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Wednesday
Jul272016

2016 Prius V

2016 Toyota Prius V

1.8L 4 Cylinder + Electric Motor 136 HP with CVT Transmission

Absolutely Red with Black Soft Tex interior

The photo gallery / slide show of the Prius V...click.

We are always looking forward to spending a few days with an hybrid. Although hybrids seem to have taken a back seat, we remain enthusiastic towards hybrids, and were excited to spend some time with this Prius V.

At a time when all sorts of utilities and trucks are capturing everyone's imagination for a multitude of reasons. While everyone is talking about autonomous vehicles as if they are almost around the corner.

Here is a Prius V which is the same size and usefulness as a utility vehicle, and with an adaptive cruise control that provides a glimpse into autonomous vehicles.

Lets call the styling unique, and purposeful and we all have our own preferences. Agreed the street presence immediately communicates that its an hybrid. The Absolutely Red augments the street attraction. Its not a sedan, or a utility, its an aerodynamic station wagon.

The interior is positively immense for the size of the car...its huge. Well executed, with good materials and finishes for the price segment. The fact there are no instrument panel behind the steering wheel reinforces that this car is different...its an hybrid.

All the features you expect from a power driver seat, navigation, back up camera, satellite radio, heated seats to name a few are present. The front seats are comfortable even on an extended trip, while the roominess of the interior augments a sense of overall comfort. The sound system is good, and we agree that blind spot monitoring should be present.

The rear seat is adjustable which makes rear seat leg room a non issue even for oversized adults. Everyone was pleasantly surprised with the back seat...wow there is a ton of room back here. Lets not forget the full size panoramic roof.

The cargo area is more than adequate, and folding down the rear seat augments the versatility of the Prius V.

You can configure your own Prius V...here.

How does it drive?

Its an hybrid and in normal or eco mode we agree that its a little sluggish especially on surface streets. In power mode its as good as the majority of 4 cylinders with a turbo. The coolest is the EV mode which is totally quiet, and a great way to drive in your neighborhood streets.

Its not a sport anything, its an hybrid everything. From our perspective the steering is good for an hybrid, the brakes are regenerative and good for an hybrid, the same for the suspension. It inspires confidence to drive under normal conditions.

The sound of the 4 cylinder coupled to the CVT belies the performance of the car. You always think that you its "slower" than it really is. Observing the app that shows the interaction between the 4 cylinder and electric motor provides additional insight into what is really going on.

The highway performance is simply remarkable, its quiet, with a surprising reserve of power, accompanied by no down shifts. With the adaptive cruise control its a totally cool and enlightening highway experience, as well as comfortable.

Should you consider an hybrid? Obvious its you decision...with the higher number of 4 cylinders with a turbocharger, a 4 cylinder with an electric motor is quite similar.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Its functional and versatile
  • Positively huge interior space for the size
  • Superior highway performance
  • Seamless "adaptive cruise control"
  • Its faster than you think

The quick review...

 

 

Wednesday
Jun152016

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma Doublecab TRD Sport

3.5L V6 278 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Barcelona Red Metallic with Dark Grey Cloth

The photo gallery/slide show of the Tacoma...click

To continue our urban truck experience we surely had to spend a few days with a refreshed Tacoma.

The first thing that grasps our attention, this truck has an endearing ruggedness about it which is simply cool. It instantly communicates that its a pick up. You open the door and the pick up message is reinforced and endures with the interior.

The street presence is subdued its a mid size pick up in an environment that is ruled by full size gargantuan pick ups. While the styling absolutely conveys an image of solidity.

It has a truck interior, its stylish, well executed, with good materials, but a truck interior. In this version the cloth seats are refreshing, its not trying to be anything else than a well idone truck interior in a truck. Again its cool...

All the features that you expect are there, from a comprehensive back up camera that actually shows the rear step bumper, to navigation, satellite radio, automatic climate control, partial power seats, a reasonable sound system, locking tailgate...to name a few.

Rear seat is spacious for a mid size pick up with good leg and head room, as well as the folding seat.

Let's not forget the GoPro mount on the windshield.

Its a Toyota pick up, its conservative, its in some ways a throw back to when pick ups were pick ups, its rugged, with a distinct identity. Yes...a 2 speed transfer case is standard.

You can configure your own Tacoma...here.

Wondering how it drives?

It feels absolutely, totally rock solid. You immediately get a feeling that nothing will discourage this pick.

