The competition was fierce, with three tough contenders, but in the end, Motor Trend’s Golden Calipers went to the Ram 1500, honored as the 2013 Truck of the Year over the Ford F-150 and the Nissan NV 12-Passenger Van.
Closely scrutinized and thoroughly tested in six categories – Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value, and Performance of Intended Function – the Ram 1500 was the unanimous choice, wowing all five judges.
“We had a small but solid field of contenders for Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year,” said Edward Loh, editor-in-chief of Motor Trend, and one of the judges.
“But in the end, the choice was clear: Ram 1500 not only withstood our rigorous testing, it impressed at every step along the way. Our judges were won over by the performance of Ram 1500’s broad array of standard and optional equipment.”
Motor Trend cited several reasons the Ram 1500 won the Truck of the Year. Perhaps most importantly to truck owners, the Ram 1500 offers a range of trim levels and options, some standard, some add-ons, that make the truck truly customizable to the individual owners’ needs. The Ram 1500 can be configured to be anything from a basic work truck to a durable offroad vehicle, the judges said.
Buyers looking for power and performance, they said, can choose the V8 engine with an automatic 6-speed transmission (post-launch, an 8- speed trans- mission will be available). Buyers who value fuel efficiency can choose the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, which offers 42 percent more horsepower and 13 percent more torque than its 3.7- liter V6 predecessor. But, says Motor Trend, choosing fuel efficiency doesn’t mean giving up comfort or handling either – the Ram 1500 boasts ultra-cushy air suspension, similar to that used on luxury cars. In fact, the judges were “blown away by the smooth, quiet driving experience of the V6,” typically an entry-level truck used as a cheap fleet vehicle. No more.
As happily surprised as the judges were with the performance of the V6, they were even more impressed with the V8.
With 407 lb.-ft. of torque and 395 hp, the “Sport” trim level, Ram officials say, is fast, powerful, ideal for towing; it also boasts an interior reminiscent of Dodge’s SRT vehicles, with the same seats and a similar overall feel. Judges also noted the improved Chrysler UConnect system, with an 8.4-inch screen, voice texting, downloadable apps and upgrades, and the option to make the truck a WiFi hotspot.
Fred Diaz, president and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, said he’s proud of the truck’s accomplishment. “Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year is an amazing honor, truly one of the most prestigious awards an automaker can achieve. It reaffirms the fact that Ram has the best truck on the road today. Bar none.”