U.S. & Canadian Journalists Choose Finalists

2013-Ram-1500 IIa

Forty-nine U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists have selected their finalists for the prestigious North American Truck/Utility of the Year Award. The three finalists in this category are the Mazda CX-5, Ford C-Max Hybrid and Ram 1500. 

This is the 20th year for the awards, which are uncommon in the U.S. because — instead of being given by a single media outlet — they are awarded by a coalition of automotive journalists representing various types of media, from magazines to television and radio to newspapers and blogs. 

The winners will be announced at an early morning news conference on Jan. 17 at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Last year's North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were given to the Hyundai Elantra and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. 

As you might suspect, we have a preference between to the three finalists, but we have little hope that the seemingly car-biased jurors will be able to discern how much further the Ram 1500 has pushed its segment competitors, as well as how much better this new truck is compared to the vehicle it replaces. Fingers crossed.


Aren't all of those competitors classified as trucks?

The c-max has fallen flat on it's face with an un-achievable EPA mpg 47/47 hwy/city. Strike that one off the list.

Keep C-Max on the list. The C-Max achieves the mileage under the EPA test. If you don't like the EPA tests then complain to the EPA. As for CR, there was a bigger discripency with the Prius than the C-Max. Prius was off by 19 mpg, and the C-Max by 12.

"During the 2013 NAIAS preview, Raj took the opportunity to respond to CR's claims on EPA hybrid mileage, 8:00 minutes in at livestream.com/ford. Meanwhile, CR has backpedaled and suddenly discovered how the C-Max and FFH earned the EPA mileage that they did. CR realized that the CR test isn't the same as the EPA test. Raj has a great powerpoint graphic that shows CR's city testing revealed that the Prius and Prius C diverged from the EPA city rating more than any other hybrid models, a "whopping" 19mpg in the case of the Prius. The Ford hybrids diverged 12 mpg, the Prius divergence was more than 50% worse.

Consumer Reports today: "Ford should be congratulated for producing some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. However, customers who look for 47 mpg may need to readjust their expectations. When the EPA revamped its testing cycles in 2007, it made significant strides in bringing its estimates more in line with what drivers can expect to get themselves. The EPA is looking into this latest discrepancy and may again need to address new challenges in predicting fuel-economy for emerging technologies."

Ken: Strike it ?? Come on! It's still light years ahead of anything in its class that GM or Fiat is offering.

Look at how beautiful that Dodge is. Why can't Chevrolet's look like that? No odd bulging fenders and no odd square wheel cut outs. Nothing but clean, mean and class above.

Look at how uncapable that RAM truck is. Lowest payload, crap gas mileage, lackluster towing, worst reliability, worst safety record. I don't even know why Chrysler bothers. Always 3rd best.

Silverado's have got to be the ugliest, most overrated pieces of garbage out there. How pathetic the 2014's are. Can't wait for RAM to overtake them for the 2 spot this year!!!


Nothing about 'Toyota Settlement The Largest In U.S. History Involving Automobile Defects - By GREG RISLING 12/26/12 07:28 PM ET EST AP'


Unbelievable PUTC is unaware of this historic event that affect average John & Jane Doe - hmmm.....

That Ram is a good looking truck, minus that big badge on the door, but then can be taken off.

These Ram's really are gorgeous. If I wasn't loyal to Chevrolet I'd be in a Dodge. I do think they're better looking. Especially from the side profile anyway. If only it had a Bowtie out front and a Chevy engine under the hood.

The problem with the Ram pictured is it has a less than a 1200 payload rating which is typical for Ram coil springs. Car-biased jurors know nothing about payload.

Toyota admits guilt and is going to compensate the families it destroyed to the tune of $1.1 billion.


What exactly do some of these comments have to do with the story?

As for journalist having to compare notes. I could see how many opinions coming together can be good. We have all read reviews where the outcome was predetermined before the tester even got the truck because of the bias that was already there.

I like how people compalin about the lack of hauling on the Ram. But look at the top of the line F150, it less then 200lbs more payload then the top of the line Ram. Plus the Ram has 900lbs more towing.

Such a huge difference!

Kick the C-Max off the list. There is a law suit in California against the false promise of the mpg promised by Ford. The car only got their recognition because of the promised mpg. Just another failure by Ford.


Exactly. One would need to be a double-fisted Ford kool-aid gulper to take Raj's word on why c-max and fusion owners aren't achieving anything close to 47/47. I'm surprised the C-max is even under consideration.

"Tests Show Ford Fusion and C-Max Hybrids Don't Live up to 47 mpg Claim:

In our tests, the Fusion Hybrid delivered 39 mpg overall and 35 and 41 in city and highway conditions, respectively.
For the C-Max Hybrid, we got 37 mpg overall, with 35 and 38 for city and highway.

