Detroit Newspaper Names Ram 1500 Truck of the Year


The 2013 Ram 1500 has been named The Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year.

Automotive industry journalist Mark Phelan, writing for the newspaper, explained "Chrysler could have gotten away with a mere face-lift for the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup. Instead, it provided a glimpse of the pickup of the future, a truck that combines workhorse capability with fuel efficiency."

"The new Ram 1500 takes a massive step forward in technology and fuel economy, representing the direction the Ram Truck Brand is heading with all its models," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC.

"We are honored to have an endorsement from the Detroit Free Press and Mark Phelan. This award will be well-received by our dealers and customers, reiterating the fact that Ram has the best truck on the market."

For 2013, the Ram 1500 offers 25-mpg fuel efficiency and a host of improvements you can read about in our First Drive of the truck.

First-in-segment technologies include an eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and active air suspension.


Granted, the new Ram has LOTS of new and cool technologies, but it only nets a 4% improvement in fuel economy over the F-150 V6 that's been out since 2011 or an 8% improvement if you count the "high efficiency" version.

The picture gets worse if you compare it to the ecoboost, only a 12% improvement in FE, but a 50% loss in towing capability. Sounds like a loser to me.

However, if they can miraculously get ecoboost numbers out of the Hemi, THEN they will have something to talk about. I don't see it happening.

Yea your right! Hemi will exceed it.

Yea your right! Hemi exceed EB.

Compare apples to apples.
Base V6 to Base V6. Hemi to EB.

2013 Ram Hemi 13c/21hwy
2011 F150 EcoBoost 16c/21hwy.
Ford Wins

The base V6 Pentastar Pentastar does get 25 mpg hwy, but gets the same fuel economy as the 2011 F-150 V6 in the city.
Base V6 Ram wins on the hwy.
Base V8 Ford and Ram tie in the city.

Cannot compare the Hemi 8 speed because the figures have not been revealed yet. No question Ram still has a lot to prove.

Mark Phelan also says nothing about payload other than a remark about the airbags without mentioning they are a $1600 option and do not increase payload.

Base *V6 Ford and Ram tie in the city.

I bet the hemi will allow for tow ratings on par with everyone else (around 11k lbs) but the payload is still a weak point and likely scares away at least some fleet sales. I wish they would have addressed this better with the refresh. They did do new axles for the V6 but I guess they just made them the same strength but lighter rather than a little of both.

GM looks to be the leader in 1/2 ton payload now (with the exception of the 3/4 ton masquerading as a 1/2 model). Some of the ordering specs had GVWR of up to 7600 lbs and even with a 2.5 ton truck leads to payload of greater than 2000 lbs and we are talking about crew cab models here not the long bed 2x4 reg cab models.

Payload may not be tops on everyone else's list but it is on mine. I am ok with 7000 lbs of towing so long as payload is around 2000. I don't like that GM likely won't have fuel economy beating figures from the new drivetrains because they won't get those 8-speed trannys in until the next model year.

Good thing I won't be in the market until about 2 years from today so all the auto makers can get their newest and best out to meet the beginnings of the CAFE ratings.

I've been seeing how Ram is racking up the awards so I put them at the top of my list when shopping for a new truck these past few weeks. I was shocked to see they are dead last in payload capabilities. And it's not even close, they are way behind. And I thought the airbags were going to increase payload to make up for the soft springs but that isn't the case either. How can such a weak hauler win truck awards? And then to top it off, dealers tell me they don't know when to expect the new 8 speeds and have no specs on them yet. That pushed me back to my original shopping list, looking at trucks that can haul more than an SUV.

I really think that people need to step back and really think about what they will be hauling/towing with these 1500 trucks. RAM/FORD/CHEVY/GMC.... I see allot of people trying to settle with a 1500 when they really NEED a 2500's payload and towing capacity/safety.
The RAM 1500 with the load leveling suspension, huge brakes, HEMI, 8-SPD, brake controller, ESP, trailer sway, and did I mention 8-SPD...will be a great tow vehicle! If you need more payload capacity or towing ability then you need to look at a Gas-2500.

I think the title will go to the C-Max since they like SUV's. that SUV seems more inovative to a car guy. Adjustable suspension, shutters, 8 speed, dial shifter etc. is all very common in the car market so it will most likely be overlooked.
I'd like to see Ram win as they are the only truck in the mix.

So, whatt is the payload for the 2013 Ram 1500???

Payload isn't about towing for me, it's really the payload that I want. I'll likely be ordering a F-150 Super Crew with the HD payload package. When you get into the Super Crew cabs, the payloads can barely handle a cab full of passengers. Ford offers the HD payload package that pushes the GVWR to 8200 lbs. The payload is somewhere between 2100 and 2300 lbs (depending on added options and accessories).

