Review: 2022 Ram 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary

Review: 2022 Ram 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary

You won’t find much argument from many that at first blush, when we consider the “ultra” model in the Ram 1500 world, it’s the TRX; manic supercharged V8 power, wicked off-road chops including a Baja mode and jump control – you’ve read our story. You know the deal.

However, it is my assertion that “ultra” in the 1500 world can actually take on a few flavours. One of which, painted in glorious Patriot Blue Pearl and seen here, is the 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary Crew Cab.

On looks alone, you can see it’s something special; chrome wing mirror caps, wheels, grille, tow hooks, “Hemi eTorque” badging – more on this in a minute, as it’s more than just a name — and window surrounds, tinted windows, HID headlights – this is a truck that oozes class. I do have to admit, however, that not having any form of “10th Anniversary” badging on the truck – this does exist elsewhere – kind of takes some of the sheen off how special this truck is.

A sheen that does return, however as soon as you swing open the big – but surprisingly light – doors. Once done, you’re presented with a glorious interior that has high-quality materials and parts in almost every direction. The quilted leather used for the seats (that come heated and cooled both front and back), parts of the dash and door cards is of top quality, as evidenced by the care instructions that come attached to the head restraints. The ambient lighting is right on and if natural light is more your thing, the massive full-length moonroof is here to accommodate. The cloth inserts in the seats and on parts of the door may remove some of the sheen, but when you sit in the seat and realize the cloth is there to help reduce shiver-inducing skin/leather encounters, it starts to make sense and no, the seat design is not some kind of call back to Ram Limiteds of old.

It really is all in the details, though; the 10th Anniversary badges that finally make an appearance, the jewelled rotary shift dial, the woodgrain inserts, the splendid Harman/Kardon speakers – counting 19 — that come with the $2,895 10th Anniversary package – even the front passenger hand holds get a contrast-colour leather surround.

The gauge cluster is another thing of beauty that looks modern but doesn’t sacrifice usability as it has big, clear fonts and a massive centralized TFT display for your trip computer, off-road info and infotainment needs. I could look at this gauge cluster all day. Which is a good thing because, you know, when driving a vehicle of any kind, you should be regularly checking your instruments anyway.

You may think no interior detail could wrest away top honours from the gauge cluster, but Ram has an answer for that as well, in the form of the massive 12-inch infotainment display that supports the latest Uconnect tech. Tech that, over the years, has always impressed me and while it still does, I did encounter some caveats throughout this particular test, namely the display being slow to respond in some instances, activating certain menus without my asking to do so (especially when trying to operate the seat temp controls, which I’d much rather be doing via traditional hard buttons as opposed to a touchscreen, but such is life these days) and at one point, shutting off completely and forcing a full re-start to sort things out. I would hope that this is just a glitch easily fixed by a computer flash, but be aware and talk to your dealer about this if you’re considering one of these.

All the stuff that I’ve always loved about Uconnect, though, is present: big buttons that are easy to read, a customizable interface that allows you to load your favourite apps and commands onto the home screen, removing the need to surf through a bunch of menus, and my favourite party piece: Apple CarPlay – which is wireless – actually taking up the whole screen when active. There are many manufacturers now offering vertical displays but CarPlay hasn’t always covered the whole expanse. Here it does, so you really do get the sense that you’re looking at your iPad. Speaking of smart devices: it’s great that wireless CarPlay is included, but there’s really no point unless there’s wireless charging as well. After all, you want wireless partly to not have unsightly (and perhaps break-in inducing) cables all over the place, right? Luckily, wireless charging is here, too, and in a rather ingenious way: there is a vertical mobile device holder at the base of the centre stack, and its backing doubles as a wireless charge pad. Right on.

Of course, that display is also where you turn for the backup camera which, unlike CarPlay, doesn’t take up the whole screen but it does offer about a thousand different views to help you place the big Crew Cab Ram (but with the short 5-foot-7 box; the only way you can get this trim) within an inch of any obstacle. If that big main screen isn’t enough for you, there’s also a digital rear-view mirror and heads-up display. Personally, I’m mostly a fan of digi mirrors but you’ll want to be careful with them at night and low sun angles can wreak havoc with the camera. Luckily, switching to a traditional mirror is as simple as flipping the tab typically reserved for the manual dimmer function.

All this before we even talk about the room inside the cabin, which is better than generous. The rear seats are colossal, the front seats roomy without forcing you to stretch too far to reach the controls, and the flat load floor in the back is great for packing your gear. I wanted to spend as much time sitting in the cabin as possible, and that’s a very good sign for any type of vehicle.

A word of caution, however: the truck does have auto-deploying steps that activate as soon as you start to move out of the cab and they will strike your Achilles if you’re not careful. The bed also gets a deployable step from below the rear bumper to aid access, but the surface is a little small and the action to release and stow it a little finicky. I’m sure these are kinks that will work out as the truck breaks in, but it is worth noting here.

Speaking of the pickup bed, it comes loaded with features, just like the rest of the truck is. The multifunction tailgate feature comes standard, which allows you to either open the tailgate in traditional fold-down style, or as a barn-door style with a 66/33 split. It’s not split directly down the middle so you can better stow longer, thinner items down one side. To top it all off, you’ll find Rambox storage bins on either side that are lockable and drainable, so your beer will be kept both safe and cold.

Unlike the bed step, the powertrain takes very little “breaking in.” That eTorque badge mentioned earlier has to do with this Ram having a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 aided by a 48V mild hybrid system, and while you can never cruise on purely electric power, the hybrid system works in concert with the cylinder-deactivation system to provide a little boost when using four cylinders.

When you really get on it, though, the slug of 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque is immediately felt with very little delay – power is sent to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic ‘box so the ratios are nice and tight and able to exploit the powertrain. It should be noted, however, that the competition in the form of the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 are both using 10-speed autos right now, and they do have faster shift times than what you get here.

It does pull, though, more so figuratively (as opposed to literally) as I found myself soaring forth at highway speeds in surprisingly short order, the Ram feeling like a proper muscle truck. In the literal sense, it can tow 3,560 kilos and haul 475 kg so it gets beaten pretty soundly by EcoDiesel-equipped trucks on the towing front.

Which, of course, should come as no surprise as that’s what you’re getting an EcoDiesel for. You’re getting something like this to be able to be more comfortable and coddled on the day-to-day. Obviously, the interior does its part in that regard. Underneath all that pomp, the four-corner coil springs paired with four-corner air suspension do a fantastic job of following through on the interior’s promise and providing a fantastic ride.

There’s very little rear bounce or shudder – even with an empty pickup bed – but what really impressed me was how well the Ram performed under acceleration and during braking. There’s very little squat on acceleration and during braking manoeuvres – even of the panic variety – there is so little dive that you almost get the impression there’s no actual suspension between body and chassis, just rigid mounts.

One really does get the sense that Ram has obsessively ticked every box for the Limited 10th Anniversary truck. It rides almost surreally well, it’s loaded with equipment both of the electronic and hardware variety and the interior is so so decked-out and plush that you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re sat inside the Ram’s ultra-luxe Jeep Grand Wagoneer cousin. The Ram is that good.

It comes at no small cost, though; we’re knocking on the door of $100K here and that is a hefty price to pay when you consider that no 1500 is any more expensive, this side of the TRX. Heck, you’d be hard-pressed to even get the 2500 or 3500 Heavy Duty trucks to reach that level, short of installing options like snow plow prep, 5th wheel prep and so on.

That’s the price to pay for exclusivity, though, and safe to say if you want the “ultra,” you gotta pay for it.

Categories: Driver Plus, Trucks Plus