Reasonable power, slower than faster algorithms to shift the transmission, precise steering, and strong brakes. It feels and drives like a purposeful pick up, its endearing especially if you are looking for the pick up feel that is often missing in some trucks.

Its great on surface streets, easy to navigate mall parking lots, while seeing the rear bumper on the back up camera is more intuitive that orange and red lines alerting you of the distance.Its a little sluggish on initial acceleration, but throttle up the V6 comes alive with an improved algorithm for the transmission.

Its a superb highway cruiser with acceptable passing power, and no wind noise even with an open bed.

If you are seeking a mid size pick up with a genuine pick up feel, a standard 2 speed transfer case, and rugged good looks. Make it a point to experience the Tacoma.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Conservative with pick up cool
  • Solid feel that is reassuring
  • Wonderful pick up feel and driving
  • Obvious you sit high
  • Plastic liner in bed not sprayed on.

The quick review...

 

 

Thursday
May192016

2016 Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic Touring

1.5L 4 Cylinder Turbocharged 174 HP with CVT Transmission

Crystal Black Pearl with Black interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Civic...click.

The new Civic caught our attention a while back, and obvious that we had to spend a few days with this version of Canada's best selling car.

From our perspective this Civic is a bold styling move by Honda. Heightened in your face street presence, compared to the previous versions which were discreet. The grille, headlamps, more pronounced fastback styling all make a contribution towards the bolder statement.

We will concede that black is perhaps not the best colour to really bring this new Civic sedan to life. Styling and colour are personal preferences, this Civic rocks compared to the previous versions.

The interior feels positively large for a small sedan. The dash is refreshing, the instrument panel gauges assembling themselves every time your start the car is cool and entertaining. In Honda tradition the prominent gauge is the tachometer which sets a purposeful tone.

The center of the dash screen looks and feels like a tablet while being well integrated into the dash. Honda deserves credit for the execution of the center screen.

Obvious, the interior is well finished with good materials and feel for this price range.

This tester is the Touring version with a wide selection of features from power seats, sunroof, superior sound system, satellite radio, navigation, back up and right hand camera, adaptive cruise control to name a few. Let's not forget the automatic climate control.

Its a small car with a ton of features.

The rear seat has ample leg room for adults, while the trunk is positively immense for this size of car, made even more versatile with folding seat backs.

You can configure your own Civic...here.

How does it drive?

You expect any Honda to drive well, its an intrinsic part of the Honda DNA, and this Civic follows the DNA, and drives very well for a small car.

It has a reasonable level of power from the 1.5L 4 cylinder, the CVT transmission is smooth and calibrated to the engine, the electric power steering transmits an appropriate sense of the road, the brakes are stunning in their power.

In an urban setting its agile, nimble, feels quick, even if initial acceleration is subdued. Its easy and fun to navigate surface streets, and parking areas. While being a reassuring car on broken pavement, always keeping its composure.

On the highway it cruises effortlessly, is very quiet, and has a surprising level of passing power.

Its clear that Honda is on a path of constant improvement and was attentive to a myriad of details on this car. It does everything well in a thoughtful middle of the road fashion. Is it a sport sedan...not really, but it sure handles well. Is it fast...not really but it always has adequate power.

The adaptive cruise control is useful and relaxing in an urban commute on 400 series highways around the GTA. Also a revelation that a car in this price range has an adaptive cruise control.

If you are considering a small car, and for some reason have missed the Civic on your radar. Make it a point to experience a Civic, the competency of the car will surprise you.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Bolder styling with heightened street presence.
  • Impressive center of dash screen.
  • Well designed and executed interior.
  • Back up and RH side camera.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control in this price segment is a pleasant surprise.

The quick review...

 

 

Thursday
Apr142016

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab SWB Z71

3.6L V6 302 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Hot with Jet Black / Grey cloth insert interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Colorado...click.

It's a cool "urban truck"....

Although at the launch of the Colorado we had reservations about a compact/mid size pick up from Chevrolet. Full size pick ups make a compelling "macho" statement. While their size is often overwhelming in an urban environment, even with all the cameras.

They are big...

The Colorado removes the emphasis from big. Its similar to pick ups from a generation ago. Agreed considered small by current full size pick ups. It fills a void in the "urban" pick up segment.

In an urban setting its right sized, pleasant to use, while making a reserved statement, with discreet street presence.

The styling is let's call it pick up attractive, and the red of our tester made a strong statement.

