2022 Ram 1500 Laramie G/T Crew Cab 4x4 vs. 2022 Toyota Tundra 4x4 Limited Crewmax 5.5: Full-size haul-off.
This week: Ram 1500 Laramie.
Price: $73,940 as tested. Whole lotta options mentioned throughout.
Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver likes the “luxury-grade interior, cushy ride quality, still hugely capable on- and off-road,” but not that it’s “fancier but pricier than alternatives, design borders on nondescript, huge touchscreen is sometimes slow to respond.”
Marketer’s pitch: “Choose your beast.”
Reality: Choose, indeed. The 1500 must get its name from the number of available configurations. I’d need a doctorate in Ramology and a lot more space to list everything about this model.
What’s new: The Laramie G/T Package, which adds sporty looking stuff to the pickup, and other trim-line changes. A 702-horsepower TRX version was added in 2021. A new 1500 is slated to arrive for the 2023 model year.
Up to speed: And there is plenty of speed to get up to. The 5.7-liter Hemi eTorque V-8 creates 395 horsepower and takes the pickup to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, according to the track data from the truck’s computer during my own testing. (Sorry, neighbors.)
Shifty: The 8-speed transmission shifts politely and quietly when left to its own devices.
The G/T gets a floor shifter, which is a cool touch for a full-size pickup. A full shift mode can be run through the shifter (a chore) or the paddle shifters (much easier, and available above and below the steering wheel center bar, also a nice touch).
On the road: I’ve had Rams outfitted different ways, and the handling has been hit or miss, especially since the 2019 redesign.
The 1500 GT is definitely a hit. It slices through the curves with the greatest of ease and feels easier to drive than many smaller trucks. (I have a Tacoma coming in a couple days, and that will be the real test. Plus the Tundra in May.)
The four-corner air suspension ($1,805) may have helped with this, as I was able to lower the truck a bit for better aerodynamics.
Maneuverability could be a little wonky in automatic all-wheel-drive mode, but that’s par for the course. Pick 2WD unless you fear slippage, or 4L if you’re driving through the yard.
Off the road: Just like other four-wheel-drive Ram pickups, the G/T does just fine in the hilly, usually wet yard of Mr. Driver’s Seat. Nary a slip.
Driver’s Seat: The days of the bare-bones pickup, while not long-gone, are definitely shrinking in the rearview mirror, especially for Ram. One-third of this well-equipped 1500′s price was options, including four-way power lumbar adjustable driver’s seat, and leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel as part of the $2,995 G/T Package. (The heated and ventilated leather buckets come standard with the Laramie price tag of $50,000.)
It’s a nice place to hang out, roomy, comfortable, attractive.
Friends and stuff: Sturgis Kid 4.0 was a little whiny before being stuck in the back seat, but once there, he seemed happy enough with the 60-40 reclining heated seat (part of the G/T Package and the $3,795 Laramie Group B). The Crew Cab helps with that, as well, for great foot-, leg-, and headroom; then he could watch TikTok to his heart’s content.
The truck also came with a 5-foot, 7-inch bed, so I was able to pack up a bunch of yard waste and carry off to the compost site. Loading and especially cleaning were easy, thanks to the tailgate that has swing-hinged Dutch doors, as well ($995).
The rear seats fold up and feature a storage compartment underneath, part of Group B.
The automatic power running boards ($995) make the ins and outs easier, although I feel a little guilty waking them up every time I open the door to get something out or put something in. “Sorry, sorry, just passing by.”
The suspension has entry/exit among its five settings.
The truck tows up to 12,750 pounds as a 4x2 (11,270 as tested) and carries up to 2,300 pounds.
Play some tunes: The UConnect infotainment system featured a vertical 12-inch screen ($2,095), easy to look at and operate, assisted by dials for volume and tuning. The Harman Kardon 19-speaker stereo played clearly, about an A-.
It’s sad that the camera view is still horizontal, so at first you think something is wrong with it because there’s a big white rectangle at the bottom.
Keeping warm and cool: Controls are lined up nicely around the touchscreen, although some other functions on the far side can cause confusion.
Fuel consumption: The Hemi engine comes with a larger 23-gallon fuel tank standard, and you’re going to need it. I watched the needle fall from the top side of 15 mpg to the bottom. Ouch. (It fell even farther after 0-60 time trials.)
But, hey, the exhaust sounds really cool. That’s the sound of your money burning.
A diesel is also available, but between particulate output and the price of diesel, no.
Where it’s built: Sterling Heights, Mich.
How it’s built: Consumer Reports gives the 1500 a 3 out of 5 for reliability.
Next week: How does the Toyota Tundra compare?