The Ram 1500 leapfrogged Ford with an eight-speed automatic transmission and:
For 2017, the Ram 1500 Rebel gained standard UConnect 8.4, the media hub, automatic two-zone climate control, anti-spin differential, alarm, remote start, premium gauge cluster, backup camera, and rear park assist.
The Ram 1500 Sport got a standard remote start and alarm; the Laramie Longhorn gained LED bed lighting, pushbutton start/auto door unlocking, automatic high beams, and rain sensing wipers, already on Limited. The Bighorn added standard automatic climate control. Finally, all Rams now have a new five-micron cabin air filter. There were no color changes.
The 2017 Ram 1500 Night Package adds a blackout package to the monochromatic Sport, adding a black grille surround with hex pattern inserts, the Rebel tailgate, black badges, 20 x 9 inch gloss black wheels, and P275/60R20 tires. The package is available on Regular Cab, Quad Cab and Crew Cab 1500 Sport; it comes in silver, white, black, flame red, and Granite Crystal Metallic.
For 2016, diesels increased their towing capacity by adding better cooling; all pickups gained a new center console; Ram Rebel and Laramie Limited was added; Bluetooth was available on entry-level radios; front parking assistance was added; and there were four new “buzz models” based on the Ram 1500 Sport Crew Cab (4x2 and 4x4). The buzz models have the Hemi V-8 with eight-speed transmission, 3.92 gears, dual exhaust, vented sport hood, and 20-inch wheels; colors are Ignition Orange, TorRed, Stinger Yellow, and Ceramic Blue, with body color accent stitching, embroidery on the seat backs, Ram heads on the headrests, and colored accent mesh on the seat inserts.
2017’s Ignition Orange and Rebel Mojave Sand pickups
2015 changes included a new paint, Black Forest Green. For 2014, a popular state-of-the-art VM diesel appeared as a $2,850 option, and the 4.7 V8 was dropped; the take rate on the diesel appears to have ended up at around 25%. A class-exclusive front parking assist system was added as an option, and gasoline-V6 towing capacity was dramatically increased, to 7,450 lb, thanks to a stronger parking pawl. The refrigerant switched to F1234yf (possibly midyear).
Ram SLT buyers get a standard UConnect 5.0; this system appears to be a Fiat-Microsoft design with all the usual apps, eight “hard buttons,” and two knobs, easier to use than the older Fiat touch-screen stereo.
Laramie Limited, a high luxury version, comes with standard Hemi, eight-speed automatic, air suspension, 20-inch wheels, black leather seats, glossy black accents, keyless entry, and wheel to wheel side steps. One insider told us the Limited was added for those who wanted an upscale pickup without the cowboy theme.
For 2014, the V6/eight speed was standard on Outdoorsman, SLT, and HFE; optional on SXT, Tradesman, and ST. Hemi (390 hp) is standard on SXT, Express, Tradesman, and ST, possibly the first time a V8 is on base trucks while a V6 is on premium models. The Hemi eight-speed (395 hp) is standard on Sport, Laramie, Longhorn, and Big Horn, optional on all others except SXT and ST. Finally, the diesel is optional on Laramie Limited, Longhorn, Laramie, Big Horn, Outdoorsman, SLT, and Tradesman.
The shifter knob was designed to have a mechanical feel, and to be usable by touch; hard limits at Park and Drive prevent overshooting, and there are sizeable gaps between gears, with clear detents. Visual feedback comes both in the gauge cluster and just above the knob itself. Drivers can manually move gears using Gear- and Gear+ buttons; the system reacts quickly and, much of the time, the only indications it worked are small changes on the tachometer and the gear number changing in the gauge cluster.
The 3.6 had more than sufficient grunt to get the 1500 moving, traversed hills with ease, and passed with confidence. It revved a little more than the 5.7, but nothing that a consumer would notice if they aren't starting their day in the Hemi.