The interior is refreshing from the perspective its a pick up that is not trying to emulate a luxury car. The fit and finish is very good, the cloth inserts on the seats are distinctive. We appreciated the interior styling, choice of materials, and the "pick up" message the interior sends. Yes...you can get a full leather interior if you absolutely need to emulate a luxury car.

As you would expect all the features are present from a good Bose sound system, navigation, satellite radio, obvious power windows, locks, back up camera which is surprisingly very accurate, opening rear glass, lockable tailgate which is cool. Lets not forget the 4G WiFi.

Rear seat leg room is very good, and obvious better than most mid sized sedan.

You can configure your own Colorado...here.

How does it drive?

Compared to a full size pick up its a "sports car", with better manoeuvrability which inspires you to be  a bit more spirited. Good on center feel of the steering, strong brakes which you always expect in an unloaded truck, and agile acceleration especially at full throttle, the V6 has an authoritative growl, with a well calibrated transmission.

This tester had the Z71 option with a 2 speed transfer case which from our perspective is essential in any 4 wheel drive pick up, as well as a rear auto locking differential to increase the versatility. The off road suspension ads a level of stiffness which is a personal choice. It also includes an old fashioned skid plate under the transfer case.

Probably for the sake of fuel economy bragging rights part throttle operation is sluggish, you can sense that its due to software coding and algorithms.

Yes...a pick up is always useful, there is always a bunch of stuff that you can suddenly do and/or carry.

If you are considering a pick up, and the full size version is simply too big. Or if you are considering a "utility" vehicle, and are concerned that it will put you in the "me too" category. The Colorado works well as a pick up, and a cool utility vehicle with a frame, 2 speed transfer case, 4 doors, and a bed to haul all sorts of stuff.

Strada Talking Points

  • Right sized for an urban truck.
  • Appropriate pick up interior.
  • All the features you expect including a 2 speed transfer case.
  • Pleasant styling.
  • Good level of power from the V6.

The quick review

 

 

Wednesday
Mar022016

Another Prairie Drive with a Sonata

You could not make this up, if you tried.

A few years ago we had an opportunity to go for an extended Prairie drive in Manitoba with a Hyundai Sonata, our story is here...click.

In the interim we had an opportunity to review a Sonata Sport 2.0T.

A few days ago in Saskatchewan on a very tight schedule we get another Sonata, a 2015 Sport to go for another prairie drive. If Manitoba is flat, northern Saskatchewan is flatter if there is such a thing.

First thing that captures our attention, another prairie drive, another Sonata.

Doing a review there is always time to leisurely inspect a vehicle, drive it under different circumstances, roads, reflect, and perhaps even mentally compare to other vehicles.

It starts at the rental counter "What car do you have for me?" the reply "A blue Sonata" and we are given the key fob.

This was a case of flying in, stopping at the counter to pick up a rental vehicle, and having to travel an additional few hundred kilometers.

Mentally "Another Prairie Drive, another Sonata, can't make this up if you tried."

This Sonata is a Sport, with push start, keyless entry, dark blue metallic, a cool car.

If you have ever driven in the Prairies, the total flatness, the road and scenery disappearing in the horizon, has a tendency to generate "velocity creep". From the perspective that you are never catching up to the road, scenery. Its an eerie feeling.

Its a stunning bright sunny day, late morning, and this Sonata starts to "rock and roll" down the road. Its a Sport the suspension is stiffer, this car is similar in handling to the 2.0T we reviewed without the power which in the Prairies is a good thing in light of velocity creep.

This car feels good, inspires confidence, is comfortable, and after travelling a few hundred kilometers you are still refreshed to hold a business meeting.

To our travel companion "You know this Sonata feels good, and is a cool car to drive in the Prairies"

As an aside if you have to travel in remote areas of Canada, ensure that your mobile phone carrier provides service. In our case when we travel we have 2 mobile phones, with different carriers, its always the same phone, that defaults to "no service" in remote areas. Check with your carrier.

One more thing, travel in good weather, daylight, and augment your level of caution. The roads are good, the markings for curves are non existent, the signs of wildlife possibly crossing the road are numerous, as well as "open range stock".

Hyundai Sonata and a Prairie Drive is a memorable experience.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep292015

2015 Ford F150

2015 Ford F150 Platinum with FX4

3.5L Ecoboost V6 365 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Ruby Red Metallic with Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the F150...click

You probably anticipated that at some point we were going to spend a few days with an "aluminum" F150. This tester is the Platinum version with the FX4 off road package. 

