When we think of quality luxurious interiors, some of the first brands that come to mind are Audi and Volvo. They have elegant, simple interiors constructed from high-quality materials that are beautiful to see and to touch, and that’s what makes them feel special and genuinely premium. The 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn in our short-term fleet didn’t get that message. What the Laramie Longhorn does is yell at you. It yells at you at that it’s LUXURIOUS, and it’s WESTERN.
Open the door, and you’re confronted with loads of saddle tan leather with contrasting black leather on the doors, armrest, and seat piping. This is reasonably modest, but if you pick a different color scheme than our Ram, that leather will have tooled filigree patterns, raising the volume of the interior’s message. Right on the center console and on the seat backs there are huge brown embossed logos stitched into them proclaiming the trim level of the truck. It’s all meant to evoke high-quality leather goods like saddles. But it’s the same thin leather you’ve found in almost every other automobile on the market.
The cushy cowboy theme continues on the dash. The satin-finish wood trim would normally be a nice touch, but it’s overshadowed by the glitzy and chintzy rose-gold colored fake metal accents all over the dashboard, and even the instrument cluster. Perhaps it’s meant to be more warm and down-to-earth than the cold aluminum-look panels usually in cars, but it’s an odd color, and it looks more fake than faux-aluminum.
It gets even worse when you discover that Ram stuck leather tooling design stickers all over that rose-gold plastic trim. And then you see them on the chrome plastic rings surrounding the gauges. Not only that, but those rings have some sort of stud shape molded into them. Is this Western enough yet?
No! Of course not! Hop in the back seat, and you’ll discover that the map pockets aren’t just simple slots. They have a full flap with metal belt buckles like saddlebags (though the flap actually closes with magnets). And naturally, those buckles have fancy filigree designs in them. Then take a look at the floor, and the rubber floor mats have barbed-wire fence designs molded into them. Get it? Because there are barbed-wire fences on ranches out West where cowboys work!
Yet, for all our complaining about cheap materials and a complete lack of subtlety, we’re sure this sort of thing appeals to many truck buyers. Heck, there’s nothing subtle about a truck this big, with a distinctive two-tone paint scheme, and badges literally as big as my hand. And if that’s what buyers of this particular Ram want, who are we to tell Ram to do anything different?