The 2012 Ram is built to feature the best performance, best overall value and most versatility of any pickup on the planet. To prove it, Ram put its full lineup of Light Duty, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab trucks to the test against the best the competition had to offer. Here’s how it turned out.
Start with the Light Duty 1500 lineup (starting MSRP $21,820), the best-selling flagship of the Ram stable. Built to transition seamlessly from the jobsite to the campsite to the grocery store, Ram Light Duty pickups are more powerful and ride better than the best from Ford and Chevy. Not only does the 2012 Ram 1500 have more standard horsepower and torque than the F-150 and Silverado 1500 (the Ram 4.7-liter V8 delivers 310 hp and 330 lb/ft of torque), it features the only engine lineup in the class to achieve up to 20 highway mpg across the board. And unlike Ford and Chevy’s introductions, the Light Duty Ram also provides a smoother, more comfortable and better-handling five-link coil rear suspension.
The Ram 1500 is also the only one of the big-three truck makers to offer secure, integrated storage in the form of the exclusive RamBoxÒ Cargo Management System. The available RamBoxÒ system integrates a pair of lit, waterproof and drainable storage compartments into the sides of the 1500 bed, allowing you to safely and easily store anything from power tools and gear to sports equipment and ice and beverages.
The battle-tested Heavy Duty Ram 2500 and 3500 (starting MSRP $28,660) offer more of the same, so much so that the Ram Power Wagon was recently named Four Wheeler’s “Pickup Truck of the Year.” Rightly so, considering the standard 5.7-liter HEMIÒ V8 engine in the 2500 delivers 383 hp right out of the box, and especially when compared to the Silverado’s relatively paltry 360 hp.
Ram Heavy Duty trucks are exceptionally capable and proven towers, haulers and workers, as evidenced by the 2500 Power Wagon’s standard 12,000-pound-capacity WarnÒ
winch – a feature you won’t find on the Ford or Chevy. Properly equipped, the 2500 offers a 15,500 pound maximum trailer weight and up to 22,500 pounds Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) while the beastly 3500 tows up to 22,750 pounds with the Max Tow Package.
The commercial-grade Ram Chassis Cab (starting MSRP $29,170) continues the trend, delivering more on-the-job power, performance and flexibility than the competition. The 3500 Chassis Cab features more muscle than any other vehicle in its class: A 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that delivers more standard horsepower and torque (383 hp and 400 lb/ft) than anything from Ford or Chevy, and draws from a class-leading 52-gallon single fuel tank. An available Cummins Turbo Diesel, with 610 lb/ft of torque, adds to Ram Chassis Cab versatility.
In fact, the 2012 Chassis Cab tops its class in a number of categories: Best-in-class frame strength (50,000 pounds), best-in-class maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (19,500 pounds) and best-in-class front brake size (the Ram 4500/5500 gets 390mm front rotors, compared to the 369mm rotors on the Ford). To keep a three-point turn a three-point turn, the Ram sports a turning diameter of just 49.2 feet, nearly 10 feet less than that of Ford’s Chassis Cab.
The complete Ram lineup isn’t just built to work, it’s built to last. Every Ram comes backed by a five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. In comparison, Ford’s warranty tops out at just five years/60,000 miles.
The more you test the 2012 Ram’s mettle (and metal), the better it looks.