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Ram shifter feel revealed

by David Zatz on

Though most reporters have still not gotten their hands on a running 2013 Ram 1500, we were able to talk about one with a Ram representative recently.  He told us that the knob shifter for the eight-speed automatic was chosen partly because it freed up so much space in the console area, and partly because it had a good feel. The heavy-duty-truck inspired knob (or, as Ram says, “rotary dial”) is used to select Park, Reverse, Neutral, or Drive only; low gears are chosen via the Electronic Range Select system.

There were some concerns that the shifter would be too clearly “electronic” in feel, but we were assured that it has decent travel, strong detents, and feels like a mechanical control. You can quickly twist it all the way to the right to get into Drive; it will stop when it reaches Drive or, on the other side, Park. The spatial relationship of the shifter to the positions remains constant, making “blind” operation easy.


David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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