We’re still a day away from Thanksgiving. Much of the Northeast has dealt with two shots of snow so far, and Thanksgiving Day 2018 looks like it may be the coldest ever recorded. With this as a backdrop, RAM arrived at a gathering of the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) to kick off an all-new trim level of the RAM 1500 called the North Edition, featuring winter-fighting equipment rarely offered by any manufacturer.
Based on the Big Horn model, the Ram 1500 North is available in Crew Cab 4×4, short bed or long bed cab body styles with the eTorque 3.6-liter Pentastar or 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.
The North Edition starts at $45,890 and comes with a range of equipment that makes life easier for winter drivers.
What makes this trim level rare among all vehicles, and completely unique among pickup trucks are the tires: Falken LT tires in either 18- or 20-inch sizes that feature the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, designating them as true “winter tires.”
We’ve argued for years that winter tires with this designation are the most effective tool at your disposal when faced with winter conditions, from snow to ice to temperatures below 40 degrees. That’s true for cars, but it’s just as true for pickup trucks. Four wheel drive is confidence inspiring in the snow, but it simply won’t help stop a truck faster, and it won’t allow it to turn more effectively, either. Winter tires demonstrably will.
In a test at Tire Rack’s facility last year, we were able to reduce stopping distances in an all-wheel drive Toyota RAV4 half a car-length shorter at just 10 miles per hour. At 30 miles per hour, that difference is 56 feet, or about three-and-a-half car-lengths.
Only one other manufacturer has offered a winter wheels and tires as part of a package straight from the factory. It was part of a package including nothing but wheels and tires on the Ford Focus RS and cost $1,995. Other manufacturers — including FCA — have offered special pricing on winter wheel and tire packages over the parts counter, but not as part of a trim level. The North Edition is the first pickup or SUV that has ever offered winter tires from the factory.
For just $1,395 over the cost of a standard Big Horn, along with the tires you get:
- an E-Locker Rear Axle
- 4×4 Electric Shift on-Demand Transfer Case
- Hill Descent Control
- HD Shocks
- Tow Hooks
- Engine Block Heater
- MOPAR All-Weather Floor Mats
- Body color bumpers, door handles and grille
For an additional $2,400, a Level 2 package includes:
- Heated Seats
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Power Heated Mirrors
- Remote Start — which also triggers the heated seats, mirrors and rear defrost below 40 degrees
- 12-way power seat with 4-way power lumbar
- Uconnect 8.4″ Radio with Sirius XM Weather/Traffic service, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto
- Dual Zone Auto Climate Control
- Class IV Receiver Hitch
- ParkSense Front and Rear Park Assist that will fully stop the truck in reverse if it senses an impending collision
For drivers in the northern climate, the North Edition is an affordable, very effective means of putting Old Man Winter in his place.