2014 Ram 1500 Review

March 19, 2014
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For 2014, you can use diesel to run the Ram 1500. That’s made possible by the availability of a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The 4.7-liter V8 has been discontinued in effect. With wide arrays of engine, transmission, powertrain and trim level choices, it’s not impossible for you to pick the 2014 Ram 1500 as your next truck.

UNDER THE HOOD

Ram offers several engine-gearbox combinations for the 2014 1500. The Tradesman, HFE and SLT models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission which is controlled by a rotary e-shift knob in the instrument panel. This is why you won’t see a shift lever in the 1500. The drivetrain in all models can be two-wheel or all-wheel.

The other trim levels come standard with a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. It is optional on the lower trim levels. It can be had with either a 6-speed or an 8-speed automatic transmission. But the Tradesman model can have only the former.

The new optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 gives the 1500 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission available for this diesel engine.

This year’s Ram 1500 gets the following fuel economy ratings from the EPA.

City Highway Combined
3.6L V6, 8-spd auto, 2WD 17 mpg 25 mpg 20 mpg
3.6L V6, 8-spd auto, 4WD 16 mpg 23 mpg 19 mpg
5.7L V8, 6-spd auto, 2WD 14 mpg 20 mpg 16 mpg
5.7L V8, 6-spd auto, 4WD 13 mpg 19 mpg 15 mpg
5.7L V8, 6-spd auto, 2WD 15 mpg 22 mpg 17 mpg
5.7L V8, 8-spd auto, 4WD 15 mpg 21 mpg 17 mpg
3.0L V6, 8-spd auto, 2WD 20 mpg 28 mpg 23 mpg
3.0L V6, 8-spd auto, 4WD 19 mpg 27 mpg 22 mpg

ON THE ROAD

The Ram 1500 moves smoothly and quickly both around town and on highways, regardless of the engine powering it up. The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly also despite its many gears. It serves you well especially when towing.

The 5.7-liter engine has the highest towing capacity but the diesel engine provides enough power to tow moderate loads, not to mention that it has better fuel economy. It may not be able to pull off impressive acceleration but it is very capable for daily commuting, just like the other engines.

Ride quality is one of the best qualities the 1500 can boast of. It is more refined than other full-size trucks. It could get even better with the available air suspension, which is not normally offered in the segment.

INSIDE THE 2014 1500

The 2014 Ram 1500 has a complex array of body styles and trim levels. It is available in a regular cab body style, quad cab or crew cab. The 3-seater regular cab can be had with a 6’4” or 8” cargo bed. The quad cab can seat up to 6 and it comes with only a 6’4” cargo bed. The crew cab has more legroom and a 5’7” or a 6’4” cargo bed.

The 1500’s cabin does not look like what a full-size truck typically have. It’s pretty and neat. The cabin of the more expensive models even looks and feels luxurious. Materials are of good quality on all models and the controls are not difficult to use.

The seats are very comfortable and crew cabs offer plenty of legroom. The front bench seat has a lot of space compared with other pickups because the absence of a traditional shift lever frees up some space. Storage spaces also abound inside the 1500.

KEY FEATURES

We took the six main trim levels in the Ram world—Tradesman, HFE, SLT, Sport, Laramie and Longhorn—to list down the standard features that go with some 1500 models. Here we go:

TRADESMAN: vinyl bench seat, driver information center, display screen in the instrument cluster, 6-speaker audio system, auxiliary audio jack, USB port, Uconnect, 17-inch steel wheels with all-season tires, automatic headlights, cruise control, rear under-seat storage compartment (quad cab)

HFE (High Fuel Economy): cloth upholstery, carpeted floor, armrest with 3 cup holders, instrument panel color keyed bezel, overhead console, mini trip computer, satellite radio, 17-inch aluminum wheels, tri-fold Tonneau cover, automatic engine start/stop, power accessories

SLT: power door locks and windows, rearview mirror with microphone, 5-inch touchscreen display, black power-adjustable heated exterior mirrors, remote keyless entry, dual glove boxes, rear folding seat (quad cab)

SPORT: heated front seats and steering wheel, anti-spin differential, cloth bucket seats, auto-dimming mirrors, instrument panel premium bezel, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, LED interior lighting, 7-speaker Alpine sound system, 8.4-inch touchscreen display, voice command technology, Bluetooth, SD card slot, 22-inch aluminum wheels (20-inch aluminum wheels in quad cabs), fog lights, sport performance hood, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control (quad cab)

LARAMIE: leather seats, memory function, wood interior accent, 9-speaker audio system, 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome exterior accent, security alarm

LONGHORN: premium leather seats, unique instrument cluster, Longhorn-specific interior accent, HD radio, navigation system, 20-inch aluminum wheels with gold inserts, tow hooks, remote start system

Ram offers several optional features for the 2014 1500. But most of the standard features on the more expensive models are available as options on the lower trim levels.

Photo credit: thecarconnection.com, ramtrucks.com

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