Ram has been a brand of its own since November, 2009 and is no longer referenced as a Dodge, and what started out to be a refresh for the 2013 model year, emerged as an thoroughly overhauled truck with a host of choices.
There were some different engine choices then – now for 2016, the choices include: a 3.6-liter DOHC, 24-valve Pentastar V6 that delivers 305 horsepower at 6,400 rpm along with 269 pound feet of torque at 4,175 rpm; a 3.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, Ecodiesel 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque V6; and a 5.7-liter HEMI, 16-valve V8 that cranks out 395 horses and a whopping 410 pound feet of torque.
The 2016 transmission lineup offers: a six-speed automatic available for trucks with the 5.7-liter V8-powered trucks; or a ZF 8HP45 eight-speed automatic with new Electronic Rotary Shift (called TorqueFlight 8) as standard for trucks with the 3.6-liter V-6 which is optionally available with select V8 equipped trucks – manual shifting is made possible by thumb operated switches (for up and down) located on the right side of the steering wheel.
The 2016 Ram 1500 is available in either a rear (2WD) or 4WD configuration; with the latter offering two transfer case versions- a Part-time system or an On-Demand system. Differing rear axle ratios are also available.
Cab configurations include: a Regular Cab; a Quad Cab; and a Crew Cab, with varying box lengths depending upon the cab chosen. Box lengths include: Short – 5’7” (Crew Cab 2WD only), or 6’4”. An 8-foot long box is available on Regular Cab models only, while the 6’4” box becomes a long bed for Quad and Crew cabs.
In terms of design, the latest iteration Ram 1500 trucks still display an “in-your-face” presence, but with a more aerodynamic form (best in class coefficient of drag at 0.36 CD), with models differing dramatically in terms of exterior features, and with some versions exhibiting a bolder, more aggressive and athletic persona. The Ram grille now offers several variations in styling, dependent upon trim level. The traditional classic crosshair grille takes on a more streamlined and cleaner appearance. The premium quad halogen projector headlamp design is a bi-functional affair with amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and amber LEDs for the side marker. Taillamps feature the same LED configuration, but in red. A wheel-to-wheel polished stainless running board is offered that improves aerodynamics and adds accessibility to the forward portion of the bed.
There are 11 trim variations for the 2016 model year, with new exterior colors in both monotone and two-tone schemes. The beginning level is the Tradesman, with the Laramie Limited topping the chart. The Big Horn model falls just below the halfway point in the lineup, and the Rebel and Laramie Limited, which were introduced last year will continue for 2016.
The interior, with its innovative features and technologies is more akin to a luxury sedan. Chrysler’s Uconnect system with Human Machine Interface is both attractive and intuitive for system operations and connectivity. Interior color treatments are elegant, and complement exterior colors. Genuine wood trim accents add a luxurious touch – a far cry from the exposed interior metal panels of yesteryear.
The new 2016 Ram 1500 is one of the most impressive haulers available in today’s truck marketplace and is sure to please Mopar fans. The entire lineup delivers an impressive variety of comfort and convenience features, too many to list here individually. The available Air Ride suspension provides different ride height levels for ease of loading, unloading and aerodynamic operational efficiency on the road.
SUMMARY: Acceleration is more than adequate with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and even more impressive with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which is the obvious choice for heavy duty chores. The 8-speed automatic transmission operates smoothly and efficiently – almost imperceptibly, and the ride quality is more sedan like than truck-like, even without a load.
Handling characteristics and ride comfort deliver car-like quality as well, thanks in part to the electric power steering, with an electric motor serving as an assist rather than a continuously-running hydraulic pump.
A major focus was directed toward outstanding fuel economy, with several strategies employed at gaining maximum efficiency – things like: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with variable valve timing and fuel save technology; the 8-speed automatic transmission; engine stop/start; electric power steering; pulse-width modulation; active grille shutters; low rolling resistance tires; thermal management system; air suspension; overall weight reduction; lower front air dam; interactive deceleration fuel shut-off; and wheel-to-wheel side steps or running boards.
Add an impressive powertrain warranty and basic limited warranty to the Ram 1500’s amazing content level (Best-in-class warranty, 5 year/100,000 miles on diesel engines and unsurpassed 5 year/60,000 miles on gas engines) and you have what may well be considered to be what is claimed to be the longest lasting line of trucks in America.
So, if you’re looking for a truck with the ability to answer the call for both work and play duty in comfort the Ram 1500 truck in any of its forms, is a sure bet.
The 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab and Quad Cab models are built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Warren, Michigan, which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it began operations in 1938. Regular Cab and
additional Crew Cab models are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 RAM 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4
Base Price: $40,860.
Price as Tested: $47,420.
Engine Type and Size: 5.7-liter HEMI 16-valve MDS VVT V-8 with sequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless fuel injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 395 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 410 @ 3,950 rpm
Transmission: Torqueflite 845RE Eight-speed automatic.
Drive Train: Longitudinally-mounted front engine / Parttime four-wheel drive. 2WD High; 4WD High, locked, Neutral; 4WD Low locked. / 44-45 Transfer Case
Suspension: Front – Upper and lower “A” arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar, twin-tube shock absorbers, solid axle. Rear – Five-link with track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, twin-tube shock absorbers, solid axle.
Brakes: Power-assisted dual-rate, tandem diaphragm vacuum four-wheel discs (vented front). 2-piston pin-slider caliper and ABS front, with single-piston pin-slider rear.
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler SR-A P 275/60 R20 mounted on 5-spoke chrome clad alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 149.5 inches
Length Overall: 229.0 inches
Width: 79.4 inches
Height: 77.2 inches
Curb Weight: To be determined by engine, transmission, cab configuration, bed size, drive configuration and accessories.
Turning Circle: 45.5 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 32 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 15 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.36
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.
The 2016 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4×4 Crew Cab is a winner for Mopar fans, performing all of its assigned duties (work and play) admirably. Fans of other manufacturer’s trucks will of course prefer their own brands.