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El Kabong

C/D Tests Lincoln MKC: "A Competent Pod"

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"There’s a lot of mixing and matching of powertrains and platforms between mainstream and premium divisions these days as market segments get sliced ever thinner. But the skill with which different carmakers blend the componentry varies. Which begs the question: Is the new MKC 'premium' enough to be a Lincoln? That, of course, depends upon one’s expectations."

...and the conclusion, after doing a thorough review at this link:

http://m.caranddriver.com/reviews/2015-lincoln-mkc-20t-fwd-test-review

"It does present an opportunity for Lincoln to avoid losing some of its current buyers to other premium brands." Which is an odd goal for a segment-busting product-don't you normally hope for conquest sales rather than trying to retain customers fleeing your other products? So strange.

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Lincoln's like a daily newspaper - dependably disposable and old news by the time it's off the production line. 

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See, if I wrote that then a certain someone would have soiled their diaper in a frothy-mouthed rage. But you did so it passes muster.

Still 100% true tho :(

Edited by El Kabong
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Thank you for calling it an "MXC" in your title.  :AH-HA:

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Is EVERY SINGLE PRODUCTION AUTO going to feature the same conceptual 4-spoke steering wheel ? Has this been federally mandated and I missed the update??

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I like the MKC, but with the 2.3T. In the same way I like the MKZ but only with the V6. The 7+ second 0-60 sprint and mid-15 quarter mile times just leave so much to be desired in the $35-40k price point. I thing they're both very strong in design terms in the luxury class. Much better than Acura. And the push button transmission is infinitely better in Lincolns than Hondas and Acuras.

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Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

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The most damning part of the article for me was the discussion about the suspension: "What saves the MKC is... its Escape DNA. Lincoln’s new compact SUV puts a fork in the brand’s previous legacy of offering filigreed Fords with soft suspensions. Where previous Lincolns floated, the MKC’s dynamics are buttoned down."

When your "luxury" brand's suspension tuning is so out to lunch that your base brand is the preferred starting point?... you know things are bad.

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Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

That interior below is no Escape or Focus.

 

And meh on the article.  They picked apart not having enough power and an interior like a Lexus or Audi, yet reviewed a FWD 2.0L, not the much more powerful 2.3L with AWD and certainly not the Black Label trim, which is much more luxurious than the picture below.

 

 

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-interior.jpg

Edited by Wings4Life

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They were quite clear in the article about the options driving the price unacceptably high. Can't imagine that package would make the matter any better, to say the least.

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^

And I can't imagine you would admit to the obvious.

 

Clearly, their complaints were focused on interior luxury levels and adequate power differentiation from the Escape.

The much more powerful engine option.....combined with AWD.......combined with a premium trim option that focuses on interior materials and luxury appointments would clearly address their 'Con' list.

 

And yeah, a technology package combine with a massive sunroof, jacks the price on ALL vehicles.  Assuming they offer them.

 

Regardless, Lincoln recognized the trend for CUV, and the MKX (shown below) is hitting dealers in a few weeks and is the 2nd of 3 major luxury CUV's that will feed that trend.  The Aviator will launch shortly after the all new aluminum Navigator, replacing the style challenged MKT.  So in total, I think Lincoln will supporting the needs of it's customers, while the competition still tries to figure it all out.

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-black-label-indulgence-

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The most damning part of the article for me was the discussion about the suspension: "What saves the MKC is... its Escape DNA. Lincoln’s new compact SUV puts a fork in the brand’s previous legacy of offering filigreed Fords with soft suspensions. Where previous Lincolns floated, the MKC’s dynamics are buttoned down."

When your "luxury" brand's suspension tuning is so out to lunch that your base brand is the preferred starting point?... you know things are bad.

 

Actually, it's because the Escape is so good, especially at its price point, that it makes an excellent starting point for the lux model.   So, why not start with a tune that already punches above its weight and gets nearly universal great reviews?  I don't have a problem with it. 

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Is it really so hard to make a high quality interior for the price point. I mean Ford did it withe the Focus.

That interior below is no Escape or Focus.

 

And meh on the article.  They picked apart not having enough power and an interior like a Lexus or Audi, yet reviewed a FWD 2.0L, not the much more powerful 2.3L with AWD and certainly not the Black Label trim, which is much more luxurious than the picture below.

 

 

 

2015-lincoln-mkc-interior.jpg

 

 

I think that the MKC is priced a little high for the segment it wants to compete in, but I wouldn't rate the interior as bad.   The thing that completely kills the MKC for me is the Sync system.... I find it so terrible to use that I won't even rent Fords with it anymore.   It's unfortunate, because my partner and I are the target customer for the MKC as we currently have an Encore and want to move up in size just a little with the next vehicle. 

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^

 

Sync III is launching as we speak.

I hear that is very much improved. We shall see.

