first impression. The exterior and interior styling are top notch and the creature comforts and technology make one forget they are driving a large truck.

However, there are plenty of features to remind one that this is a heavy-duty crew cab that can seat six. The aggressive styling cues perfectly balance the refined ones. Toughness is matched with elegance.

The ride is not daily driver worthy, which more people are using their trucks for these days. While it’s a blemish, the total package may outweigh it in the minds of many.

Specs

  • Vehicle Type: 4 door, four-wheel drive, heavy duty pickup truck
  • Engine choices: 5.7 liter Hemi gasoline, 6.4 liter Hemi gasoline, 6.7 Cummins Diesel
  • Transmission: 6 speed automatic
  • Wheelbase: 160.5 inches
  • Power: (5.7 liter V8) 383 horsepower/400 foot pounds of torque
  • Ground Clearance: 8.5 inches
  • Gas Mileage: EPA rating not listed, averaged 13.8 combined over four days of driving
  • Warranty: 3 year/36000 bumper to bumper; 5 year/60,000 mile drivetrain; 3 year/36,000 roadside
  • Price as tested: $57,550

![Mike Stapley](http://img.ksl.com/slc/2583/258384/25838475\.jpg?filter=ksl/65x65)
About the Author: Mike Stapley ------------------------------

Mike Stapley is a father of two, a business sales manager for a telecom company and an aspiring novelist living in Salt Lake City. Contact him at mstapley4@gmail.com.

Photos

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