Ram 1500 Rated High but Faces Competition

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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.”

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