For 2012, the Ram gets a slight increase in fuel economy and a new steering wheel. The Ram 1500 offers a choice of three engines: A 3.7-liter V6 rated at 215 horsepower, a 310-hp 4.7-liter V8, and the 390-hp 5.7-liter Hemi. The V6 is fitted with a four-speed automatic transmission and the two V8s have a five-speed automatic. The V6 is available with rear-wheel drive only, but the two V8s are available with either two- or four-wheel drive. On the outside, the Ram carries the familiar big-rig look started by Dodge. On the inside, it's full of interesting features. The Ram is an American full-size pickup truck, but it is different in several ways from its primary competitors, the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. The interior has its own flavor and offers several interesting amenities, and the cargo box has some unique features.
The powerful Hemi V8, with variable intake valve timing, is rated at 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque, and delivers a wide powerband. Match the engine's power with the truck's clean aerodynamics and one result is that the Hemi's Multiple Displacement System (MDS) operates fairly often, enhancing fuel efficiency. The MDS essentially shuts off half the engine when not needed to save gas, and Chrysler says the Ram can be run past 70 mph with the MDS active. With the Hemi the Ram is among the most powerful of the full-size half-ton pickups. The Ram 1500 has the bold and brash style for which it is well known, and it's a refined package with loads of amenities for the occupants.
The seats are finished in a durable fabric that you won't stick to you in summer heat or be crusty and chilly in a blizzard. Instrumentation includes a tachometer. The gear indicators are orange with the gear chosen shown in green. The gauges are illuminated amber at night while the controls are bathed in green. The electronic stability control switch (standard) and 4WD switch are on the dash (both 4WD systems are electrically-switched). The dashboard is nicely framed, with symmetry on both sides of the wheel and both sides of the truck. Upper models may be ordered with bucket seats and a fixed center console that houses storage areas and a stubby T-bar shifter on the driver's side; the shifter has chrome bulges on either side that look suspiciously like buttons but aren't. The only drawbacks to this arrangement are the loss of one seating position and the space under the central dash. The MyGig infotainment system with 30GB hard drive is available, along with navigation, dual-zone climate control, rear park sensors with audible beeps and LED warnings above the rear window, and a 150-watt, 110-volt AC outlet. A moonroof is offered on both four door cabs as is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system (though you can't get both on the Quad Cab). Alpine supplies the premium Surround Sound system, with speakers in the Crew Cab headliner above the back seat and a subwoofer under it.
One distinction of the Ram is that a lot of the usual gaps and spaces are noticeably narrow and tight, such as spaces between tires and fender openings, and between the cargo box and the cab. This not only looks nice and clean, but it also helps reduce wind noise and improve efficiency. From the outside the Ram looks neat and tidy. The side mirrors stand offfrom the door glass, the sides are fairly flat, and the tailgate spoiler and windshield are both rounded for improved aerodynamics. Seen from behind where the tires appear almost flush with the body panels, the truck looks quite trim. An aluminum hood is used on all models to save weight, and there is plenty of space below it for the aftermarket to fit superchargers and other go-fast goodies. Laramie models come with two-tone paint but you can specify a single shade, and rather than chrome-plating the aluminum wheels plastic chrome covers are used for dress-up.
The 2011 Ram comes in ST, SLT, Outdoorsman, Sport, and Laramie trim levels. Special edition models, such as Big Horn and Lone Star, are regional offerings with primarily cosmetic and packaging changes. Cab choices include a Regular Cab with short (6.3 feet) or long (8 feet) bed, four-door Quad Cab with short bed, and the Crew Cab with a short bed; Laramie is limited to Quad and Crew Cab models.
A V6 and four-speed automatic are standard on 2WD Regular and Quad Cabs, the 4.7-liter V8 and five-speed automatic on most Ram 1500, and the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi is standard on Sport and Laramie and optional on everything else. No manual transmissions are offered.
Ram ST models are workhorses, with standard vinyl floor, manual windows and gray vinyl 40/20/40 bench seat, although they do include chrome grille outline, air conditioning, stability control, CD player, tilt wheel, variable intermittent wipers, locking lift-assist tailgate, trailer plug, and underfloor storage (Crew Cab). Options include chrome wheels, cruise control, sliding or heated rear window, trailer mirrors, carpeting, cloth seats, limited-slip differential, sliding rear window, and Sirius radio.
Ram SLT models upgrade with carpet floor covering, 40/20/40 split-bench seat, overhead console, cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, power heated mirrors, aluminum wheels, chrome bumpers and door handles, sliding power rear window (long cabs), Sirius radio and trip computer. Options include V8 engines, RamBox Cargo Management System, on-demand transfer case, power sunroof (long cabs), rear camera and park assist, remote start, seat and upholstery upgrades, power-adjustable pedals, 10-speaker Alpine surround sound, UConnect/navigation system and hands-free communication system with Bluetooth technology, Sirius Backseat TV, ten-way power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear defroster, and 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The Ram Outdoorsman includes two-tone paint and painted flares. Power heated mirrors with turn signals, Class IV hitch, skidplates, tow hooks, leather-wrapped wheel, HomeLink, 115-volt outlet, center and overhead consoles, mud/slush floormats, auto-dimming inside mirror, 10-way power driver seat, underseat storage, illuminated vanity mirrors, limited-slip on 4x4, 32-gallon fuel tank on long-box, LT275/70R17 (only LT from factory) and aluminum wheels, security system and remote start. Options include rear park assist and surround-sound audio system, 20-inch wheels/tires, sunroof, UConnect, navigation, Sirius backseat TV The Ram Sport is available in Quad and Crew Cabs and labeled Sport R/T on the Regular Cab. It adds a 5.7-liter Hemi, slate-gray contrast-stitched bucket seats, body-color bumpers, fog lamps, on-demand 4WD and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels. R/T models based on Sport use a 4.10:1 rear axle and 285/45R22 tires on polished aluminum wheels but will still tow 5000 pounds. Options are similar to those on the SLT. The Ram Laramie is the top of the line, with leather heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver memory system, woodgrain trim, power-adjustable pedals, surround sound, UConnect and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels (17s are available). Extra-cost features include remote start, sunroof, navigation, back-up camera, heated/ventilated front seats, floor mats, heated rear seats and rear-seat entertainment.
Options available on all Ram 1500 are an under-rail or spray-in bedliner and engine block heater.
The Ram 1500 has the bold and brash style for which it is well known, and it's a refined package with loads of amenities for the occupants. If you need a new truck look at the Ram 1500. Click here to learn more about the 2012 Ram 1500.
Some of the information for this review was obtained through newcartestdrive.com
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