Used Car Review

2013 Ram 1500: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions May 2015

When the 2013 Ram 1500 arrived on the scene, it made an already good-looking, good-riding truck even better. A new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission brought enhanced efficiency and flexibility. Available in Regular, Double and Crew-Cab body styles, and 6.4- and 8-foot bed lengths, the 2013 version of the Ram 1500 can tow up to 9,200 pounds.

What We Like

Big-rig styling; attractive interior; V6 fuel economy; 8-speed transmission flexibility; available HEMI V8; Uconnect infotainment; lockable RamBox bed storage; good ride quality

What We Don't

No diesel option; twist knob shifter on 8-speed automatic takes some getting used to

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Ram 1500 has three engine choices for 2013. The SLT, Outdoorsman and HFE feature a new Pentastar 3.6-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. It's mated exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The fuel-economy-optimized two-wheel-drive HFE has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The two-wheel-drive SLT and Outdoorsman receive a 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy EPA rating and four-wheel-drive versions net a 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy label. It uses regular unleaded fuel.

Carrying over from last year on the bare-bones Tradesman is a 4.7-liter single-overhead-camshaft (SOHC) 4.7-liter V8 with 310 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque using regular unleaded. It's EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy with two-wheel drive and 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with four-wheel drive. A 6-speed automatic is standard.

Ram's signature 5.7-liter overhead-valve (OHV) HEMI V8 comes standard on Express, Big Horn, Sport, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models, with 395 hp and 407 lb-ft of torque. It runs on regular unleaded, but midgrade is recommended. A fuel-saver mode shuts down four cylinders when the vehicle is cruising with a light load. Rear-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 15 mpg city/22 mpg hwy with the 8-speed automatic transmission and 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy with the 6-speed automatic. Four-wheel-drive Ram 1500s with the 8-speed automatic are rated at 15 mpg city/21 mpg by EPA, while four-wheel-drive versions with the 6-speed fall to 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The Ram 1500 comes in Tradesman, Express, HFE, SLT, Bighorn, Sport, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn trims.

Tradesman and Express are the no-frills RAM 1500 work trucks. The Tradesman comes with a 4.7-liter V8 and the Express comes with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Standard features include air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel and 17-inch steel wheels, but modern niceties, such as power mirrors and windows, remote keyless entry and alloy wheels, are optional. Standard safety gear includes dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, overhead airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability and traction control. Options are limited.

The HFE is a limited-production two-wheel-drive Regular Cab optimized for fuel economy. It features the 3.6-liter V6 and 8-speed automatic, 3.21:1 final-drive ratio, active grille shutters and a stop-start system that shuts off the engine at stoplights.

The SLT is a midlevel trim with standard 3.6-liter V6, 6-speed automatic, power windows, door locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, SiriusXM radio and 17-in alloy wheels. More importantly, it can be optioned up with items such as 20-in alloy wheels, navigation, a moonroof, rear entertainment, an upgraded audio system, a backup camera, adjustable pedals, foglamps, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, an 8-speed automatic, heated bucket front seats, a leather steering wheel and a power driver's seat.

Sport upgrades to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, sport exhaust, body-color bumpers, door handles and grille, LED turn and running lights, a performance hood scoop, 20-in alloys, a leather steering wheel and a power driver's seat. Sport options include heated leather front seats, a power passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, automatic air conditioning and air suspension.

Big Horn, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn add chrome exterior trim and other appearance upgrades. The Laramie and Laramie Longhorn also add heated and ventilated power front seats, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, an upgraded 10-speaker stereo with a 8.4-in Uconnect screen, Bluetooth, navigation, a security system, dual-zone auto air conditioning, LED park, turn and tail lamps, adjustable pedals and a 7-in programmable gauge display.

Pricing

With the prices of new full-size pickups hitting new heights, good used examples also cost a pretty penny. The RAM 1500 has muscular good looks and the best ride quality among its competitors. Four-wheel-drive models will command higher prices in the snowy Northeast and Upper Midwest.

To research the prices of Ram 1500 pickups, check out the used-car values at Kelley Blue Book. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what's for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2013 RAM 1500:

A stuck coolant bypass valve can cause the defroster to be ineffective, impairing forward visibility and increasing crash risk.

The parking brake on some models was set incorrectly at the factory and may not hold the truck on a 20-percent grade, allowing the truck to roll away and increase the risk of a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2013 Ram 1500 an improved 4-star overall rating (up from just three stars for 2012). The Ram 1500 pickup also received a 4-star rating for frontal impacts and a 5-star rating for side impacts. For rollover resistance, two-wheel-drive Rams were given four stars and four-wheel-drive models were given just three stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Ram 1500 Crew Cab 2013 model a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, head restraints and seats, and a Marginal rating for roof strength. It did not test Regular or Quad Cabs.

The Chrysler Group covered the 2013 Ram pickup with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty with roadside assistance, along with 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain and corrosion-perforation warranties.

Ram certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be less than five years old. Every CPO Ram 1500 undergoes a 125-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 3-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the original sale date.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Ford F-150 -- It's hard to beat the powertrain lineup and resale value of the F-150. But the Ford can't match the style, interior quality and ride suppleness of the Ram 1500.

2013 Chevrolet Silverado -- The 2013 Silverado is showing its age but is still tastefully executed. It offers a better steering feel than the Ram and towing capacity up to 10,700 pounds.

Autotrader's Advice

The Ram 1500 offers a stylish and smoother-riding take on the full-size pickup. Even though it needs midgrade unleaded fuel to run best, we like the performance and flexibility of the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. Resale value will also be better because of the HEMI's solid reputation. The 3.6-liter V6/8-speed automatic is also a good package with surprisingly good fuel economy. You can't go wrong with a well-optioned SLT, but if you want all the bells and whistles, the Laramie is worth a look. Look for a certified pre-owned Ram 1500 and always get a vehicle history report. Make sure the pickup you're considering has had all applicable recalls performed.

Find a Ram 1500 for sale

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Used 2013 RAM 1500 Laramie Longhorn
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Ram 1500: Used Car Review - Autotrader