Pros: Addition of available turbodiesel V6 engine; excellent 8-speed transmission is unmatched by rivals; impressive ride, handling, and quietness for a large pickup truck
Cons: Maximum payload and towing capacities don’t match some rivals; fuel economy with 5.7-liter Hemi V8; high step-in complicates entry and exit
CG Says: Despite receiving a major freshening in 2013, the Ram 1500 gets a raft of notable enhancements this year. Model-year 2014 marks first-time availability of front-obstacle detection. Under the hood, the Ram 1500 will be the only light-duty pickup for sale in the U.S. to offer a diesel engine. When Chrysler redesigned the Ram 1500 back in 2009, the company transformed its big rig from an also-ran to class leading. A steady stream of improvements in subsequent years has kept this pickup feeling fresh. The available Hemi V8 engine is potent, but the entry 3.6-liter V6 is no slouch either. The latter motor also delivers some of the best fuel economy we’ve seen from any large pickup, a feat that might be surpassed only by the optional turbodiesel V6 slated to come online later in the model year. Whether you want a workhorse in the Tradesman, a street cruiser in the R/T, an off-roader in the Outdoorsman, or a luxury liner in the Laramie Longhorn, the Ram 1500 has something to satisfy most any recreational and/or commercial need. Even if you’re a die-hard loyalist to another brand, you still owe it to yourself to check out these outstanding trucks. They might well win you over.