2013 RAM 1500
The on-again consumer and government demands for better fuel economy are even affecting the most American of vehicles, the pickup truck. Enter the 2013 RAM 1500. What looks like a mild mid-cycle freshening is actually a Ram that is both visually meaner and mechanically greener, with an interior that’s downright posh. Expected changes, including a tweaked grille and front fascia, with LED accented lighting, embolden the look even more. But, to be honest, it really doesn’t look that much different than before. What is different is a major overhaul in power trains aimed at improving fuel economy and offering a more traditional challenge to Ford’s EcoBoost F-150.
Now standard on the Ram 1500 is Chrysler’s much praised 3.6 liter Pentastar twin-cam V6, here pumping out 305 horsepower. Displacement is down from the old pushrod V6, but fuel economy, and power, are up. The 3.6 V6 is then aided by the all-new, standard 8-speed “TorqueFlite 8” ZF-designed automatic transmission. Add in automatic stop-start and active grille shutters and the highway fuel economy rating jumps from 20 to 25! And that’s with over 6,000 pounds of towing capacity. On the top end, the new RAM 1500 hooks up with a tweaked 5.7 liter HEMI V8 now rated at 395 horsepower. When equipped with the TorqueFlite 8, it will claim best-in-class V8 fuel economy.
Riding in style is also a priority for the RAM 1500, as several trim packages and “themes” allow for extensive personalization. Seat and dash use upgraded materials, while Chrysler’s Uconnect system powers an 8.4 inch touch screen. The base price of the 2013 RAM 1500 hovers around $24,000 with an extensive list of cabs, box sizes, and premium upgrades at ever rising prices. With an impressive balance of power, economy, luxury, and utility, this Ram muscles its way into showrooms in October.
Engine: 3.6 liter Pentastar twin-cam V6
Price: Around $24,000