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    Review: 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD


    • Driving With A Black Sheep


    In every automotive manufacturer’s lifecycle, they will at least once build a black sheep. A vehicle which doesn’t quite fit into their lineup, despite how good or bad it is. A perfect example is the Buick Grand National. Taking the Regal Coupe, Buick dropped in a turbocharged V6 which produced anywhere between 200 to 245 horsepower and could smoke a number of performance vehicles in the era. But it didn’t quite fit in with Buick’s smooth-riding, luxury vehicles. Thus it became a black sheep, one that would become legendary in its own right.

    The black sheep phenomenon seems to be making a return to Buick. Along the rows of the luxurious and quiet vehicles sitting on dealer lots, there’s also a vehicle who has those traits along with a bit of performance. It may not wear the Grand National nameplate, but it wears one that possibly has similar value: Regal GS.

    Buick has given the entire Regal lineup some changes for the 2014 model beginning with the exterior. For the Regal GS, those changes include a new front clip with a bigger grille and a new trunk lid. Decked out in red paint and featuring inlet vents that look like vampire fangs, the Regal GS has an outlook of quiet aggression. It doesn’t look like it wants to fight, but if its provoked, the Regal GS will throw down.

    Inside, Buick made some key changes to the Regal GS’ interior There’s a new instrument cluster with a color screen that displays the speedometer and trip computer information. The center stack has been revised with less buttons (thank you), a new climate control system with capacitive touch controls which are hit and miss when your trying to change the temperature or turn on the heated seats; and a larger touchscreen with the latest version of Buick’s Intellilink infotainment system which is easy to use for the most part.

    2014 Buick Regal GS 10

    The interior is trimmed in high quality leather and soft touch materials, along with black trim to accent the sporty image. The front sport seats are very comfortable and are able to keep you in place if you decide to be exuberant with your driving style. The back seat provides very good legroom, while headroom can be tight for taller passengers due to the sloping roofline.

    For impressions on the powertrain and handling, see page 2.


    Previously, the Regal GS produced 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. For 2014, Buick cut back the horsepower to 259. But in turn, Buick adjusted where maximum torque was available. In this case, they lowered the point. Buick also increased the RPM range of where you have that torque (2,500 to 4,000 rpm if you're wondering). Like before, the Regal GS is available with either a six-speed manual or automatic. However, new for 2014 is the introduction of a all-wheel drive model with a six-speed automatic. The all-wheel drive system can send up 90 percent of power to the rear wheels.

    2014 Buick Regal GS 9

    Like the previous GS, the current model offers three different drive modes. Normal provides a nice balance of efficiency and performance. Sport firms up the suspension, while GS firms up the suspension even further, quickens the shifts of the six-speed transmission, sharpens up the throttle response, and sends 15 percent more torque to the rear wheels.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I drove the Regal GS onto one of the roads I use for evaluation. But I can say my jaw was on the floor once I finished driving. Put the Regal GS into the GS mode and it becomes something along the lines of a German sedan. The engine spools up quickly and gets the close to 4,000 pound vehicle moving at a rapid pace. Power is always ready whenever you need it. You also notice the all-wheel drive working, shifting power around to keep the vehicle moving and in control. The six-speed automatic is quick on up or downshifts, though I was wishing for a set of paddles so I could play around with gear selection.

    Then there is the Regal GS’ handling. Drive it into a corner, and the GS hunkers down. There is minimal body roll and the steering provides excellent weight and feel. Agility was very good and felt like you could push the GS a lot further than you thought at first.

    But what happens when you drive the Regal GS day to day? Well, the Regal GS has a much stiffer ride than the standard Regal. Even in the normal mode, the Regal GS does bounce around a little bit more than you'd think. I was thankful I had the standard nineteen-inch wheels and not the optional twenty-inch ones as this would only exacerbate this problem. But the Regal GS does retain Buick’s notion of providing a quiet ride.

    The 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD is an excellent all-weather performance vehicle that could give many competitors, even the Germans a run for their money. But I fear that the Regal GS will go down in history as a black sheep much like the Grand National. Why? Well, Buick lists the Regal GS’ competitors such as the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. A tough set of competitors, many people don’t think of Buick as being a competitor to those brands. The other reason is price. A 2014 Regal GS AWD starts at $39,270. My tester rang in at $43,780. A fair price with all of the options on it, but for many, it will likely make their eyes drop out.

    2014 Buick Regal GS 5

    This price problem is further exacerbated by another General Motors model; the Buck Regal Turbo. Both models have the similar engines, choices of drivetrains, and number of other items. The difference is that Turbo costs less than GS. This brings up the question of why buy the GS at all. The best answer I can give is that the GS offers more performance thanks to a number of enhancements under the hood and the suspension.

