Ram 1500 Rated High but Faces Competition


Detroit Free Press

Con­sumer Reports rates the tested Ram 1500 Crew Cab pickup as the best big truck, but will it last as rival con­tenders are about to be tested by CR?

Get the low­down on the Ram 1500, upcom­ing pickup rivals and challenges.

The Ram 1500 pickup is the best big truck, Con­sumer Reports says.

For how long, though? EDITORIAL NOTE: Chrysler is recall­ing Ram 1500s for prob­lem with elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol system.

CR notes that it hasn’t fin­ished test­ing the redesigned 2014 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado, and will report on that this sum­mer. Ini­tial impres­sion Sil­ver­ado “is a well-rounded and refined truck that will strongly chal­lenge the Ram in our Ratings.”

Too, CR points out that Ford’s F-150, cur­rently a strong con­tender, is redesigned for 2015.

And, Ram didn’t outscore the Chevro­let Avalanche, but that’s dis­con­tin­ued after the 2013 model. Chevy man­aged to sell about as many last month as it did a year ago, so dealer lots hardly are bare of Avalanches.

For the nonce, how­ever, the widely con­sulted pub­li­ca­tion favors Ram: It “now tops Con­sumer Reports’ rank­ings of full-size pick­ups,” the mag­a­zine says.

Ram earned the magazine’s “Rec­om­mended” rat­ing because it scored well in the publication’s tests and in crash tests, and pre­vi­ous ver­sions have had at least aver­age reliability.

“The Ram 1500 is sur­pris­ingly lux­u­ri­ous and refined — but still fully capa­ble of doing hard work when needed,” says Jake Fisher, direc­tor of Con­sumer Reports Auto Test Cen­ter in East Had­dam, Conn. “Con­tin­ued inte­rior and pow­er­train improve­ments make the Ram a par­tic­u­larly well-rounded choice.”

The pub­li­ca­tion says that the truck “deliv­ers one of the best rides of any pickup, thanks to its unique coil spring rear sus­pen­sion. It has a super-quiet, super-roomy crew cab, and the optional UCon­nect info­tain­ment touch screen is one of the best in the business.

“On the down­side, the step up to the cabin is very high, and — unlike some other pick­ups — the Ram’s tail­gate isn’t damped or sprung, so it’s heavy.

CR’s test vehi­cle: Ram 1500 Crew Cab four-wheel drive, with the most pop­u­lar engine option, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, and new eight-speed auto­matic trans­mis­sion. The pub­li­ca­tion says it got “a class-leading 15 mpg over­all in CR’s own fuel econ­omy tests.”