I must disagree with JBrown, If you buy a Full Size Pickup truck (read "pickup" truck) you'd expect you can use it to haul things right? If you just hauling passengers you should buy a van. I'm a contractor and I do Not need a 2500, right now I have a (2000) Silverado 1500 which I use to haul tools and materials, I easily haul 1.25 tons in the bed (with 2500 leaf springs) no problem!

Oops. My last post went on the wrong thread. Congrats Ram.

I disagree with Jbrown too. Not everyone needs a 2500 or wants one. payload of 2000-2200 lbs should be well within reach for a 1500 truck. Just look at the global market. They use mid-sized trucks and can get that kind of rating (I understand that not all ratings are equal). It is all about the strength of the axle and leaf springs. I bet for less than $500 all of the big truck makers could increase payload by an average of 500lbs, they just don't do it so they don't cannibalize sales of heavy-duty trucks which are probably higher margin for them.

The stronger axles probably get 1 mpg worse in the highway and that certainly wouldn't help them meet CAFE any easier.


At the State Fair of Texas, Ford has just announced — without so much as changing a bolt on the current regular cab 2013 F-150 4x2 with the 3.7-liter V-6 — that the previous tow rating of 6,100 pounds is now 6,700 pounds, 200 pounds more than the brand-new Ram 1500. (Remember our "magical spring dust" story some years back?)

People show that they do not understand how anything is engineered. Engineers look at how cyclic stress affects a structure. They know maximum failure points as well. Engineers have professional standards to follow. Those standards are geared to protecting the public from poor engineers. They cannot change ratings unless they know they are within safety guidelines.
It is like a Medical Doctor adjusting the dosage of a medication. They know what constitutes safe minimum and maximum limits.

I find that seeing the manufacturer's play with numbers is a PR disaster.
The optics are very poor.
Ford plays that game (and so does the competition) and it makes them look bad.

The Ram is not the 1st trucks to have stop-start! the 1st gen. GM Hybids have that, I know someone with one, and he loves it, he is a surveyer, and gets 20 in the city with a cap and light load of tools and laser and tripods in the back, it is still being used, and has had NO problems, and the best thing he likes about the truck, is he can run a job site that has no power with it! Who said something about a 3/4ton masquerading as a 1/2 ton?, just because the Chevy's have good payloads, there is no need to say such things, and as far as paypoads go, Ford has the highest 1/2t payload out there, and the Ram is like a car with a bed on it, the old ElCamino's and Rancheros had more payload that a new Ram 1500 Crew cab!

@Sandman 4x4, How much payload did you have in your ford when you blew the head gasket on your Eco booster?














Atleast the Ram can handle the weight it's rated at a heck of alot better then some of the others. Put 1,000 pounds in the bed of the current Chevy or Tundra and try to stop or corner hard, (not that you should corner hard with 1,000 pounds in the bed, but they have to test it somehow) those two trucks were failures at that, atleast in the 30 K shootout.

But, Ram is not using the air suspension to it's best ability if it does not improve payload. It is great to sit level, and lower it for loading, or a little lower then normal for mileage, as to raise for offroad is cool. (I am waiting for Oxi to chime in and start in about offroading, but this air suspension is not for somebody that wants to go desert racing, I don't believe? Which is all Oxi has to talk about.Good use offroad for people that need to go offroad. To actually go somewhere.

Can't wait for the next shootout! I bet they do it in Fall, when GMs new ones are out, but that would have other brands screaming (the one with a T)

Ford barely stocks their F-250 in F-150 body heavy duty payload.

I did see the Outdoorsman has just the 20" wheels. While I complained about my 275/70 17s Good Year Wrangler A/TSs at first, after 39,000 miles and they hold a load good, and no flats. Tread pattern could be better. If they want the 20" wheels, how about a more offroad tire? While it's great they have alot of ground clearance with those 20" wheels, how about a 70 series tire for off roads? Ram has the least tire choices and can stand to expand on that. How about a 65 series for 4x2s? How about a decent offroad pattern for 17s? If I was to get a new one, I would like something like a Firestone Destination A/T 265/70R17.

Why not a smaller size tire for V-6 single cab shortbeds? Such as a 65 series, like the Michelins Ford 4x2s have? No thanks, don't want any Hancook Dynopro so called A/T tires though.

Why not have the column shift as an option? I would be fine with the rotary dial, but not everbody else is. I drove garbage trucks that had push button electronic. Didn't bug me. The column or console shifter will be shifting electronically anyways.

