What is it: 

This is the cheapest ticket into the DT Series Ram 1500 range as the “classic” DS Series approaches the end of the production line. 

Sold by Ram Trucks Australia with full factory US backing, it is shipped to Australia in left-hand-drive before it is remanufactured in right-hand-drive by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group in Melbourne.

The Walkinshaw Automotive Group is the former parent company of Holden Special Vehicles and also the engineering and remanufacturing brains behind the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and upcoming Toyota Tundra.

Price: $119,950 drive-away (as this review was published).

Engine: 5.7-litre V8 petrol (291kW/556Nm).

Transmission: 8-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive.

0 to 100km/h (as tested): 

VBox time was 7.3 seconds. Fair for the class, faster than a diesel four-door ute but 1.2 seconds slower than the twin-turbo V6 Ford F-150 and 0.7 seconds slower than the Chevrolet 1500 in our VBox testing.

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

VBox distance was 42.8 metres. Quite frankly, astonishingly good for a US pick-up, aided by four-wheel discs and grippy highway tyres rather than nobbly all-terrain rubber. 

Most smaller and lighter diesel double cab utes (Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger etc) pull up in 42 to 44 metres in our testing.

Good points: 

Roomy and comfortable cabin (bigger than a Toyota LandCruiser inside), effortless V8 performance, surprisingly good fuel economy (11.3 to 11.9L/100km on test unladen), supple and almost luxurious suspension. 

Overall the vehicle feels very refined. 

Cloth interior may seem basic but actually has all mod-cons covered (including a clever locally-designed phone pocket in the centre arm rest). 

Massive cargo area with spray-on tray liner protection. Up to 4500kg towing.

Bad points: 

Although this is the cheapest DT Series Ram 1500 offered locally, it’s still priced on the high side (it replaces the DS Series Ram 1500 which originally started from $89,990). 

The halogen headlights are weak (LEDs would be a welcome upgrade). 

It’s too big for most Macca’s drive thru lanes but at least you get your step count up by parking out front and walking into the fast food joint.

What the haters say: 

These cars are too big for Australia.

What the haters don’t understand: 

These cars are not much bigger than a Toyota LandCruiser, Nissan Patrol or Kia EV9 electric SUV – and yet people aren’t trying to ban those vehicles. 

Australian sales data shows US pick-ups are primarily bought by people who live and/or work on the fringes of our metropolitan centres (not inner cities and inner suburbs) and use the vehicles to tow big boats, caravans, horse floats and heavy work machinery.

Should you buy one? 

Think of this as North America’s family car and you’re on the right track. Most people who experience a Ram 1500 for the first time are genuinely surprised by how easy and comfortable it is to drive.

Also consider: 

Ford F-150 V6 or Chevrolet Silverado 1500 V8 and (eventually) the Toyota Tundra V6 Hybrid when it goes on sale in Australia in 2025.