The Total Car Score earned by the 2012 Dodge Ram Series ranks it mid-pack in the fullsize truck category.
The Ram is a standout in the marketplace. It’s the only pickup with a coil-sprung rear axle to improve its ride quality. It’s also the only truck offering the lockable RamBox storage bins in its bed sides. Plus it can be ordered in a huge number of models and trim levels, some tailored for very specific owner niches. Add handsome styling, a roomy interior and Hemi power, and the Ram is a top pick.
Not all is perfect with the Ram, however. The base V6 is fairly anemic, and there isn’t a fuel-economy leader in the lineup. All the engines, from V6 to Hemi, earned essentially the same fuel economy ratings. The Ram also didn’t do well in the government’s safety tests. So buyers should do their homework before shopping Ram, to check out the crash tests and navigate the option lists.
This generation of the Ram was introduced three years ago; the most significant addition for the 2012 Ram 1500 is the Tradesman HD model, with tow and hauling capacities far beyond other Ram 1500s.
The 2012 Dodge Ram Series is available with three engines; 4x2 and 4x4 powertrains; regular, Crew and Quad Cabs; three box lengths; and 11 models: Tradesman, Express, Outdoorsman, ST, SLT, Sport, Sport R/T, Lone Star, Big Horn, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn.
The ST and Tradesman are work oriented, with vinyl upholstery and manual windows and locks (though the Tradesman gets a Hemi). At the high end is the Laramie Longhorn, with every premium feature in inventory.
In between, the Outdoorsman is tailored to hunting and fishing enthusiasts, the Sport R/T is the quick sport truck of the group, and the Lone Star is a special edition available only in Texas.
The Ram 1500’s standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6 producing 215 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque and joined to a four-speed automatic transmission. A 4.7-liter V8 makes 310 hp and 330 lb-ft, and the 5.7-liter Hemi produces 390 hp and 407 lb-ft. Both are backed by a six-speed automatic.
Fuel economy for all 2WD Ram 1500s is 14 mpg city, 20 highway and 16 combined; the Hemi 4x4 is close at 13/19/15.
Properly equipped, the 2012 Ram 1500 can tow up to 11,500 pounds and haul 3,100 pounds of cargo.
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