These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models."


That's irrelevant; Ford is advertising the results of the EPA tests, not real-world mileage. That's also why this case has no chance of success unless the EPA finds evidence that Ford is cooking those results (and there is NO way that Ford is doing that).

If their argument is that the numbers aren't representative, they should be taking action against the EPA, not Ford.

Ford, CR and most everyone else admits that hybrids are subject to more variables than ICE cars. Temperature, tire pressure, break in mileage, among others. Blame the EPA for the way hybrids are tested.

Raj confirmed what Consumer Reports reported. Prius divereged 19 mpg from the EPA test and the CMax only diverged 12. Toyota was more than 50% worse than Ford. It's not Ford. It's the EPA test.

Average MPG results for 43 different Ford C-Max Hybrids driven almost 97k miles: 38.8. No where near 47.

Other vehicles at this website come much closer to EPA results. Almost 300 2012 Prius' are over 48mpg with over 2 million miles. That comes close to the EPA's combined 50mpg.

That law firm is still trying to find a payout. First they filed against GM and went to Honda. Now it is Ford.

From the Detroit News...

Ford like every other automaker are required to follow strict EPA testing to provide EPA mileage numbers. Unlike CR that creates their own 'un-official' 'go faster' testing which guarantees a hybrid will NEVER meet the EPA numbers. And guarantee CR with more headlines about hybrids not meeting EPA numbers. Trying to compare apples to oranges does not work.

It seems this article is missing a few facts from the EPA:

- The EPA has already come out supporting the hybrid mileage claims, and clearly stated that ALL hybrid mileage can be off up to 20% due to driving habits. That's all hybrids not just Fords.

- Ford is talking with the EPA about how testing is done with hybrid vehicles for the INDUSTRY, not just Ford hybrid vehicles.

- Also the EPA stated they will at some time review the CR 'claims and data', but NEVER stated they needed to re-test any Ford vehicle.

Actual C-Max hybrid consumers reporting mileage on fuelly.com shows individual average mpg range from 32 - 55mpg. With most not reaching the 6k mile breaking period for the lithium battery which can add an additional 5mpg to the average.

Compare that with actual Prius v consumer average mpg ranging from 35 - 53mpg.

CR is just trying to get headlines to promote their magazine and website. Just think about it, do they even test washing machines anymore? They do, but there is no blog to post a washing machine headline.

I forgot to mention the website is www.fuelly.com.

I should mention how Hundai recently handled an EPA estimate gaff 2 months ago. They apologized and they were only 1 or 2 mpg off most of their estimates.

Heads should roll at Ford.

$100 says Ford has to walk back the EPA mpg claims by 3-5 mpgs. My guess is 43 or 44 for both city and highway.

the cars are just too heavy and not anywhere near aerodynamic enough to get to 47. Even the Prius is only 48 highway and that assumes 65 mph per the EPA testing. I can get about that at 65 but Idaho speeds on the highway are 75 and at that we are around 44 mpg's. The city rating of 51 I can hit on average during a year but my wife drives like more regular folks and she is about 8% lower.

As far as the award I think the category requirements need to be relooked at since a C-max has no business being compared with a Ram or CX-5. the C-max and CX-5 are fairly closely matched in terms of size but even the CX-5 has optional 4x4 and more clearance. the C-max is a hybrid only wagon with no ability to haul, tow or go off-road. Bad comparison.

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.

Why file litigation against Ford when they are advertising EPA numbers. Driving a hybrid efficiently means you do not drive it like a gasser.
Many make the same mistake with diesel pickups. A diesel truck requires different habits, maybe not so much in warmer climates, but in the Great White North many use them as daily drivers. In -30C to -45C they never warm up.

What does the Toyota law suit have to do with this thread?
NASA and NHSTA found no link to their electronic systems.
People file class action suits over spilled hot coffee in the crotch.

Looks like "Peace on Earth and Good Will towards All Men". Does not exist in an allegedly Christian country.

@U.R.A.D.B.,I like how people compalin about the lack of hauling on the Ram. But look at the top of the line F150, it less then 200lbs more payload then the top of the line Ram. Plus the Ram has 900lbs more towing.

Such a huge difference!

Posted by: U.R.A.D.B. | Dec 27, 2012 1:47:55 PM


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?)



It is not spring dust you TROLL! Ford trucks are over-engineered and therefore the ratings can be changed.

However, you wouldn't know anything about that as you are just here to TROLL.

Keep trolling, we love to see you look stupid.

