Ram 1500 Named 2013 Truck of the Year

Ram MT Cover II

The testing crew at Motor Trend magazine just completed its 2013 Truck of the Year test, and the winner of the three-truck shootout is the new Ram 1500. 

The three qualifying competitors for this year's event were Nissan's NV (offering a new passenger van option), the Ford F-150 (offering a new trim package, exterior styling and new interior center stack and software) and the 2013 Ram 1500 (with too many new powertrain, styling and technology features to list here). 

For those who may not know, Motor Trend evaluates only all-new or significantly revised models each year for its Truck of the Year test, so sometimes it can look like an apples-to-oranges comparison test. However, we're told that's why, no matter what competitors they have in the test, the testers measure all combatants against a six-point criteria: design advancement, engineering excellence, performance of intended function, efficiency, safety and value. Last year's winner was the Ford F-150 because it qualified and won on the back of a new lineup of engines for the 2012 model year. 

While judging each of these trucks by the standardized criteria, testers also took the trucks to Chrysler's desert proving grounds in Arizona for a series of objective and subjective drive events, including runs up and down Arizona's Highway 68 Davis Dam hillclimb route with a load (trailers for Ford and Ram, and payload for Nissan). 

By the end of the weeklong flog, we're told the decision was unanimous — the new Ram 1500 was the easy winner. (They tested both the V-6 and V-8 versions with the all-new ZF eight-speed transmission.) Since this is probably the first time anyone has gotten a chance to fully test these trucks, it's interesting how close the zero-to-60 numbers fall between the two Ram engines (the V-6 with 3.21:1 gears and the V-8 with 3.92:1). Interestingly, empty quarter-mile times are almost identical as well. To download a copy of the winner's story, click here

This is likely to be the first of many accolades this new half-ton Ram will win, but we'll reserve our most critical assessment of the truck until we get a chance to compete the truck against its head-to-head, similarly equipped rivals. And that test has yet to be done. 

For the full Ram Truck press release, click here.

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Congratulations to Ram! Good truck!
They have come a long way since 09 a least. I was looking at them back then for purchase and Dodge didn't impress me then. But today they build one hall of a truck and I congratulate you once again.

I think we all know what 2014 Truck of the Year will be :)

Good job RAM! Keep the good stuff coming.
Not to shabby for a company that was going bankrupt awhile back.

If you look at the picture of the V8 sport interior it shows a column shifter, therefore it is still the old 5-6 speed trans, not the 8 speed behind the hemi

so 8 speed trans and its STILL slower than a tundra LOL

Never a question if they were nice new. The problems start when you keep them

1176 payload????

weak sauce


after I get in it, it's not even a 1/2 ton, LOL

Ram 1/4 ton,

truck of the year

Congrats Ram! I think this was the obvious choice with all of the new features Ram is offering for 2013.

Wow, the v6 is .7 sec slower from 0-60 and only .4 secs slower through the 1/4 compared to the 5.7 hemi with the 8 speed? And that v6 had 3:21 axle while the hemi has 3.92.

Seems off, or the hemi gained a lot of weight.

Nice job, now when will the 8 speed hemi be out? And can we have a comparison 8 speed v.s. 6 Speed ?

how can it tow 10K with on 1176 payload rating? After you add a person your over 10% tongue

Motor Trend always picks the newest or most refreshed pickups every year its so predictable.
2013 New Ram
2014 New GM twins
2015 New F150
2016 New Super Duty

@hemi lol,

HEMI-RAM is quicker than a Tundra..Tundra even has a lower gear 4.30 !! RAM R/T quickest truck you can buy !

I guess they smoked the tires on the Hemi because their older tests it was quicker !


The 6 will hook right up due to less torque,the Hemi spun and thus slowing the times down. Another M.T test ran mid 14's with the big crew cab Hemi so,obviously tire spinning was a factor..

It's like old 60's-early 70's Mopar's they just sit there and spin with street tires,13-15 sec 1/4's with skiny 14" tires and 11-12 sec 1/4 mile's with better modern tires...

@hemi lol,



"During 0-60-mph testing, it was difficult to get the rear end to hook up".

So basically they are saying the HEMI would be quicker but it spins and spins ! I know if it hooked it would be a 5 sec 0-60 range truck ! The 6 hooked fine !

Some of you might want to re-read the article:
"With a good launch we were able to get a 6.9-second
0-60-mph time, with 15.4 seconds at 88.6
mph in the quarter mile. Pretty impressive
numbers, even if they were edged out by the

Ram's payload capaciity will always be a deal breaker.

