2018 RAM 1500 now on sale in Australia from $79,950

Looking for the ultimate towing vehicle? The 2018 RAM 1500 has arrived in Australia, as a factory-backed proposition for the popular ute segment.

Perhaps more common in America, the RAM 1500 is now available for the first time by a factory-appointed importer. The RAM is being imported through Ateco, as is being offered locally in 1500, 2500, and 3500 guise. These are offered in Express and Laramine for the 1500, and Laramine in the rest.

All versions are powered by a 5.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine that produces 291kW and 556Nm. This is hooked up to an eight-speed ‘Torqueflite’ automatic, and sent into a transfer case with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive with high and low range. The 1500 Express uses a 3.92:1 final drive, while the 1500 Laramine is also offered with a 3.21:1 ratio for better highway cruising.

Where this ute really shines is with towing capacity. The 1500 Express and the Laramine with the same 3.92:1 final drive offer a braked capacity of 4500kg and a max gross combination mass of 7237kg. The Express has a kerb weight of 2605kg and the Laramine weighs 2650kg. In the Laramine with the cruiser 3.21:1 final drive, you have a braked towing capacity of 3500kg and a gross mass of 6261kg, with a kerb weight of 2650kg.

As for fuel consumption, it is a thirsty boy. The quicker 3.92:1 final drive versions offer a combined cycle of 12.2L/100km, while the 3.21:1 offers a more manageable 9.9L/100km. All 1500 models come with 20-inch alloy wheels wearing 275/60 Hankook Dynapro HT tyres.

In terms of the standard features, highlights for the base Express include a 3.5-inch Uconnect touch-screen and 3.5-inch digital info display for the instrument cluster, while the Laramine gets an 8.4-inch Uconnect and 7.0-inch info display.

There’s a six-speaker stereo with Bluetooth connectivity in the Express, with the Laramine adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a 10-speaker sound system. Cruise control, trailer sway control, stability and traction control and a handful of airbags are standard, although only the Laramine gets a rear-view camera.

Being a factory-backed vehicle, the truck is covered by three-year/100,000km warranty (whichever comes first), and comes with three years/100,000km roadside assistance. Service intervals are every 12 months or 12,000km. See below for starting prices (most exclude on-road costs):

2018 RAM 1500 Express quad-cab 4×4 – $79,950 (drive-away)
2018 RAM 1500 Laramine crew-cab 4×4 – $99,950
2018 RAM 2500 Laramine crew-cab 4×4 – $139,950
2018 RAM 3500 Laramine crew-cab 4×4 – $144,350