Ram 1500 Earns Consumer Reports Recommendation

Ram 1500 front II

In its annual pickup truck ratings update, Consumer Reports awarded the 2013 Ram 1500 the coveted recommended label when compared to all full-size pickup trucks sold in the U.S. CR identified the new interior, updated powertrains and revised chassis as reasons why the Ram 1500 did so well.

The Ram 1500 earned 78 points out of 100, and that's due in large part to its performance during the publication's testing of a midlevel four-wheel-drive crew cab that was equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and new TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. The new Ram's 78 points puts it just behind CR's longtime favorite, the Chevy Avalanche, which earned 80 points but will no longer be produced after this model year.

Other pickups CR tested are the 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 (70 points), Toyota Tundra (69 points), the Ford F-150 (68 points), with the Nissan Titan as the only truck in the full-size category that has not achieved recommended status. CR notes it hasn't fully tested the all-new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 pickups yet.

PickupTrucks.com also found the new Ram 1500 to be a strong player in the half-ton segment in our most recent and most thoroughly tested head-to-head comparison test, the 2013 Light-Duty Challenge.

For the full press release, click here.

For a look at their initial video impressions of the 2013 Ram 1500, see below.




Dave = Keith?

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@ Vulpine
I'm with NorthernMN (and coincidentally, I also live in Northern Minnesota). Your comments are clearly out of line and you appear to be ignorant of the driving needs of any but those in your own area of the country.

Up here, all but the main arterials freeze up some time in November and stay that way until spring thaw in March or April. I often need to get through well over 10 inches just to get my pickup out of my my damned driveway so I can plow it with the skidsteer. You don't see too many 2WD pickups up here because in this area it just doesn't make much sense to own one...

@ wbrisett.....I can attest the 3.6 w/ 8 speed exceeds the EPA numbers.....my car rated 19/31/22 combined, after 20k miles of mixed driving, I am at 28.5 mpg. I am not the easiest driver either. I run 80 mph on the highway with air on. I do properly time traffic lights on highways with traffic lights, and I never tailgate, so I avoid any unneeded braking and reacceleration, and I keep my tire pressure at 36 instead of the posted 32, but so far I am extremely happy with my 300 after a year. I do agree on the shifter, while not the rotary style in your Ram, I have the electronic t handle, and sometimes I miss hitting park.....there is a detent for it, but sometimes it seems to be blocked, and when I got to shut off car, it will not. Luckily I always set the parking brake before I take my foot off of the regular brake pedal, but the car lets me know with a friendly ding. Otherwise, fantastic car. I pray I do not have any issues with the cylinder heads.....none so far, and I have yet to see any 300/Chargers/Challengers come in for this issue. I have seen an aweful lot of JGC, Grand Caravan/Town and Country Vans, Wranglers and Journeys come in for this issue. I hear it has something to do with the EGR system, for the 3.6 has no EGR valve. In anycase we keep plenty of 3.6 heads in stock, but not one 300/Charger/Challenger, thank god. Even still if I do I have an 8 yr/120,000 mile Maxcare warranty, plus Chrysler is going to cover these heads for life, from what I hear, since it is a widespread issue on those 11 and 12 model year cars. In any case, good luck and happy motoring in your new Ram, and congrats on a great vehicle. I am Ford biased when it comes to trucks, owning a great 11 Ecoboost w/ 54k miles of perfection, far exceeding my expectations. No matter what truck you buy tho, they will all be good. No manufacture is perfect, nor free from troubles. Just buy what works for you.

@JasonH: On two different occasions, I, in a '96 Camaro, was caught in a blizzard at a time when I had no other transportation available. In one case I was at work when the snow started in Pennsylvania and had more than 4" on the ground by the time I got off work. This was hilly country on two-lane roads. I had to drive 60 miles to get home from work via picking up my wife at her job. (I put over 160,000 miles on that car in just 8 years.)

On the second occasion, I was driving from Chicago to (guess where) Pennsylvania near the end of November in that same Camaro and guess what--I got caught by a blizzard. Again--NO CHOICE. I had to drive what I had and in both cases I made it safely home while 4x4s were in the ditch everywhere.

My point was not that 4x4 isn't helpful (obviously it is) but the simple fact that you don't need any 10" of ground clearance to get where you're going and if the snow is on the road at 6" or more you really shouldn't be out there in the first place--that's why the State Highway Patrol closes roads at least until the plows go through. Older pickup trucks did just fine with 6"-7" of clearance--saying that such high clearance that a truck is difficult to climb into should be "normal" is ridiculous and an example of people who always think "Bigger is Better". It's not.