From the winner's story...

1300 2wd

1100 4wd

What a joke!

The only reason the Hemi beat the EcoBoost in trailer towing is because the idiots over at MotorTrend don't compare apples to apples. They based trailer weights on 75% of maximum tow rating, so Ford's trailer was 8,475 pounds, compared to the Hemi trailer of only 7,500 pounds. OF COURSE the Ford seemed more burdended than the Hemi - BECAUSE IT WAS. The weight of my boat doesn't change depending on what brand of truck I drive. Try again MotorTrend - Get it right next time.

I was utterly shocked to read how much faster the Ecoboost is than the 5.7L, despite the RAM's huge advantage in gearing, horsepower, and curb weight.

RAM 1500 4x4 Sport (5.7L V8):
0-60: 6.9sec
1/4 mile: 15.4 @ 88.6mph
Curb Weight: 5624

Ford F150 Platinum 4x4 (3.5LTT V6):
0-60: 6.6sec
1/4 mile: 15.2 @ 91.7mph
Curb Weight: 5974

The 5.7L is actually closer to the performance of the 5.0L V8 they tested last year:

Ford F150 XLT 4x4 (5.0L V8):
0-60: 7.1sec
15.5 @ 91mph
Curb Weight: 5619

Now, In the trailer towing segment, the RAM was faster by .5 seconds, but for some reason they didn't use the same trailers for both trucks. The RAM towed 7500lbs, while the Ford towed 8475lbs. That being the case, the towing test lacks the reliability necessary to draw a direct comparison.

Yes i would definitely say this is apple to oranges for sure. The F-150 was towing twice the weight!
Per Motor Trend
"Best-in-class capability, EcoBoost power, excellent ride."
"The F-150 was rated to tow 11,300 pounds as tested, so we hooked a trailer weighing 8475 pounds (including ballast) to the rear bumper. The V-6 Ram's as-tested towing capacity was rated 4350 pounds; its trailer weighed 3262. Ram Truck hasn't announced official tow ratings for the V-8 Ram with the eight-speed automatic, but gave us an estimate of 10,000 pounds, so that trailer weighed 7500."

I say Motor Trend should have every manufacturer put their BEST truck up to the table every year then see who wins!!! Because it should be the best pickup you can buy

There seems to be a misconception about the V-8 Stport in this story, if you look at the spec sheet, you will see 8spds for the V-8 but when you look at the pic you see a truck with the 6spd shift, and in the story it says that the 8 spd was not available for the test yet, that and the spec sheet says 470lbtft? but is realy 407 in the story, so what we have here is a 6cyl8spd SLT (the only way you can get an SLT now) and a V-8 Sport 4X4, oh thats right the SLT is 2wd! and weighs (according to the spec sheet about 300lbs less), so as far as 0-60 goes there is not much diff. between to two with the 6pd against the 8spd. As far as 1176 load cappasity, well that cant be very good for a 5 pass truck? and if you read the trailer towing times, you have to realize the Sport w/V-8 is puling a trailer that weighs twice as much as the SLT V-6. It will be interesting to see how well the Hemi does with the 8spd trans. and as far as being slower than a tundra? the only 0-60 times I have seen for the tuindra C/C 4X4 is 7.2 and this Ram does it in 6.8, even the V-6 does it in 7.6, that is very good for a truck that weighs over 5K! what is the time for the F-150 C/C Ecco-Boost? I know mine reg cab does good, but I have never been to the timing lights with it, and I am sure the tundra V-6 is no where near that, and none of them comes close the the MPG!. I want onto the build it your self Ram site, and it is true the only way you can get an SLT is with the V-6! to get a Hemi you have to get a Tradesman, Express, Outdoorsman, Bighorn or Larimee! and the V-6 is only optional on the Tradesman! all the others come with the Hemi, or the 4.7 standard, so your options are limited. Good Job Ram!!

If you care about .3 second 0-60 you shouldn't be buying a truck, yes I like mine quick but Hauling is what I bought it for not doing drag races.


Are we looking at the same pictures? In the interior shots of the actual trucks tested, both had the rotary dial shifter.

"The V-6 fills the void where the Dakota once existed."


And so much for them air bags. That payload capacity is within the same area as shortbed Rangers.
8 speed, 305 hp? All that put it in the same area as a 210 hp 5 speed Ranger as far as towing goes.

