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Motor Trend: Ram bests aluminum F-150

by David Zatz on

The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout.

shootout

The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included:

  • Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was
  • Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, and acceleration
  • Tow testing with a 7,000 pound trailer
  • Payload testing with 1,000 pounds
  • Fuel economy

The winner was chosen both by empirical results and and by driver impressions. The judges were particularly impressed with the performance of the Ram 1500’s EcoDiesel V-6 engine and eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, which results both in instant responsiveness and best-in-class 28 mpg fuel economy.

Ram-2014-OutDoorsman-EcoDiesel-Web

Motor Trend actually beat EPA fuel economy ratings with the Ram, turning in 20/28; the Ford was a distant second (17/22) and the Chevrolet was the worst, at 13/19.  All three were 4x4s, with Ram running a diesel six, Ford running a twin-turbo gasoline six, and Chevrolet running a 325 cid (5.3 liter) V8.  The Ram had the highest torque (420) and lowest horsepower (240); Chevrolet had the second best torque (383) and the best hosepower (355), while Ford lagged on both.

As far as acceleration, the Ram diesel was by far the slowest in 0-60, unladen (8.8 seconds) or towing a 7,000 lb trailer (23.9 seconds), while the Ford was best (6.5 and 16.2 seconds) and the Chevrolet not far from the Ford (6.9 and 19.5 seconds). Even so, the Ram did the quarter mile in just 16.6 seconds (the Ford did it in 15.1).  All three came within one foot of each other, with Ram slightly better than the others; lateral acceleration was likewise extremely similar.

diesel

“This is a strong third-party testimonial of Ram’s place in the market and contributes to the justification of long hours and hard work to deliver the best trucks available,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand. “Just five years after becoming its own brand, Ram Truck has nearly doubled its market share and earned best-in-class titles in fuel economy, torque, payload and towing.

The judges found that, over 260 miles with a thousand-pound payload, the Ram 1500 diesel turned in 22 mpg, easily beating the turbocharged-gasoline V6 in the Ford.  The Ram’s optional air suspension provided a good combination of comfortable ride and good handling, along with strong interior aerodynamics.

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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