For Sale By:Dealer
Disability Equipped: No
Sub Model: 4WD Crew Cab 149 Tradesman
Exterior Color: Other
Drivetrain: Four Wheel Drive
Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
For the first time ever, Motor Trend has named a back-to-back winner of its Truck of the Year competition, handing the crown to last year's winner, the Ram 1500. Ram's entry to the pickup battle bested a range of new or heavily improved models, including its big brothers, the Ram Heavy Duty and Ram ProMaster van.
Other contenders included the twins from General Motors, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the Toyota Tundra, the Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200 and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Just how did a truck that technically hit the market in 2012 best a range of vehicles from 2013? With new technology.
MT wasn't testing the same Ram it tested in last year's competition - it was driving the new EcoDiesel V6, complete with an eight-speed automatic transmission. When ran through the battery of testing, the torquey diesel Ram proved to be the victor for its ample torque and excellent fuel economy, while the team at Motor Trend also highlighted its air suspension and overall sense of style and luxury.
Trucks are king in Texas, so the annual Truck of Texas awarded by the Texas Auto Writers Association gives automakers big bragging rights. This year's Texas Truck Rodeo featured 63 trucks, crossover and SUVs, and the 2014 Ram 1500 took home the prestigious Truck of Texas, giving the pickup back-to-back wins for this award. The good news didn't stop there for Chrysler Group, as Ram, Dodge and Jeep dominated most other categories, accounting for 14 of the possible 24 awards.
Ram also was named the Truck Line of Texas winning seven individual awards - including Best Powertrain with its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, Best Technology with the new Heavy Duty rear coil suspension and Best Commercial Vehicle with the 2014 Ram Promaster. The Jeep Grand Cherokee won two individual awards to be named the SUV of Texas, while the Hyundai Santa Fe was named the Crossover of Texas, and Nissan picked up three awards, too. Scroll down for the full list of categories and winners.
Looking at the fullsize pickup landscape, automakers are bringing more and more luxury to the mix. Ford has its King Ranch, GMC has the Denali and now Chevrolet is adding a High Country model, but it sounds like Ram might be looking to make a step up from its already posh Laramie Longhorn trim (shown above). Speaking with new Ram boss Reid Bigland, Automobile is reporting that Chrysler could be looking to reach even higher to add even more premium accoutrements to its truck line.
It's hard to imagine how much higher Ram could get with its luxury especially considering the 2013 Ram 3500 HD Laramie Longhorn used for our recent First Drive carried an as-tested price of $70,285 - even lighter-duty 1500 models start at $45k in LL trim. We wonder if this means we might finally get to see a production version of the Ram Long Hauler that we saw testing earlier in the year. Either way, high-dollar pickups add up to massive profit margins for automakers, so as long as there are customers willing to pay the price, we'll doubtlessly continue to see more premium features inside future trucks.