Category Archives: RAM

1214 Ram 3500

1214 Ram 3500

An Automotive Love Affair

By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 1214 Ram 3500 Limited Mega Cab 4X4. You and I both know that, if you’re wise, you buy a vehicle for a particular need. Well, I’m just testing this truck, but I’m convinced that when I need a big truck, like this Ram, it would have to be for use in a large area environment. That became vividly clear when I had to visit UCLA for a lecture. There are few places where this size truck is easily maneuvered – one of those places is “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the buffalo roam”. One of those places where it is not at home is clearly the UCLA campus and parking facilities. First, I was able to find a parking area underground and carefully entered the structure checking to see if it cleared the entry way… Just barely. Second, I was lucky to find two empty spaces next to each other, a feat, in itself. It was necessary to use both spaces to house this behemoth.

On the other hand, if you need to move a house or whatever, by all means, this is the truck you’ll want. Running to the store for milk, not so much.

General Information:

The 1500 & 2500 are made in Saltillo, Mexico, all others are made in Warren, Michigan; Classification is Heavy Duty Vehicles; Vehicles from RAM: ProMaster Cab Chassis, Promaster Cargo van, Promaster City, Promaster Cutaway and Promaster Window Van; RAM 1500, 2500, 3500 Chassis Cab, 3500 pickup and 4500 Chassis Cab.

Handling & Performance:

Handling is not a problem on the highway. I’ve tested a 40’ Motorhome and large vehicles handle very well on the open road.

This Ram is super-fast and on the Crest Test over the Angeles National Forest road North of Los Angeles, it proved to be surprisingly agile.

Styling:

I really like the sculpted rear fenders but overall it is the look of ‘tough’ and ‘rugged’ that sets it apart from the rest.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Special vehicles usually cost more. In this case, it is also loaded with great features so that explains the high cost of this test vehicle.

Conveniences and comfort:

Loaded and super comfortable driving.

Consumer Recommendations:

Some would say I’m biased because I’ve owned an earlier version of this truck and now someone gave me a 2011 Ford F350 so I think I can say I have first-hand experience with both brands to make an informed decision on which is best. Ram has my endorsement. Some may remember I had a 2007 Ford F350, I wrote about, before I got this 2011. I had to spend $5,000 on the 2007 to fix the 6.0-liter design defect on the EGR Cooler. The aftermarket Bullet Proof fix worked but Ford should have paid for poor design. I wasn’t a happy camper.

So, you ask, why did I get another F350? Only one reason – it was a Gift. Wanna buy one? Make me an offer.

Recognized Competition:

Ram 3500 Mega Cab $65,000, Chevrolet Silverado 3500 $59,000, GMC Sierra 3500 $69,000, Ford F350 Super Duty $65,000.

Good News:

A great workhorse. And speaking of horses, you can carry tons of hay. But it is also elegant, comfy and good on long drives.

Bad News:

Pricey.

Standard Equipment:

6.7 liter Inline 6 Cummins turbo diesel engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, front, side and side curtain airbags, park sense and rear park assist system, rear back up camera, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, stability control, anti-spin differential rear axle, trailer brake control, remote keyless entry, sentry key theft deterrent system, cruise control, power chrome trailer tow mirrors with power fold away, power windows, remote start system, dual zone climate control, Uconnect with 8.4 Nav.

Options: Limited Package $3,700: Adjustable cargo tie down hooks, bed cargo divider / extender, 115 volt aux power outlet, 20” aluminum wheels, auto high beam, heated second row seats, heated steering wheel, Keyless enter, chrome body side molding, leather bucket seats, power 10-way driver seat with memory and 6-way passenger seat, rain sensitive wipers, cargo management system, 60/40 split folding seat, steering wheel mounted audio controls, ventilated front seats, wheel to wheel side steps, wood / leather wrapped steering wheel.

Other options totaling $17,775: Transfer case skid plate, 5th Wheel/ gooseneck towing prep group, tri-fold tonneau cover, upgraded transmission and Cummins turbo diesel engine with diesel exhaust brake, Ram Active Air, rear window defroster, power sunroof, cargo view camera, CD player, rear air suspension, dual rear wheels, Chrome tubular side steps and clearance lamps.

