Top trim pickup trucks have become the battle of the rare heavy metals. Ford has their Platinum, and now Ram has their Tungsten. New for the 2018 model year, the last of this generation, Ram has introduced price topping option package for their Ram 1500 Limited model. The most luxurious Ram you can buy adds body colored running boards, chrome exterior accents, a suede headliner and various other cosmetic tweaks. Under all the accoutrements, however, it’s still the same, capable Ram 1500 we’ve known for the last decade.
There have been a few years since the folks at FCA refreshed the nearly decade old generation of Ram 1500 truck. Since it was rebranded as Ram in 2010, the 1500 has seen updates in drivetrain and interior, as well as boosts in infotainment functionality. For 2018, not much has changed, with the exception of the addition of a Tungsten trim for Ram Limited owners. Ram calls this truck the most luxurious one in their line-up, and they’re not wrong.
When checking the box for a 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten, you are adding one of the most interesting, class exclusive, options: four corner air suspension. This isn’t the only Ram this option is available on, but it’s still worth mentioning. The ride provided by the air suspension is unlike anything else other trucks are able to provide. The height adjustability is more than a gimmick as well, providing improved aerodynamics on the highway, lowered loading height and boosted clearance for real off-road situations. The Ram’s system automatically manages ride height for you, returning things to their optimal settings if you forget.
New for the 2018 Ram models, when optioned, is the latest 8.4” uConnect system from FCA. The biggest change is the addition of Android Auto and Apple Car Play. There are also subtle changes to the user interface, too. uConnect has always been a strength for FCA, and the addition of Android Auto and Apple Car Play makes a great system even better. Google responds to voice commands even with high ambient noise, from music or passengers, and voice dictates better than Android Auto in other vehicles we’ve tested. Coupled with an Alpine surround audio system, there is ample audiophile sounds going on inside this truck. Uconnect still has its own build in voice and navigation systems, the latter powered by Garmin, and work very well.
Around the outside, the 2018 Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten provides full length running boards, stylish and body colored. Matching the body color, they are an attractive way to get in and out of the truck. Being able to lower the truck a few inches is also a big help. Chrome accents run the length of the truck, and the grill features an imposing RAM logo. They’re not so large to be offensive, though, and actually do well to accentuate the Ram’s familiar lines.
Our test model came equipped with the optional Ramboxes. These watertight storage containers are located on top of the rear wheel wells, inside the bed walls. Their size varies based on your bed length, but they offer a moderate sized storage space for tools, nick knacks or other things a truck owner might need. The tradeoff is a reduced bed width. Ram says you can still fit a standard 4×8 sheet of plywood lying flat, which suggests the bed is just over four feet wide. Small for some, but travel trailer owners will find the Ramboxes a very useful option.
The not so good
No truck is perfect, but there is enough here in the Ram 1500 to make it at least a good truck. The 2018 Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten is a current model, but Ram owners will find little new in this latest truck. It largely feels and looks like the Ram Limited, which has been available since 2014. They’re not bad designs, nor is does the interior feel terribly dated, but in a market flush with updated and refreshed updated designs, the now 10-year-old Ram design leaves you longing for change. Good news, the 2019 Ram is on the way, and it looks fantastic!
The rotary gear selector is still here, and looks to be still going strong in the 2019 Ram 1500. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with how the rotary dial functions, but it takes a big mind shift to use. Navigating parking lots, with a lot of direction changes, is made more complex with a rotary dial. Because of how a rotary dial selector is laid out, the ability to select a gear to hold has been relegated to the steering wheel. Right above the cruise control. It’s an interesting choice.
None of this is new, however, and Ram owners seem to have been getting on fine.
This might ruffle a few feathers, but let’s talk about the engine. This 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten came with the age old, timeless, legendary 5.7L Hemi V8. It sounds wonderful. It drives like a dream. All 395 HP, with 410 ft-lb of torque, are used well by the eight-speed transmission. However, this legendary motor is not efficient. While it’s posted EPA numbers are a bit higher than the competition, real life numbers trended surprisingly higher. There’s no doubting the capability of this engine, and it will make old school truck enthusiasts grin widely. But, in a market where efficiencies are making gains, the age old Hemi V8 is, well, old. MDS technology did little to improve highway mileage.
People looking for something new or exciting won’t find that in the 2018 Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten. What they will find, whoever, is a great truck with a big selection of options and extras. There is a solid legacy behind the Ram, and this 2018 Ram Limited Tungsten is the last of its generation. If you can get used to the rotary gear selector, and paying a bit more for gas, this will be a hard truck to turn down. FCA will no doubt start offering price incentives to make room for the 2019s. The aggressive pricing will make this an outstanding truck for the value. Now might be the best time to buy your 2018 Ram 1500 Limited Tungsten.