My drive in the Hemi 8-speed was thoroughly enjoyable. The shifts were unnoticeable and the acceleration was beyond crisp. I was in a 4X4, and my driving partner was able to squeal all four on a paved rural road. I took a 5.7/8 4X4 out of a mud pit with a 15° grade; the climb was effortless.
The cab is comfortable and quiet; the new Uconnect nav system is cool, rendering topography like mountains in faux 3D and displaying realistic curves in the roadway so that you know you're about to go over a hill. It also gives you lane choice guidance on the highway in graphic format, showing how many exit lanes are coming up for your exit, and where you need to be to follow your intended route.
While CEO of Ram, Fred Diaz said that the 2013 Ram was meant to be a mild refresh: new grille and headlights, interior tweaks, and the like. Sergio suggested they go deeper, and they did — right down to the frame and electronics architecture. The Ram 1500 with V6 engine has 42% more horsepower and 13% more torque than the old V6, while the Hemi V8 boosted gas mileage by 20% (with the late-availability eight-speed automatic) and is on track to take the V8-truck gas-mileage crown. Gas mileage for the Ram 1500 V6 is rated at 18/25, while the best Ford mileage is 17/23; Chevrolet lags at 15/20. (Other configurations’ mileage have not been released. The 4x4 Hemi is apparently 15/21.)
The eight speed transmission is standard with the V-6 gasoline and diesel engines, and optional with the Hemi (depending on trim level). The transmission is controlled by a heavy-duty-truck inspired knob; six-speed transmissions keep the old shifter.
ST, SLT and Sport models get a black rubber over mold with chrome surround, while all Laramie models include a solid, spun-aluminum knob finished in silver.
The VM 3-liter V6 powered Ram 1500 set a best-ever full-size-pickup 28 mpg in EPA highway testing (in Canada, 7.1 l/100km, or 40 mpg), beating all current mid-size and full-size pickups. The half-ton pickup also set a new combined city/highway benchmark of 23 mpg, matching the best four-cylinder midsize pickup’s record and beating all full-sized pickups.
The Ram 1500 diesel is rated at 20 city, 28 highway, and 23 combined, where the Toyota Tacoma, with a four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, is rated at 21 city, 25 highway, 23 combined.
Ram chief Reid Bigland said, “To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 EcoBoost.” Peak torque is unsurpassed among V-6 and base-engine V-8 pickups, at 420 lb-ft; in comparison, the base F-150 and Silverado 1500 were rated at 15 city, 21 highway. The Ram 1500 diesel is rated to tow 9,200 lb.
The diesel engine adds $2,850 to the cost of the 2014 Ram 1500, but includes the eight-speed automatic. Ram 1500 diesels are built in Warren, Michigan (which has assembled more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938) except for regular cabs, which are made in Saltillo, Mexico. VM engines are made in Cento, Italy, while the eight-speed automatics are made in the United States. See our Ram 1500 diesel review.
The towing capacity of the diesel is somewhat lower than that of the Hemi, largely because heavier loads need more horsepower (to meet acceleration standards) and more cooling, for long stretches of uphill climbing.
The Ram 1500 has an optional air suspension system (which alters height with air pressure), with built-in load-leveling. It has five height settings that operate automatically or manually:
The system uses the tanks shown in blue as reservoirs; it does not use outside air.
The result brings Ram to a best-in-class step-in height of 21 inches, best-in-class ground clearance of 10.7 inches, best-in-class departure angle of 27.8°, and best-in-class breakover angle of 24.2°.
It is supported by four-corner air springs, whose spring rates depend on the ride height. In Off-Road 2, the rate is firmer, while in Aero mode, the rate is softened. A separate button on the key fob gives the operator the ability to manually lower the truck, allowing for ease of passenger entry and bed loading.
