2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 Long-Term Update 2
The electronics age can take some getting used to, especially if you drive a truck. While some of the components that make up the navigation, entertainment, and data systems are similar to those in cars, they are often modified to be more attuned to what truck owners need. And while learning these systems, especially after knowing a set from a different manufacturer, isn't particularly difficult, it's still a unique process every time.
After spending some time behind the wheel of the Ram, I've gotten to know the quirks and benefits of the electronics in the truck. The Internet hot spot is excellent. It makes it very easy for a passenger to get Web-related work done while on the road. It's also very easy to connect a phone via Bluetooth, and plugging it into the 115-volt outlet instead of the USB ensures that when playing music through the Bluetooth connection, the system doesn't try to switch to the USB source. But there are some things that take getting used to. When I push the Nav option on the bottom of the main screen, I would think the very first step would be to display the map. After all, there is no other option to bring up the map—and I like having that displayed when I drive so I can see traffic conditions. Nope. It brings up a screen of navigation options, and there I can choose View Map. But most of the time I know where I'm going -- odds are I will want to see the map, which displays traffic conditions, more often than I want to use the nav system to guide me somewhere.
Which brings me to the next quirk. This truck's map shows an icon that indicates there is traffic ahead, yet you can't get more information by touching that icon. To learn more, you have to push Apps, then get to Sirius XMTraffic. That doesn't tell you what's going on, either—just the speed people are traveling, where the problem is, and that there is congestion. I would prefer to know what the issue is: Is the freeway closed? Is there a major car accident? Is there construction?
When I brought the Ram in for its first service, determined by the truck's computer based on when it was time to get an oil change (at nearly 10,000 miles), the cost of the service was a perfectly reasonable $61.56 for an oil change, tire rotation, and vehicle inspection. I was also told there were three service bulletins on the truck, all related to software. The bulletins fixed the passive entry switch on the door handle (I never noticed a problem), updated the memory seat software (again, I had no problems there), and upgraded the software on the radio. Would that mean an update to the navigation's traffic system? Not exactly, but it solved some occasional glitches I had observed. There were two occasions when the system wouldn't start up when I started the truck, and a problem where the backup camera took a very long time to display on the screen. Those haven't happened since the update. However, one of the things the service bulletin was supposed to fix—a loss of radio presets—was something I'd never had a problem with, yet after the update was done, all the presets were gone. That was an easy one to solve by just re-entering the presets.
I've also observed that the back-up parking sensors are overly sensitive (better that than responding too late, I suppose), and that our truck only has those sensors in back. Having that same system up front would come in really handy when parallel parking. Of course, if I'm coming up with a wish list, another want would be a defroster or defogger for the rear camera for when it's cold and moist out.
|Service life||7 mo/14,344 mi|
|Average fuel economy||15.3 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.27 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||15/21/17 mpg|
|Energy consumption||220 kW-hrs/100mi|
|Maintenance cost||$61.56 (oil change, tire rotation, inspection)|