Driver skill is far more important that having gigantic horsepower and 40" tires under even typical winter conditions. I've got the experience. I've driven in Germany during the winter in blizzards (in a '63 Chevy Step Van of all things). I've driven in the Rocky Mountains in blizzards (in, among other cars, a Ford LTD/Crown Vic and Ford Escorts) and I've driven in blizzards in Pennsylvania in that Camaro and a Jeep Wrangler. I've driven in several different kinds of snow (being in MN I'm sure you know there are several kinds of snow) and I have never once gotten stuck, stranded or slid off the road to the point I couldn't get back on without help. Don't even try to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

@Vulpine - people tend to view luck as skill. It all depends on what one personally views as a blizzard. The worst blizzard I was ever caught in was in the late fall 24 years ago. A friend and I went to Hyder Alaska to get "Hyderized". We were going to spend the night in Stewart BC but chose to head home. It started to snow heavily as we hit Glacier Highway. What normally is an hour drive at 40 mph to reach the Stewart/Cassiar Highway took us close to 3 hrs. The first part of the drive was in complete white out conditions. I owned a reg cab 4x4 Ranger at the time. I ran on fog lights to reduce glare. When we got out of the worst of it and hit the Cassiar, I turned on my headlights and they didn't work. I went out to check and I had snow packed 8 inches thick over the headlights and there were 2 small slits where the fog lights were. A 4x2 vehicle never would of made it. It took snow crews 4 days to open the road behind us.
Even if one does not drive in blizzard conditions, people in rural areas often do not get snow removal until main roads and school bus routes are cleared. A heavy snow fall can shut everything down. My brother emailed me pictures of a bush camp he was responsible for, the snow banks were twice as high as his pickup. In that part of the world, a D8 Cat is about all that can push a road through. If you live in a true snow belt, you can get around with 4x2 but only in town and even that can be tough.

Clearly you do not know what you're talking about.

Wow keith,
You got it backwards about Daimler increasing Chrysler's quality. Mid-90s (never owned anything from the '80s) the quality was pretty good. After the takeover in '96, that's when quality started to slide. It didn't start immediatly, my '97-98 vehicles I've had were still very good, but after a few years of the Germans bleeding Chrysler dry, quality started going downhill. I've had more problems with my GF's '00 Stratus, quality-wise, than I ever had with my '98, or my dad's '98 Cirrus. My '05 Stratus feels a lot cheaper than my '98 did, but haven't had any mechanical problems yet. And I think many people had similar experiences. The "Merger of equals" was no help to Chrysler, it was just to line the then CEO's pockets.

@Lou; @Keith: If the National Weather Service calls it a blizzard, I will call it a blizzard. Just because your blizzards are more extreme, that doesn't change the name. Why don't you ask them to start setting a grade on blizzards the way they do hurricanes and tornados, hmmm?

You still totally ignore the point that what I was doing simply wasn't luck. To be bluntly honest, in the storms you two have described I would have taken the sensible route and simply stayed at home. I'll enjoy the snow after it stops falling. But in the conditions I described I will point out again that I HAD NO CHOICE. I used what I had and I got through when people driving 4x4s were off the road. Brute power is not enough; you have to know how to handle slides and if possible prevent those slides. One way to do so is simply drive slower so you don't risk the slide in the first place. Even you, Lou, pointed out that a 45-minute drive in the clear took you four times as long in that Ranger.

Don't assume you are the only people who know what bad weather can be. There's luck and there's skill, and to those who are too conceited to recognize skill, anyone who drives as well they in a 'lesser' vehicle must simply be lucky. It's the fool who goes out in such conditions voluntarily without the right tools; it's the skillful who know how to make the available tools perform the task.

On the other hand, Fiat IS working to turn that around. They're not going to go to ridiculous expense just to fix Daimler's screw-ups, but they are finding effective means to resolve those issues at relative low cost. The most visible example of this is that Jeep rear-ending fire argument that honestly was a stupid argument considering the real risk as compared to theoretical risk, but by simply adding a relatively low-priced trailer hitch that fuel tank is better guarded and even less likely to get ruptured than before. On the other hand, a rear-end collision by a 40-ton semi at 60mph or faster is going to pretty much crush any car and the fuel tank of any vehicle that is over or behind the rear axle is likely to rupture. Then again, a side impact on almost any pickup truck could do the same, no? After all, those fuel tanks can't quite ride between the frame rails, can they?

@Ky: The paragraph directly above is only part of what I was responding to you about. In essence, I stated that I agree with you, that Daimler really did hurt Chrysler's quality, though they did introduce some new (and changed) vehicles that made them more popular.

Do we have to wastetime talking about Zimmerman? I thought this was a place for trucks?

How many Ford pickups and Escapes have caught fire? Alot is the answer, yet both sell alot!

I actually have a Focus now, is build quality so great? Not really, but it's paid for. I had a Camry 96 4 cylinder coupe, 5 speed. Those were extremly reliable, but they had issues with the v-6 ones.

