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2013 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks - styling, lighting, and safety

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2013 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks - styling, lighting, and safety

Main 2013 Ram page

The 3.5-inch vehicle information center is now standard on ST and SLT. A new TFT 7-inch screen, similar to the one on Dodge Dart, is now optional on SLT, standard on Sport and Laramie. Fully customizable, it uses background and information screens tailor-made to specific Rams.

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The Ram grille bars, with a more sculpted look, have been made flush with the grille surround, and have a new Ram badge at their crossing. There are four grille designs; ST, SLT and R/T have a molded-in black "Hex-Link," Big Horn and Sport have a "Billet-Perf" texture in two different finishes (one for each model), Laramie has a chrome "Hex-Perf," and Laramie Longhorn has "Wave-Mesh."

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The new front bumper supports the saddled Ram grille theme with vertically oriented fog lamps that improve light pattern and brightness. Larger openings around the front tow hooks (4x4s) ease access. Bumpers, like grilles, are matched to models, and come in black, body color, two-tone accent, or chrome.

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The headlamps have better light patterns, distance, and brightness (30% more lumens), with a new bi-functional halogen projector design (on Sport and Laramie Longhorn, optional on Laramie) that includes 15 amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and three amber LEDs for the side marker; the LEDs are softened with vertically ribbed inner lenses. A Ram shield logo is molded into the housing and the Ram name is molded into the inside of the outer lens. A premium taillamp, standard on Sport (with unique black finish) and Laramie Longhorn, optional on Laramie, has 15 red LEDs with three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens softens the glow of the LEDs.

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Each Ram 1500 model features new wheel designs that incorporate the "gusseted" theme from the Ram grille. Door and fender badges were relocated to a "portrait" style format, for a cleaner appearance and more "real estate" on doors for customer signs and graphics. The HEMI® fender badge is larger, and finished in chrome with red and black accents. The new, polished stainless steel running boards have a sturdy-looking box cross-section design with a hexagon tread pattern and Ram logos on end caps; the new wheel- to-wheel running board has less drag and increases access to the forward portion of the truck bed.

For 2013, the Ram 1500 comes in 12 different colors, including five new shades (Black Gold Pearl, Copperhead Pearl, Maximum Steel Metallic, Prairie Pearl, and Western Brown Pearl). They are available in a monotone and/or two-tone, depending on the model.

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Inside, the interior has material upgrades, better fit and finish, new themes and colors, new HVAC controls, and new multi-media systems. Rear occupants can enjoy the same quality as the driver; and soft-touch materials enhance armrests and upper bolsters. ST comes in black and "diesel." SLT adds a choice of "Canyon Brown/Light Frost," and Sport is black. Laramie customers can choose from black or Canyon Brown/Light Frost, and Laramie Longhorn has Cattle Tan/Black or Canyon Brown/Light Frost. As for the center stack, ST has dark gray with an iron gray metallic bezel; SLT has anodized driftwood paint with satin chrome accents; Sport has dark gray anodized with light black chrome and shiny black for a "street truck" feel. Laramie has "Light Anodized Driftwood" paint, with a Wenge wood pattern.

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Laramie Longhorn now has real walnut burl stained in Canyon Brown or Cattle Tan; Silver Pebble paint covers the bezel. The rare walnut grain was unintentionally created by ranchers using trees as fence posts for barbed wire; eventually, the trees grew over the rusting metal wire, creating a unique coloring pattern and tone.

The 2013 Ram 1500 has the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect® system; fitting it required upgrading the center stack. The new HVAC controls have simple, improved functions and allow the operator to use either the touchscreen or manual controls. A new switch bank has two rows, the top row for functional features (air-suspension lift, stop/start, stability control, park sense and tow/haul), the bottom for "comfort" controls (air suspension lower, heated steering wheel, heated seats, and ventilated seats). All buttons in the comfort bank also are redundant in the Uconnect system.

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Next to the switch bank is an adjustable integrated trailer brake control; the center stack also includes a 115-volt outlet and a drawer at the base with a smooth, tool box-slide action, 12-volt outlets on either side, and an optional powered USB on the driver side.

With the shifter out of the way, all 2013 Ram 1500 trucks with bucket seats have extra storage. Six-passenger capability continues to be available with the 40-20-40 bench seat.

