A couple of years ago, Chrysler Group established the Ram brand, under which it sells the former Dodge lineup of pickup trucks and commercial vehicles. Today, the Ram lineup consists of the 1500 light-duty pickup, 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups, Ram Cargo Van, and a number of commercial-grade chassis-cab variants. This buyer's guide is focused on the 1500-, 2500-, and 3500-series trucks, as well as the cargo van model.
The Ram 1500 is a light-duty pickup truck offered in regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab body styles with a choice of a V-6 or one of two V-8 engines and 2- or 4-wheel drive. Three box sizes are available, and there are 10 different trim levels offered, from the basic Tradesman to the luxury-themed Laramie Limited. For 2013, the Ram 1500 is re-engineered, which is about as close as it gets to a complete redesign without actually redesigning the entire vehicle.
The Ram 2500 is a heavy-duty pickup truck sold in regular cab, crew cab, and Mega Cab styles with a choice of a standard V-8 engine or one of three optional turbo-diesel 6-cylinder engines. A manual transmission is standard with the turbo-diesel model, creating a segment-exclusive powertrain, according to Ram. Multiple trim levels are offered, including a Power Wagon with added off-road capability. For 2013, the Ram 2500 is substantially upgraded with a strengthened frame, new mechanicals, and new safety and convenience features.
The Ram 3500 is a heavy-duty pickup truck, offered with the same cab and powertrain configurations as the Ram 2500 model, but with greater payload and towing capacity. The Ram 3500 is also exclusively offered with a dual-rear-wheel axle configuration, but is not available in Power Wagon format. All changes listed for the Ram 2500 apply to the Ram 3500, with the following exceptions:
The 2013 Ram Cargo Van, or C/V, is a version of the Dodge Grand Caravan equipped with a heavy-duty suspension, heavy-duty engine and transmission cooling, solid or glass window panels, and a flat aluminum load floor or a floor equipped with storage bins and tie-down hooks. Maximum payload capacity is 1,800 pounds. The Ram C/V can tow up to 3,600 pounds, and cargo volume measures 155.5 cubic feet. A 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine is standard.