Gas Stats:

$3.75/ Gal avg. Diesel December 8, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Heavy Duty Vehicle designation means that no numbers are required to be reported. Research shows the average to be about13 mpg.

Pricing:
MSRP $81,900.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2017 – An Automotive Love Affair

2016 Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab 4 X 2 (1131)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab 4X2. Ram truck models come in a variety of trim levels, from the base Tradesman work truck to the loaded Laramie Limited model. The Ram 3500 HD is tow rated up to 31,210 pounds, depending on cab configuration and features.Ram pickups can be equipped with the available smart engine brake, which to keep the truck running along at a set speed on steep grades, and a transmission tow/haul mode, which holds the gears longer while towing. A couple of photos of heavier duty trucks towing heavy loads is also shown.

General Information: It is assembled in Warren, Michigan. Parts – US/Canadian 59%, Mexico27%; Engine Mexico and transmission – USA; Classification is Standard Pickups. Cars from Ram: ProMaster Cargo Van, ProMaster City, ProMaster Window Van, 1500 Pickup, 2500 Pickup, 3500 Pickup, 3500 Chassis Cab, 4500 Chassis Cab, Ram Cargo Van.

Handling & Performance:

Confident and solid. Lots of power as equipped with 5.7 liter V8 HEMI power. By most accounts the HEMI is unassailable. Sweet handling truck and most would agree the Ram is a rough and tough competitor. I speak from experience since I’ve owned a 1997 Dodge Ram 3500 Dual Wheel and sold it 3 years ago after 10 years of ownership.

Styling:

My favorite in the field and I have always liked the image of Ram being a “Tough” truck because I found the claim to be true. I also have owned big rig 18 Wheel trucks and my favorite there was a Peterbilt Truck and Transfer powered by Cummins. That fact also influences my leaning toward Ram trucks since they are equipped with Cummins.

Guts. Glory. RamThe newest marketing slogan since 2011 is, of course, is “Guts. Glory. Ram”, and you’ll likely be able to recall the deep rough sound of actor Sam Elliott giving voice to the words.

Fit and Finish:

Large but well-appointed and nicely pieced together not always expected for a tough workhorse truck.

Cost:

Competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

Most everything you need but there is want too. Me, I would opt for power fold mirrors. If I could afford it, of course, and then I would want “Smart Cruise”, “Blind Spot Warning System” and, well that enough for starters. And if I were using this for dirty work I would opt for “Cowhide” in place of the cloth seats.

Consumer Recommendations:

I should also tell you I have owned three Ford Trucks and have been impressed by only one of them. The first was a 1955 ½ ton pickup and absolutely fell in love with it. But that was as a teen. Today I have been testing and reviewing virtually every truck on the market. Ram is the most impressive in today’s world.

Recognized Competition:

Ram 1500 Express Quad $40,000, Checrolet Silverado 1500 Crew $40,000, Ford F150 Super Cab $41,000, GMC Sierra 1500 Crew $40,000, Toyota Tundra Double Cab $43,000.

Good News:

Smooth ride, powerful when needed, great image, and great performer.

Bad News:

The MPG numbers of 15/22 mpg is accurate.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter V8 HEMI engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, Class IV Receiver Hitch, Trailer tow with 4-pin connector wiring and 7 pin wiring harness, 26 gallon fuel tank, spray-in bedliner, locking tailgate, front and side curtain airbags, rear airbags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, stability control, cruise control, sentry key theft deterrent system, air conditioning, radio with 6-speakers, media hub for USB and Auxilliary, tilt steering column, rotary shift knob, display with vehicle information, power windows and locks, rear fixed window, 40/20/40 cloth bench seat, rear folding seat with underseat storage compartment, 17” steel wheels, auto Halogen quad headlights, power heated mirrors with manual fold away.

