I found myself channeling Sister Digna, my eighth-grade science teacher at St. Mary of Redford junior high school in Detroit, as I spent a week in the 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4.
The IHM nun always preached the “gospel of respect,” especially when it came to her laboratory equipment. She didn’t want any 13-year-old goofballs breaking her beakers or Bunsen burners. Years later, I’m still careful with things as a result of her sermons, especially when they are expensive – and don’t belong to me. The question became, should I feel guilty about taking the Ram truck to the local dump?
My loaded heavy-duty Ram test truck, with a sticker price of $73,310, targets buyers who automakers say want to feel pampered whether they’re going to the country club or the construction zone. I’m told that there is little hesitation among consumers about shelling out big bucks for fancy-pants trucks like the Ram.
The version in my driveway was fit for a night at the opera, with a special pearl coat exterior paint and a cabin that looked like something out of the best of Antiques Road Show, with gleaming rose-gold accents and a little piece of trim with a filigree etching reminiscent of a vintage rifle.
Happily, the truck blends glamour and guts. Under the hood is a brawny 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine that delivers 370 horsepower and 800 lb-ft of torque. My test truck can tow up to 17,980 pounds. Other details included a $1,295 RamBox Cargo Management System with storage built into the side rails and a bed divider, along with a new $200 off-road package with special Bilstein shocks and hill descent control.
Since I had no opera tickets, I cleaned the basement and the garage, loaded the bed of the Ram and headed to the local landfill. “How much is that thing?” asked the attendant, who said he owned a more modest version. The upscale Ram proved to be right at home amid the piles of trash and steep inclines.
Afterwards, it was time for lunch at the A & W drive-in, which also elicited another guilt pang. Instead of holding my mug of root beer between my legs or stashing it on the floor, I was able to create a mini kitchen table with the generous center console.
The Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn begs to be a workhorse, despite its ritzy look. No guilt trip here.