With disc brakes at each corner and a two-stage brake booster, the Ram has some of the most powerful and linear brakes in its class. "This Dodge has binders with big anchors," comments Sessions. Rear-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard on all models, with four-wheel ABS available as an option.

Inside, the new Ram is a breath of fresh air compared to its previous offering. The front captain's chairs provide plenty of lumbar and thigh support, and we were glad to see Dodge address the Ram as a true work truck: all of the interior switchgear are easily manipulated with hands sleeved in thick leather gloves.

Even though the design is clunky, the Infinity AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo is more than worth the $100 upcharge, providing fidelity that many upscale units found in luxury sedans could only hope for. Motor Trend TV Senior Producer John Matthius writes: "The Infinity sound system never fails to impress, although the head unit isn't that user-friendly." This Infinity sound system effectively turns the Ram's cabin into a concert hall.

We found the rear bench seat a bit upright for large adults, but kids and preteens should have a comfy ride. With the back seat unoccupied, we can flip the seat up and pull the package shelf out, converting the area to a flat load area, perfect for storing midsize tool boxes or bulky items that need to be kept locked in the cabin.

During its one-year tenure, our Ram logged a total of 18,332 miles and consumed 1484 gallons of gasoline (over the course of 105 fill-ups) at a cost of $2548.48. We added only a single quart of oil ($2.48), and we never had a single mechanical issue to report.