2017 Ram Night Edition essentials: Looks tough, sounds mean

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It ain’t cheap, this Ram Night Edition. Full-size pickups aren’t anymore. It’s a hellofa good truck though. They all (Titan, Silverado, F-150, Tundra), including this one, ride smoothly and comfortably, the interiors are quiet and comfortable – and nicely built – and they offer oodles of configuration choices.

So how does one pick among them? A thing separating a Ram from the competition is the excellent ride quality with its coil-spring setup. On the highway this baby is creamy smooth and quiet and the adjustable air suspension makes it all even better.

The 5.7-liter V8 is great and sounds like a hotrod when you leg this thing. The eight-speed automatic shifts smoothly and close to imperceptibly. It doesn’t hunt around looking for the right gear, either.

The interior is just fine, thanks. The dash-mounted shift knob just adds to the feeling that there’s tons of space. The seats are comfortable and the build quality looks good. FCA’s UConnect center screen is as intuitive as these things come, and I like that there’s nice big knobs for the fan speed and radio and such.

With the Night package you get the black grille and wheels – it looks good. Tough.

–Wes Raynal, editor



2017 Ram 1500 Night Edition underhood

The 2017 Ram 1500 Night starts with key Sport appearance cues, including body-color fascia and body-color rear bumper with dual chrome exhaust tips, body-color power-folding mirrors and door handles.


OTHER VOICES:

The trouble with “factory custom” packages is that, no matter how mean they look on the showroom floor, they tend to end up feeling dated pretty quickly. (Granted, this is true about almost every homebrew custom effort, too). Arguably, some factory trims, like the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition, never looked good even when brand-new.

That said, the Night Edition doesn’t take things too far for its own good. The blacked-out badges are subtle, or at least as subtle as a two-foot tall RAM on the tailgate can ever be, and the exhaust sounds really great.

Oh, and it’s a truck, so once you’ve removed the tonneau cover (a fairly simple operation thanks to the easy-to operate fastening system), you can chuck stuff in the bed — that $495 bedliner should be mandatory — and let that Hemi roar off into the, uh, night.

This thing doesn’t have a full-length bed; most of the mid- and full-size trucks we test these days don’t. Since I’m often hauling drywall or full sheets of plywood, I take it for granted that I’m going to have to bring along my own straps to keep things from flying out of the back. The integrated bed extender works great for keeping longer stuff in check, though (think 2x4s and trim), and it also works as a bed divider if you want to stop stuff from sliding around.

You’ve probably noticed that most everything I’ve complimented can be had on a regular Ram 1500. On the other hand, the stuff this Night Edition Ram offers over a standard 1500 — the attitude, the ride, the growl and punch of a good V8 — is stuff that I want…but on a Challenger, not a full-size pickup. To me, a truck is a tool, not where I want to focus my efforts to define a personal style.  

But there are people who are legitimately into tricked out trucks, and I honestly can’t hold that against them — it’s just a matter of taste. If you’re one of them, and the Night Edition happens to catch your eye, know that you’ll be getting everything we’ve liked about the Ram 1500 since it debuted along to back up those blacked-out badges.

–Graham Kozak, associate editor


Options: Leather trimmed bucket seats including 10-way power driver and 6-way passenger seats and heated and ventilated front seats ($1,545); Night Edition Package including Ram 1500 Night Special Edition, black painted honeycomb grille, black RAM tailgate nameplate, 20-inch painted black aluminum wheels, dual rear exhaust with bright tips and flat black Ram 1500 badge ($385); Convenience Group including automatic high beam headlamp control, keyless Enter ‘n Go, rain sensitive windshield wipers ($345); tri-fold tonneau cover ($545); eight-speed automatic transmission ($500); 3.92 rear axle ratio ($95); anti-spin differential rear axle ($435); 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine ($1,250); rear window defroster ($195); sport performance hood ($775); 32-gallon fuel tank ($795); 8.4-inch UConnect Nav ($795); 4-corner air suspension ($1,715); ParkSense front/rear park assist system ($445); Ram Box Cargo Management system ($1,295); trailer brake control ($295); locking lug nuts ($60); spray-in bedliner ($495)

 







On Sale: Now


Base Price: $45,315


As Tested Price: $57,395


Drivetrain: 5.7-liter Hemi V8, 4WD, eight-speed automatic


Output: 395 hp @ 5,600 rpm; 410 lb-ft @ 3,950 rpm


Curb Weight: 5,712 lb


Fuel Economy: 15/21/17 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)


Pros: Just the right amount of custom accenting


Cons: Those giant “RAM” letters on the tailgate



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