It’s a Best Buy because:

It offers an unbeatable ride/handling combination along with a high level of refinement, classy interiors, and some unique features. Furthermore, the V6 engine is no slouch, and has the best EPA fuel-economy ratings of any full-size pickup.

But…

It doesn’t have the maximum towing or payload capacities of some rivals.

Worth noting:

Later in the model year, the Ram 1500 is due to get a class-exclusive diesel engine. Already exclusive is the RamBox system: large, handy, lockable cargo bins built into the top edges of the cargo-bed walls. Full-time 4WD is offered (in place of part-time 4WD) starting in mid-level models.

What Is It?

The Ram 1500 was called the Dodge Ram 1500 until a few years ago, when parent-company Chrysler Group broke off “Ram” as its truck brand. This half-ton pickup is available in regular cab, extended cab (called Quad Cab), and crew cab body styles; both the extended cab and crew cab have conventional front-hinged rear doors. It comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that’s offered in a wide range of models, while a 5.7-liter V8 is also available.

What’s New?

Despite receiving a major freshening in 2013, Ram is continuing to enhance the 1500. Model-year 2014 marks first-time availability of front-obstacle detection. Later in the model year, the Ram 1500 is due to be the first light-duty pickup for sale in the U.S. to offer a diesel engine.

Fuel Economy

In Consumer Guide® testing, a V6-powered Quad Cab averaged 19.3 mpg in a mix of city/highway driving; that compares to the EPA rating of 17 city/25 highway. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is rated at 14/20 with a 6-speed automatic, 15/22 with the available 8-speed. Ram recommends mid-grade 89-octane gas for the 5.7 V8, but it can run on regular as well, which is what’s recommended for the 3.6 V6.

Value in Class

The Ram 1500 is really tough to beat for regular street driving. It rides better than any other pickup, has a high level of refinement and features, and the base V6—which is plenty of engine for most uses—is the current fuel-economy champion in the class. It also offers a wide choice of trim levels, from workhorse, to street cruiser, to luxury liner. Even if you’re a die-hard loyalist to another brand, you still owe it to yourself to check out these outstanding trucks.

BASE PRICE RANGE $24,385 – $49,215
BODY STYLES Regular, Extended, And Crew Cab
AVAILABLE ENGINES 305-HP, 3.6-Liter V6; 395-HP 5.7-Liter V8; 240-HP 3.0-Liter Turbodiesel V6 (Late Arrival)
DRIVE WHEELS Rear or 4-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 13-25 MPG

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