For New Ram, It's All About the MPGs

2013 Ram 1500 white II
The Ram Truck team sees a big split between half-ton and heavy-duty buyers. For the lighter-duty pickups, they say it's all about fuel economy and being a daily driver, whereas the three-quarter- and one-ton trucks are all about heavy lifting and hard work. As a result, their buyers have very different priorities.  

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram brand, said that's why the coming 2013 Ram 1500 has so much technology aimed at improving the new pickup's fuel economy, such as a new PentaStar V-6, eight-speed transmissions, extensive use of lightweight materials and much more. Although the new truck will not get EPA fuel economy estimates for seveal months, Ram will only say the 2013 half-ton will offer best-in-class numbers. Whether that means overall or in one specific configuration remains to be seen. 

Interestingly, as the Ram brand makes more inroads into the truck marketplace — in fact, it has increased its market share 2 full percentage points in the past year — we'd expect to see increased attention on the Ram HDs as well, especially in the form of better fuel economy and use of more advanced materials and powertrain choices. Certainly, there are a lot of fleet buyers out there who would love to save money with better fleet efficiency, both in initial investment and maintenance costs over time, even on their heavy-duty models. 

The new 1500 truck is likely to go on sale in the fall, with journalists getting a chance to drive and write about the truck before the end of August. Pricing will likely be announced closer to the actual on-sale date later in the year. You can bet we'll have more to say about all the new chassis, powertrains and all-new interior when we get our shot behind the wheel. 

2013 Ram 1500 wind II


Chevrolet has their work cut out for them next year. I haven't been one bit impressed by this current Silverado since it came out. It's not attractive, the interiors are very poor, I hear complaints about the body being easily damaged all the time. The wavy sheetmetal over the rear wheels just jumps out at me everytime I see one. Very disappointing. It may be a reliable driver but it's not a good truck I don't think. Some poeple are looking for smaller trucks, I'm looking to upsize myself. I have an S-10 but it's 10 years old and in dire need of replacement. I'd like to stay in the Chevrolet family but no way could I buy this Silverado. I've been looking at the Dodge's and have been very impressed. The Laramie Longhorns are about as nice as Ford's King Ranch in my opinion. They also have quite a bit of room inside which is what I'm after. The exterior design is really good as well. I can honestly say I never liked the looks of Dodge trucks until this one came out. I don't know, Chevy Silverado could be in serious trouble. I'm a Chevy guy and come from a Chevy family but Chevrolet just isn't getting it done like Dodge and Ford anymore.

@Gregory J: it's too bad GMs way to get it is by totally gearing it down. Great for you folks living in the flat lands (is that you, Gregory?) Like the 3.08 gears in a 4x4 crew. Now tell me how great that will do in the hills or mountains? That's right, it will constantly be downshifting at a slight hill. (I had a 2006 Chevy ext cab 4x4 310 hp 5.3 with 3.42s, glad it's gone, and 3.08s here in northwest Arkansas would be a joke! But still my local Chevy dealership has one they thought somebody would want with 20" wheels added. I can see it using third gear hear ALOT, 2nd gear ALOT when towing, lol! Yeah, it will be fine for Illinois. Lack of torque and wrong gearing! My friend has a Buick Park Ave 3.05 gears, .7 final drive same size tires as my Chrysler LHS, 225/60 R 16, but mine has 3.66 gears and .69 final, so the Buick has a much lower rpm. Great once again in the flats, but poor here, always downshifting. Oh, and the Buick has an engine that needs 4000 to make its max torque, my 3.5 L needs 2800, and makes about the same torque as the bigger 3.8 Buick. The great rating is there, but wrong combo for here. If you were to read Motor Trends test of the Poneycars, the Camaro, Challenger, Mustang and Genesis Coupe V-6 shootout, you could see the LIGHTER smaller Mustang with 6 speed behind it got a whopping .2 mpg (a whole 2 blocks!) better then the Challenger with a 5 speed, while the Mustang has a city rating 1 mpg better and a highway rating of 4 mpg better then Challenger. What happened? It's a best case scenario flatland for the high number, the Mustang had a 2.73 rear gear (1.91 final) gear that was way too tall. Maybe it's better suited for driving 80 mph? I know, that's car talk, but about the same happens in trucks, but they get loaded once in awhile, (mine does, don't know about your GM)

If they would put 3.21 gears in the 4x4, I can have my good torque that poor Chevy doesn't have, and tow haul will be near 2.63 which will be fine for me towing with 6 gears under it that are not spaced out, and a 2.15 final woulda been nice in my days of driving northwest Ark to southern Oklahoma or 2100 miles empty to Olypia Washington. But for the all time better number, they will need a 2.94 gear, which will be fine for your Illinois / Florida /Kansas parts of Texas people.