For 2015 Platinum is as good as it gets, its the top of the line version of the F150, yes this truck has an impressive array of features.

From our perspective an aluminum pick up is an innovative decision by Ford, especially when the aluminum comes from recycling. There is a cool factor about the aluminum, which feels different to the touch, when you close a door, or close the tailgate. Lets say that it has a muffled sound of increased solidity compared to steel.

Its also lighter which is the real benefit of the aluminum body, in addition to not corroding.

The street presence is totally in your face, how can anyone miss a metallic red pick up with an immense Ford blue oval in the grille, you know that its a pick up (obvious), and its a Ford. The grille with augmented by the chromed bumper below enhances the presences of this truck.

All pick ups are big, this F150 seems incrementally bigger.

The interior is immense, and well finished with leather seating surfaces. The features are impressive, from a panorama roof, 360 degree camera, robust Sony sound system, navigation, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio, heated and ventilated seats, remote tailgate release...to name just a few.

The features are comparable to and in some instances beyond any luxury vehicle.

You can configure your own F150...here.

Pick ups are big, bold, and usually perceived as a vehicle primarily for men. Lets be aware that pick up sales in Canada are inexorably increasing on a yearly basis.

We had the unique opportunity to see how an "immense, red, pick up, with retractable running boards, a myriad of cameras will fare in a feminine environment".

A mid size car is diminutive next to this F150, the running boards immediately make access easier than a car, the various cameras facilitate parking and negotiating tight spots. We know that women appreciate the higher seating position of SUV's, they simply love the height of a pick up.

The initial reservations of the physical size, are quickly dispelled, while becoming a cool factor. Obvious the interior space of the cab is an added feminine feature in a family environment. From the feedback we received, fair to say that women love pick ups...once the initial size reservation is overcome.

How does it drive...

The Ecoboost has a good reserve of power, the 6 speed automatic is well calibrated with responsive shifts, the steering has an accurate feel, the brakes are strong. Its feels like a block of aluminum with no squeeks, rattles on any surface, just plain solid.

Although the ride unloaded is quite stiff, and would feel better with some load in the bed to smooth out the suspension. This FX4 version has aggressive tires it was a surprise as to how quiet they were on the highway.

The cool factor of this truck is HUGE, the features are extensive. If you are considering a pick up, you need to experience an aluminum F150 prior to finalising your decision.

Strada Talking Points

  • Solid/substantial feel of aluminum
  • Strong Ecoboost V6
  • Extensive array of features
  • Easy to drive
  • Compelling feminine appeal

The Quick Review

 

 

Wednesday
Aug192015

2015 Lexus NX200t

2015 Lexus NX200t - F Sport Series 2

2.0 L 4 Cyl Turbocharged 235 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Nebula Grey Pearl with Rioja Red Nu Luxe

The photo gallery/slide show of the NX200t...Click

The NX really caught our attention at this year's Toronto auto show. It was a moment of, its smaller than an RX, its different, edgy, and from our perspective cool.

We know that styling is a personal choice, and the NX makes a strong statement that is either endearing, or almost a complete turn off. We think its young, edgy, refreshing, original, while reinforcing Lexus styling cues. The NX attracts praise and brickbats for its styling.

Yes..the grille on the F Sport is immense.

We have to mention that on the street everyone becomes aware of the NX200t this vehicle does not go unnoticed.

The interior is refreshing in Rioja Red, with attention to detail, contrast stitching, aluminum inserts in the dash, console, and door panels. The Nu Luxe material has a better feel, and finish than most leather that is currently available in vehicles. In this price segment Nu Luxe is a great choice.

While making a compelling styling statement too...complementing the exterior.

The front seats are comfortable, the heads up display is cool, the sound system is great. You expect all of this in a Lexus. As well as a full complement of features, from navigation, satellite radio, back up camera, parking sensors, power seats, blind spot monitoring, to name a few. The controls for the various functions in the center of the dash could be more intuitive than the myriad of buttons which are not as easy to quickly interpret.

The removable vanity mirror in the console is a thoughtful consideration.

Rear seat leg room is adult sized, the rear cargo area is adequate considering the size of the NX. Yes...the power tailgate is very convenient, and expected on a Lexus.

You can configure your own NX...here.

The drive...