Gas Stats:

$2.30 / Gal avg. March 5, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

15 City and 22 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $30,280

2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon SLT (1109)

Overview: This is the 2015 Ram Promaster City Wagon SLT. “Versatility” – from an SUV look and feel to a work van this is one that will stand out in my memory. Utility is its main benefit for use. For me it was an SUV for the most part, during the week of testing, but I did find it useful around the ranch. It is a cross between a Mini-Van with the sliding side doors, a panel truck for business, and an SUV for usual individual / family use.

Well this is the first vehicle I’ve ever tested that was manufactured / assembled in Turkey. Times they are a change’n in a global economy. That is a good thing. There is nothing that brings people together better than commerce built on free trade and capitalism as a form of economic theory. One only needs to witness the advances in South Korea as opposed to North Korea. Japan (after Imperialism), Philippines, Poland (after Communism). There are many other examples but I have experienced these countries up close and personal.

General Information: It is assembled in Bursa, Turkey; Parts – US/Canadian 34%, Turkey 44%, Italy 18% Engine and transmission – USA; Classification is Special Purpose. Cars from RAM: ProMaster Cargo Van, ProMaster City, ProMaster Window Van, Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 Chassis Cab, Ram 3500, 4500 Chassis Cab and Cargo van.

Opinion: Well I have to make an observation about the state of the Auto Industry and how it positively affects the world at large.

As you may recall, I discussed my tour of a Hyundai Manufacturing plant in Tijuana, Mexico. And I have to say it is private enterprise that drives industry to transform the world most effectively. While in Mexico I witnessed a fantastic growth of American and other capitalist countries setting up their companies to manufacture, assemble and even distribution companies buoying up the Mexican economy. It is precisely that move that can solve many problems facing both Mexico and the US over border issues. That is true of all other countries who embrace free enterprise.

Manufacturing in Mexico grew rapidly in the late 1960s with the end of the US farm labor agreement known as the bracero program. This sent many unskilled farm laborers back into the Northern border region with no source of income. As a result, the US and Mexican governments agreed to The Border Industrialization Program, which permitted US companies to assemble products in Mexico using raw materials and components from the US with reduced duties. The Border Industrialization Program became known popularly as The Maquiladora Program or shortened to The Maquila Program.

The important thing to consider in this expansion of products being made or assembled in Mexico is this:

1. Mexican Nationals love their homeland and prefer living there.

2. Migration to the north is mostly Economic in motivation to cross the border into the US
Sure, some will go north to America for the American Dream and the opportunity to have a better life. But the vast majority are only looking for employment.

This in my mind is the great hope that Mexicans will have options of where they want to live and work.

Handling & Performance: This is a pretty basic utility vehicle and for all that it does it is powerful enough and handles much like most SUV’s in class.

Styling: All of the competition is very similar. But the Nissan and Chevrolet are two (2) seater versions and thus are more for commercial use. Ram and Ford versions seat 5 and 7 respectively.

Fit and Finish: Pretty basic but good. No complaints.

Cost: Well priced.

Conveniences and comfort: I was annoyed by two things: first the instrument cluster was hard to read and the speedometer and RPM gauge should be reversed. Second – okay I know you should buckle up but the reminder bell is flat annoying. It is too loud and too long. Yes, it forces you to put your seat belt on but if I’m driving around the ranch it is not needed and simply irritating.

Consumer Recommendations: Whether it is for business or personal family use, this is a van to consider.

Recognized Competition: Ram ProMaster City $26,000, Ford Transit $26,000, Chevrolet City Express $23,000, Nissan NV200 $23,000.

Good News: Well priced, good utility value, flexible for business and personal use.

Bad News: Instrument cluster wanting and the seat belt warning signal is annoying.

Standard Equipment: 2.4 liter 178 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 9 speed FWD Automatic transmission, front, side curtain and driver knee airgags, stability control, 4-wheel ABS power assist brake system, hill start assist, traction control, elect. Roll Mitigation, trailer sway damping, heavy duty suspension, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, Uconnect AM/FM Bluetooth, 5” touch screen display, voice command, cruise control, USB and Auxilary input hub, 60/40 fold and tumble rear seat, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, tilt and delescopic steering column, two 12 vold power outlets in console and one rear outlet, driver lumbar and heiught adjustable seat with armrest, front overhead storage bin, power front windows, deep tint sunscreen glass, power heated mirrors with manual fold away and 180 degree opening rear hinged doors.

