While the 2013 Ram 1500 full-size pickup looks a lot like last year's truck, the changes are, in fact, far more than skin deep. In fact, the new Ram rides on a new, stronger chassis. Under the hood, the old 210-hp 3.7L V6 and 4-speed automatic powertrain is gone, replaced by a new 305-hp 3.6L "PentaStar" V6 mated to a new 8-speed automatic, which results in an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway -- a 20 percent increase over the outgoing V6. The new engine is also rated to tow up to 4,800 pounds. The 8-speed automatic is slated to make its way into 4.7- and 5.7L V8-powered Ram 1500s midway through the model year, to replace the current 6-speed auto, which should aid in fuel economy on those models as well. New available air suspension offers five separate settings for controlling ride height, which allows for increased ground clearance off road or improved fuel efficiency on the highway, as well as automatic load leveling to aid in towing and hauling. Electric power steering replaces the previous hydraulic setup, making for an easier steering experience, particularly at low speeds. Inside, the cabin has been rethought, with new materials, improved sound deadening and noise reduction, a more functional design, and improved gadgetry, with Uconnect multimedia and an intuitive touchscreen at its core. Finally, the column shift lever has been replaced by a small rotary dial on the lower left corner of the dashboard.
Multiple model configurations to suit all needs; ample available V8 power with improved V6; increased fuel efficiency; user-friendly cabins; Ram-Box bed-side storage
The Ram 1500 already offered truck buyers a whole host of reasons to consider it, with power Hemi V8 availability, coilover rear suspension and innovative storage solutions, but with some very effective upgrades in key areas -- namely increased chassis strength, improved base engine power and efficiency, and more intuitive interior ergonomics -- the new Ram raises the bar for full-size trucks.