I wouldn't care if it leads this payload game at all, but as Sandman said, some crews are pretty darn low on payload.

As for comparing the Hemi to the Egoboost, how many Ecoboosts are there with over 100,000 miles on them? Few, and one is the one Ford tested (cough...lie, lie lie....) The Ecoboost costs more, and you will spend more maintaing it. It even recommends premium with the Ecoboost for heavy towing. Unlike the Hemi which 87 is acceptable, 89 is recommended. The Ecoboost also has this stupid low sitting cover under the engine. I bet that doesn't last, as Fords sit pretty low.

The 3.7 vs. the Pentastar? The Pentastar smokes it in acceleration, should be smoother with the 8 speed, and better mileage.

It will be alot smoother with an 8 speed that doesn't gain near as many rpm on a downshift, or more gears to find the right gear.

Always fun to read this tho, and most Ford guys will just talk about how fast the Ecoboost with get their load up a hill, so we can pay 30/40K plus for trucks to costant trash them. Them seem to forget about braking and turning diameter.

To bad you can't even get a high end model Ram with the V6. I your looking at a Lariet Ford or a Laramie Ram, the Lariet gets 21 MPG in 4x4. The Dodge only gets 18 with with the Hemi. The eight speed Hemi may change that but so far they haven't hit the market.


In the quest to build the most capable heavy-duty pickups available, Ram Truck introduces the new
2013 Ram Heavy Duty with best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combination Weight Rating
(GCWR). The new Ram Heavy Duty adds a number of new features, including a factory integrated
5th wheel and gooseneck hitch mount, 2.5-inch receiver hitch, electronic stability control (ESC) for
dual-rear-wheels and body-to-frame hydromounts that provide improved ride quality. The new 2013
Ram Heavy Duty further solidifies the long list of leadership claims including best-in-class total cost of
“The Ram Heavy Duty is expected to perform through the most abusive duty cycles and we test it in
the harshest environments with grueling loads,Suspension
To handle the best-in-class towing and payload capability of the new Ram Heavy Duty

When bikers invite you to a party, you know your Ram Truck sent the right message. Guts. Glory. Respect.

@Hemi man of the Sheep Herder's Tribe - thanks for the video. I needed a good laugh.
That commercial is funny because statistics indicate that the biggest buyers of Harleys are what biker's call RUBS. 'R'ich 'U'rban 'B'ikers.
My brother and a large numbers of my friends are Harley fans and they roar around wearing their leather vests, fingerless gloves, and lineman boots. Yup - don't shave for a few days before the weekend and go ride around trying to look bad-assed.

Seems to me, Ford has beat everyone to that market with their wannabe F150 Harley Davidson truck.

@Roger: Too bad you can't tell the differance between 18 and 19. You said the Ram Larimie only gets 18 MPG? What's your source?

It's been 19 MPG for a Hemi 4x4 since about 2011.

Too bad the current pre 8 speed 4x4 Hemis gas mileage rating is avered between two gear sets, the 3.55 and 3.92. They don't have a low gear like Fords 3.31 that is used for their gas mileage rating. They will have 3.21s available with the 8 speed. So you can have darn near the same starting ratio in first gear with a Ram with 3.21s as a Ford with 3.73s, but yet have a heck of alot lower rpm for mileage in 8th gear. Do you really think a 3.73 geared F-150 4x4 really gets 21 miles per gallon at higher then 60 mph?

Too bad Fords V-8s have to be wound up more to get to the torque.

Too bad Fords 3.7 V-6 will take a back seat to Rams 3.6. Shows what gears can do.

^I meant the current Rams 6 speed gets 19 MPG highway.^

@Lou: speaking of the Harley F-150, the payload on those isn't much better then a Ram crew.

I don't get the fingerless gloves. More crap to mess up when you crash and burn.

@you tube haul king: maybe if you have a F-250 diesel you might stop better then a 2500 GM, but that's about as far as the Fords dominate stopping, according to this:

Looks like the Rams beat the Fords in this portion!

Fords were never really known for great brakes, but I did once have an 83 F-150 with the 300 sic cylinder, it had the bigger rotors on it that were available. It also had way too low (highway gears) to pull worth a crap, and not alot of power. Pathetic. What a mismatch.

RAM is truly the best truck !

Best looking !

Best driving !

Best sounding,the HEMI sounds wicked !

Hemi V-8 out excellerates Ford even the ecoBoost Fords and the Hemi V-8 gets the same if not better mpg than a 6 cyl turbo (problematic turbos always are)!

