2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 Update 5
Plush and Powerful
The Ram 1500 with the Pentastar V-6 was the first of line to receive the new TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed transmission. For commuting and occasional light hauling duty, we found the combination of the Pentastar and eight-speed to be a great balance of power and economy. Following that, the eight-speed was paired with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, as our long-termer is equipped. And recently we had the opportunity to experience the eight-speed with the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. In each case, Chrysler has done a fantastic job calibrating each engine to the transmission.
Before I got a chance to drive the new eight-speed trucks, one of my concerns was that they would be overly shifty, upshifting and downshifting constantly. Happy to report that's not the case. The calibration is quite intuitive, selecting the right ratio for the right occasion, and rarely feels overly busy. The competitors' six-speeds feel shiftier and busier much of the time. Although the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has been getting a lot of attention and love lately, the combination of the Hemi and the eight-speed makes a powerful case for itself. The broader rev range and higher horsepower of the Hemi combined with the eight-speed gives the truck forceful, confident acceleration around town, and relaxed cruising on the highway. Having 395 hp and 410 lb-ft at your disposal tempts you to use it liberally, so our observed fuel economy may not quite match the EPA estimates, but if you can keep a light throttle foot, this combination is capable of delivering on its promise of reasonable economy.
Subjectively, a lot of people, including many of the MT staff, feel that Ram has the best-looking trucks, inside and out. Indeed, the latest evolution of the Ram's mini-big-rig styling cuts a dashing profile. On the inside, upscale touches such as the knob shifter, push-button start (on the higher trim levels), and the intuitive and responsive Uconnect touch-screen interface show that the Ram's designers sweated the details.
In the urban setting that characterizes most of Southern California, the size of our long-termer feels a little unwieldy, as do most full-size trucks. But once you're seated in the Laramie's supremely comfortable front buckets, with the seat coolers cooling, going down the road with the outstanding Hemi/eight-speed powertrain, urban congestion seems nothing more than a minor nuisance. At 23,000 miles into our long-term test, our affection for the long-term Laramie has barely faded.
|Service life||23,594 mi|
|Average fuel economy||15.8 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||1.23 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||15/17/21 mpg|
|Energy consumption||213 kW-hr/100mi|
|Maintenance cost||$120.94 (2-oil change, tire rotation, inspection)|