Ram 1500 delivers utility with carlike ride
By IRA SIEGEL For Sun-Times Media July 2, 2012 1:02PM
2012 RAM 1500 QUAD CAB 4X4
ENGINE: 390-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8
TRANSMISSION: six-speed automatic
DRIVETRAIN: four-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: 13 city/19 highway
BASE PRICE: $30,355
AS TESTED: $36,245 (includes $995 for destination)
Updated: July 6, 2012 9:06AM
If a full-size pickup truck is what you need, there are many choices. But the 2012 Ram 1500 stands out for its attractive styling, impressive towing and hauling capabilities, unique storage bins both inside the cab and in the bed area, and a remarkable suspension system that can handle a load while still offering one of the most carlike rides in the segment.
As is the case with most pickup trucks, the 2012 Ram 1500 is offered in regular cab, extended cab (known as quad cab) and crew cab.
The regular cab offers seating for up to three passengers on its standard 40/20/40 bench seat. The regular cab can be equipped with either a 6-foot 4-inch bed or 8-foot bed.
The quad cab seats up to six passengers thanks to a rear bench seat. The quad cab is only offered with the 6-foot 4-inch bed.
The crew cab model offers 5.6 inches more legroom for rear passengers. The crew cab is only offered with a 5-foot 7-inch bed.
There are three engines available in the 2012 Ram 1500. A 215-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine is standard in two-wheel-drive regular cab and 2WD quad cab models.
A 310-horsepower 4.7-liter V-8 (flex fuel compliant) powers all four-wheel drive and crew cab models.
Of course, the legendary 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine is available across the line and highly recommended. The Hemi produces 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque.
The Hemi features fuel-saving technology and it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Amazingly, Hemi-equipped 2WD models deliver the same fuel economy (14/20) as those powered by the V-6.
The 2012 Ram 1500 can be had in a number of different trim levels starting with the base ST trim up to the top-of-the-line Laramie Longhorn.
New for 2012 is a Tradesman model with an 11,500-pound maximum trailer rating. The Tradesman and Laramie Longhorn feature a standard factory spray-in bed liner that’s optional on all other models.
Those who tow a trailer will be happy to know that all Ram 1500 pickups include a standard four- and seven-pin trailer connector.
Looking for some bling? The Ram Express adds 20-inch alloy wheels (chrome is optional), body-color grille, chrome dual exhaust tips and more.
Looking for some speed? The Sport R/T delivers pavement-pounding acceleration as it launches from 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.
Step inside the 2012 Ram 1500 and you’ll find a cabin that is comfortable and equipped with plenty of standard and optional storage compartments.
The upper trim levels obviously offer a more luxurious level of materials and amenities. However, my 2012 Ram 1500 ST Quad Cab 4x4 with the Express package still had quite a bit of hard plastic surfaces inside. Other than that, there’s a lot to like.
Crew cab models can be had with a pair of store-in-the-floor bins with removable liners that are large enough to accommodate up to 10 12-ounce beverages and ice.
Also, crew cab, quad cab and short-bed regular cab models can be equipped with the RamBox cargo management system. It provides weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage compartments integrated into each rear fender. The manufacturer says they each hold up to 140 12-ounce beverages.
The RamBox system also includes a bed divider, 2-foot bed extender and a rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats for securing your load.
If all that isn’t enough, there’s a host of standard safety features and available creature comforts.
Plus, while the 2012 Ram 1500 is capable of towing and hauling a substantial load, it delivers a pleasing, carlike ride.
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