You expect a Lexus to be smooth, seamless, and refined, the NX does not disappoint. We had reservations about the 4 cylinder, which were quickly dispelled. This engine has adequate power, the 6 speed automatic is responsive and well calibrated. In Sport + mode the NX takes on a decidedly more aggressive behavior, we alternated between Eco and Sport+ in our use.

Its a utility vehicle with a solid and confidence inspiring behavior on smooth and broken pavement, with good steering feel, and surprisingly strong brakes. Quiet on the highway with a reasonable reserve of power, and a seamless adaptive cruise control, and braking action if anyone suddenly pulls out in front of you.

The back up camera actually shows the rear bumper which is rare; most back up camera applications simply show the green, orange, red lines.

If you are considering a luxury CUV, and we agree there are several choices. The NX is new, the styling is unique, the interior is appealing, the drive is smooth. Make it a point to experience the NX you will be surprised, and it will recalibrate your decision parameters.

Strada Talking Points

  • Original styling
  • Great Interior
  • Smooth, confidence inspiring
  • Good power from a 4 cylinder
  • Vanity mirror in the console

The quick review

 

 

 
Monday
Jul272015

2015 Camaro SS Convertible

2015 Camaro SS Convertible - Commemorative Special Edition

6.2L V8 400 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Red Hot with Adrenaline Red and Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Camaro...Click

We had not experienced a Camaro in some time. Its interesting to spend a few days with a convertible and an automatic transmission.

This tester is very red, with in your face street presence. We have a myriad of vehicles in our driveway at different times. This very red Camaro is the one that elicited a comment "Love that car" from one of our neighbours.

Compared to the one we had a few years ago, the grille is refreshed with a more appealing headlight treatment. Now there is a center screen in the dash. The wheels on this tester from our perspective are nicer too.

The power bulge on the hood with the functional vent...its iconic, nostalgia, just plain cool.

The interior is well executed with a good choice of materials, and contrast stitching. The front seats are power adjustable, and very comfortable, the rear seat is strictly for occasional use. Good sound system, manual HVAC, with the iconic gauges on the console, the center screen has a navigation system, as well as a back up camera which is useful. Its a convertible, the trunk is diminutive.

The softop is easy to operate, although a little slow to open or close with a manual lock at the windshield.

You can configure your own Camaro...here.

Its a convertible, its a Camaro with 400 HP, and an automatic transmission with paddle shifts. It should be a fun car...it absolutely does not disappoint...its a seriously fun open top Camaro.

Very solid for a convertible even on our favorite broken pavement road, and obvious there is some additional road noise with the top up which is expected with a convertible.

The drive...

Strong performance with superior acceleration, a smooth highway cruiser with authoritative passing power. Good steering feel although from our perspective it could have a heavier feel, strong Brembo brakes, well calibrated automatic transmission with authoritative shifts when required.

Its summer...put the top down...seek out your favorite winding road, put the shifter in manual mode, adjust the HUD (heads up display) to see which gear you are in and go a pleasant drive.

Totally cool experience with the paddle shifts, especially on down shifts with the engine rev matching and positive shifts to set up an apex. This car will forcefully instigate you to get exuberant, while inspiring confidence especially in tight turns.

You probably don't need a Camaro convertible as a daily driver. Do you want one on a wonderful summer day to enjoy with the top down...yes you do its a priceless experience.

Strada Talking Points

  • In your face street presence
  • Strong V8 with 400 HP
  • Solid structure
  • Responsive paddle shift
  • Motoring fun with the top down

The quick review

 

Thursday
Jul162015

2015 Chevrolet Suburban

2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ

5.3 L V8 355 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Crystal Red with Jet Black Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the Suburban...click.

We have always had through the years unique and memorable experiences with Suburbans. Needless to tell you we were looking forward to spending a few days with this new Suburban, and even take it on an extended road trip.

Did you know that Suburbans have been around since 1935?

From our road trip, its a phenomenal highway cruiser, with an exceptional adaptive cruise control.

Although its a personal choice we find the styling appealing especially the rear roof line and glass area. its unique and immediately sets this Suburban apart providing a distinct street presence. Yes...its big, Suburbans have always been big with a cavernous interior and 3 rows of seats.

The interior with leather seating surfaces, wood trim, contrast stitching ads a touch of luxury. The roof mounted screens of the entertainment system will make travelling with children or adults seeking entertainment an effortless experience. The power folding 3rd and rear seat are an appreciated convenience. Fold down the seats and the cargo area turns into an old school pick up with an 8 foot box.