Despite a bolder and more aggressive front end, the Ram 1500 boasts best-in-class aerodynamics and, with active aerodynamics, a 6% aerodynamic improvement on the new truck (cD is now 0.360, vs 0.386 in the 2012, for regular cab / 4x2). The front air dam was extended downward to create a 0.6% improvement in fuel economy, while a new thermo-plastic material is more malleable, preventing breakage.
A new wheel-to-wheel tubular side-step adds 0.5% to fuel efficiency (vs the 2012 one) by allowing air to pass around the truck more smoothly, while easing access to the forward portion of the bed.
Select 2013 Ram 1500s have a standard, segment-exclusive locking tri-fold tonneau cover. It both protects bed storage and increases fuel economy by 0.8%. Owners can use one, two, or all sections of the cover by folding the system on top of itself. (It also appears to be a $1,500 option on the Laramie.)
The Ram 1500 is the first truck to use an active grille shutter system (similar to the one on Dart), closing airflow through the grille when cooling is not needed. It increases gas mileage by 0.5%, cuts drag roughly 4%, and cuts warm-up time/defrost time. The computer closes the shutters when cooling is not needed.
Dave Sowers pointed out that the active shutters was normally either fully open or fully closed. When closed, air pressure quickly builds up in front of the slats, deflecting oncoming air over the truck, which has the lowest drag coefficient of any pickup on the market. At all times, there’s airflow over the radiator from other openings. The idea was to avoid drag from radiator capacity which is seldom needed, while still being able to cool the engine under any reasonable conditions. (He also said that riding with the tailgate down increases drag, while a tonneau cover makes the truck much more aerodynamic.)
[Dave also discussed pulse width modulation — see our powertrain section]
The 2013 Ram 1500’s frame was redesigned with greater stiffness to increase stability and handling while cutting noise and vibration up to 30%. Front rails have 20% higher yield strength due to high-strength steel. The new frame design has new powertrain, air suspension, and body mounting technology.
Portions of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy (hydroforming reduces the amount of welding that leads to distortion), and side rails are fully boxed. The front frame section has high-strength steel that maintains strength and durability while saving around 30 pounds. Larger body mounts are on the front frame rails and at the C-pillar. Two frame lengths are available: 120-inch and 140-inch.
In 2009, the Ram 1500 introduced an exclusive multi-link, coil-spring rear suspension, standard on all except Ram 1500 Tradesman HD; it improveds ride and handling with no loss of capability. A coil-spring design centralizes and absorbs bumps and impacts, while reducing the amount of friction in the spring system. This design weighs 40 pounds less than a leaf-spring configuration. For 2013, more robust ball joints on the front suspension yield greater durability and have improved sealing methods.
The 2013 Ram 1500 uses electric power steering (EPS) — the hydraulic pump is replaced by an electric motor, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8% and adding 5 horsepower. EPS reduces complexity, eliminating the hydraulic pump, hoses, and cooling apparatus. In addition, each Ram 1500 model can be calibrated to optimize steering effort and precision, regardless of body or powertrain; it also senses constant input from the driver, for example a crown in the road, and compensates for improved comfort. EPS will be needed if a hybrid version is produced in the future.
New box floor cross-members in the bed cut 7 pounds, and a new front bumper removes 4 pounds, in addition to up to 30 pounds in weight savings from the new frame. Aluminum upper and lower control arms in the front suspension cut more weight, also improving handling, while an aluminum hood saves 26 pounds. Underneath the hood, the V6 model powertrain is 76 pounds lighter, while the eight-speed used with the Hemi is 30 pounds lighter.
The 2013 Ram 1500 has low-rolling resistance tires to minimize wasted energy; the new brakes have a relocated ABS pump for reduced vibration, and has shorter brake pedal travel. A new hydraulic-boost compensation unit enhances brake pedal feel and performance during emergency stops.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2013 Ram 1500 trucks. Front rotors measure 13.2 inches (336 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers, while rear rotors are 13.8 inches (352 mm) and utilize single-piston calipers.