Why buy a ugly looking Ford ? Why do Ford fans praise a 6 banger,ever hear one of those ? Oh Lord the 6 cyl sounds like a Civic or a MINIVAN..

I will stick with a Dodge a sweet sounding V-8..I dont understand why people are so concerned about gas mileage,if you cannot afford something that gets 18 mpg (combined) or less,you shouldnt be driving a truck ! You actually should be taking the bus..

Too many dolts on this site complain about gas mileage..WHY ? If you are to broke to drive we have public transit for you !! Stop wrecking the automotive world by complaining you want better mpg,instead complain that we should have lower gas prices and lower mpg..You know if your truck shrinks down and has a 3 cyl engine and gets 60 mpg,gas at the pump will be $40 a gallon,we are in the cheapest days,these are the good old days.Powerful trucks and cheap gas.The libs are putting in new mpg rules and gas prices will rise ten fold because of YOU,complaining we need better mpg,instead of saying we need lower prices at the pump !

I want a 650 hp RAM 1500 that gets 7 mpg that would make my day !! You mpg queens sound crazy,mpg..In my world we talk about mph not mpg ! You are not car people you are public transit ryders and poor people who cannot afford to drive a real vehicle !

MPG..Who cares !! V-8,V-10 400-500-600 + H.P is what we want,not a strugling small cube 6 cyl that get the same as a V-8 in mpg !!! But the smaller 6 wont last as long because it is at high stress all the time to get the power out,turbo's,popping head gaskets are the eco boosts forte !

@Chris, Amen, Amen, Amen, When I bought my 03 Hemi it had 345 HP. You think I lifted the already highest stock 4x4 and put 35"BFG's with 4.56 gears in both axles for gas mileage. lol. I did it so I can pull my 24' 9,000 lbs toy hauler onto beach front property and not get stuck to ride my quads. I lifted it so I don't get drowned out in the river crossing to the dunes. At night I take it out in the dunes listening to the radio and drinking a cool one. Put K&N intake and flow master exhaust. Sounds like music when it growls up the dune face. It's a go any where with R.V. 4x4. Not a gas sipping Toyota Tacoma. It climbs mountains at 70 mph on cruise control with trailer @5,500 RPM. I bought a truck to tow and haul. People who are buying v6 trucks don't need a truck other then tow a jet ski. I will trade in my perfectly good 03 with 76,000 miles for a Power Wagon with a 6.4L Hemi with 450 plus horsepower 33"BFG's 4.56 gears lockers and winch. They did not offer a Power Wagon until 05. I would like the horsepower and the extra capacity since my Dodge is rated at 7,400 lbs and that"s what my trailer weighs empty. No water 100 gallons x 8.34 lbs no food. No quads 400 dry x 3 No firewood and no beer. Listen to this Hemi Growl. Better with head phones.

I think ram deserves the win, even though id rather 2012. It has new segment leading features I just don't like them. I hope Ford and gm keep on a different path.

How about this Detroit newspaper focus on fixing their city problems instead of useless propaganda!

@howam00. Yes payloads are generally heavier than virtually all US Half Tons(exception the Ford HD F150.} As far as other ratings go, that would have to be determined in some form of shootout between Global Pickups and US Half Tons.

@Robert Ryan
The HD F-150's payload is generally less than most any of our mid-sizers.

The payload is comparable, the same league as an Amarok.

I would like to see a vehicle the size of the F-150 with at least a 4 000lb payload, especially if it comes with a long wheelbase (dual cab) so you can put a 10' tray on the back.

Even the Global Ranger will carry a larger payload. The F-150 can out tow them though.

@Robert Ryan
The HD F-150's payload is generally less than most any of our mid-sizers.

The payload is comparable, the same league as an Amarok.

I would like to see a vehicle the size of the F-150 with at least a 4 000lb payload, especially if it comes with a long wheelbase (dual cab) so you can put a 10' tray on the back.

Even the Global Ranger will carry a larger payload. The F-150 can out tow them though.



25 hwy is great, but compare the hauling capability of the Ram vs. F150. If I'm buying a truck to do the work of a truck I will look at more than just ride and economy. The equation really needs to include all, which is why Ford is on top most of the time.

Let's see if the EcoBust fanboys feel the same way when they shell out $4,500 to get those twin turbos replaced before 100K miles. The Hemi might use a little more fuel in the city, but it'll last forever with a trailer hooked on the back.

And I won't even get into the interior or body squeaks, rattles, cracks, and general poor quality of the Ford.

Let Fiat have their 5 minutes of fame before they get roasted in sales numbers (again) by the truck they love to hate....because it's by far the best -- F150.