Gotta love how people throw around numbers, like Dave for instance, talking like it will be easy for GM an Ford to get 26 or more maybe, mpg. Yeah, just add on three or 4 mpg! If that happens, it will be with a much lower front end of a hood, like you see what's happening in semis? Aero noses on all, Peterbuilts, Kenworths, Freightshakers, on and on, think even Mack has one. But then the crying will really start.

Don't forget there is no replacement for displacement. Gear ratios are important, but in line of importance, bigger engines should be a a higher priority than gear ratios. Get a huge big block engine and gear it low. Thats all there is to it. You guys are bringing up wimpy turbo charged 4 cylinders or diesel engines, screw that. How about about an old schol 454 block huh? You older guys should know about that. Besides, anyways when buying a truck, is fuel economy really on the top of your list? if it is, your looking at the wrong vehicle. Buy a car or truck that is lightning fast, but remember few cars are fast and get good gas mileage unless your fond of the ecoboost turbo that is available in the F150 or taurus(SHO). Im disappointed with fords 6.2 liter v8 engine. It seems like it can make more torque and hp but most likely emissions and safety are what is slowing it down in terms of weight and performance. All the safety and fuel standards are killing performance and add weight to the truck, which is a double whammy.

Maybe truck makers should just only install the necessary safety features like seat belts, airbags, traction control, stability control, and antilock brakes. All other safety features are unneccesary. Who needs trailer sway control or exhaust brakes? I mean jeesh, if you know how to drive, you don't need all that. Why make cars and trucks that can drive themselves, and for that, why even make them then?

I laughed at vulpine when he said he can barely work the headunit in his 1990 F250. It just shows how really bad drivers are today.

Also, whats up with ford getting poor remarks from JD Power and Associates simply because the userface for my ford touch is not user friendly? So their telling me the whole truck is unreliable because the people who dont know how to use touchscreens? Thats ridiculous. What happened to looking at the users manual or better yet why not ask how to use it before giving negative remarks that not deserving. Jeez bunch of stupid idiots. I mean really, stupidity and incompetence are the worst combination.

GM may be losing some sales, but they are gaining sales overall for an overall gain. May 2012 vs May 2011, GM sales are up 21.6% for Silverado and 22.7% for Sierra. This is a gain.

I don't buy base model engines with the lowest capability so whatever the Pentastar does does not interest me.

Ram has a tradesman but that locks you into a regular cab. RC do nothing for me.

If all I wanted was the best fuel economy, I'd wait the extra 6 months and buy the Silverado.

Say Ram does do 1 mpg better than Ford. I'd still buy the Ford because they are class leading in too many other areas:

operating costs, dependability, reliability, safety, cab size/bed length, front and rear seat roominess, ride quality, towing and payload, in vehicle eletronics, work features, etc.

When Ram does finally get its safety right, a properly sized crewcab, a decent payload across all cabs, and their dependability right, I will be the first to stand up and aplaud.

Until then they will always be 3rd best. Some people are happy with a 3rd place truck and that's ok.

I know for a fact Ford can get 26 mpg on their next trucks. They are at 23 now. Add 20% improvement and that is 28 mpg. 26 mpg is a convservative estimate for the next gen trucks.

@Tom, If I wanted to throw out some crazy number I would have said 30 mpg or more. 26 mpg is very reasonable.


Basically Ram will get to 23-24 for a few months before GM will get to 25-26, etc. Ram is not taking out loyal Chevy customers when just a couple months after the Rams start hitting the lots will see the all new class leading Silverados at the Detroit Auto Show.


I'm not going to make this a discussion but you info is 100% wrong. Manufacturers list their EPA estimates for a limited number of configurations and apply those estimates across the board. That is why when you look at the EPA figures on the vehicle it state a range of fuel economy you can expect. Ford did publicize the vehicles they used for their F150 testing. If my memory serves me correctly I think the 4x4 was a quad cab 5'5" bed and the other was a longbed 2x4. I can not speak on what RAM or GM used as I've never seen it published.

Another good point is: where are you performing your testing. None of those trucks get their EPA rated fuel economy here in the PA mountains.

Also the RAM interior is generally known to be on par or better than the F150's. Now you should take that with a large helping of salt as Ford is bringing out a new higher trim line...and we all know what opinions are like..... So I'll leave it at that. But anyone that says Fords interior is a million times better than the RAMs has been breathing too many fumes.

Lastly I was not blown away by the pentastar V6. When I drove it in a Grand Cherokee I found it to be adequate. I noticed a lot of shifting going on. The lack of torque requires more gears. I daresay the Pentastar would suck behind a 4 speed transmission. The 8 speed may actually make that engine for me the verdict will be out until I can get to drive one with an 8 speed tranny.

You're drinking the Koolaid!!!!!! I will repost my post to you from before!