New features include power folding mirrors, a power rear-sliding window with defrost, and a six-foot-four-inch bed option on the Crew Cab. The central locking system now includes the RamBox® cargo management system and tailgate power locks. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam® are also available.
Models/packages for 2013 are ST, Tradesman, Express, SLT, Big Horn, Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Sport, R/T, Laramie, and Laramie Longhorn. There are again three cabs (regular, Quad, and Crew), and three boxes (5’7”, 6’4”, and 8-foot). Production of the 2013 Ram 1500 is scheduled for third quarter of 2012, with all regular cabs assembled in Saltillo, Mexico; and Quad and Crew Cabs in Warren, Michigan.
The 2013 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Mich.), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab models of the 2013 Ram 1500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
Dave Sowers noted that the demonstration “cutaway” truck at auto shows was assembled from different models: a Laramie interior, Sport wheels, and SLT body. (The Laramie comes with a Hemi and they wanted to show the V6.) He pointed out the new, greatly improved body mounts and the unique air suspension, toughened up to meet long-term needs of pickup buyers. He also said that the 4.7 was currently available and had a market, though most retail buyers choose the Hemi; he said they were hoping to attract more people to the V6, and would not make any predictions regarding 4.7 availability in the future. [The 4.7 did not return for 2014.]
See what we predicted before the unveiling, at the end of the “Interiors, Styling, Stereos, Lighting, Safety” section
12,000-lb capacity Warn® winch, electronic sway bar disconnect, front and rear selectable lockers all standard. Go anywhere attitude, obviously standard.
Make Your Presence Known
The Unmistakably Aggressive
A subtle touch on a standout truck. Custom Power Wagon® Graphics.
The custom Power Wagon® look continues inside with your choice of two bold interiors with exclusive seats, door panels, and instrument cluster.
Best-in-Class Gas 410 HP+ and 429 lb-ft torque+
POWERED WITH THE 6.4L HEMI® ENGINE, THE POWER WAGON® IS APTLY NAMED PROVIDING BEST-IN-CLASS GAS 410-HP+ AND 429 LB-FT OF TORQUE+.
Grab Any Terrain On- or Off-Road
The 2017 Power Wagon® rolls on exclusive wheels wrapped with the rugged workhorse of the Goodyear stables. Great for getting you and your gear over any terrain.
Warn® has equipped every Power Wagon® with a factory-built, 12,000-lb capacity winch since its introduction in 2005. Which is exactly how long Power Wagon owners have been helping others out of trouble.
Distinctive from any angle. Behold the bold looks of the new Power Wagon® tailgate.
2017 Ram 1500
Nothing, or everything. An all-new generation of this full-size half-ton pickup is in the wings. The question is will it launch as a 2017 model, or a 2018? The redesign will bring new styling, updated drivetrains, and engineering designed to reduce weight and boost fuel economy. We’re inclined to believe it’ll launch during calendar 2017, as an ’18 model. Here’s our reasoning: 1) Ram 1500 sales are strong and continuing to rise, growing nearly 12 percent through the first quarter of 2016. Ram division parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t under the gun to replace it and will seize the opportunity to squeeze every bit of profit from the current design. 2) Waiting until model-year ‘18 gives the corporation time to complete the planned phase-out of the slow-selling Chrysler 200 midsize sedan and Dodge Dart compact car. That’ll free up production capacity for the newest versions of its far more profitable Jeep and Ram vehicles. Expect the 2017 Ram 1500 to carry over with minor detail alterations but no significant changes. This review covers the half-ton-payload Ram 1500; three-quarter-ton 2500 and one-ton 3500 versions also are available.