Detroit Free Press? Sounds like our local free rag with the "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" adds in the back.

I guess when someone throws you a bone you gotta' run with it.


Ram 1500 and hemi, what a joke of a truck.

While hemi owners are playing patty-cake on the beach, CUMMINS trucks are building the nation.


You sound like a butt hurt fanboi who just realized that Ram is clearly the better truck, but is trying to pull anything out of his hat to make himself feel better about ford selling a sub par product. Sure ford is #1 in sales, but McDonalds is also #1 in sales, and they sure as hell don't sell the best burger.

You want to compare numbers, lets do:
Cheapest XL F150 can haul 1930 lbs and tow 6700lbs, but only after Ford sprinkled some magic dust on the suspension.
Cheapest Tradesman Ram can haul 1918 lbs and can tow 6500lbs. Considering the Ram gets better FE, is cheaper, and has better performance, what is the better buy? Clearly the Ram.

Now lets look at the other end of the spectrum.
The Most expensive Ford is the Limited. It can haul 1480 lbs and tow a laughable 7500lbs.
The most expensive Ram is the Longhorn. It can haul 1286 lbs and tow 9950lbs (over ONE TON more then the F150). Those numbers are the Ram equipped with the 6 speed, not the 8.

Why does the Ram spank it, because the Frod doesn't have the "Max Tow/Haul" packages (which the large majority of F150 DON'T come equipped with).

Sorry I made you look ignorant, but you were the one that wanted to look at the numbers.

@U.R.A.D.B. - The Ford Limited is similar to the Harley F150. It isn't marketed to tow or haul.
You can get a Platinum F150 with max tow and haul package that puts it at a higher capacity.
When it comes to max tow/haul packages - does Ram give you that option?
If someone wants it, it is available with the F150.
Most do not have it because most don't need it.

There are regional variations that affect what a dealer orders. TRXTom stated that he looked at 4 dealers and could not find a single F150 supercrew with 6.5 box. In my region of BC the 6.5 box option accounts for roughly 1/2 the pickups I see. I put the max tow/haul package option at roughly 20% of models I encounter.

BTW - you can spec a Platinum that costs more than the Limited. So it isn't really the most expensive.

Lou the problem with max tow/haul being an option is that with it checked, you are starting to creep into a 2500's msrp. Why have so much overlap?

@uradb - a base F150 is 23,670 and a base F250 is 29,385 (USA pricing). That is only a difference of $5,715. A base Ram 1500 is 22,640. A base 2500 is 29,220. That is a difference of $6,580 (USA pricing). If you are talking about price creep - any intermediate trim 1/2 ton is going to be more pricy than a base 3/4 ton. Max tow doesn't add 5,700 to the price of a p/u. Maybe 3K max. The price of the 3.5 EB and then max tow package added to that.

If you are talking about cargo capacity and towing. They start getting pretty close. If a guy only tows at max capacity once and a while they could get away with a max tow optioned 1/2 ton. That is a selling feature some will consider.

I personally think that anyone towing more than 8,000 lb on a regular basis should consider a 3/4 ton in the first place. I wasn't too concerned about max tow numbers when I purchased my truck becuase my wife and I were happy with a 25 ft camper trailer in the 5-7,000 lb range. That would be within the capacity of a Limited. My truck was rated at 9,500 which was more than adequate.

@HEMI V8 - your truck is rated to tow only 7,400? You pull 1,600 over GCWR. Don't get in an accident while doing it since your insurance carrier could void your policy. DOT could make you park your trailer or worse levy fines and/or impound your truck and trailer.
The current Power Wagon is rated at 1,860 cargo and 10,200 trailer. That would give you 1,000 lb margin on your loaded trailer. It would be a much safer tow vehicle. I'm amazed that you'd consider towing that much with a lifted truck with 35's.
Is your trailer a fifth wheel?

The closest Ford dealer to me has 7 F-150's with the 6.5' box. It's not a big dealer either. The smaller dealer I get my truck serviced at has 2. A different dealer we bought another car at has 2. A large regional dealer has 98 supercrews with the 6.5'. They are around if you need them. The important fact is you can get one, you can order it if you have to.

Fiat-Ram didn't do it all until this year. I prefer the 8' beds. With Fiat you are stuck with a regular cab if you want an 8' bed. No can do! Ford has the 8' bed supercab. Ford gives you the most options which is one of the many reasons they are the truck leader.

There is one about the same distance to me, it may even be closer than the one with 7, has 14 F-150's SuperCrew with the 6.5' box. Another one is a different direction has 11. I'm having no trouble finding these at all. If you are a Ram troll then you "cannot find a single one."

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