@Lou & Dave,

Ram will beat Ford!

Ram will have best in class fuel economy!

Ram will have more technology - start stop technology, 8 SPEED, and push button start!

Ram will have more useable space - RamBox anyone?!

Ram will have more safety - can't go by just the crash tests, if is how you drive, not the tests that matter!

Ram will have the best in class ride!

Ram will have the most payload and towing - Tradesman!

Nothing else is left. Ram has already beaten Ford!!!!!! GM's next gen trucks will be a miserable failure so don't worry about them. GOT IT? GOOD.


@Chrysler Tech,



"Nothing else is left."

Umm, what about Price, Reliability, Resell depreciation?

Enough said.... I digress.

Yes there is no way that any of the half tons will be hitting 26 highway anytime soon in real life driving. Most car based crossovers that under weigh half tons by a thousand pounds are not able to get 26 highway under real driving conditions.

Dave if you think a move from a 6 speed to an 8 speed transmission in enough to boost fuel economy by 20% you need to take a step back and think about how a car and transmission work and realize how ridiculous that statement is.

If the Ram 1500 were to be shrunk down to the size of the Dakota (which will never happen) and it gets all of the fuel saving advances going into the current 1500 it *might* be able to barely squeak out 26 in a 2wd only form.

Actually, Mackintire, Ram has the best 1500 model residuals in Extended and Crew cab as published by ALG. Not Ford or GM.

And Ram scored a 99 on the latest JD Power Initial Quality tests as a brand, so I am not sure how they could average a 99 and at least have at least one of their trucks tied with the Sierra which was listed at 99 and the "winner"??

An 8 speed won't be enough, but it will be the total package that boosts fuel econ. Also, 23 to 26 is only a 13% increase. Very achievable. I'm out.

I see alot of posts regarding gearing etc.

Just because an engines rpm is lower doesn't mean it will return more mpg. Also higher diff ratio might be more economical than a lower ratio and vica versa. It can depend on what speed the driver is operating the vehicle versus the optimum engine power/torque curve. This goes for turbine, gasoline as well as diesel engines.

There are only 2 reasons why the number of gears will be required to increase. Whether by splitter box or increase number of gears in a transmission.

1. Less flexibility in an engine, ie, power/torque curve is narrow.

2. To improve the efficiency of an engine to move mass, large trucks, trains etc.

So this is why I say diesel is the answer, especially turbo diesel as its power/torque band is very flat and broad (more economical).

Another one is aerodynamics, co-efficient drag. Pickups of the future will become much better, like cars. And not look as boxy. Just adding driving lights, bullbars etc will decrease your fuel economy more than you can imagine. Just lifting your truck will decrease fuel economy.

I'd have to agree that we will not see huge gains in mpg with the 8 speed. Highway driving will end up being in 8th not 6th or 5th. Power will be used more efficiently and will improve the overall driving experience. It also depends on how that tranny will be programmed. A map for optimal fuel economy isn't neccessarily going to work well for everyone. We may see bigger gains for around town driving but highway speeds, as Big Al pointed out, are a factor of aerodynamics. To get optimal aerodynamics we would end up with some extremely unconventional trucks that no one would want to buy. Air-ride technology will help in relation to ride height but depending on the upgrade cost and complexity, I'd rather lose a few mpg and not have the worry. A deployable airdam based on road surface and speed probably would give similar mpg gains and be considerably less expensive to built and dirt cheep to repair.


your a looser with too much time on your hands..go and get a life instead of talking down about new tech on the internet because your unhappy with your own truck. Ram is taking out furd in 2013.


CryTech: .... can't go by just the crash tests, if is how you drive, not the tests that matter!

So if you are a good driver, the safety of the vehicle doesn't matter? You are lucky to live in an area where people don't run red lights. I'm sure the guy that was killed by the red light runner here last week was a good a dead good driver.
Good luck with your perfect world where Murphy's Law doesn't exist.

@Chrysler Tech: Sorry, can't agree that it's how you drive. Ram has had the top (IIHS) tested front end collision, with all others getting a yellow in their frontal impact, while Ram is all green Matter of fact, Ford's newest isn't isn't is good per IIHS as the 2008 model. When looking at the frontal impact IIHS you can see the Ram has about the toughest in that test. Ram also has a green in rear end collision. Since they have tested side collision, Ram has had good (Ford and Toyota had shown better) side impact integrety, but the fact of only side curtain air bags has held them back. But now:

"The 2013 Ram 1500 has standard front and side-curtain (front and rear) air bags, seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags," from Allpar

seat mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags has fixed that! Now it is down to the roof test, which is marginal. Unless they increase thickness of the roof steel or differant material, that will have to wait to the new model.

