2012 Ram 1500 Review


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2012 Ram 1500 Overview

The Ram 1500 is the king of all trucks, and the 2012 version adds pickup to the pickup with a new drivetrain. This truck is designed to appeal to all kinds of drivers, from no-frills to cheap-thrills. Therefore, it offers a head-spinning variety of cabs, boxes and models.

There are 3 engines available: a 3.7-liter standard V6 with 215 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque, a 4.7-liter Flex-Fuel V8 with 310 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, or a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 390 hp and 407 lb-foot of torque. All are available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), and each comes with a newly designed 6-speed automatic transmission that has a manual access mode called Electronic Range Select, giving the car a power boost, which is especially welcome for the smaller engine. (Earlier versions offered only a 5-speed.)

Cab styles come in Regular 2-door, Quad (extended) cab, and a larger Crew cab. Box sizes come in lengths of 5 feet, 7 inches; 6 feet, 4 inches; and 8 feet. From there, you have a whopping 11 trim levels, but here’s an easy way to look at it: The main ones are ST, SLT, and Laramie, but in addition, Ram offers essentially bundled packages called Tradesman, Express, Outdoorsman, Sport, Sport R/T, Lone Star, Big Horn and Laramie Longhorn. Factory sprayed-in bedliner is available for all models.

Inside, the front seats are always roomy and comfortable, but unless you go with a Crew cab, rear passengers will feel a little cramped. The dashboard is dial-heavy, but the wood paneling available in some models adds a touch of class. All trims have folding cab seats, allowing plenty of room inside and out for cargo, and the Crew cab offers the lockable RamBox built into the bed rails.

Although standard features include 4-wheel antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and front and side-curtain airbags, the Ram 1500 has a merely average rating in safety – the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated it Marginal in side impact and roof strength tests. Trailer sway control and a rear-view camera are available.

And there’s a reason why the Ram is considered one of the best trucks in its class: its performance and handling. This is due to its stiff chassis and rear-coil suspension. It can handle 1,909 pounds of payload and can tow up to 10,450 pounds. Mileage estimates are 14 mpg city/20 highway for most trim levels, slightly less with 4WD.

It’s hard to get tough on a classic that delivers solid performance and ultimate configurability for every type of road and every style of driver.


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