People want to talk aboht a hemi ticking noise. How about a piston slapping 5.3 Chevy? Yeah, I complained, GM said " get used to it".

Have you heard of a balance shaft? They make an engine sound bad, but really that was the way they were built. There is other things out there like it.

As for comparing a Tundra v-8 to a Hemi, you need twice the valves to make maybe 5 foot pounds more torque at 2200, and the Tundra engine is a tad bigger. Yet the Hemi makes just as much torque at the I-Forces max, then makes more power well after 3600, while the Tundra motors down. Lol. All those valves to it can get nasty mileage?

@Lou: did you not say it yourself, they shoulda had an offroad test since they required 4x4s? Last time the highly sprung Tundra bounced around and bottomed out. Would think Ford might do the same? We'll never knoMark Williams didn't want that. But he was quick to talk payload.
Maybe they coulda done a squat test? How about a traction test? Yes, eventjough Ford and Tundra were best then in that test.

It seems like most people that comment are in a state of arrested development.
Corporations has NO loyalty to countries anymore.
You are not defined by the consumer product purchase decisions you make.

@ TRX 4 Tom - I did say that if they test 4x4's they should do a 4x4 test. I also qualified that by saying that it did not need to be hardcore since most of us do not use our trucks in extreme off road conditions.
Squat test, does that show anything of real importance? Yes, if the bumper is dragging but not if there is only an inch difference between trucks.
I would of liked to see a traction test too. Testing should be standardized so one can draw broad comparisons between old and new tests.

I do think that you just need to move on. The Ram lost based on the parameters of the PUTC test. You don't like the parameters for the test, we got that message a long time ago.

@Vulpine - you were making some broad comments in regard to winter driving. That is why several bloggers, myself included had to add our opinions.
I've never really paid attention to the official definition of a blizzard. I'd rather stay home and most people who say they need to be out their usually don't NEED to be.
Life or limb is a need.
Getting home from work isn't.
Just like people who tell me they are skilled or excellent drivers......... self praise tends to set off my BS meter.

In closing this is why most people get into trouble when driving, if you ask someone to rate their skill level, most will say good to excellent. The reality of the situation is as follows:
33% poor - these people should not have a licence.
63% are average - they have some skill but could be better.
4% are good to excellent. Most in this category have had professional driver training or drive professionally. Examples are paramedics, firefighters, police.

Looks like Trucktrend likes the Ram 3.6 vs. The Ford 3.7. They said it wasn't just based on getting about 2 MPG better, but also the way it rode with a load in the bed. The Ford? Bumpy, and hunts for gears.

About what Edmunds came up with when they tested the same configurations, 4x2 quad/supercab. Except trucktrend didn't end up with a overheated Ford trans when towing at max. But then they didnt tow either, lol!

@Lou: Mark Williams did everything he could to make Ford win. Lol, their paremitors were Ford Ford Ford.

In my opinion, Ford's biggest problem is...


@trx4 Tom - And if the Ford was the clear winner?
I read the v6 test you cited, I'm not complaining about it, am I?

@Vulpine - I have to agree on the Microsoft angle.

Just recently I took a contractor out to a job site which included some off roading. Nothing major but off road none the less. Anyway on the way back he couldn't stop complimenting me on my truck. How comfortable and well built it was. "Tight as a drum" he said as we were driving on the rough dirt road. Then he said "wow these new f150's are great!" I told him it is a 2012 Ram 1500 4x4. The look on his face was priceless! And he was hard core Ford guy. Point is all the new trucks from Ram, Ford and Chevy are pretty damn good. Pick one that suites your needs and go with it.

I wouldn't say the Ford was the "clear" winner. Winner of the payload....Mark knew how these trucks work, so he tried to make it in Fords favor.

It's funny Lou, you talk about the Ram as if the eight speed made hardly any differance. Yet if you seen how much differance there was between the Ford and old trans Hemi at Davis Dam, and that was a 3.92 geared Ram. Now if they would've ran them up that or ran them further up these hills you would see the Ford lose by even more.

If you didn't notice, they ran them up longer hills in the past.

I do agree most won't run their trucks offroad all day, so we wouldn't need quit the extreme test. Those that do are gonna more then likely build their own truck.

You seem to blame the 8 speed/ Hemi for the Ram not taking the contest, when in fact that combo did it's job. The payload rating killed it, plus Mark rating the Ford with more value. More issues with the engine and more to go wrong is more like it.
BTW, in the Truck Trend v-6 comparo, the Ram payload

@TRX 4 Tom - you missed my point, would you be going on and on if the Ford was the clear winner?
It was close and yes, one can question the reasons for the inclusion or omission of certain tests.


Does one need to bring it up at almost every opportunity?

It starts to sound like sour grapes.

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