    If you like being a bit outside the norm, the Regal GS is worth a look.

    Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Buick Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Buick

    Model: Regal

    Trim: GS AWD

    Engine: 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged Four-Cylinder

    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 259 @ 5300

    Torque @ RPM: 295 @ 2500-4000

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22

    Curb Weight: 3,981 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Oshawa, Ontario

    Base Price: $39,270.00

    As Tested Price: $43,780.00 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    Driver Confidence Package #2 - $1,695.00

    Sunroof - $1,000.00

    Driver Confidence Package #1 - $900.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Outstanding write up, learned allot. and Love the interior, far better than most cars out there especially the crazy floating look of the Nav found on the German brands.

     

    Question, did they say why they had to drop the HP? Was it due to the AWD system? Do you know if you can reprogram it to capture the additional HP and still get the Torque at the lower RPM level?

     

    I can see this car as getting Tuners excited and after markets building options for it.

     

    Nice Job, Thank you :metal:

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    Question, did they say why they had to drop the HP? Was it due to the AWD system? Do you know if you can reprogram it to capture the additional HP and still get the Torque at the lower RPM level?

     

    Nice Job, Thank you :metal:

     

    Two-fold answer I think: New version of the 2.0L Turbo and a focus on more efficiency. I really think this car could do a bit more power as it could handle it, also give so much needed breathing space between it and the Regal Turbo.

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    Guest Brandon

    Posted

    I owned a 2013 Regal GS with a manual transmission. I love that car. It was simply amazing. I ended up trading it for a crew cab 6.2L sierra, every time I drove it, it turned me into a different person, a speed loving animal, I couldn't get behind the wheel without wanting to drive like I stole it, so I traded for something a little more practical.

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    All seriousness. That is exactly what the Regal needs. 3.6LTT, more precisely: a 2.5L 200hp, 2.0Lturbo 260hp, 3.6L 305HP (GS w AWD), TT3.6L 370HP (w AWD GNX) Wagon, Coupe, and a convertible (same for ATS and CTS, and Verano while we are at it.. and Malibuicon1.png too dang it)

     

    opel_insignia_opc_wagon_11.jpg

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    Question, did they say why they had to drop the HP? Was it due to the AWD system? Do you know if you can reprogram it to capture the additional HP and still get the Torque at the lower RPM level?

     

    I can see this car as getting Tuners excited and after markets building options for it.

     

    Nice Job, Thank you :metal:

     

     

     

    Yes.. The available Haldex AWD system caused them to have to augment the exhaust system creating more back-pressue.. thus the loss of 11 HP. The acceleration of the car was not changed tho, and now it handles as well has most RWD cars I can think of with no torque steer. One could easily tune the 2.0L up to 300HP.. I've seen even more.

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    I think this car should stick with Turbo-4s and not get V6es.  It would ruin the balance the car has.

     

    It's the same reasoning I prefer the ATS 2.0T to the 3.6.

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    I think this car should stick with Turbo-4s and not get V6es.  It would ruin the balance the car has.

     

    It's the same reasoning I prefer the ATS 2.0T to the 3.6.

     

    I still need to get my hands on the ATS 2.0T. I think the 3.6 is ok, but needs more torque on the low end.

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    I owned a 2013 Regal GS with a manual transmission. I love that car. It was simply amazing. I ended up trading it for a crew cab 6.2L sierra, every time I drove it, it turned me into a different person, a speed loving animal, I couldn't get behind the wheel without wanting to drive like I stole it, so I traded for something a little more practical.

     

    100% agreed. I get to drive a lot of incredible new vehicles day to day, but there was a "wow" balance, feel, power, steering, braking, ride, comfort, etc to my GS that I've not had in any other car yet. My G8 GT was the only other car I enjoyed as much, in a different way. The old Turbo 2.0T was fun too, and liked to scream.

     

    Until you've driven this car, you don't understand, and I'm glad I did for almost 2 years even if I rarely did so :thumbsup:

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    Is the 2.0 T the same one that is in the CTS? If so there had to be something wrong with mine as the gas mileage was terrible and even in sport mode, the turbo lag was noticeable and pathetic. Was not impressed.

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    I owned a 2013 Regal GS with a manual transmission. I love that car. It was simply amazing. I ended up trading it for a crew cab 6.2L sierra, every time I drove it, it turned me into a different person, a speed loving animal, I couldn't get behind the wheel without wanting to drive like I stole it, so I traded for something a little more practical.

