There are times when your schedule forces you to make difficult decisions. I'm not talking about choosing between chocolate and vanilla or paper and plastic. Sometimes you have to run to another state to pick up some gear, and that the only way you can get it done involves a late-night drive, because you don't have time to stay over and drive back the next day. I recently found myself in that situation; thank goodness I had the right truck for the job.

After filling the gas tank, checking the oil and tires, and setting the address in the nav system, I was ready for my intrastate jaunt. I had road snacks (Goldfish crackers are a favorite) and water, and I was on my way. I set the nav to show me the time I would arrive at my destination. (I don't understand why the nav can't show time to destination and a countdown of the miles left for the journey at the same time. It's either one or the other.) It gives me a goal to beat. In this case, the time of arrival was 2:30 p.m. I knew I could do better than that -- driving safely, of course.

The Ram might be the most comfortable road-trip vehicle we have in the long-term press fleet, and I'm including our crossovers and SUVs. The ride was compliant, the seats cushy, and the entertainment options excellent. On this trip, I listened to music via Bluetooth, and made a couple of quick phone calls (the same way) while making excellent time on the interstate. I wasn't driving super-fast; I was simply going along with the rest of traffic. After a brief stop to stretch my legs, I was back on the road, easily falling back into the same rhythm as before. I could drive this truck cross-country and be perfectly happy the entire way.

It wasn't too long before I had arrived at my destination -- and the clock read 1:30. Ha! I beat the estimate by an hour! I had plenty of time to eat lunch, load up the gear, and relax a bit before turning around and going home. All the cargo I was picking up, which was a combination of paperwork, electronics, and well, stuff, easily fit in the truck bed and the rear of the crew cab. After a break, I packed everything up and secured it in place, then headed back home.

I learned more about the Ram on the return trip. First, the navigation system (yes, I gave myself another goal time for the drive home, even though I knew fully well where I was going) told me that there were several spots where there was going to be congestion. It told me the range of exits that each issue was between (example: "Congestion ahead, between Main and First Streets), but didn't say what was causing the congestion or even if the highway was closed. It kept repeating where the upcoming traffic snag was, then when I got there, traffic was wide open. And at one point, when I got back into my truck after a break, the Bluetooth audio worked right away but Uconnect didn't pair the phone. That was odd, as it usually pairs them at the same time.

After the sun went down, things got cold quickly, but a quick run of the seat heater was all it took to get things toasty again. And even though you wouldn't think it would work this way, the seat heater helped keep me awake and feeling just fine as I finished the drive. P.S. I beat the nav system's time estimate yet again, saw mpg in the low 20s, and got all the cargo safely back to California.


2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4
Service life: 6 mo/12,521 mi
Avg CO2: 1.27 lb/mi
Energy cons: 212 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems: None
Maintenance cost: $61.56 (oil change, tire rotation, inspection)
Normal-wear cost: $0
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ: 15/21/17 mpg
Average Fuel Econ: 15.3 mpg