The 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn is a Cowpoke Gussied up in a Tuxedo [Review]

2016 ram 1500
2016 Ram 1500

Our test-truck, the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn had nearly every bell and whistle available with one exception; it was a 4X2. Why no 4X4, which is most suitable for winter in Colorado? You can tow more with a 4X2. We received this truck to do battle for the 2016 TFLtruck Gold Hitch Award. You can read more about the Gold Hitch Award here.

The 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn 4X2 can haul up to 1,652 lbs and tow up to 10,350 lbs. We’ve pushed it pretty far, but the little Ram performed beautifully. What’s missing from our MPG and Ike Gauntlet videos are day-to-day driving impressions. This is where the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn truly excelled.

Power and performance were both outstanding. The 395 horsepower HEMI V8 makes 410 lb-ft of torque and features cylinder deactivation (or Multi-Displacement System (MDS) with Fuel Saver Technology). Cylinder deactivation mixed with Ram’s 8HP70 TorqueFlite® 8 eight-speed automatic transmission helped make the EPA’s estimate of 22 MPG highway a reality. I averaged an impressive 17 MPG combined over the course of a week.

Driven at high elevations, where up to 32 percent of your horsepower is lost, the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn never felt winded. Throttle response and passing power were near the top of the class, slightly overshadowed by the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with its mighty 6.2-liter V8.

Handling is top notch too. Driven daily with minimal load, the coil-spring rear suspension is hard to beat. Very few trucks in this class return such a composed ride. The steering effort is light too. The only issue is the rotary dial gear selector which resembles a hockey puck. It’s counterintuitive to use and takes away from the feel of this rig.

2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited

The interior of the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn might be best-in-class. It mixes a modern design with a luxury rodeo through and through. The dark woods, thick leather and little design flares exude quality. In some ways, the interior feels partially hand-made. That’s a good thing. Our 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn 4X2 had an MSRP of $50,805.

I can’t fault the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn for not having 4-wheel drive. Still, that is something most people in snow-country would demand. As it was, we added 180 lbs worth of sandbags to the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn to approximate the 4×4’s weight during our tests. Sure, it would be more precise to lay those bags on the hood or across the floor-boards, but that would be unsafe, so we placed the weights in the bed.

Our bed was 5’7″ and pointed to the only noticable weakness noted during the evaluation period – sag. The rear suspension is pretty soft and Ram tends to set their rear suspension high. This way, with a lifted rear end, the 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would look level under full load. Other automakers, like GM, tend to have a beefier rear suspension that squats very little. Despite this, the Ram’s ride is still impressive.

After the testing and commuting, one point was obvious: Ram built a fantastic personal truck. This truck is built to pamper the occupants, carry their toys and, when called upon, work hard. Still, this is no work truck. Think of this ride as the poster-child for black-tie rodeos and you’re on the right track. Now, put this cab inside a Ram Power Wagon and I’d sell precious organs to get one!

Here is the 2013 HEMI taking on the Ike Gauntlet more than two years ago. We have this year’s videos coming very soon.

Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed
worldwide.

This 2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn came with these options:

Class IV Receiver Hitch
Power Chrome Trailer Tow Mirrors w/Manual Fold-Away
Power trailer tow mirrors with manual fold-away
Trailer Brake Control
adds $330

WHEEL TO WHEEL SIDE STEPS
adds $600

POWER SUNROOF
adds $995

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.