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Dodge Ram 1500

Research the new 1500 Dodge Ram

The Good

The 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 has a powerful V8 Hemi engine with high towing capacity. This truck rides very smoothly and can absorb the bumps and bruises that come with off-roading very easily. Its storage area is large, and the truck’s interior is well-appointed, with a quality feel. It also has the best powertrain warranty in its class.

The Bad

The standard engine included with the base model is fairly weak, and vehicle upgrades are expensive. In the past, there have been questions about Dodge’s long-term reliability, but new Dodge Ram 1500s for sale seem to have improved in this regard.

The Bottom Line

The 2011 Ram was rated a “best buy,” and it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to like about this truck, and very little not to like if you upgrade to a more powerful engine.

Price

The 2012 Dodge Ram is available in 48 unique trim packages. Basic variations include regular cab, crew cab and quad cab layouts, as well as the ST, SLT, Tradesman, Outdoorsman, Express, Big Horn and Sport models. The base model is the ST Regular Cab SWB, and the highest-end 2012 Ram is the Laramie Longhorn Limited Crew Cab 4x4.

MSRP: $26,770 to $53,665

Average paid: $26,188 to $53,079

Performance

Acceleration and power

The base model sports a 3.7 L engine that puts out a maximum of 215 horsepower, which isn’t a whole lot for this class. Upgrade to the 5.7 L Hemi V8 and you’ll enjoy a heavy 390 horsepower, all while getting up to 28 miles per gallon on the highway. The V8 Hemi goes 0 to 60 miles per hour in a trim 6.1 seconds, but what is really special about this engine is that it automatically reverts to a four-cylinder function once your vehicle is up to speed, which goes a long way towards getting you that excellent fuel efficiency. The six-speed transmission is also smooth and reliable, helping to generate a very even overall performance.

Handling and braking

One thing you will enjoy no matter which of the many trim packages you opt for is a world-class drive. Like all full-sized trucks, the Dodge Ram 1500 isn’t particularly nimble and doesn’t have much finesse, but the ride quality is second to none. Many reviews have said that this vehicle drives much more like a luxury SUV than a heavy-duty pickup truck. All-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard on all models.

Interior

Seating

Standard seating in the base model allows for three passengers, but the crew cab models offer seating for six. Overall, the quality of the interior is very high. The seating configuration is a 40/20/40 vinyl split bench seat, and the bench seat is both heated and ventilated – a nice touch if you live in a region that experiences weather extremes from season to season. The seats also feature adjustable head restraints, which helps to improve safety and reduce the chances that you will suffer whiplash in the event of a rear-impact collision.

Features

Noteworthy features include power steering, a ventilation system, a six-speaker AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 playback capability, load restraints, auxiliary input jacks and air conditioning. Higher-end trim packages have dual-zone climate controls, satellite radio, touch-screen stereo controls, a built-in navigation and Bluetooth connectivity that can link your smartphone to your vehicle in less than one minute. You can also opt for a rear-view camera if you want improved visibility or need help hitching up loads to the trailer.

Cargo space

The cargo area is generously sized, even on the base model Dodge Ram 1500. Its dimensions are as follows:

  • Length: 76.3 inches
  • Front width: 66.4 inches
  • Width between arches: 51.0 inches
  • Height: 20.1 inches
  • Loading floor height: 34.8 inches

Safety

All in all, the 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 has over 30 standard safety features. Chief among these are trailer sway control, all-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, ignition immobilizer, a low tire pressure monitor and hill start assistance. Side seat airbags are also available, if you want added protection beyond the standard passenger airbags that are included with every model.

Specifications

Compared to the 2011 Ram 1500, the only difference for 2012 is in the standard features included with each of the various trim packages. The given Dodge Ram 1500 specifications are for the ST Regular Cab SWB base model.

  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission with electronic range select (ERS) technology
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Gasoline V6, overhead camshaft (OHC)
  • Engine Size: 3.7 L
  • Horsepower: 215 @ 5200 rpm
  • Torque: 235 @ 4000 rpm
  • MPG, City: 16 MPG
  • MPG, Highway: 24 MPG
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