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2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig

Reviewed Model: 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4

Engine: 3.0-liter Eco Diesel V6
Horsepower/Torque: 240 hp @ 3,600 rpm/420 lb.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 149.5 in.
Length x Width x Height: 237.9 x 79.4 x 77.4 in.
Tires: P275/60R20
Cargo: 74.7 cu. ft.
Economy: 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/23.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 26.0 gal.
Curb Weight: A whole lot
Sticker: $59,010 (includes $1,195 destination, $$8,485 options)

The Bottom Line: The Ram 1500 Diesel is relatively quiet inside with good ride quality, good performance from the V6 engine and excellent and innovative use of space.

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to drive several of the competing full-size pickup trucks. Ram defines the term “full size.”

Ram is a big truck, with four doors and a long cargo bed. And with the diesel engine churning under the hood it feels like a truuuk – a semi.

However, it is a nice truck, if that doesn’t sound like an oxymoron. Compared to the competition it is essentially equal in power with a more comfortable ride .

There is excellent front and rear legroom. The front seats offer some side support and there is room for three passengers to ride in comfort in the back. Front seats are heated and ventilated. Detail stitching almost makes it too refined to be a work truck, yet there are innovations that help, not only in the workplace but also in general day-to-day use. “Saddle bags” behind the front seats offer rear passengers a unique way to stow their goodies.

For example, the bed is great. There are two lock boxes on each side that unlock with the fob. You can put objects in there (like grocery gabs) that you don’t want sliding around in the bed. To further reduce that problem is the Ram Box Cargo Management System that consists of an adjustable panel that extends across the bed. You can adjust it to any one of 12 different positions, from the equivalent of a car’s trunk to the full length of the bed. We kept it set up close to the tailgate and put groceries in there as well as in the Lock Boxes. Under the bed is a Class IV receiver hitch with a seven-pin harness. This is standard.

Inside, there is a two-level console/arm rest that we found very useful. You can put small or large objects in there.

The driver grips a fat leather and wood steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches. The shifter is a large knurled knob on the dash that you can switch among the normal assortment of gear choices. The 4-wheel drive controls are located just below the shift knob in a very convenient location. When Dodge introduced a previous generation of the Ram pickup they bragged about how all the controls could be worked by gloved hands. It might be tough to do that with the 4WD controls.

There is a fully gauged instrument panel, but the dials are hard to read. For example, unless we looked closely, we were only guessing as to how fast we were going. The center stack plus screen was similarly cluttered with too much information. The navigation system was easy to program, primarily because you do that when you’re stopped.

The front doors have two storage compartments; the upper for smaller objects and the lower has two water bottle holders. There’s a huge cubby in the center stack/console intersection that holds a lot of stuff.

Entering and exiting the Ram can be a problem, but assist handles at all four doors (on the pillars) make these easier.

Ram is a truck that wants to be a work truck, but it has so many creature comforts that you sometimes wonder (from the inside) if it’s really just a big sedan masquerading as a truck.

SEE ALSO: RAMTRUCKS.Com Laramie Sales Pages

2014 The Auto Page