 

 

So here's an issue I have.... Why wouldn't it be launching on a Lincoln?  Lincoln, being the premium brand in the portfolio, should get it first.... not the bottom car in the "people's brand".

I fixed the topic title. 

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So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

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^

 

Sync III is launching as we speak.

I hear that is very much improved. We shall see.

 

 

So here's an issue I have.... Why wouldn't it be launching on a Lincoln?  Lincoln, being the premium brand in the portfolio, should get it first.... not the bottom car in the "people's brand".

I fixed the topic title. 

 

Not really sure there.  Perhaps it has something to do with rolling out to the masses that complained the most.  And honestly, they are co-developed anyway, so the launch is effectively same time frame, relative to next product launching that has been aligned with it.  It's not exactly new tech that will draw customers.  It is just an upgrade.  A well deserved one that is.

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Is EVERY SINGLE PRODUCTION AUTO going to feature the same conceptual 4-spoke steering wheel ? Has this been federally mandated and I missed the update??

A standardized design under the trim makes it simpler for a few suppliers to provide them.

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So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

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So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

Edited by Wings4Life

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So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

 

 

This is a habit that Ford (and others) need to get out of.  There is no need to wait for the next total refresh to launch an infotainment product any longer.  Cadillac has started doing Tesla style rolling upgrades to their products... when the base component has been upgraded, all of the relevant vehicles get that upgrade.  For example, the 3.6 V6 and 8-Speed auto that Cadillac just released in conjunction with the CT6;  both the ATS and CTS are getting that upgrade for 2016 as well.  The Cadillac Cue system is getting an upgrade and that will go into all of the cars too (with the possible exception of the SRX for now since that is at the very very end of its model run).

 

Simply put, if the new Sync is ready to go, it should be in all 2016 Lincolns. Period.

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Drew's pretty spot on on this thread.

I tested an escape recently. Can't believe I hadnt. It's pretty good. Now I do say an MKc is missing a nice interior.like the mks it still has cheap ford plastic and bits. But using the escape as basis for an MKc here is alright. Crossover buyers don't need alpha platforms. Lincoln needs to upgrade the interior and justify its price more. But sales don't lie. Where are the new Cadillac crossovers ??????

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Drew's pretty spot on on this thread.

I tested an escape recently. Can't believe I hadnt. It's pretty good. Now I do say an MKc is missing a nice interior.like the mks it still has cheap ford plastic and bits. But using the escape as basis for an MKc here is alright. Crossover buyers don't need alpha platforms. Lincoln needs to upgrade the interior and justify its price more. But sales don't lie. Where are the new Cadillac crossovers ??????

 

The MKC has the nice interior... you just need to pay more to get the higher trims.  I just think Lincoln is asking too much money for the lower trims.

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So your beef with the infotainment is the same as mine with the suspension tuning: Ford Motor Company is a Ford-centric organization. And if you want to go down that path then there will be consequences. In this case it's seeing all your other brands fall by the wayside over the years, including your luxury one, because you cannot/do not do right by their brand mission.

 

Similar, but not the same.  I have no problem with Lincoln borrowing from an excellent (probably class leading in this particular attribute) Ford product.   I'd have no problem with Lincoln taking the Mustang architecture and stretching it into a Mark IX coupe as long as it got it's own look, because as a chassis, the Mustang is a great product. 

 

The current Sync system is terribly out of date compared with other systems. Sync is a negative attribute instead of a positive one like the Escape suspension tuning.  As such, it should either be a simultaneous, corporate-wide rollout of the new version, or it should go to Lincoln first and then filter to the rest. 

 

This is an interesting dilemma.

 

1. Should Ford hold off roll out of sync3, which appears to have been worked on exclusively of any specific vehicle launches, to instead wait for any new Lincoln launch that aligns with syn3 development...which in this case would be either the Conti or all new Navi....

2. .....or does Ford launch it first with their volume cash cow brand which will obviously generate far more benefit to the entire corporation?

 

It seems the almighty $$$ won on this one.  Holding off until Lincoln could launch what is essentially a co-developed upgrade, seems to have had not enough weighted advantage overall.

 

I guess I agree then.  The masses win.

 

 

This is a habit that Ford (and others) need to get out of.  There is no need to wait for the next total refresh to launch an infotainment product any longer.  Cadillac has started doing Tesla style rolling upgrades to their products... when the base component has been upgraded, all of the relevant vehicles get that upgrade.  For example, the 3.6 V6 and 8-Speed auto that Cadillac just released in conjunction with the CT6;  both the ATS and CTS are getting that upgrade for 2016 as well.  The Cadillac Cue system is getting an upgrade and that will go into all of the cars too (with the possible exception of the SRX for now since that is at the very very end of its model run).

