Ram 1500: 2013 truck of the year a bit easier on the earth

2013 Ram 1500

The 2013 Ram has won some impressive praise in the past few months. Its titles include the prestigious North American Truck of the Year award as well as truck-of-the-year accolades from Motor Trend and Four Wheeler magazine.

Although automotive journalists certainly agree on the truck’s superior on- and off-road performance, how gently (or not) does this well regarded pickup tread on the planet? We answer that question by evaluating the truck using our eRatings, which account for the full gamut of pollution during manufacturing and use of a vehicle.

In the configuration evaluated, the 2013 Ram earned an eRating of 85, the highest among American-branded full-size pickups. The truck we scored was equipped with four-wheel drive (4wd), the base 4.7 liter V-8 engine and a Quad cab, reflecting an option set that many consumers select.

Ram also offers a new High Fuel Efficiency model, the HFE, that includes some innovative fuel-saving measures while dispensing with a degree of extra space and capability relative to more traditional configurations. No efficiency-boosting opportunity went untouched as the truck’s engineers exploited mass reduction, additional streamlining, a transmission upgrade and engine management. Some of the Ram 1500 HFE’s special features include an aluminum hood, active grill shutters, electric power steering, an eight-speed transmission and engine start-stop.

Together these improvements pushed mileage up to a combined 21 mpg for the  HFE two-wheel drive model, a fuel economy matching that of the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid but at a vastly lower price point. The Ram HFE treads about as lightly on the planet as a full-size pickup can, racking up a standout eRating of 105.

The table below tallies the results for these two Rams as well as the 4wd Quad cab’s head-on competitors from Chevy and Ford.

Make and Model$MSRPSpecsMPG
(city / hwy / comb)
eRating
RAM 1500 HFE Reg Cab 2WD29,2453.6 L 305 hp V6,
8-speed auto
18 / 25 / 21105
Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x431,6754.7 L 310 hp V8,
6-speed auto
14 / 19 / 1685
Ford F-150 SuperCab 4x431,9053.7 L 302 hp V6,
6-speed auto
16 / 21 / 1784
Chevy Silverado Extended Cab 4x432,5904.2 L 302 hp V8,
4-speed auto
13 / 18 / 1575
 

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