Few accolades hold as much weight for pickup trucks as the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award, and the magazine’s editors say the redesigned Ram 1500 is the clear choice for 2013. Indicating that the rest of the half-ton segment will now have to play catch-up, Motor Trend praised the 2013 Ram 1500’s new air suspension, towing capacity and choice of engines and trims.
To earn the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award, vehicles have to be all-new or significantly upgraded from the prior model, and each entrant is tested across six criteria, including Engineering Excellence, Design Advancement, Safety, Efficiency, Value and Performance of Intended Function. Motor Trend editors lauded the Ram 1500’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which increases horsepower and torque by 42 percent and 13 percent, respectively, compared to its predecessor. Those improvements also come along with best-in-class fuel economy of 25 mpg on the highway and best-in-class standard V6 towing capacity.
“The Pentastar V6 is just as effective at saving gas during the commute as it is hauling snowmobiles up North for the weekend, and Ram 1500 buyers who need the utmost in performance can still upgrade to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8,” said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Ram dealership. “What really wrapped up the Truck of the Year award, though, was that Ram recognized that the pickup segment is more than just a race for superior power and towing, so it packed its truck with new technologies and other available amenities.”
Among the new Ram 1500’s segment-first technologies are an eight-speed automatic transmission, a stop-start system, active aerodynamics, a thermal management system and pulse-width modulation, which all help the truck achieve its leading fuel efficiency. For added convenience, the optional RamBox Cargo Management System can now be locked and unlocked from the key fob or power lock switches, providing easier access to the gear, tools or beverages held in the drainable side-bed compartments.
Inside the cabin, Ram’s focus on intuitive technology continues with the available next-generation Uconnect Access system. The in-truck connectivity feature lets drivers manage music, hands-free calls, navigation and climate control with an 8.4-inch touchscreen and voice commands. Uconnect Access can also create a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers to stay entertained or productive by connecting their tablets, laptops and smartphones to the Internet.
Like Motor Trend’s editors, buyers are responding positively to the Ram 1500’s new features, as the redesigned model helped boost Ram pickup sales by 23 percent year-over-year last month. More than 24,000 units of the truck found new homes for its best November sales since 2007.
“Even before the new model started arriving in late October, the Ram 1500 was steadily picking up market share in its segment this year, and we expect it to gain even more momentum in 2013,” added Gill. “As truck buyers start to judge the Ram 1500 for its total package versus their past loyalties, the choice will become more and more obvious.”