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30 Days Of The 2013 Ram 1500

2013 Ram 1500

With all the high-performance roadsters we take for joyrides, and all the supersedans we cruise, It's easy to forget how good today's full-size pickup trucks have become.

We're not going to forget this month, because for the next 30 days, The Car Connection is going in-depth with the 2013 Ram 1500. Yes, we brought you a full Ram 1500 review and video road test last year--but now that production's in full swing, we wanted more seat time, especially in the efficient new V-6 version.

We'll be spending the month with a Ram SLT Crew Cab 4x4, outfitted with that V-6 and with what we think is the most useful body style. Our truck hails from Warren, Michigan, with a 3.6-liter V-6 built in Mexico and an eight-speed automatic assembled in Germany, that swings into action via the Ram's rotary shift knob. Four-wheel drive is shift-on-the-fly; cruise control and keyless entry are standard, for a listed base price of $37,300. According to the sticker, it's rated at 16/23 mpg, or 19 mpg combined.

From here, we'll explain gently that this Ram 1500 isn't quite like any Ram you'll find in a showroom or on a lot. Basically, our truck is a production-correct example built before final trim levels and option packages were decided. Our truck has a cloth bench seat, with a power driver section and storage built into the middle section--both into the seat bottom and the back cushion. There's a 115-volt power outlet on the dash; steering-wheel audio controls; a garage door opener; remote start; and a security system.

For towing and off-roading, there are tow hooks and skid plates, as well as rubber floor mats, a 32-gallon fuel tank, tow mirrors, and a Class IV hitch. For hauling, our Ram has a spray-in bedliner--while for luxury, it has a power sunroof, Uconnect with Bluetooth streaming and a 506-watt Alpine audio system, and an air suspension. Finally, for safety, this Ram has a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

Including destination, this truck shows a sticker price of $47,040. But it's all in theory. We've talked to Chrysler, and while it's possible to order this Deep Cherry Red Ram, with the same Canyon Brown/Light Frost Beige interior and with the V-6/4x4 drivetrain, you probably wouldn't. For less money, you could spec out a Laramie or Big Horn with a HEMI V-8.

We have plenty in store for the Ram until it goes on its way in early June. We'll try some truck accessories, and see if its fuel-economy promises can come true. We'll put it through the usual photo, video, and social-media hoops--but we'll also put it through some special towing, hauling, off-roading, and weekending tasks we're absolutely sure you'll find useful and fun. With a little Ram history and new- and used-truck shopping thrown in, we're sure you'll miss the Ram as much as we think we will in 29 days.

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