Virtually nobody would accuse the Ram 1500 pickup of lacking swagger, but if you’re just not convinced, the Night Edition should remove all doubt. Looking like The Devil’s steed, it packs a powerful punch – both literally and visually. It’s a sporty and luxurious ride with plenty of capability.
Style And Power To Spare
The main themes are monochrome paint and black trim. It’s monochrome as in everything that’s not painted black is bright red. You can’t miss it. But, there’s plenty that’s black – like Ram’s trademark crosshair grille, headlamp bezels, 20-inch alloy wheels, RAM lettering on the flanks and tailgate, and HEMI badges on the front fenders. Large twin chrome exhaust outlets tell you to get back and stay back lest you be blasted over.
Our truck’s crew cab offers wide doors and plenty of space for five passengers. You may want the optional step bars to make the leap inside, but once there, will be happy with your surroundings. Black leather heated and cooled front seats, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and dual-zone automatic climate control condition the space while Alpine audio, reconfigurable instrument cluster, and what’s perhaps the world’s easiest to use touchscreen with intuitive icons for audio, climate, and navigation add enjoyment. Bluetooth, deep console cubbies, 110-volt household power outlet, and rain-sensing wipers add convenience.
Ram trucks come with efficient V6 engines, but the really devilish boys and girls expect to see a HEMI lurking beneath the bulging hood. They won’t be disappointed with the 5.7-liter V8 delivering 395 horsepower through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Get it with four-wheel-drive that includes Lo gear. Fuel economy, well, is in line with full-size trucks at 15/21-MPG city/hwy. Staying out of the throttle may be tough, but that’s the only way you’ll even see those numbers.
Equipped To Perform
Beyond the substantial powertrain, our Ram came equipped to perform. It’s pre-wired for trailers, includes a dash trailer brake controller, and has a hitch receptor installed. Flip back the tonneau cover to find spray-in bedliner, nightlights, and tie-downs. Ram Boxes on each exterior side of the bed let you store tools, iced down beer, sodas, or wet gear after camping or boating. Wherever you want to play, or need to work, Ram is ready.
Underway, you’ll never forget you’re driving a full-size pickup. With wide bodywork and extended mirrors, you’ll want to watch carefully on tight streets. But, the air suspension tames the ride, levels out the rear under heavy loads, and can be raised for off-roading – or lowered for entering/exiting. It even has an automatic “Aero” mode that lowers the truck on the highway to improve fuel economy. Stomp on it at any time and there’s power in reserve.
For the last three months, Ram out-sold the Chevrolet Silverado to be second only to the Ford F-Series in the full-size truck segment (though, Chevy Silverado plus GMC Sierra still top Ram). Twenty years ago, Ram barely registered on the sales charts, but continual improvement, thrusting powertrains, and bold design have put it near the top. If it looks like something Satan would drive, then be a little devilish and enjoy it.
Ram Night Edition starts at $36,890, but came to $57,395 as tested. Competitors include the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan.
Watch Casey’s video review of the Ram; contact him at AutoCasey@aol.com.
2017 Ram 1500 Night Edition
- Five-passenger, 4WD Pickup
- Powertrain: 395hp 5.7-liter V8, 8-speed auto trans
- Suspension f/r: Ind/Solid Axle with Air
- Wheels f/r: 20”/20” alloy
- Brakes f/r: disc/disc
- Must-have features: Utility/Style
- Fuel economy: 15/21 mpg city/hwy
- Base/as-tested price: $36,890/57,395