Intro: Born and raised in southeast Queensland, Australia, Matt Obst said his lifelong passion for trucks is likely a side effect of his upbringing. He grew up in an area of the country where, “You’ll see just as many ’utes (or utility vehicles) on the roads as cars.” Now living in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, the master woodworker’s current ride is a 2021 Ram 1500 Sport, which he uses regularly to haul lumber, transport his family and carry around camping equipment. Obst tells us why he loves his vehicle, and – even though he has owned trucks in the past – this one is his favourite by far.
First Person: “I’ve always driven trucks but when the kids came along, we decided we needed a more family-friendly vehicle,” said Obst, who is financing his 2021 Ram 1500 Sport from Raceway Chrysler in Etobicoke. “We had opted for the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but we recently made the switch to the Ram because we were outgrowing the last car. It was a big vehicle but when we go away for cottage weekends or camping it’s still not big enough by the time you’ve got your coolers and tents in there plus two kids, two adults and a dog.
“My nine-to-five is in manufacturing, so I do use the vehicle to commute every day to Mississauga. With my woodworking background I also do many renovations around my own house and favours for friends, so being able to throw lots of my materials, toolboxes and lumber into the bed is important to me.
“It’s not the easiest vehicle to drive in the city, but our focus is really on getting out of the city now. We have a couple of camping trips lined up in the next few weeks — one at Sandbanks and one at Bon Echo (provincial parks),” said Obst. “Also, we’re a big cycling family. In the past and now, if we want to grab a coffee in the neighbourhood or visit someplace downtown, we just take our bikes.
“The reason I chose this truck is because I had a Ram 1500 in 2012 and I just really loved that vehicle. I never had any issues with it. I was looking at a 1500 Classic too, but I end up picking this one over that one because it is a lot more comfortable. That one is a bit more rugged and rough.
“In terms of new buttons and new technologies, they really don’t matter to me at all. The Grand Cherokee had more features than this one. What it comes down to for me is versatility and function. The Ram 1500 has both.”
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A CLOSER LOOK: 2021 Ram 1500 Sport
Yes, the 2021 Ram 1500 Sport might be packing a ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera, a Uconnect 4 multimedia centre with 8.4-inch touchscreen and a Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof, but what’s really got Obst’s attention is what’s hiding away within the vehicle: a HEMI VVT V8 engine. “HEMIs basically have a cult following,” he said. These engines are known for their ultra-efficient combustion chambers that make them significantly more powerful than others on the market. “It’s an incredible machine.”
“With the crew-cab model we can fit two car seats easily in the back,” said Obst. “As far as safety goes, the Ram has got Active Braking, which is an important feature. I also love the fact that it’s four-wheel drive — and I don’t need winter tires because it’s got all-season tires.” Making the 2021 Ram 1500 Sport a solid option for an active family, the vehicle also features an available Blind-Spot Detection system, a 360-degree Surround View System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go.
“We really like the look of these trucks,” said Rebecca, Obst’s wife. “When we were shopping around for a vehicle, we found the Ram lineup really stood out esthetically.” As well-crafted as it is easy on the eyes, the 2021 Ram 1500 Sport’s frame is composed of 98 per cent high-strength steel for enhanced durability and rigidity — making it both light and strong on the roads. Plus, the truck’s combination of advanced engineering technologies divert air around the vehicle, allowing it to travel down the highway in style.