Its seems that its only good for mpg and ride comfort, and going a little faster.


If you go to Motortrend's website, there are more pictures of the trucks tested. Both the V6 and the 5.7L V8 trucks have the rotary dial shifter and are most definitely 8-spd trucks.

The column shift truck pictured is a 4.7L/6-spd truck they also tested.

Holy letdown! All this waiting for the almighty 8 speed and it still gets beat by the 3 year old Ford V6TT. And it can barely edge the Ecoboost towing even though they rigged the test all they could, by making the Ecoboost tow 1000 lbs more. And the payload, are you kidding me? A 5 passenger truck that will be over payload limits just by the passengers alone?
I can't wait for the new GM twins to come out and smoke both the Ford and the 'new and improved' Ram.

ITS RAM!!!!!!!!

3L V6 diesel with the 8 speed would be perfect.

I don't understand the payload on these. You pay $1600 to add the airbags, but that doesn't boost the payload or tow rating? Is that correct?

Congratulations to Ram because they are forcing GM to get off their butts and build a good truck again! I've said this before but what Ram is doing reminds me of Chevy in the '70's.
I can't wait to see the new GM truck next week because surely after this last awful rendition and all the negative publicity it has generated they will give us something better but then again, who would have ever thought they would have given us this last terrible truck.
Way to go RAM! Hope the Heavy Duty is a winner too!

@old GM guy, I really think it will be. The new chassis (especially on the 3500), tranny, extra power and torque, better fuel economy, upgraded interior, and best in class towing, all in the best looking truck - it's going to be friggen hard to beat.

RAM builds a sorry truck. The Ford should have won this contest hands down. I suppose it all comes down to who advertises the most.
Ford Trucks...Built Ford Tough.

Funny how Ford gets into the contest because of a slightly modified grill and center stack. Knowing them they will call it an ALL-New truck. You have to do that when you wait umpteen years to redesign your trucks. Doesn't matter anyway. The Ford Kool Aid drinkers will buy them up like wildfire.

What's the deal with the extra crease between the wheel-well and the Ram-box lid on the cover photo?

No, Ram has to do what it did (wait for a bunch of updates in 1 year) because it didn't update continuously throughout the years like Ford did.

1997 Ford MTTOY

2004 Ford MTTOY

2009 Ford MTTOY

2012 Ford MTTOY

Ford has won 4 times in the past 15 years. This is Ram's FIRST win for half ton in that same period.

They showed no love towards the Chrysler Uconnect system:
"While we like its
new look, we had some of the same problems
we’ve had with the system in the past. It was
at times slow to respond, and the navigation
system occasionally seemed to lose the truck
while in motion, believing we were bounding
along a few hundred yards off the highway
we were traveling. That’s not a huge problem
when it thinks you’re barreling along through
dirt, but it’s not good when the system thinks
you’re on side roads and is giving directions
based on those turns."

They were not loving the rotary shifter either:
"Also big news, according to Chrysler, is
the eight speed's twist-dial transmission
control. Some of our testers, myself included,
found it untrucklike, but it is nice to have it
mounted on the dash and not on the column
or console. We disagree with Ram’s assertion
that it’s easier to operate while wearing gloves;
it seems a column shifter is almost ideal for
that. It is probably just a question of getting
used to it, but I wasn’t the only tester to turn
up the volume on the radio while trying to go
from reverse to drive in a three-point turn."

I expected the Ram to win this but I'm a little surprised it didn't perform better. The Ford still looks better to me, especially with the questionable reliability of all this new Ram equipment. I haven't been impressed with the Ram quality one bit since about 50,000 miles. Just can't stand up to real work conditions on the farm for long. I think Ram will peak out in market share in a year and then drop steadily after that when people start to realize the poor quality/longevity.

And then they say:
"The other issue is the small, steeringwheel-mounted push buttons for manually
shifting gears. The upshift/downshift buttons
are located right above the cruise control
buttons and aren’t well-differentiated. If Ram
is truly concerned about drivers being able to
operate everything while wearing gloves, the
buttons are not the answer."

It's going to take a significantly improved new chevy truck to win over F-150 owners now. I don't think the new Ram is good enough to win over many F-150 owners and the GM guys are going to wait and see what the new Chevy has to offer before many of them buy the new Ram.

The main infotainment...

had some of the same problems we've had with the system in the past.

