Sometimes it feels good to get off the ground and survey the world around you. I have driven a number of cars for Hooniverse.com and most fall into either the sporty or luxurious categories, with some toeing the line of both worlds. I enjoy the power and the amenities found within those vehicles. The Dodge RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 is the perfect vehicle to get me off the ground and change my point of view for a week.
Driving a full-size pickup truck can be a liberating experience in a daily grind filled with coupes, sedans, crossovers, and wagons. The average person doesn’t really need a truck like this Ram on a daily basis. Of course, there are some out there that require a truck for their daily routine. But lets be honest here, trucks are utility vehicles and their powers are often under-utilized. I might be a tad bitter since I am surrounded by lifted full-size trucks driven by flat-billers whose heaviest loads involved a 50cc Honda and boxes of new DVS shoes, OBEY shirts, and Volcom hats from a nearby sample sale. The clothes and truck allow them to adhere to an image they think they need to be a part of. The Honda is primarily used to piss off my dogs as the helmet-less morons zip up and down side streets and alley ways. I don’t feel bad for them of course, I feel bad for the truck.
The 2010 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew 4×4 is a truck that is built with a purpose in mind. It wants to haul gear, tow other vehicles and basically be put to work. Under the hood sits a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine which spits out 390 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. The Ram 1500 gets up and goes with a roar and a sense of urgency. I didn’t plan on driving this truck with a heavy foot, but the noise that it produces is glorious. With each press of sneaker to pedal to floor, I am hit with an image of twin mini Hulk Hogans with PA equipment in the exhaust outlets. As I floor it, they both begin to scream until I let up and then they sit and gargle until I am ready for another jaunt. Queue Real American and start waving an American flag, we have a new Chrysler commercial.
The power is corralled via a five-speed automatic transmission (545RFE, for those of you curious) which was surprisingly smooth. A nice feature is the ability to select which gear I want with a push of the knob to the left or the right. The truck has plenty of power through all gears, but occasionally I want to make my move onto the highway with Hulk Hogans in full song. The noise never gets old, and the power is seemingly always available. Around town, the Ram is a gentle giant and swings in and out of parking spots with relative ease. Out and about, the 1500 is as nimble as is possible for a full-size pickup truck and the meaty 275/60 R20 all-season tires help maintain sure footing. The 2010 Ram 1500 ditches leafs for a coil-spring setup in the back. This provides a more stable platform without sacrificing towing and payload capacities. The real highlight of the ride quality is the smoothness exhibited over bumps. A ride in a standard full-size pickup truck can turn into the Headbangers Ball on a rough road, not so for this Ram.
On the outside, the Ram 1500 is certainly one looker of a truck. The aggressive slant on the nose, the bulging hood, and the 20″ wheels help complete a stylish package. Moving to the inside, I expected to find a fairly bland yet purpose-driven interior. I was surprised to find quite the opposite. I almost felt bad getting dirt inside the cabin…almost. This particular Ram 1500 is fitted with the optional leather-trimmed bucket seats which are heated and cooled for front row passengers. The second row, which has acres of legroom, has to make due with just heated seats (peasants). Every seat in the full-size cabin is comfortable.
The center stack featueres a 6.5″ touch-screen and is connected to a 30GB hard drive. You can store over 4,000 songs which should be just enough for a roadtrip from Hooniverse HQ in Southern California to Hooniverse Canadia to visit Mitch. Just joking…we would never visit Mitch. Besides the music space, the Ram has GPS paired up with SIRIUS Traffic and a rearview camera to aid in close-quarters parking.
The 2010 Ram 1500 starts at $21,510. For that price you get a fairly pedestrian version with an under-powered 3.7L V6 and Mini Miss Elizabeth in the exhaust (off-topic: I had no idea she died). The Ram 1500 Laramie Crew 4×4 starts at $42,650 and the one shown here will run you $46,375. This is the opposite of a small amount of money. However, it makes sense if you are buying this truck and plan to use it appropriately. If you spend time every day in a full-size pickup, the 2010 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew is a great place to be stuck. If you haul expensive things, you should make sure you are using the right instrument for the job.
As I said earlier, driving this Ram was a liberating experience. I got to see the world from a new vantage point. It was addicting to hear the sounds and take in the sights from higher up. I am not straightening out the bills of any baseball hats, but I might give a friendly wave the next time I see a guy driving his full-size through my neighborhood. He will probably think I waved at his girlfriend and we will enter into a bro-down smack fest, but at least I will understand and appreciate his desire to drive a truck like this.
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