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2018 RAM 1500 Limited Tungsten Review: The Boss’s Truck

by Paul Strauss
2018 RAM 1500 Limited Tungsten Review: The Boss’s Truckzoom in

    2018 RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab 4x4

  • Engine: 5.7L V8 Hemi
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Configuration: 4WD
  • City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 15/21/17
  • Curb Weight (lb): 5,755
  • Wheelbase (in): 140.5
  • Total Length (in): 229
  • Width (in): 79.4
  • Ground Clearance (in): 8.1 (Aero mode) to 10.7 (in Off-Road 2 mode)
  • Base Price (USD): $53,595
  • Price as Tested (USD): $63,870

I’m often asked the question: who would buy a $50,000 or $60,000 pickup truck? I think the answer is pretty simple – the head cheese… the leader of the pack… the boss. If you’re running a construction crew or you own your own farm, you want a vehicle that is both highly functional, but also provides the creature comforts that you deserve at this point in your career. And I can think of no better $60,000 truck for the boss than the 2018 RAM 1500 Limited Tungsten Edition. Okay, it’s actually a $63,870 truck, but who’s counting?

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This limited-edition of RAM’s top-of-the-line 1500 Limited is even more special, adding unique 20″ satin wheels, tungsten chrome body side molding and grille, body colored handles, mirrors, and front bumper, a sport hood with dual air vents, and more. These upgrades take an already high end truck, and make it even more impressive. I particularly love the way the grille looks – it’s substantial and imposing, flanked by smoked black headlamp covers.

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Packing a 395 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 HEMI engine with 410 lb-ft. of torque, there’s plenty of power for carrying cargo and passengers. That engine is mated to the excellent ZF8HP70 automatic transmission, which is just as comfortable offering smooth and quick shifts on a Jaguar F-Type as it is on this hefty and luxurious truck. It’ll also have no trouble hauling a good-size trailer, with a maximum towing capacity of 10,620 pounds. Despite offering an average fuel economy of just 17 mpg, you can cruise more than 540 miles in a RAM 1500 Limited, thanks to its substantial 32 gallon tank.

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I was duly impressed with the power and acceleration of such a large vehicle, but what really makes the RAM 1500 Limited feel luxurious is its ride character. Thanks to RAM’s 4-corner air suspension, it smooths out every bump, offering a soft and cushioned ride that’s more Mercedes S-Class than rugged pickup truck. That system also helps the ride feel more stable without a cargo load than other trucks, and offers automatic load leveling when you do start to fill the bed. The air suspension also allows the truck to increase ride height as much as 2 inches over normal driving mode, providing up to 10.7″ of ground clearance for rough off-road trails. In addition, the air suspension automatically lowers the truck by 0.6 inch when at highway speeds, improving aerodynamics, reducing drag and body roll.There’s also the ability to lower the suspension as much as 2.1 inches to make it easier to get in and out of the truck. This mode can even be activated via the key fob.

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The 4-wheel drive system doesn’t offer the level of control you might get in a Jeep, but it does allow you to select between 4-high and 4-low modes for off-roading, and to lock into either 2WD or 4WD modes. I also recommend the optional anti-spin (aka limited-slip) differential, which helps to distribute torque between the rear wheels in the event that one has better traction than the other.

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A big part of what you’re paying for when you opt for a luxury pickup truck is the premium interior, and the RAM 1500 Limited is loaded with upscale materials and finishes that make the cabin a place you could spend many, many hours. The seats are adorned with premium leather, and there’s real wood trim on the dash, center storage tray, and on the top third of the leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel.

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There are intricate stitching patterns on the doors and seats, and even the grab handles are fancied up. Both the driver and passenger seats up front get heating and cooling, and the rear seats are heated as well. A fantastic Alpine stereo cranks out tunes with clarity and plentiful volume. There’s also a power sunroof and power sliding rear window to bring in light and air. The cabin also has some of the best insulation I’ve ever encountered in a truck – offering occupants a supremely quiet ride, though the HEMI certainly has a growl when you make it work. Like other FCA vehicles, it’s equipped with the reliable and intuitive UConnect infotainment system, which supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in this implementation. There’s also a backup camera. Otherwise, the truck is pretty light on modern tech – absent are features like adaptive cruise, surround cameras, or blind-spot monitors.

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There’s tons of storage in the cabin as well, with a huge, two-layer storage bin in the armrest (which is also where the USB ports are hidden in case you were wondering), large cup/bottle holders in each door, the rear seat center armrest, and in the center console, as well a double-decker glove box, tablet slots on each side of the center console, and leather storage pouches on the backs of the seats.

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The rear seat not only offers plenty of legroom and headroom for a crew of three, but can fold down in a 60/40 configuration to provide floor storage. There’s a fold-out flat floor you can use if you need an even area back there, but to be honest, it doesn’t feel stable enough to hold much weight, and I’d rather place items straight on the floor.

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In terms of cargo storage, the standard box is 5’7″ long, but the 1500 Limited can also be configured with a 6’4″ box. My truck was equipped with a variety of upgrades, including a cargo management system with adjustable tie-downs, a removable box divider/extender that easily clips into place, and the extremely useful RAM Box system, which adds lockable tool boxes on both sides of the bed. The optional tri-fold tonneau cover keeps contents dry and out of the elements, which definitely came in handy with all the snow we had in Chicago the week I had the truck.

So yeah, there you have it, a $63,000+ pickup truck that’s worth every dime. For that money, you get a single vehicle you could use for just about everything. The RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab has plentiful cargo and towing capacity, lots of space in the cabin, smart interior storage, and an array of premium materials inside as well. It rides smoothly, and is just as happy driving on the highway, hauling cargo, or off-road, all while offering its occupants a supremely comfortable and quiet place to ride.

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