Gas Stats:
$2.49/ Gal avg. October 10, 2015
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

21 City and 29 Highway MPG

Pricing:
MSRP $25,655.

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2013 Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4X4 (999)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2013 Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4X4. It provides super comfort and is a nice ride, especially on the highway where it also has the benefit of great visibility for safer maneuvering. However, on city streets and in town generally, it is cumbersome because of its size and long turning radius. That makes parking a challenge which is typical and expected for large trucks even if classed as ‘Standard Pickups’, like this one, it is still large.

Most folks call this a Dodge Ram because that is what it has been branded from its beginnings in 1981. In 2010 it began to be branded and sold simply as a Ram Truck and no longer a part of the lineup of Dodge vehicles. The Ram hood ornament first appeared in 1933 on Dodge vehicles.

This Ram is assembled in Michigan, and like many US auto manufacturers Chrysler also has some vehicles assembled in Canada and Mexico. It isn’t advertised which makes one wonder ‘why’? Toyota is a big ‘Made in Mexico’ company but also has huge manufacturing and assembly plants in the US as well. They all should promote such facts because it is a positive thing in today’s world. Consider that if all products were made just here in the US with its multi-national workforce. But setting up shop south of the border is good for both countries. It helps the economy where Mexican nationals don’t need to travel to the US for those jobs.

Yes, it is for economic reasons and jobs – not because the geography is different north of the border. Thanks to Chrysler, Ford, GM and Toyota to name some of the companies who have set up shop in Mexico, our neighbors to the south are able to earn a living in their country of choice.

I owned an automotive repair facility in Southern California where we employed mechanics and body work for primarily German and Italian cars. Workers were from Italy, Argentina, Mexico and Guatamala. I learned firsthand it was not because they were in love with America, per se, but the money was good. Oswaldo, one of the Guatamalan’s, sent nearly all of his pay home to his wife and children and their grandparents. They built a large home where he would retire, and has at this writing. He was legal, by the way, and one of the finest men I’ve ever known.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 67%, Mexico 22%, Engine – Mexico, Transmission – Germany. It is assembled in Warren, Michigan, USA. Classification is Standard Pickup. Cars from Ram: 1500, 2500, 3500, Cargo Van, Dakota and Promaster.

Opinion and Observation:

Parking and modern day cars – in the old day’s most cars were large with higher ground clearance than today’s aerodynamic designed cars. They are therefore built closer to the ground to cut wind resistance which adds to fuel economy. That fact will not change any time soon.

My point is that every time a new parking area is built it should use lower tire stop cement to prevent damage to new cars. Is that only obvious to me? Are they stupid or what? Is it because all construction people drive Trucks and don’t notice the problem? Don’t they consider the cars that will use those spaces?

It may be a small thing to some, but it explains why more folks are backing into parking spaces.

Handling & Performance:

My first impression was how robustly powerful this truck is. It delivers a solid ride but it is also very big which will present problems when parking, especially because this is a world of a growing number of ‘compact’ or small cars. In days of old most cars were large and parking spaces were also. But today most spaces are marked “Compact”. Tough for most trucks.

Styling:

Ram tough in look and feel.

Fit and Finish:

Perfect.

Cost:

Competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

Pretty basic but Options are available for a host of luxury upgrades that can total $11,000 if you opt for all.

Consumer Recommendation:

It is pretty clear that how you intend to use a truck should dictate which configuration fits best for you. For example, if it will be used on construction sites or ranch or farm you probably won’t need or want all the luxury items. If you will carry various sized cargo the RamBox Cargo Management system is another matter and very nice even at a cost of $1,295 if you need that feature.

Owners give it a very good rating. It is cheaper than the competition and better built was one comment from an owner in comparing to a Ford. I personally own a Ford F350 as well as a Chevrolet Silverado, and have owned a Dodge Dual wheel Ram 3500.