 

Simply put, if the new Sync is ready to go, it should be in all 2016 Lincolns. Period.

 

I am a powertrain guy, completely isolated from the infotainment field, but I would guess that Sync3 involves far more than just a firmware or software update.  In the past, any software upgrades were rolled out simultaneously.  So IOW, there must be a reason to their madness.

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      -View outside of this vehicle is improved over its platform mate (Malibu, my daily driver) due to the rear door glass being longer and taller.  View out the front and rear is essentially the same.
      -AWD availability is a nice plus, thanks Buick.
      LOWS:
      -I can't recall any of the GM vehicles I have driven with this ubiquitous 2.0t engine, where i have actually been wowed or impressed by it.  It has decent thrust, but honestly you gotta spool it up a bit, the tranny doesn't respond instantly, it's not a five star smooth tranny, and it's kind of rough and noisy overall as a powertrain (AT LEAST FOR IT'S PRICE / CLASS).  I was hoping the 2.0 would make the car match the near luxury description but I don't think it's overall a smooth enough powertrain to meet that claim.  It's neither smooth, nor sporting or exciting.  And this is with front wheel drive.  I will reserve final judgment until i get in the GS with the v6, which is the engine I think most people will really end up liking in this car.
      -Heavier than it's Malibu platform mate.  No doubt acceptable due to the larger engine, but the benefit of the extra weight doesn't manifest itself in any real tangible way anywhere in the ride and drive of the car.
      -Not really any quieter inside than my Malibu.  Strange, because this Buick is supposed to have quiet tuning, and goo in the tires to help make it quieter.  The ride isn't really any more plush, either.
      -Steering is sort of dead and mushy.  That's not GERMANIC now, is it.
      -NEED TO BE ABLE TO TURN OFF THE AUTOSTOP WHEN YOU WANT TO.
      -Not really much nicer inside than in my Malibu.  The lower dash is the same 'less expensive' plastic you see in cheap Chevy's.  The door panels are a little nicer, but not that much more.  Many switches and buttons are the same.  The console is nicer (I don't like the shifter centered in the console now actually, it's quite a reach) I guess...except for cupholders in front of the climate controls.  The upper dash material is an upgrade over the Malibu, but it's not a PREMIUM dash material either.
      -I can't really tell for sure if the seats are better.  My Malibu seats are poor.  The Regal seats seemed to hug me more, but they still felt thin and insubstantial.  The leather quality was slightly better, but still nothing to write home about. 
      -Rear head room suffers a bit with the hatch design.  I don't mind the tradeoff personally, but the Malibu retains a bit more headroom, and the Regal TourX really has much more....so get the wagon if rear head room matters.
      -Sunroof was nice to have considering how bunkerlike the Malibu can feel....but again the hatch design limits the size of the sunroof here compared to the Malibu's BAMR.  I can live with the compromise here myself, and again, the wagon will satisfy your urge for BAMR if you need it.  I would encourage GM to develop a way to integrate a larger moonroof with the hatch design.  I think it could be done, but would require time and money on a redesign effort.
      -Options / packages on this car are, simply put, stupid.  But that merits its own post.  At least in this car, the heated steering wheel and leather heated seats were both included.  You can actually get this car with heated steering wheel but without heated seats.  How f-cked up is that?  In 2019, Fusion, Toyota, and others will have things like blind spot and cross path detection as standard equipment.  And those are not 'premium' makes.
      -I'll let others decide if they think the styling is too tepid.  I don't mind the understated styling but do admit that the color selections that are available on this car leave me wanting.  I like the red on the GS, and the smoked pearl metallic is nice.  And Buick seems to think they should charge extra for paint colors when they don't make the ride and drive anything special.
      -pricing.  I think the average nature of this car would be easily forgiven if the pricing were in line with being an average car; not priced for a premium marque.  Like the LaCrosse and Envision, it is best to wait out the model year if you are buying and wait for the inevitable 7,000-10,000 or more in discounts...which might bring the pricing in line with what the vehicle really is.  You can't say this vehicle is appealing at the prices it is at now.  
      SUMMARY:
      This probably seems like a negative review, but you should consider it more of underwhelmed and let down.  This car as I drove it just doesn't have any kind of endearing personality to speak of!  At the end of the day, it took Buick two extra years to bring to the US it's own Malibu clone, which doesn't have much more to show for it.... apart from the clever hatch and base 2.0 engine upgrade over the 1.5.  I actually am very curious now to be among the first to try the 2019 Malibu 1.5t + CVT combo.  But that's an aside for another discussion.  The 2.0 that general motors puts in so many vehicles has never impressed me, and that's due more to it's character than anything.  I had hopes this would be the ONE CAR that it would feel sporting in; one that would make the car feel at least a little, like a SPORTS SEDAN.  Nope.  I will wait with baited breath to someday find a v6 GS to test, as i think it will be the only Regal worth anything.  At least worth anything more than just being another option in the midsize, genericar class.  And I hope Buick is working on a twin turbo six option as well for the GS (GSX?).  I tend to think this car won't move the needle in marketplace excitement until it has a tire shredder under the hood to brag about...The v6 will promise smoother revs and deeper lungs at least......... Still, as a replacement in the bottom end of the Buick lineup for the Verano, I am ok with this.  Just please, sex it up!
       
