OPINION: RAM WHEEL EDIT

When the new Ram (minus the “Dodge” name) was introduced for a 2010 model, I absolutely loved it. I’ve been quick to shudder every time I saw/felt/smelled an older Chrysler product and was so extatic to once again feel satisfied when sitting in the cockpit of a handsome, lush, exquisitely-detailed truck interior. I was happy.

Really I have very few quips with this vehicle, but one that bothers me more than the others is the controls mounted to the steering wheel. I know, right, I might as well nit-pick at the unevenness of the threading in the shirt I wear on my back at this very moment, but this is actually a curious situation to me: nearly every Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicle now have identical controls placed on the steering wheel, allowing the driver to pilot through telephone functions, voice commands (using the company’s fairly decent uConnect multimedia system) and general vehicle information.

Unfortunately, the Ram models feature a wheel with GIGANTIC up, down, left and right (or select) buttons, requiring you to look down through the wheel at an info screen to navigate to the appropriate function. Albeit, properly equipped Ram models do have a voice command feature, but one must take his or her hands off the wheel and punch the appropriate button on the center console. That may be all and good, but let’s face it: Chrysler’s corporate steering wheel controls would be a way better option for owners who want to do a lot more without taking their hands off the wheel.

Check out the steering wheel rendering to the left and notice that the large directional buttons on either side have been replaced by the banks of buttons found on most of the other Chrysler vehicles. Problem solved, I’d say.

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