U.R.A.D.B.: "
the top of the line Ford has less than 200lbs. cappacity more than the top of the line Ram". The F-150 has almost TWICE the cappacity of the 1/2T Ram! in any model, any style any cab, 4x4 or 4x2, and as far as towing, the Ford has a package that will alow them to tow 11,300, and the only Ram that can tow more than that is the reg cab trademan HD and that will tow 11,500, but the rag Ram can tow 10,200, that seems a LOT less than the 900lbs you claim, about 200 more HD, and 1,100 LESS on a reg 1500 Ram

However, you wouldn't know anything about that as you are just here to TROLL.
Posted by: Frank | Dec 27, 2012 5:59:05 PM

LMFAO, Frank, I know all about those over engineered Fords. I was a blue oval boy before owning a DODGE.

The following video sums up my Ford owning experience.
This previous

F ord

O wner

R ecommends

D odge!!!


P.S. IT's HEMI V8!!!


@Jeff S - very true ;)

The Mazda CX-5 will be available with a 2.2 litre diesel. It will get 51-52 US mpg combined city/highway. I'd rather have that little SUV than a more expensive hybrid loaded with batteries.

I should have clarified. By top of the line I meant, F150 Limited and Ram Longhorn. According to Ford's website the Limited is maxed out at 1480hauling and 7500 towing, and according to Rams website the Longhorn is maxed at 1286hauling and 9950 towing.

The Limited is so much lower then other F150s because it doesn't come with the max tow/haul option. This is true for other F150s without the option as well, the Ram is close in hauling and beats the Ford in towing. Because very few of the F150s come with the tow/haul option, I consider the Ram to be a better truck.

A number of you are arguing the EPA's methods of calculating fuel mileage compared to real-world driving. That's really funny when you consider that, on average I am able to exceed EPA ratings by as much as 20% with any vehicle I drive--and I don't use 'hyper-miling' techniques, merely common-sense driving My highway mileage averages 21+ mpg on an '08 Wrangler where EPA rates it 18. My highway mileage on a '90 Ford F-150 (5.0L) runs 19.5 where EPA rated it 16. I've taken Camaros to 33mpg and even the Saturn Vue (I-4) to 32 mpg when rated at 28.

Maybe it's the drivers that are screwing the mpgs of these trucks, not the EPA.



@Lou--That is impressive. That is also good news for those who want a diesel and it will sell just on the mpgs. If GM puts a diesel in the Colorado/Canyon twins and does change it much from the global version, they should do well. I also hope that they put direct injection into the gasoline engines as well. The next few years should get interesting for cars and trucks and it would be great to see some of the trucks that are in Australia come to the US market. Big Al is right about our trucks and our market having more globally competitive products. It is always good to have insight from those who are not from NA.

@DWFields--I too have exceeded EPA posted mpgs by driving nonagressive and by slowing down when approaching a stop sign or a traffic light that is turning red. Not only is it good for mileage but it extends the life of the brakes and other components and helps make a vehicle last longer. It is just being smart and taking care of your vehicle and better for your blood pressure.

@ lou

the CX-5 may come in a diesel. For now only the new 6 is confirmed but I can't imagine them not using it if tehy spend the money to federalize it. I HIGHLY doubt your MPG claims. Maybe on something like the Japanese testing cycles but in the US I can't see more than 35/40 in the little CUV. VW is only at 41-42 on smaller and more aerodynamic wagons so I doubt the CX-5 will be any better. the lighter weight might allow them to push the city mpg's a bit. I expect aboit 36-38 combined. While that is much better than the 2.0 gasser I'd imagine that the diesel is a $1500-2000 option and would use fuel 25% more expensive.

I think from a cost stand point there would be zero savings but it would make the vehcile much more fun to drive. That alone will probably help the 2.2 diesel sell well.

@howam00 - Sorry, i can't find the site that I quoted for the MPG on the 2.2Litre Mazda diesel. It may very well be Mazda PR exaggeration.
I did find this interesting story on "Why hybrids are dying".

They had an interesting comment that does not bode well for the future of V8 engines " If you create a car from the ground up to not fit, say, the V8 as an option, you can make the engine compartment smaller and lighter. The same goes for a midsize car that uses only four cylinders, no sixes."
I wonder if this is where Ford is going with their "revolutionary" next gen F150? Is this their plan with the whole Ecoboost engine line?
Personally, I doubt it since they would not be able to recuperate the development costs of their current V8 engine line up. They could ditch the old tech 6.2 and make a new F150 that barely fits the 5.0 V8. Turbo's and DI could turn that engine into Ford's premier powerhouse, and the 3.5 EB would become the midline engine. There are rumours that Ford will replace the 3.7 normally aspirated engine with a smaller 2.3 litre I-4 turbo engine. This link supports that rumour.

