- Got big powertrain, suspension, and interior updates in 2013
- Adds a new Ecodiesel engine for 2014 (arriving late 2013)
- Competes with the Ford F150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Toyota Tundra
The RAM 1500 light-duty pickup truck got a slew of updates for 2013 and it keeps the ball rolling in 2014 with a brand-new engine option that arrives late in 2013.
RAM calls the new engine an “Ecodiesel” in a nod to its fuel efficiency benefits. That’s not to overlook the other benefits of a diesel, including the oodles of torque (420 pounds-feet) and lower emissions, but it should put the RAM 1500 among the segment leaders in fuel economy as well.
The RAM 1500’s styling is what’s expected from a modern truck. The front grille is big and bold, adding chrome and other touches as you move up the trim levels. 2013’s changes closed up gaps in the front air dam and bumper, and smoothed some rougher edges which improved aerodynamics. It gives the RAM 1500 a slightly more rounded appearance than the GM and Ford models. Available cab styles include regular, quad, and crew, and each comes with the choice of a short of long bed. Flexible RAMBOX cargo storage is optional, which turns the areas over the wheel wells into lockable boxes with drainage, making the RAM 1500 ideal for tailgates and barbecues.
Any pickup worth its salt offers great powertrain options and the RAM 1500 is no exception. The base engine is a version of Chrysler’s renowned Pentastar V-6, which is a 3.6-liter all-aluminum V-6 making 305-hp and 269 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a standard eight-speed automatic. Next up is a pair of V-8s, one a 310-hp, 4.7-liter V-8 which makes 330 pounds-feet of torque and the other a 395-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 making 403 pounds-feet of torque. Both come with a six-speed automatic, although the eight-speed is optional on the larger V-8. Four-wheel drive is optional.
Inside, the RAM 1500’s update last year paid massive dividends both from a design and a materials standpoint. The traditional gear lever has been replaced by a rotary knob placed below the driver’s side air vent, which frees up the center of the dashboard/armrest for extra storage and cupholders. We used the RAM 1500 as a support vehicle for a test earlier this year and on longer drives there was some competition to sit in the truck versus the passenger cars we were testing – it was that comfortable. A large 8.4-inch touchscreen display is optional, and controls the audio/climate systems.
RAM claims 48 new safety features were added to the RAM 1500 in its redesign. Front, side, head and body multistage airbags, traction control, electronic stability system, and an integrated trailer brake controller are standard.