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Two new steering wheels are used: a urethane one with black of brown bezel for SL and SLT, and a leather wheel is optional on SLT and standard on others, with the bezel varying by model. Heated steering wheels are optional depending on model, and trucks with the eight-speed have Electronic Range Select controls on the wheel.

Seating colors and feel were upgraded with richer, darker colors, including a new cloth. ST is available in Dark Slate and Black; SLT is also available in those colors, and adds Canyon Brown with Light Frost door panels. Sport and Laramie have all black, with Laramie also having Light Frost leather and Canyon Brown. Laramie Longhorn seating has Cattle Tan or Canyon Brown.

The center consoles are new. The bench seat includes three new cup holders built into the console lid, with a washable rubber bellow lining. Behind the center console and front seat base is a large storage bin, which houses the CD player. Both versions of the console have two tiers of storage and optional multi-media port with USB, SD card and auxiliary inputs in the upper tier. A 2.5-amp USB power port and 12-volt outlet are optional to meet device-charging needs.

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All Ram 1500 models have LED lighting on switches and the rear view mirror. Sport, Laramie and Longhorn have white LED lighting for dome, map and foot wells. Laramie and Longhorn models have additional Sapphire Blue ambient lighting throughout the interior.

Ram list prices (as of January 2013)

U.S. Prices (MSRP)Reg Cab 4x2Reg Cab 4x4Quad Cab 4x2Quad Cab 4x4Crew Cab 4x2Crew Cab 4x4
Tradesman (Short Bed)$22,590$26,350
Express (Short Bed)$24,825
SLT (Short Bed)$27,450$31,020
HFE (High Mileage)$28,200
Express $28,500$29,745$32,970$31,875$35,095
Big Horn$33,210$36,430$35,365$38,585
Lone Star$33,210$36,430$35,365$38,585
Laramie Longhorn$44,275$47,420

The 2013 Ram 1500 has standard front and side-curtain (front and rear) air bags, seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, knee bolsters, and seat belt pretensioners. The Ram also has standard stability control, traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-Start Assist, and anti-lock brakes. Remote central locking now includes the RamBox® cargo management system and tailgate powerlocks. Some other features:

  • The brake-lock differential system (BLDS) allows forward motion if one or two wheels lose traction by selectively applying brakes to the spinning wheels.
  • When a disagreement exists between the throttle and the brake, the engine controller cuts power.
  • Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) makes it easier for emergency personnel to reach occupants after an accident by turning on interior lights and hazard flashers, and unlocking doors after air-bag deployment. It shuts off the fuel as well.
  • Remote start is optional, along with rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam® headlamps.
  • Bi-halogen projector headlamps add LEDs to the main halogen beam for better light spread, pattern consistency, and distance.
  • Integrated trailer brake control allows drivers to automatically or manually activate the electronic brakes on equipped trailers for greater stopping power.
  • Trailer-sway control reduces trailer sway when there are crosswinds and traffic. The system monitors the truck's movement relative to the intended path, applies alternating brake pressure to slow the vehicle, and then increases the pressure on one front wheel to counteract the sway induced by the trailer.
The rumors: what we got right (and wrong)

We got it right on the Pentastar V6 / ZF eight-speed automatic, but missed the "TorqueFlite 8" name - having spotted the return of the TorqueFlite name itself in early 2011 - and the Hemi-Eight combination. Many sources were right about the aero-slats. Other points we predicted were the new headlights, optional air suspension, better tow-hook bumper, stop-start system, 8.4 inch touch-screen, 7-inch digital screen within the gauge cluster, interior upgrades, keyless enter-and-go, and central locking system will be available to tie in the Rambox and tailgate locks with the key fob. oh20 pointed us to a next generation UConnect and that also arrived.

oh2o said we should expect electroluminescent gauges and a fold-flat floor for the crew cab. We don't know if the Ram has those or not.

Grille Automotive exterior Auto part Automotive fog light Automotive lighting
A Cummins V8 diesel was listed on dealer systems for a time. We saw this as a late-availability, military-only option; this engine generates 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. The quiet, high-revving engine (redline is over 5,000 rpm) is said to get highway gas mileage in the mid-20s in half-ton trucks. A hybrid powertrain also showed on dealer systems, but this might be for the PHEV test truck fleet. Neither of these appeared in the launch, but we suspect that the Cummins V8 will show up late in 2013, possible for the 2014 model year.

For more information

Main 2013 Ram pageMain Dodge Ram page PowertrainSuspension


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