When you need a tough truck around the ranch, Dodge Ram has been a favorite for brother John. One reason is the Cummins diesel engine consistent with his Dump Truck fleet.

Recognized Competition:

Ram 1500 SLT $35,000, Chevrolet Avalanche $36,000, Ford F-150 XL $36,000, GMC Sierra 1500 $44,000, Honda Ridgeline $32,000, Nissan Titan SL $43,000, Toyota Tundra $35,000.

Good News:

Decent fuel economy for a work horse, actually 305 horses, super comfortable ride and powerful. There are lots of options to choose from to customize it to your need.

Bad News:

Large size will be cumbersome around town.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter 305 horsepower V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, electric shift on the fly transfer case, remote keyless entry, 7-pin wiring harness, 26 gallon fuel tank, front, side curtain front and rear airbags, stability control, 4-wheel ABS (antilock brake system) disc brakes, cruise control, sentry key theft deterrent system, auto headlights, locking tailgate.

Options are available for a host of luxury upgrades that can total $11,000.

Gas Stats:

$3.89 / Gal avg. October 5, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

16 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $35,120.

 

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2013 – An Automotive Love Affair

2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman Reg Cab 4X2 (963)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Ram 1500 standard pickup truck. And you know what, there is no way to tell it was made in Mexico. Fact is we should ship more jobs south of the boarder to reduce illegal immigration that costs us way more to the entire society. We can also have some of those US jobs back that have been taken by illegal’s.

When we were kids that we’d put things together with bailing wire and chewing gum as we’d say in those days to describe the cheapest way to hold something together… like our cars.

Well back in those days crap was made in Japan and it took a lot of time for the consumer in America to get over that perception. Today that distinction goes to China and other 3rd world countries. As for Mexico, back then we’d go over the border to have great “Tuck and Roll” upholstery installed in our cars and rods that was actually affordable to youth with very little money to pay for such things. We also knew great “Wrought Iron” stuff could be purchased in Mexico as well.

And today the most popular long haul trucks are made in Mexico. Yep, Freightliner (a Daimler Mercedes-Benz company) is made in Mexico after the union drove them out of Oregon. Well, so is this Ram 1500 made in Mexico. The good news is that the majority of the parts are made in the US.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 67%, Mexico 22%, engine and transmission is from the USA. It is assembled in Saltillo, Mexico. Classification is Standard Truck. Cars from Ram: 1500, 2500, 3500, Cargo Van & Dakota.

Handling & Performance:

This thing drives like a truck… oh, it is a truck. That would be a good thing. Kidding aside, this is a truck that is primarily used for work, and if you want a chick ride, get a Buick. But you’ll have trouble hauling big awkward stuff that is usually heavy too. So now that we have that straight you are going to be happy with 310 horsepower to pull a load.

Empty trucks tend to ride poorly on the freeway but they level out really nice with a load. Even empty the ride is not so bad that you need a kidney belt but on a cement surface you get that bounce bounce bounce in a rhythm determined by your speed. I can never find that one speed that eliminates the bounce. Can’t be done. But when you are on black top there is no bounce.

Styling:

Ram has always been a tough looking truck. A man’s truck. I have a couple of trucks – an ‘85 Chevrolet Silverado with a 4” lift kit and all the trick stuff but my work truck is a Ford F350 Super Duty Diesel Crew Cab to haul a 5th wheel. I sold my Ram 3500 Dualee since I didn’t need to haul tons of hay any longer. All trucks look cool and were utility vehicles long before SUV’s captured the hearts of men and woman alike.

Fit and Finish:

Solid and tough and a bit more than basic, except for the manual window cranks and seat adjustments.

Cost:

Basic pricing for a basic work truck.

Conveniences and comfort:

These days basic generally applies only to work trucks. This is basic in the sense it has manual roll up windows – you know the kind you crank. It reminds me of a rotary dial phone but many have never seen one of those. But I had more difficulty getting used to the manual door locks and less problem with manual seat adjusters since you seldom use them once the seat is set. But every time you get in and out of the truck you find yourself reaching across the truck to let a passenger in or securing the doors when parking. Then when you walk away from the truck and remember you don’t have a remote you gain more appreciation for that convenient feature.