No compelling reason, since the 2016 Ram received some worthy enhancements (more on those below). For 2017, the carryover model lineup should begin with the Tradesman trim and ascend through Express, HFE, SLT, Big Horn (called Lone Star in Texas), Outdoorsman, Sport, Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Laramie Limited. Whew. Body configurations again will include the 2-door regular cab, the extended-cab 4-door Quad Cab, and the full-length 4-door Crew Cab. All 4-door versions have forward-hinged doors that open independently of the fronts. Bed lengths of 5-feet 7-inch, 6-feet 4 inch, and 8-feet would be available. Rebel and Laramie Longhorn and Limited will return in Crew Cab form only, with the other Rams offering most or all cab-bed configurations, depending on model.
Yes, if you want a large pickup truck with a deep model lineup, exceptionally refined road manners, and access to a diesel V-6 for the most fuel-efficient drivetrain in the competitive set. For 2016, the Ram 1500’s roster expanded further with the creation of the Rebel. Designed for serious off-roading, it includes an air suspension, 33-inch tires, front and rear underbody skid plates, and tow hooks. Also new were limited-edition “buzz” variants, each based on the Sport trim level. They included a V-8 engine, dual exhaust, vented sport hood, and 20-inch wheels. As the Ram 1500 remains one of the hottest commodities in the segment, dealers may not be as willing to negotiate on price as, say Chevrolet or Ford, but this posture will likely change as the new model year approaches and more profitable 2017s start arriving.
Unlikely, without a full redesign. Rebel and Laramie Limited will continue with the unique grille they introduced for 2016. It trades the familiar crosshairs design with its Ram’s-head logo (a holdover from the truck’s Dodge-brand affiliation) for a single curved bar and “Ram” lettering. Otherwise, exterior styling will continue with the same basic look since this generation’s model-year 2009 debut. It’s distinctive, and accented in black, body-color, or chrome to denote individual trim grades. The exceptionally roomy cabin, last updated for 2013, will continue with smartly designed and logical controls. Here, too, varied fabrics and dashboard appliques are used to complement each model’s marketing identity. The Limited boasts what is arguably the most well-appointed interior in the segment.
Not until the truck is redesigned. For now, most Ram 1500 models will offer a choice of three engines, all paired with automatic transmission. All but the HFE, Sport, Longhorn, and Limited will come standard with Chrysler’s “Pentastar” 3.6-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower, 269 pound-feet of torque, and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Standard on the Sport, Longhorn, and Limited and optional on all but the HFE the brand’s 5.7-liter “Hemi” V-8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. On Tradesman and Express, the Hemi is available with both a 6-speed automatic and an 8-speed; all other models use the 8-speed, regardless of engine. Gear selection with the 8-speed is via a rotary knob on the dashboard rather than a center-console-mounted shift lever. Standard on the HFE and optional on all but the Express, Sport, and Rebel would be the only turbodiesel V-6 engine in the class, a 3.0-liter unit with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. (The only other diesel in the competitive set the V-8 offered in the heavy-duty half-ton edition of the Nissan Titan). The ’17 Ram will continue with rear-wheel drive standard on all but the Outdoorsman. Standard on that model and a $3,580 option on all but the HFE is full-time 4-wheel drive that can be left engaged on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing for off-road use.
With the redesign, yes. Until then, no. Should 2016 drivetrains carry over, their EPA ratings will as well. The Ram 1500 boasts the most efficient V-6 engines in the segment. With rear-wheel drive, the 3.6-liter gas motor rates 17/25/20 mpg city/highway/combined. The 3.0-liter diesel rates an outstanding 20/28/23 in standard guise and 21/29/24 with the HFE model. With 4WD, ratings drop to 16/23/19 mpg for gas and 19/27/22 with diesel. V-8 models don’t fare quite as well. Rear-drive models rate 14/20/16 mpg city/highway/combined with the 6-speed transmission and 15/22/17 with the 8-speed. With 4WD, ratings are 13/19/15 with the 6-speed and 15/21/17 with the 8-speed. We strongly recommend the 8-speed if your budget allows. The 3.6-liter V-6 uses regular-grade 87-octane gasoline and can also be equipped to run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel. Ram recommends, but does not require, mid-grade 89-octane gas for the V-8. The diesel V-6 uses ultra-low-sulfur fuel and employs a urea-based emission system that requires periodic maintenance.
