Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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Cars in the City

Ram truck


This full-size pickup is Motortrend Truck of the Year three times in a row.

The 2021 RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab is loaded with features.

Vehicle consumers are fanatical about pickup trucks. The top three best-selling vehicles in 2021 in the U.S. are all full-size pickup trucks. I had to see what the hype was, so I drove the No. 2 best seller — a RAM pickup truck.

RAM, formerly known as a Dodge Ram, switched its name to RAM standalone to focus on their other Dodge vehicles. RAM was named Motortrend Truck of the Year three times in a row starting in 2019.

The 2021 RAM 1500 Laramie Crew Cab is a rugged, big and impressive 4×4. The first hurdle was tackling how to get in. Normally after opening the door, you simply slide into the seat. However, this was a climb for a short-legged gal, as there were no running boards underneath the driver’s door. Putting one hand on the steering wheel and one on the seat, it was like skipping two stairs at a time. If I had a full cup of hot coffee in one hand, my purse in another, while wearing a skirt, it would provide free and messy entertainment for bystanders watching the show.

Once inside, these trucks accommodate large and tall folks easily. The salesperson showed me various knobs on the infotainment panel and power roofs, and we pushed buttons like crazy. I remember when all you had to do was find the knob to turn up or down the temperature and crank the radio station.

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RAM understands and admits that many new drivers have a fear of not knowing how to use all the features. They designed an app that brings up videos and tutorials on how to use all the features. It’s fairly user friendly, and your passenger can look up how to use the multi-touch screen, which you can zoom, drag or scroll with your finger. 

As I’m not too adept at backing up, I thought I’d back into a driveway using the Park Sense camera only. As I pushed the Rear Park assist button and put it in reverse, my screen was flashing “BRAKE” in yellow and stopped the truck. What was I running into? I looked back and saw nothing but concrete. A second attempt yielded another brake warning. 

I jumped out and saw the lift gate was down. The backup camera must have detected it. Amidst all that button pushing, I must have lowered it accidently. 

If you’re not used to a pickup truck, this one has power, including a 11,269-pound towing capacity. Sitting so far up off the ground, I felt I could squash the tiny electric two-door cars. Yet I felt safe. If I went down a muddy ditch, I’m confident I could put it in four-wheel drive and climb out with ease.

Two built-in cooler/storage areas in the backseat floor provide ample room for cold beverages. A three-prong 115 volt outlet in the RamBox means you can plug in heavy power tools. 

With all the safety features and power, the RAM is a solid ride, as long as you know which buttons to push. ♦

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