Consumer Recommendation:

Real men drive trucks because they have to. They wear work gloves and operate heavy equipment or wrestle with chain saws. On the other hand, some guys drive trucks because they want to look tough.

My first serious work vehicle was a 1946 Chevrolet ½ ton pick up and the very next one was a 1955 Ford ½ ton pickup. I have to be totally truthful, I just thought trucks were really cool and in the late 1950s it was cool to drive one. But, I had a car route delivering 420 LA Times papers 7 days a week. Ever try to put 420 Sunday LA Times papers in anything but a truck? Or did you ever have to haul your Harley somewhere?

Recognized Competition:

Ram 1500 $23,000, Chevrolet Avalanche $36,000, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $24,000, Ford F 150 $24,000, GMC Sierra 1500 $24,000, Honda Ridgeline $29,000, Nissan Titan $29,000, Toyota Tundra $25,000.

Good News:

Well priced, great array of features, heavy duty, confident truck capability and very powerful.

Bad News:

Manual stuff that is more basic than it needs to be.

Standard Equipment:

4.7 liter 310 horsepower V8 engine, heavy duty engine cooling, 6-speed automatic transmission with heavy duty oil cooler, 32-gallon fuel tank, front and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, cruise control, sentry key theft deterrent system, locking tailgate, manual door locks, manual windows, trailer tow with 4 pin connector wiring, 7 pin wiring harness, 40/20/40 split bench seat, spray in bed-liner, Class IV Receiver hitch, air conditioning, AM/FM audio with 6-speakers, tilt steering column, 12 volt aux. power outlet, halogen quad headlights, 17” X 7” steel wheels, full size spare, manual 6” X 9” mirrors, auto headlights, tinted glass, black bumpers and door handles and black grill.

Gas Stats:

$4.25 / Gal avg.  March 3, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

14 City and 20 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $22,975.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4X4 (928)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4X4 pickup truck with a standard cab and side built in locking tool boxes or just for general storage. It is deceptive in size. This is a lot of truck even with the shorter bed it only looks small. The Standard cab however is far from standard in today’s world. Most pickup trucks are crew or at the very least extended cabs with half rear doors. Not that a ‘front seat’ only is not serviceable, it depends on the use it is needed for. So it has limited seating if you need more than two or three and four would really be cramped. But it does have convenient storage behind the seat and the locking side tool box / storage area is very usable. The only drawback is that it reduces the width of useable space in the bed.

I still have a hard time separating Dodge from Ram when I think of trucks. As you may know, the affiliation with Fiat influenced the company to spin off the truck division from Dodge and make it a separate company and thus a subsidiary of Chrysler in 2009. That way Dodge would be able to concentrate on cars only.

General Information:

Parts content – US/ Canadian 70%, Mexico 18%; Engine – Mexico & Transmission – U.S. It is assembled in Saltillo, Mexico; Classification is Standard Pickups. Cars from Ram Trucks: 1500, 2500, 3500, Ram chassis cab, Ram C/V, Ram Commercial.

Opinion:

Gas prices warrant repeating – the good news is that gas prices are falling but the bad news is that it is a manufactured drop because of the election only 4 months away at this writing. Obama has made it abundantly clear that gas prices should go up to the price of gas in Europe which is $8-10 per gallon. He wants to encourage “we the people” to move away from cars like this Ram pickup truck and into high mileage little putt-putt’s, while government doesn’t have to be on the same diet and has all the big gas guzzlers. Oh, by the way, the government will tell us which vehicles are acceptable for us to drive. Will they all be one color so we can all look like all other good commies? Where is Joe McCarthy when you need him.

Headlines on Politico: “Chu: DOE working to wean U.S. off oil”. Steven Chu was scolded by congressmen for his 2008 comment that “…gas prices in the U.S. should be as high as in Europe”. That folks is where Obama will go if he is re-elected. Think about that when you spend $100 plus for your next trip to the pump. Then, brace yourself, when the gas price increases to where Obama wants it, a fill up will go to $200 plus. Don’t believe it? Guess again.

