The refreshed 2013 Ram 1500 may boast a series of changes inside and out, but its $23,585 starting price raises less than $500 compared to the 2012 Ram 1500. Though the 2013 Ram 1500 won't feature thousands of dollars in incentives like the outgoing truck, the new one will offer the 3.6-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission as a $1000 option on base Tradesman models.
The 2013 Ram 1500 Tradesman trim sits at the bottom of the truck's lineup. The old 3.7-liter V-6 is gone; the Tradesman uses the 310-hp 4.7-liter V-8 but adds the 3.6-liter V-6/eight-speed automatic combo as a $1000 option that can tow up to 6500 pounds. The Tradesman comes standard with cruise control, A/C, intermittent wipers, automatic headlights, a USB port, mobile device aux jack, power windows with driver's one-touch up and down, a locking tailgate, hill-start assist, and a full-size spare tire.
We've seen most of the 2013 Ram 1500 trims before, but the one that may interest many buyers is the Ram 1500 HFE (high fuel efficiency). The 2013 Ram 1500 HFE grabs the "most fuel-efficient full-size truck" title for Ram, with expected ratings of 18/25 mpg city/highway. With a $29,195 MSRP, the 2013 Ram 1500 HFE is a rear-drive regular cab model with a 6-foot, 4-inch bed and the eight-speed automatic using a tall 3.21:1 final drive. The trim also includes stop-start technology, but even the non-HFE V-6 models are expected to be EPA-rated at 17/25 mpg. A rear-drive 2012 Ford F-150 with the 3.7-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission is EPA-rated at 17/23 mpg.
The 5.7-liter V-8 still sits at the top of the lineup, but is now mated to the eight-speed automatic. Ram 1500s with the new transmission have a movable air shutter system that blocks up to 80 percent of the airflow through the grille, which is one inch taller than before. The big V-8 is offered as standard on the Express, Big Horn/Lone Star, Outdoorsman, Sport, R/T, Laramie, and Laramie Longhorn. Cylinder deactivation is included as well, but there's no official word on the rumored six-cylinder diesel engine -- yet. There's been plenty of talk about the possibilities of a non-heavy-duty diesel-powered truck, but Ram may soon become the first to offer one.
In the meantime, 2013 Ram 1500 customers can enjoy prices that are about 1 percent above 2012 prices, on average though again, that's before the available incentives on the outgoing truck. The new Ram's $1595 Ram Active Level air suspension has five modes and can be controlled by a switch on the center stack. When you head off-road, the ride height can be bumped up by 1.2 or 2 inches.
Visually, there are seven different grille variations, and the Sport and R/T models add a hood with power bulges. Twenty-two inch forged alloy wheels are available, as are LED taillights and running lights.
2013 Ram 1500 pricing:
1500 4x2 Reg Tradesman - SWB 23,585 1500 4x2 Reg Tradesman - LWB 23,970 1500 4X4 Reg Tradesman - SWB 27,345 1500 4X4 Reg Tradesman - LWB 27,645 1500 4x2 Reg SLT - SWB 28,445 1500 4x2 Reg SLT - LWB 28,745 1500 4X4 Reg SLT - SWB 32,015 1500 4X4 Reg SLT - LWB 32,315 1500 4x2 Reg Sport 33,930 1500 4X4 Reg - Sport 36,850 1500 4x2 Reg Cab HFE 29,195 1500 4x2 Quad Tradesman 28,180 1500 4X4 Quad Tradesman 31,625 1500 4x2 Quad SLT 32,360 1500 4X4 Quad SLT 35,580 1500 4x2 Quad Sport 37,425 1500 4X4 Quad Sport 40,645 1500 4x2 Quad Laramie 39,610 1500 4X4 Quad Laramie 42,755 1500 4x2 Crew Tradesman 30,760 1500 4X4 Crew Tradesman 33,980 1500 4x2 Crew SLT 34,515 1500 4X4 Crew SLT 37,735 1500 4x2 Crew Sport 39,280 1500 4X4 Crew Sport 42,500 1500 4x2 Crew Laramie 41,465 1500 4X4 Crew Laramie 44,610 1500 4x2 Crew Laramie Longhorn 45,270 1500 4X4 Crew Laramie Longhorn 48,415
All prices include $995 destination charge