Test Drive Notes Library
- We got a remarkable (for a full size pick up truck) 28 MPG on the highway while cruising along at 75 mph. We got 20 MPG in the city—phenomenally good MPG for a behemoth, thanks to a modern diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
- This truck is decked out! The top of the line model we drove had heated front and rear leather seats, comfortable enough for the most sensitive backside, a file holder to hold the gouging-estimates for your jobs (so you can afford this truck), a knock-out Sirius/XM/ everything else stereo system, and a gigantic storage console—and many other luxury touches.
- The Laramie rides like a luxury car. When you’re inside the truck, with the windows closed, the diesel noise is remarkably diminished. It’s very well insulated. (Though, on the outside, or with a window or door open, it’s still plenty noisy.)
- Very smooth at idle—a trait not normally associated with diesels.
- The transmission offered on the Laramie includes a transfer case that allows the driver to select between two wheel drive, four wheel drive automatic (which kicks in when you need it), and both high and low, traditional locked four-wheel drive.
- Excellent acceleration, thanks to the diesel engine’s low end torque and the turbo.
- You can change lanes with impunity. This truck has size and presence. No one, short of tractor trailers, will give you any grief when they see you easing into another lane in front of them. Expect plenty of leeway from Camry’s and Focuses.
- The Laramie has a great suspension system for pick up truck. And despite its size and load capability, it handles well on turns. Better than other pickups we’ve driven recently.
- Surprisingly good turning radius for a vehicle of this size.
- The “Ram Box” is a great idea. Lockable storage built into the sides of the cargo bed walls, each of the two boxes locks when you lock the vehicle.
Test Drive Notes Library
- It’s just plain huge. Want to get in? You’ll need the running board. And maybe a running start. On the upside, when leaving, the smooth leather seats act as an evacuation slide.
- The Laramie is very hard to park in a tight space, such as a parking garage. If you’re driving regularly includes urban areas or parking garages, think more than once before plunking down for a Laramie. While you’re unlikely to drive into another vehicle when parking, thanks to the sensors and camera, it will take you four or five tries to successfully dock the Laramie.
- The model we drove did have helpful proximity sensors at each of the four corners, and an excellent back up camera. Dodge calls these features are “Park Sense” and “Park View.” They’re required equipment, in our opinion, given the vehicle’s size and poor visibility, side and rear. But they’re only available on the higher-end model.
- And ergonomically-speaking, the “Park View” viewing screen, which gives you a visual image of which corner of the truck is about to mutilate a Corolla, is in a terrible location--often blocked by the steering wheel.
- Diesel fuel is not as widely available as gasoline. So be sure it’s readily available at service stations on your route to and from work.
- There are a lot of buttons on the center console, many of them towards the bottom. Dodge clearly wants the Laramie to be regarded as a high-tech machine. The downside is that we often found it very hard to find the small button we were looking for while driving.
- The “dial” style automatic transmission selector is kind of gimmicky.
- The MSRP for the fully-loaded version we drove was a whopping $55,000. Be sure you have the spec home you’re building under contract, before you put a down payment on this rig.
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