       
       
       
    • By William Maley
      It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one?
      Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Ram
      Model: 1500
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17
      Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $53,595
      As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit)
      Options:
      Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00
      Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00
      Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,095.00
      Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00
      Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00
      Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $295.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00
    • By William Maley
      It feels somewhat weird to be writing a review of the 2018 Ram 1500 as the 2019 model begins to slowly roll out to dealers. Ram is trying their best get the 2018s out the door. At the time of this writing, Ram is offering up to $12,356 bonus cash on certain 1500 models. Seems very tempting, but are there some other reasons to consider the older 1500 over the new one?
      Design is very subjective. One person may like the design of a vehicle, while the another may think it is quite ugly. Case in point, I’m not a fan of 2019 Ram 1500. The new shape makes the Ram look like any other pickup truck on sale. At least the 2018 model still retains the big-rig styling that was introduced with the 1994 Ram 1500. The front end is in your face with a large grille, square headlights, and muscular hood. The side profile shows off a set of 20-inch wheels standard on the Limited and the optional RamBox storage system. That isn’t to say the 2018 Ram 1500 doesn’t have design issues either. The Limited trim swaps the standard crosshair grille for one that features ‘RAM’ in big letters. It is just a bit much and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the truck. Since our last review of the Ram 1500 in 2016, not much has changed in the interior. It still has one of cleanest layout for controls and material quality is quite high. Some will snicker at the belt-buckle seat pockets and a ‘Limited’ badge stitched in the center console, but thankfully those touches are only on the higher end models. I do wish Ram would put in a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel as it would make easier to find a comfortable driving position. The adjustable pedals alleviate this issue somewhat. One change I was glad to see was the newest version of UConnect being installed on the 2018 model. This brings an updated interface and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The new interface makes UConnect even easier to use with clearer text and brighter screen. Integration with Apple CarPlay is one the best as it only took a few seconds for the system to find my phone and bring up the CarPlay interface. If you decide to go with the Limited, the only engine on offer is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive complete the powertrain. Those wanting other options will need to drop down to one of the lower trims. On paper, the HEMI V8 seems like a capable performer with close to 400 horsepower. On the road, the HEMI doesn’t quite match up to those expectations. Despite having a muscle car snarl when accelerating, the HEMI V8 is noticeably slower than competitors. As an example, the Ram 1500 took a few ticks longer to hit 70 mph than the previous GM or Toyota full-size trucks I have driven. I cannot pinpoint the possible culprit to this, but I have the feeling the truck’s curb weight and the eight-speed automatic play a role. EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Ram 1500 with the HEMI V8 and four-wheel drive are 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. My average for the week landed at 14.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Ram still holds an edge when it comes to the ride quality. The coil-spring setup for the rear suspension gives the truck a ride quality more akin to a sedan with most bumps being smoothed over. This truck also came with an optional air suspension which lowers the truck at highway speeds to improve fuel economy. It also makes getting in and out of the Ram 1500 slightly easier. One item I hope Ram has improved with the 2019 model is the steering. The system used in the 2018 Ram 1500 is quite slow and light, meaning it takes more effort to do simple tasks such as pulling into a parking spot. The Ram 1500 Limited is only available in one configuration - Crew Cab, 5’7” cargo bed, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 4WD. Base price is $56,375, with our test truck coming in at $63,870. For most folks, I would recommend dropping down to the likes of the Big Horn or Laramie as they offer more configuration options in terms of powertrains, cabs, and features. Aside from the deep discounts being on offer for the 2018 Ram 1500, deciding whether to go for the old or new model will come down to personal desires. For some, seeing the various improvements and the shiny new body will draw them towards the 2019 model. For others, the deep discounts and being a proven product will bring them over to the 2018 model. I fall into the latter category at the moment, but it might change whenever I get the chance to drive the 2019 Ram 1500. Disclaimer: Ram Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Ram
      Model: 1500
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 395 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 410 @ 3,950 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17
      Curb Weight: 5,387 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $53,595
      As Tested Price: $63,870 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge and $300 Suede Headliner Delete Credit)
      Options:
      Limited Package 26V - $3,200.00
      Limited Tungsten Edition - $1,825.00
      Ram Box Cargo Management System - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,095.00
      Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover - $595.00
      Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle - $435.00
      Single Disc Remote CD Player $345.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $295.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $95.00

      View full article
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