I can imagine the comments from the trolls if that rumour comes to fruition.

The 4th gen Ram 1/2 ton has always been on the losing end when it comes to GVWR and towing. Ram admitted that it was a smoother car type ride they were out to achieve, and suggested that if payload and towing is needed to choose thier HD line up. More and more people want a truck for convenience , but mostly use it as a car for moving people and groceries, Ram 1/2 tons have gone this route. Ford and GM have decided to keep thier 1/2 tons more in the work truck category.

@Snowman: You are patently ignoring the "Tradesman" and other models of RAM half-ton that do not include all those so-called bells and whistles. I don't care what brand you're talking about, you can't pin your entire opinion of the brand on a single package configuration. The Raptor is not a base F-150 and the model RAM you describe is not the 1500 Tradesman. If you want to make that kind of base comparison, at least try to compare like models, not a mid-range RAM with a high-end Ford.

uradb: the real reason, and only reason the Limited has a lower rating, is because of the wheel size it comes with, 20-optional 22", that is the only reason! the reat of the truck can haul as much as any other F-150 does without the HDPPackage! which is 1840! the same with towing because of the wheel size, it has nothing to do with the truck itself, just the rediculous 20-22"wheels, for no other than looks, and that is the same for the Harley Davidson model


The Ram comes standard with 20s and still can tow 10,000 lbs, why cant the Ford? Because Fords #s without the max tow/haul packages aren't impressive. The vast majority of F-150s don't come with the packages; so the vast majority of F-150s aren't impressive.

@uradb - Ford has multiple combinations. If one looks at SuperCrew 4x4 5.5 box trucks (excluding the normally aspirated 3.7) there are 9 different tow ratings depending on engine and gear ratios.
5.0 litre V8
3.55 = 7,700
3.73 = 9,300
3.5 EB V6
Limited = 7,300
3.31 = 9,200
3.55/3.73 = 9,600
3.73 (max tow) = 11,300
6.2 V8
3.55 = 9,600
3.73 = 11,100
Raptor = 8,000
The only trim levels that lower tow ratings are the Limited and the Raptor.
I mentioned earlier that a Platinum fully loaded is more expensive than the Limited.
Since you think that Ram's towing ratings are truly specatular:
Ram 5.7 CrewCab 4x4
3.55 = 8,500
3.92 = 10,000
3.55 = 8,200
3.92 = 9,700

A 3.5 EB with 3.55 or 3.73 gears and WITHOUT Max tow can tow 9,600 wich is 100 lb below the 3.92 geared LongHorn or Limited. I bet that 3.92 gears are a lot more rare than max tow equiped F150's.

It gets really sad when you look at the Ram 4.7 tow specs.
A crewcab 4x4 with 4.7:
3.55 = 5,800
3.92 = 7,050

Do we compare the 5.0 Ford to the 4.7? They are both base level V8's.

It all depends on specifications.

We do NOT know what the 2013 Ram specs will be for the 8 speed Zahnradfrabrik Friedrichshafen transmission.

At least the name is impressive.


More trims that have Hemis options can tow 10,000+ lbs then F-150s can tow 10,000+ without the tow/haul options. A vast majority of the F150s don't come equipped with it; so a vast majority of F-150s are inferior to the Ram.

@U.R.A.D.B. -

Where do you get your statistics?
When I bought my 2010 F150, the 2011's were out, most I saw on the local car lots were rated around 9,600 since most of the trucks I saw had either 3.55 or 3.73 gears.
Anecdotally, I'd say 20% of the trucks I saw had max tow. At least 60% fell into the 9,600 lb tow range. It was a 50/50 split for 6.5/5.5 box SuperCrew trucks.
There are regional variations. That is true.
When I wandered arounf the Ram lots, I rarely saw a 4.7 unless it was a stripped out fleet queen or loss leader so they could legally advertise "rock bottom prices".
Most 5.7's came with 3.55's. Some of the "sportsman" models I saw had lower gears.

We can post all sorts of things based on personal observations. A truck is only "inferior" if it does not meet the needs of the buyer.
Ford outsells Ram 2:1. Does that mean Ford is vastly superior to Ram?
They just happen to satisfy double the number of customers that Ram does.

This is just an academic exercise. I don't own a max tow pickup and I do not need one. You have not stated what you own or what you use your truck for.

My personal max tow for ANY 1/2 ton is around 8,000 lb. I'd rather get a 3/4 ton if 10,000 was my target. A weekend warrior will probably do fine with any of the current crop of trucks on the market that can tow close to that figure.

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