It was at times slow to respond

and the navigation system occasionally seemed to lose the truck while in motion,

believing we were bounding along a few hundred yards off the highway we were traveling

it's not good when the system thinks you're on side roads and is giving directions based on those turns.

the eight speed's twist-dial transmission control...

Some of our testers, myself included, found it untrucklike

We disagree with Ram's assertion that it's easier to operate while wearing gloves; it seems a column shifter is almost ideal for that.

I wasn't the only tester to turn up the volume on the radio while trying to go from reverse to drive in a three-point turn.

The other issue is the small, steering-wheel-mounted push buttons for manually shifting gears.

The upshift/downshift buttons are located right above the cruise control buttons and aren't well-differentiated.

If Ram is truly concerned about drivers being able to operate everything while wearing gloves, the buttons are not the answer. Paddles are the answer.

The car industry figured it out several years ago; and although people keep trying different things, the answer is paddles.

The air suspension costs $1595.

ride feels less controlled.

The steering is equally as slow on-center

During 0-60-mph testing, it was difficult to get the rear end to hook up (with a good lanuch.)

(The V8) With a good launch we were able to get a 6.9-second 0-60-mph time, with 15.4 seconds at 88.6 mph in the quarter mile. Pretty impressive numbers, even if they were edged out by the EcoBoost


1338 lb

1176 lb

Doesn't sound like a winner to me. I'll also add it has a smaller crewcab and smaller bed.

Hemi 8 speed

Fuel economy not yet rated...

Not yet available...

Ram is a slacker.

I don't know anyone with a Ford or GM who is going to switch to a Ram base V6.


Don't understand why they added a heavier trailer to the F150. I guess that is the only way the Ram can win.


paul810: I am not sure what is going on here, but you can't even get the 4.7 on the 13 truck with a truck at the level interior in that picture, (SLT) the only truck left with the 4.7 is the Tradesman! and that is what the truck comes with standard, you cant even get it in any of the others! I tried on the Build It Yourself site! I would even bet that the 4.7 engine is gone after 13. I have been trying to get on M/T's site, but am unable too, but the story above said the 8sp Hemi is not ready and the only truck with an 8spd is the truck with a V-6 so far

@ Paul810,

The 5.7 Hemi Ram out runs the Eco-Boost...

The Ram they used did not get traction,thus slows times down..Get it ? No ? Didnt think so !

Funny,how the older slower, crew cab Ram gets 6.4 0-60 and 14.6 in the 1/4 in other tests,again it doesnt hook like the eco-Boost because the eco Boost gets better traction because the Turbo doesnt kick in right away,a little lag so it doesnt smoke the rear tires like the 5.7 HEMI RAM does !


Exactly. And I think we can put the "just wait for the 8 speed Hemi" to rest. This is two tests in a row that Ram has lost to 6 speed Ford. First, with Roman Mica guy and now MT.


Real world testing. Go Ford!

Does dichotmous thinking get anyone anywhere, or does it help alleviate cognitive dissonance? It is possible to accept the idea that there is more than one good truck out there. It really doesn't hurt if you try it.


I looked again, and apparently they had three trucks there that they took photos of.

An SLT with the 5.7L V8/6-spd (Black Interior/wood trim)
An SLT with the 3.6L V6/8-spd (Tan interior)
A Sport with the 5.7L V8/8-spd (Black Interior/silver trim)

For some reason they listed the first truck as a 4.7L on their main page, but the badge on the side says Hemi, so I don't know what the deal is with that one.

Here is a direct link to their interior picture of the Sport with the V8. It definitely has the full rotary shifter/4x4 (unlike the picture of the 2wd V6 truck interior, which lacks the 4x4 controls):


and a close up of the knob:


Also, they didn't say the 8spd Hemi isn't ready, they said it won't be available at launch. That doesn't mean they couldn't get one to test (which they obviously did, as they've got a bunch of pictures on there to prove it).

The Hemi truck they tested had the old 5/6 speed auto, NOT the new 8 speed. Check the chart at the end of the article. It clearly says 6 speed auto.

Of course the Ford Boys Frankie and Davey are here again with their Ford biased bashing! I know for a fact if Motor Trend picked the Ford these two would be singing Motor Trend's praises.

Bunch a trolls. Everyone knows Ram WITH THE PENTASTAR V5 AND HEMI 8 SPEED is the class leader. Until Ford can catch up to Ram, Ram will be the leader of the class.

Ford girlies will get over it one day! But then GM will WIN IT ALL next year and Frankie and Davey Boy will be back again with more bashing.

Sore losers you are!!!!!!

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