Lets not forget the 4 inch screen in the instrument panel with classic truck style gauges.

The retractable running boards are a wonderful feature, even if they are a little pricey.

All the features you expect are there, starting with a great sound system, sunroof, navigation, keyless entry, rear camera, blind spot and cross traffic monitor. In addition to heated and cooled front seats which are appreciated on a longer drive.

Do we have to tell you that rear seat leg room is abundant.

This tester had the "max trailering package" with the 2 speed transfer case, and 3.42 gears...agreed you need a low range in the transfer case to increase the versatility of any Suburban. Lets not forget the 22" wheels.

You can configure your own Suburban...here.

How does it drive...

Its big, its easy to manoeuvre in tight spots, and it weighs 2,620 kilos, its a lot of truck and surprisingly easy to drive. It has an imposing presence in any parking area.

The electric power steering has a good on center feel, the brakes are certainly up to the task, the magnetic ride suspension is simply awesome on the highway. Its not a sport sedan, and you will not be seeking apexes with a Suburban. Although its more agile, than you would think or expect. The power is adequate accompanied by responsive shifts from the transmission.

On the highway it has surprising passing power, and immediately communicates that it can cruise all day in a quiet, comfortable, smooth fashion. The adaptive cruise control is a brilliant feature, and turned into the memorable part of our Suburban experience.

A Suburban has its own niche, cool factor, if you fit in the niche, and can use the versatility get one.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Unique and versatile "utility" vehicle
  • Appealing styling / strong street presence
  • Magnetic ride suspension
  • Power folding seats
  • Supreme highway cruiser

 The quick review

 

 

Wednesday
Jul082015

2015 Ram

2015 Ram 1500 Crew Cab Big Horn

3.0 L V6 Eco Diesel 240 HP with 8 Speed Automatic Transmission

Deep Cherry Red Pearl with Beige/Brown Cloth interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Ram...click.

Although all pick ups have a bold grille, for some reason the Ram grille stands out more or makes a more emphatic statement. Because of the grille, the Ram has been capturing our attention for quite some time.

As you know diesel pick ups are usually the heavy duty work versions, with reasonable fuel economy when working, and poor when not working.

Agreed...there is a serious cool factor surrounding diesel pick ups. 

Where we anxious to spend a few days with this Eco Diesel Ram? Yes we were...

The Big Horn version has an appealing two tone cloth interior, with the theme carried over to the dash and door panels. This is one time where its refreshing not to encounter a leather trimmed interior. Cloth seats in a pick up...it works very well especially in a 2 tone combination.

The interior is spacious, the attention to details is very good, the front console is wide to quickly serve as a work area. The features compete with any luxury vehicle, while most folks with luxury vehicles probably do not realise that pick ups often have more convenience options than their cars. This Ram is bursting with a myriad of features, starting with navigation, impressive sound system, satellite radio, heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, power rear window, sunroof to name a few.

The controls on the 8.4 inch touch screen are intuitive.

Agreed pick ups are big, although with a rear camera, parking assist, blind spot monitors, the Ram immediately diminishes in size especially when negotiating tight spots.

You can configure your own Ram...here.

How does it drive?

The first thing that grasps the attention is the quietness of the diesel engine. Its very quiet, with a substantial rush of torque at low revolutions. This tester had the air suspension which makes it very smooth especially on the highway. In addition the suspension lowers the truck at highway speeds.

Lots of torque, smooth shifting 8 speed automatic, air suspension, reinforced by impressive fuel economy this truck quickly becomes endearing.

It handles likes a pick up, with a reasonable steering feel and good brakes, its all part of the driving a pick up experience. Obvious the transfer case has a low range, you would not expect anything less. As well this tester had the required skid plates for serious off road activity...just in case.

While experiencing this Ram, and reading that Mercedes-Benz is perhaps considering a pick up. The thought that M-B would probably have a pick up with a diesel, and a myriad of features, similar to this truck occured to us on a few occasions.

Agreed the pick up segment is hyper competitive, the diesel engine option in this Ram is over $4,000. but the cool factor is priceless. If you are seeking a light duty pick up with a diesel, we urge you to experience the Ram Eco Diesel.

Strada Talking Points

  • Quiet and economical diesel engine
  • Air suspension
  • All the features you expect
  • Great highway cruiser
  • Easy to maneuver in tight spots

 

 The quick review