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Consumer Reports: Ram is best half-ton pickup

by Bill Cawthon on

Consumer Reports rated the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel above every other half-ton, full-size pickup in its most recent tests.  It scored 82 points out of 100.

The next highest rated pickup was the Ram 1500 with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine, which scored an 81 and was rated as “Recommended.”

Consumer Reports wrote, “The Ram is the most civilized full-sized pickup on sale, yet it’s still plenty capable. Its coil-spring rear suspension helps cushion the ride and the spacious cab is luxury-car quiet.”

While they praised Ram’s fuel economy, eight-speed transmission, ride, quietness, room, and Uconnect telematics, they criticized the Ram’s ease of access (it’s a long way to the cab without the optional side steps), the heavy tailgate, and the $4,000 price tag for the diesel.

Consumer Reports got 20 miles per gallon in overall testing, the same figure Allpar hit in a recent test of the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman equipped with the VM Motori-sourced diesel.  A magazine spokesman said these numbers were normally seen in mid-sized SUVs, and pointed out that the Ram was the only diesel full-size half-ton truck.

The next highest scores were from the recently designed Silverado/Sierra pickups, which came close to the Ram Hemi’s score (both were tested with the 5.3 V8).  Ford’s F-150 XLT Crew Cab, tested with both the V6 turbo and five-liter V8 engines, scored far below both Ram and GM pickups.  The Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra V8s anchored the bottom of the list.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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