My opinion is that they are a hell of alot safer then just 10 years ago, and better in a side impact then any extended cab truck with suicide doors (Chevy ext cab, Ford super, Nissan King) and there are a heck of a lot more head ons then roll overs, alot of those happen happen when there is no where to go to avoid the oncomming texter, or person asleep, or passing and ran out of room. I would like to think that alot of rollovers are due to people driving way too fast around corners or swerving hard (must remember what you are in)

But bottom live: to be competitive, they now need to fix the roof. But I do have a 70 Dart Swinger, a 88 Daytona CS, and a 96 Chrysler LHS that aren't everything these new safety tests say my truck is, but that's ok.

@ sierra

This is from your FIRST POST on page one. YOU SIR are the reason SAE has to come up with a way to make an apples to apples comparison. You see the ford that tows 11k DOESNT get 22mpg and the one that gets 22mpg cant pull a greasy string out of a cats **S with a 3.15 rear end. and IF you even consider pulling anything your fuel economy will drop by 10mpg before you even hook up the trailer LOL LOL god forbid you hook up some weight and the truck with 3.55 that PUTC DID test got 7MPG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wake up theres some coffee brewin in the next room, you should go have some.

Hemi, There you go again.

You don't understand how fuel economy ratings work or have any understanding on how axle ratios affect mpg. Fuel economy ratings may not change at all by going to a different ratio. Even if it does, it does not end up being markedly different. You're talking at most, less than half of one mpg by going from the lowest to the highest ratio or nothing at all. This has been confirmed by Roger Clark, senior manager for General Motors Integration and Fuel Economy Learning Vehicles Program (FELVP), which handles EPA testing of all GM trucks and SUVs. The reason one person could take a bigger hit by going to a different gear ratio is from other factors like weather, driving style and aero - not the gear ratio—are the major contributing factors in a vehicle’s fuel economy.

Mike Levine and Mark Williams got 25+ mpg in a 3.55 EcoBoost without even babying it, they averaged 22 mpg unloaded, and people all over the forums have gotten into the 20's with 3.73.

As for that tow test, the average was 8.5 mpg towing 9,000 lbs on extreme mountain climbs, in windy condtions with consistent speeds above 65 mph (and using the wrong gas and a non-v-neck trailer.) I would like to see any other truck do much better in those conditions.

Read and educate yourself.

Well, I'll have to say again, that people who worry about mpg ought not to buy a truck. No matter which truck you get, a truck is still a truck is still a truck.

And if you run it empty you're gonna get better mpg than if you run it loaded.

If you're going to buy a truck you should get what you believe in and not worry about mpg. Seriously! Match it to your needs.

The heaviest thing I ever tow is a three-axle flatbed trailer loaded with bricks, cement, ceramic tile and/or lumber. The max the trailer is rated for is 10,000lbs, or 3,333 lbs per axle.

It is the same trailer I have used since 1980 and have towed it with a Silverado, an F150 and now my 2011 Tundra 5.7. Of the three the Tundra gets the best mpg, the Silverado 350 the worst.

There's no way in hell I can pull that trailer with a Pentastar RAM or an EB F150 no matter how many gears the tranny has. That tranny would be working overtime, shifting between gears to match torque to load.

If you buy an mpg truck you lose hauling ability. That may work for some, but then they really don't need a truck to haul anything of consequence, do they?

G.M. = Chevy & G M C . THATS ALL FOLKS.

I'm a Dodge guy and i have to say I've had GM trucks and ford trucks and when it comes right down to it I've never had a problem with the Dodge trucks at all! I own a small body shop and I've done more Chevy and ford rust work than Dodge .I done 5 Dodge's in 18 years! Doesn't that tell you something! Now I've got a friend who has a car with twin turbos that has been on a dyno that's pushing 1200+horsepower and he's averaging 42 mpg as long as he keeps his foot out of it. Now if he can do it why can't everyone else do the same thing.

I have a Quad cab 1500 with a hemi and 3.92 gears. The 5 speed tranny has a .67 fifth gear just like the new 8 speed. This means I will turn the same 1950 rpm at 70 as I do now. This will not change my highway mileage at all. Any gains will come from shutters, ele. power steering, and aero mods. I do have the 20" tires on my 1500. I'd rather have the 17's tho.

@chuck collins - "Now if he can do it why can't everyone else do the same thing."

It all depends upon what kinds of drugs you are on!

Fred the Man,

The 8 speed is also going to have a much higher rearend ratio of 3.21:1. While the tech you posted will also help with the highway MPG, the 8 speed is also much more efficent at getting the power to the ground, in every gear. Meaning that the Hemi will have to work less hard to get the same amount of power to the pavement when compaired to the current 5/6speed, which also means better FE.

Actually Ram sales did beat Chevy sales last year. check it out, Ram was number two in sales behind Ford, but if you combined Chevy and GMC then and only then do they beat Ram and not by much.

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