The redesigned 2013 Ram 1500 has quickly amassed a full load of industry awards, but perhaps none are as significant as its latest accolade: 2013 North American Truck/Utility of the Year. While the Ram pickup truck’s other recent awards have come from individual publications, the North American Truck/Utility of the Year award is more far-reaching, decided by the votes of 49 automotive journalists from across the United States and Canada.
Taking home the prestigious award for the first time since 1994, the Ram 1500 emerged from a field of all-new or significantly updated trucks and SUVs after each model was judged on innovation, design, safety, comfort, handling, value for the dollar and driver satisfaction. The 2013 Ram 1500 was announced the winner at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this week, easily besting the two other finalists, the Mazda CX-5 and Ford C-MAX.
“The new Ram 1500 has raised the bar in so many categories in the pickup segment, and that made it a clear choice for North American Truck/Utility of the Year,” said Brian Duval, general manager of Concord, New Hampshire Ram dealership Bob Mariano Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. “You know you have a good thing going when dozens of journalists can agree on the superiority of your vehicle, and if this latest award isn’t enough proof for skeptics, the Ram 1500 has received several others in the past month.”
Other recent accolades for the new Ram 1500 include the Motor Trend Truck of the Year, Autobytel.com Pickup Truck of Year, Four Wheeler Magazine Pickup Truck of The Year, AOL Autos Truck of the Year and Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year awards. Editors at those publications praised the pickup’s impressive performance, with the Detroit Free Press noting its combination of workhorse capability and fuel efficiency, as well as its luxury and convenience, and Motor Trend lauding its upscale, tech-focused interior.
When equipped with its new 305-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the 2013 Ram 1500 can return a best-in-class 25 mpg on the highway, while the returning 5.7-liter HEMI V8 can boost output to 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Ram has improved both ride and efficiency with the availability of several segment-first technologies, including an eight-speed automatic transmission, active air suspension, a thermal management system, a stop-start system and pulse-width modulation. Inside, an optional next-gen Uconnect Access System incorporates an 8.4-inch touchscreen and voice recognition to control functions like music selection, hands-free phone calls and navigation with 3-D terrain maps.
“Horsepower and torque alone are no longer enough to seal the deal with truck buyers, and though the new Ram 1500 is more capable than ever, in many ways it feels and rides like a luxury vehicle,” Duval noted. “The Ram 1500 has everything you need to get the job done at the work site, but for the rest of the time, it’s designed to keep you comfortable and connected while being cost-effective on the road.”