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Ram 1500: 2013 Truck of the Year

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Monday, January 14, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

The Ram 1500 was named the 2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Ram 1500 beat out finalists Ford C-Max and Mazda CX-5 for the honor.

Redesigned for 2013, the Ram 1500 features a new, more aerodynamic shape and new frame with improved stability and handling, with decreased noise, vibration and harshness. The interior also has been redesigned with an improved fit and finish and more upscale materials.

It features the latest version of the Uconnect built-in wireless system with 8.4-inch screen, new climate controls and a new 3.5-inch vehicle-information screen in the instrument panel that's standard on all models. Other standard features include keyless entry and start, steering-wheel controls and a new air suspension that improves the ride, eases passenger entry and exit, and enhances off-road capability.

Starting at $22,640, the 2013 Ram 1500 features best-in-class fuel economy in the new 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which gets 18 mpg in the city and 25 highway mpg. A 395-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is also available as an option. Other fuel-economy improvements on all models come from the extensive weight reduction through the use of advanced high-strength steel, aluminum suspension components and an aluminum hood, electric power steering, and low rolling-resistance tires.

Fred Diaz, president and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, accepts the North American Truck of the Year award for the 2013 Ram 1500 at the North American International Auto Show.

The prestigious award is given by a group of 49 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada and is financed solely from jurors' dues. The group initially considers all cars that are brand new or substantially redesigned for 2013. This is the second time in the award's history that the Ram 1500 won. The first time was in 1994, the inaugural year of the award.

What do you think of the Ram 1500? Is it a better choice than the other two trucks?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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Richard Brown
January 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

My fist experience with Dodge trucks was in the early 70's. My
banker mentioned a repo they had, a 68 Dodge 1tn dually with a
360 and Allison. At that time I was 10ys into contractor con-
struction tool rental business. This was a bare bone truck, but it would pull or haul a load like a Mack, and a low maintenance
dependable vehicle. Through the years in business I owned and
operated 5 Dodge vehicles which held up and did there job.
I used Cheve's also with good results. Now retired for a number
of years I have a Avalanche. Would not hesitate to again buy a Dodge though.

Ed C.
January 22, 2013 at 7:59 am

Great news for Dodge/Ram!! I run a 07 Cummins/Dodge thats great all around.Looks good Runs good. Had F and GM in the past.Dodge is the one...The Ford I had stood by its name FixOrRepairDaily

January 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

Well deserved. Dodge has always done well at merging form and function, making RAM trucks some of the best. You can still get basic trucks if you want. Look at what the utilities and service companies order. I'm a bit surprised that Ford didn't get something, since they've been doing well with fuel economy-to-power ratio, though from a personal view, I agree that they aren't the most pleasing looking trucks. The Dodge is just downright bad@$$!!!

As for the comments stating foreign vehicles are better, some people need to lose their antiquated views. Maybe back in 1983 that was a valid comment, but the U.S. automakers quickly responded and brought quality back up to meet the challenge. My 1989 Dodge D-150 with 210k on it is testament to that. Nothing but a 3.9 V-6, 3-speed stick, power steering and brakes. That's about as basic as it gets. How many 24 year old Toyota, Nissan or Honda trucks are still on the road from 1989? Oh yeah, Honda didn't even BUILD trucks back then. In fact, I wouldn't call a Ridgeline a truck. It's a pretty little city-boy sort of a truck. It has a trunk, presumably for hauling groceries? HA! They ALL learned to build trucks from Americans. When we were buiding big, hardy work trucks (Chevy C-series, Dodge W-series and Ford's F-series), Toyota and Datsun (forerunner to Nissan) built little trucks with 4 cylinder engines that could barely seat two or haul a moped.

Then there's longevity. My 2004 Dodge 1500 has over 171k miles and it still runs and looks new. How about my 2000 Saturn, built in good old Tennessee, still kicking at 197k miles with no end in sight, and 210k on the '89 is nothing to sneeze at. I bet there's others out there with even more miles and great stories behind their AMERICAN-built trucks. We build 'em every bit as good folks.

For those who think foreign is without problems, then lets talk about the MAJOR safety recalls of late from Honda for inadvertent vehicle roll-away; Toyota's dangerous accelerator and brake problems; Nissan's recalls for loose bolts in steering components, where the driver could lose control . . . need I go on? They are not perfect. No manufacturer is.

As far as I'm concerned, you'll never catch me behind the wheel of anything but an American-built vehicle for many reasons. The Dodge is a beautiful and functional truck, and I say: Be American - Buy American!

January 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I would like to see a more simple truck with basic needs covered and keep the truck more af-ford-able !!!!!We all do not want all the bells and whisles. Let us build our trucks with what options we want. my dads truck was a 1969 Ford F100 6 cylinder with 3 on the tree with wipers and a heater and power brakes. thats what the platform should start with and then add what you want from there.

January 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I own a 2012 f150 fx4 and this new truck is what most of us want. You can keep GMO vehicles and any other foreign owned vehicles. I will only drive a Ford.

January 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

How can they call it truck of the year? Does't it need to make it through the year? Definition of Dodge: to avoid, stay away from.

January 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

Wow an American made truck of the year....
How unlikely when most American Made cars/trucks only run good for a year. Foreign car makers a better product.

Terence Middleton
January 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I have never known Ford, Chevrolet or GMC to make an ugly truck or even Dodge at that matter until Dodge came up with that front end style back in about 1997.

January 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Ford....Ugly????? That truck is sweet inside and out. just another idiot running their jaw. Keep saving your pennies kid

January 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

They should have recieved the award for most ugly truck on the road with Chevy's truck coming in a close 2nd.