     

    100% agreed. I get to drive a lot of incredible new vehicles day to day, but there was a "wow" balance, feel, power, steering, braking, ride, comfort, etc to my GS that I've not had in any other car yet. My G8 GT was the only other car I enjoyed as much, in a different way. The old Turbo 2.0T was fun too, and liked to scream.

     

    Until you've driven this car, you don't understand, and I'm glad I did for almost 2 years even if I rarely did so :thumbsup:

     

     

    I only drove it for a week, and get what makes this car special.

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    Too much coin for too little power and interior space.

    I think the power and interior is right on for this category and competition. GM needs to work on the pricing issue. One wonders how much of this auto is really built here compared to importing from Europe which has much higher costs.

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    Very little, if any, comes from Europe.

    So do you think they are just trying to get a bit extra profit for the auto then and if it does not sell well they can say see no one wanted these type of auto's under the Buick name plate.

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    Very little, if any, comes from Europe.

    So do you think they are just trying to get a bit extra profit for the auto then and if it does not sell well they can say see no one wanted these type of auto's under the Buick name plate.

     

     

    The Regal is about quality rather than quantity.  If you're looking for raw speed, this isn't your car. If you're looking for the most cubic feet of passenger room for your dollar, this isn't your car.

     

    The Regal is your car if you want an excellently balanced sedan with plenty of pickup, in a solid and luxurious package, at a price that doesn't break the bank compared to equally equipped competition.

     

    The price premium for the GS trim is a bit excessive in my opinion, but it does get higher end tech not available in the regular Regal.

     

    If it were my money, I'd probably go for a top of the line non-GS.

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    $40k+ for this is almost as bad as $40k+ for a Maxima or Cadenza but at least those are a bit bigger with more room.  For $40k you can get a 3-series, or even an Acura TSX or Lincoln MKZ if you want 2nd rate luxury badge.

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    $40k+ for this is almost as bad as $40k+ for a Maxima or Cadenza but at least those are a bit bigger with more room.  For $40k you can get a 3-series, or even an Acura TSX or Lincoln MKZ if you want 2nd rate luxury badge.

    Yet the statistics show the Maxima and Cadenza to not be as big as the Regal and the 3 series, TSX and MKZ sure do not have the room with only average quality, average materials.

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    $40k+ for this is almost as bad as $40k+ for a Maxima or Cadenza but at least those are a bit bigger with more room.  For $40k you can get a 3-series, or even an Acura TSX or Lincoln MKZ if you want 2nd rate luxury badge.

     

    The Maxima doesn't have the interior niceness. The Cadenza doesn't have the handling nor the solid feel, scratch the surface and you find the underlying Kia cheapness.

    To get all the same equipment as this Regal GS in a BMW 328, you have to spend another $6,000 and you're still down on power.

    The MKZ is junk... there... I said it.

     

    The TLX is the most natural competitor from an equipment and price perspective and it comes with a V6.  It doesn't really float my boat looks wise, but there it is.

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    You know...

     

    Months after selling my 2012 GS back in June, I still miss it. I was thinking the other day if I changed careers and had to buy a car, there were 2 past cars I'd love to have again. Either my G8 GT or the Regal. Oddly enough I started thinking I missed the Regal even more.

     

    The comfort of that car, the performance of that car, the look, the ride/handling/steering sublimeness, the tech features and setup, the seats, it was a total package.

     

    There are SO many sedans out there and I understand when someone ignorantly says "yes but for $40k I could get A, B, C, D...instead", that doesn't mean much. Most of those sedans aren't nearly as nice. I love our new TLX and it has incredible performance and comfort, yet the uniqueness of my '12 GS and even it's previous 2.0T gen, plus the look, the suspension, etc were something special. That car never felt like a FWD something to me, and took corners at full tilt still nothing like most other vehicles I've had. 

     

    Too bad the resale value is terrible, and they don't have high new sales volume, as its a niche product you have to drive and experience more than a day to understand.

     

    Nissans? No. Infiniti? Are you kidding? BMW? Sure, heavy, crazy pricing, lack of features, etc. Audi? Fancy VW, nice bits, but meh. Lincoln? Smoking much?...

     

    This is a great car I wish had more recognition, but being the high end model within the Buick brand, it would always be a struggle.

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      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00
    • By William Maley
      Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well.
      The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed.  You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well.  Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp.  Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top.   
      Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel
      Year: 2016
      Make: Ram Trucks
      Model: 1500 Crew Cab
      Trim: Laramie Longhorn
      Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600
      Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $52,365
      As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00
      4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00
      Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00
      Convenience Group - $495.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $280.00
      Cold Weather Group - $235.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00

      View full article
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