First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500 ram reviews trucks first drives
2013 Ram 1500. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Grant Yoxon

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2013 Ram 1500

Nashville, TN – Every business, big or small, has a financial controller, a bean counter. Even families have a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). I know mine does.
And for every organization, big or small, the cost of transportation is a significant (and usually growing) item on the minus side of the ledger. Trimming this line item has an equal and positive impact on the plus side. It doesn’t take a degree in accounting to realize that the less money spent to earn money means more money stays in the bank.

Auto manufacturers get it too, especially those that were driven to the brink of extinction when customers put a lock on the bottom line and stopped buying vehicles they couldn’t afford. The 2008 crisis in the auto industry taught the companies some important, but basic principals of financial survival – trim the fat, design and sell products that customers want to buy and stay ahead of the competition.

First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500 ram reviews trucks first drives
First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500 ram reviews trucks first drives
First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500 ram reviews trucks first drives
First Drive: 2013 Ram 1500 ram reviews trucks first drives
2013 Ram 1500. Click image to enlarge

With the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup truck, it appears that Chrysler Group LLC has learned the lessons well.

Originally, the 2013 model year was slated to be a revision year for the Ram 1500 line of pickup trucks, a mid-life update to the existing model. As one Ram executive put it to journalists attending the launch of the 2013 Ram 1500, in a mid-term update “the body is the same, just the jewelry changes.” But it is difficult to term the changes to the 2013 Ram 1500 as just an update, or a change in jewelry, as the only thing that hasn’t changed is the basic body design.

The jewelry consists of new taller grilles, four new grille designs, and a new front bumper design. The bumper is available in four different finishes specific to each model—satin black, body-coloured, two-tone accent, or chrome. New quad headlamps and vertical fog lights provide improved lighting, while new premium headlamps with amber LED turn/park/position lamps and premium LED tail lamps are available. Completing the exterior revisions are all new wheel designs in 17-inch, 20-inch and 22-inch sizes, new polished stainless steel running boards and an available wheel-to-wheel running board design that improves aerodynamics and access to the forward portion of the cargo box.

Speaking of the box, there are three sizes—5 ft-7 in, 6 ft-4 in and 8 ft. And for the first time, buyers can combine the larger 6 ft-4 in box with a crew cab design. As well, there is the optional Ram box with its dry, lit, lockable, fender-mounted storage boxes and cargo management system. The storage boxes also include drain plugs should you wish to fill them with ice instead of tools.

If this was a typical mid-cycle update, this would be the end of the review, but the mild exterior enhancements are only the beginning.

From the basic black interior of the ST and SXT to the luxuriously equipped, multi-hued, rich leather-clad environment of the Laramie Longhorn, interiors across the Ram 1500 lineup have been reviewed, revised, redesigned, and revitalized to incorporate the latest in comfort and convenience features and infotainment and communications technology.

These interior updates permit existing premium technology to trickle down to the entry level. Air conditioning, cruise control, 7- and 4-pin wiring harness and a Uconnect LCD text display are all now standard on the lower level ST, SLT, and Outdoorsman, while an all-new premium 8.4-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment and communications tools is standard to Sport, Laramie and Longhorn.

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