Not before the redesign. Like its domestic-brand rivals, the Ram 1500 offers tens of thousands of permutations and combinations to suit any buyer from the blue-collar laborer to the outdoorsman to the street truck enthusiast to the luxury-minded. The Tradesman is a very basic truck that can be equipped with manual locks and hand-crank windows if you so desire. At the other end of the spectrum, the Laramie Limited has leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation system, driver-seat memory, power-adjustable pedals, and more. The SLT, Big Horn, and Laramie will likely make up the bulk of sales and can be equipped pretty lavishly themselves. Unique to the Ram 1500, and available for $1,295 across the board, is the clever RamBox, which consists of two lockable storage bins integrated into the bed’s side rails. They even have drain plugs so you can put ice in them to use as beverage coolers at your favorite tailgating spot.
They’ll go up, but probably not by too much if the truck is not redesigned for 2017. The Tradesman should retain its title as the segment’s least expensive light-duty full-size pickup. Figure on a base price of roughly $27,500, inclusive of destination fee, which was $1,195 on 2016 models. A top-of-the-line Limited with 4WD, 6-foot 4-inch bed, $3,120 diesel engine, $995 power sunroof, and $1,295 RamBox will check in at about $63,000. The heart of the Ram 1500 market will likely be the SLT Crew Cab with the 5-foot 7-inch bed, $1,150 Hemi V-8, and $500 8-speed automatic transmission, for an MSRP of about $47,000. A heavy-duty trailering package is available for an extra $1,215, which includes trailer brake control, longer exterior side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and a limited-slip rear differential.
Expect a 2017 Ram release date during summer 2016
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra
Better V-8 fuel economy and a lighter curb weight would be first on the list, both of which likely will be addressed in the upcoming redesign. For now, there’s little else of consequence we would change about the Ram 1500. It has more than enough capability for most light-duty truck buyers while delivering a smoother ride, nicer interior appointments, and some really clever features (eg RamBox). Put it at the top of your shopping list.
Here at Modern Dodge Ram in Thomaston, CT, we are committed to providing our customers with the best sales and service experience around. We have a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience satisfying our customers’ needs. Feel free to browse our inventory online, read our customer reviews, request more information about vehicles, set up a test drive or inquire about financing!
We are centrally located in Connecticut and easy to get to from Bristol, Woodbury, Torrington and the surrounding towns. Exit 38 off Route 8 is our front door!
We have a great selection of RAM 1500, 2500, 3500 in stock, in addition to Dodge Durango’s, Grand Caravans and Challengers. When you are ready to discuss your options with our friendly sales staff, click on Directions for interactive driving directions and other contact information. We look forward to serving you!
At Modern Dodge Ram, Our Philosophy is Simple: Buy Transparently
What do we mean by “Buy Transparently?” We mean the whole process should be straightforward, easy to understand, and nothing will be hidden or obfuscated. In all areas of our business, from the sale of our new and pre-owned Dodge RAM models to our service and maintenance and auto financing, we do everything transparently. We’ll tell you exactly how we arrived at our pricing, and we invite you to compare our prices to other dealerships. We’ll show you exactly what needs fixing in your vehicle, but we’ll also explain why. Finally, we work with your needs to customize a financing plan that fits your bottom line, not just ours. “Buy transparently” means, simply, conducting each and every part of our business with openness and truthfulness.
When it’s time to upgrade your morning commute or show your current car a little TLC, we hope you’ll make the clear choice and come see us at Modern Dodge Ram. We’re conveniently located on 68 Waterbury Rd, Thomaston, CT, just a short drive from the surrounding areas, and only minutes outside of Bristol!
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