To most of freedom loving capitalists we’re not buying what Obama has to sell because it is all ‘anti-American’. I sense folks are finally catching on to the lies of government. Time for real change? I think so.

Handling & Performance:

HEMI power is great but it will cost you in lower fuel economy. But it handles surprisingly NOT like a truck. The ride is smooth and quiet and road hugging that you don’t expect from a truck.

It is a little light on its feet without a load which is pretty much expected for a truck.

Styling:

RAM tough is the intended look, with the same badge of a Ram head like you see on National Geographic documentaries where the Ram’s are butting heads over mating rights. It reminds me that this Ram is also butting heads with other truck competitors. It’s hard to tell who the winner is. Either way its gotta give you a headache.

Chevy, GMC, Ford and all the Japanese products have their followings of devoted truck buyers but none as passionate as Dodge and now Ram truck buyers.

Ram just looks like a “Man’s” truck. No more hormones needed here. And I suspect they don’t sell many in San Francisco.

Fit and Finish:

After all is said and done, much is said and little is done, generally, but it would appear that Ram has got ‘er done, in style I might add. It is built in Saltillo, Mexico, and many vehicle manufacturers are finding the quality of work there to be very good. The gaps on a truck are necessary to be wider than passenger cars as there is more give, especially with a heavy load…  but they do a good job hiding the wider gaps.

As an example of the growing acceptance of Mexico for the assembly of cars, Daimler Benz’ division that builds 18 wheel Freightliner trucks is also Ram’s choice to use the Mexican workforce there in Saltillo, Mexico for the assembly of this Ram.

Cost:

Well, cost is relative to the competition which are all closely aligned.

Conveniences and comfort:

Well I gotta tell ya, I haven’t seen a window CRANK in years. But there it was right where you’d expect it to be on the door panel. It worked but I had to ask WHY? Really! Why? How much could it save in the whole scheme of things to eliminate power windows? And worse yet, why on a “Tradesman”, presumably a work truck. My experience with a company I’m affiliated with buys lots of trucks / service vehicles and power windows are considered necessary. On a job site it is not convenient to have to manually roll down the passenger window to talk with a co-worker for example. You can’t simply lean over and roll the window down.

The locking side storage compartments are very nice and there is a bed adjustable device to make separate compartments as needed.

Consumer Recommendation:

My favorite truck ever was a 1955 Ford ½ ton pickup. But I was young and lacked experience so I discount the emotions of being a new driver. However, in living on a ranch Dodge was the truck of choice. They just seem to hold up better for hauling tons of Hay for example. You will have to determine what the intended use will be for you and if it is for city stuff that doesn’t require 4X4 off road driving with a heavy load, fuel economy should mean more in the decision making process.

Recognized Competition:

Ram 1500 Tradesman $26,000, Chevrolet Avalanche $40,000, Ford F-150 $28,000, Toyota $44,000, Honda Ridgeline $29,000, GMC Sierra 1500 $26,000, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $26,000, Nissan Titan $31,000, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid $40,000.

Good News:

Great “Man Land” styling, HEMI power, smooth ride with great road hugging handling.

Bad News:

Only fair fuel economy. There was an annoying squeak on mountain road driving.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 383 Horsepower V8 HEMI engine, 6-speed automatic trans, Trailer tow with 7-pin wiring harness, 25 gallon fuel tank, front & side curtain airbags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, stability control, electric shift-on-demand 4-wheel drive, Sentry Key theft deterrent system, tire pressure monitor, variable intermittent wipers, locking tailgate, manual door locks and windows. Air conditioning, media center with CD/MP3 and 6 speakers. Audio input for mobile devices, tilt steering column, 12 volt aux power outlet, behind the seat storage.

Gas Stats:

$3.69/ Gal avg. June 22, 2012

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

13 City and Highway 19 MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $25,835 with options $32,545.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair