2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Pickup TrucksAlthough 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks are not entirely new, the lineup has indeed received important updates. This year's trucks are more capable, built stronger, achieve better fuel economy and are outfitted with more creature comforts than their predecessors.
Let's take a look at some of the features you'll see when you test drive 2013 HD trucks.
Ram HD's PowertrainHEMI V8
The 5.7 liter HEMI V8 (383 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque) is back as the standard engine in both 2500 and 3500 Ram trucks. Variable valve timing boosts power, and in turn helps fuel economy.
The HEMI comes with a six speed automatic transmission, a combo rated at a gross combined weight rating (GCWR -- the maximum weight of everything in the truck) of from 18,000 to 20,000 pounds. Trucks equipped with the HEMI setup can tow between 10,840 to 13,960 pounds, depending on body and configuration.
Inline 6-Cylinder Diesel Engines
A 6.7 liter Cummins diesel is optional for both 2500 and 3500 Ram trucks. Three versions of the engine are available:
- A 350 horsepower engine (660 pound feet of torque) that's mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
- A 370 horsepower engine (800 pound feet of torque) connected to Chrysler's 68RFE 6-speed automatic transmission.
- If that's not enough, Ram's top of the line engine delivers 385 horsepower and a massive 850 pound feet of torque. It's mated to an AISIN-built 6 speed automatic transmission with wider gear spacing for improved shift points and better driveability when towing or hauling.
Towing abilities: Diesel-equipped Rams have best-in-class towing abilities: 16,360 to 29,970 pounds, depending on cab and configuration.
Diesel engine were configured with a new cooling system for 2013. Engines are now equipped with two radiators, a high efficiency cooling fan, two transmission coolers and a cooler that handles air from the turbo. All of those tweaks reduce engine heat by about 25-percent, and since lower temps reduce engine deposits and help engine parts last longer, the updates should improve reliability and lower a truck's maintenance costs.
In addition, the turbo diesel is equipped with an intake air system. If it senses extreme heat under the hood, the system makes a switch, and begins to draw from the cooler air coming through the grille. The intake air system also knows when the truck is pushing through water, and it senses snow and ice buildup, too. If any of those events occur, the system closes the intake at the grille to prevent water from entering the engine.
The Cummins can run on regular diesel or B20 biodiesel. Improved emission systems offer about 10% better fuel economy than previous models, lower emissions and (because of reduced soot) a longer mileage interval between oil changes (15,000 miles). The engine's sliding nozzle turbine also creates exhaust braking to help reduce brake wear.
Ram explored even small improvements to fuel economy:
- The 2013 HD 4X4 has front axle disconnect -- axles are disconnected when not in use and the result is a gain of about 1 mile per gallon... a small difference, but significant over the life of a truck.
Ram HD Exterior2013 HD Body Configurations and Trim Levels
- Regular cab, Crew Cab and an even more spacious Mega Cab.
- Two bed lengths: a 6'4" and 8"
- Single or dual rear wheels
- Eight trim levels, from the basic ST to the top-of-the-line Laramie Limited
Exterior updates to the Ram HD:
- Quad headlamps provide a brighter, more precise light pattern and improved sight distance. An optional upgrade package includes halogen projector lamps with LED park and turn lamps as well as LED tail lamps.
- Ram HD's optional back up camera yields a sharper image than in the past.
- An second optional camera is located in the high mount brake light, and gives a view of the bed -- monitor your cargo or use it to help hook up to a fifth wheel trailer.
- Newly designed stainless steel running boards stretch from the front wheel openings to the rear wheel openings, providing easier access to the cab and bed.
- A redesigned grille.
Ram HD InteriorRam's center stack was reconfigured for 2013. HVAC controls are more intuitive and easier to use, and can also be accessed through the 8.4" touch screen of the Uconnect system, which sits at the top of the stack.
Other systems are accessed at the center stack's knobs or touch screen: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Tow/Haul mode, exhaust brake, heated seats, ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel. These items can also be controlled by buttons on the touch screen display. Some of the switches can be reconfigured for accessories such as driving lights, clearance lights or other installable options. A built-in trailer brake controller sits next to Ram HD's switch bank.
Below the switch bank you'll find a slide-out drawer with two 12-volt outlets and a USB port. A 3.5-inch informational display is now standard on all HD trucks and a 7-inch display is available on some models. The larger display can be reconfigured by the driver to view a range of information.
Choose bucket seats or a 40-20-40 split bench design. Both are outfitted with a console compartment -- the bucket seat's center console has more storage, but the split bench version has three cup holders with washable liners and storage in the fold-down armrest. Consoles of 2500 and 3500 trucks include a multi-media port with USB, SD card and auxiliary inputs. To charge devices, add the optional 2.5 amp USB power port and 12 volt outlet to the console's contents.
All automatic transmission models have a steering column mounted shifter, regardless of seat style.
Uconnect and its built-in wireless system offers additional features:
- The ability to lock, unlock and start the truck from anywhere by using the internet or a smart phone app.
- One button in the mirror lets you connect directly to roadside assistance and another calls 911 in case of an emergency.
- Uconnect creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you go online when sitting still or moving. The system and its features can be updated on-line.
- More Uconnect features: HD radio, SiriusXM radio, a hands-free BlueTooth connection, navigation, music control and, with compatible phones, hands-free texting.
Safety and SecurityFront airbags, seat mounted side airbags, knee bolsters and seatbelt pretensioners are all standard on 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks. Ram's Electronic Stability Control System (ESC) includes traction control, trailer sway control, hill start assist and anti-lock brakes. The Ram is available with keyless entry and an optional central locking system adds that functionality to locks on the tailgate and RamBox.
The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 pickups have joined the 1500 series to provide a more civilized ride and better handling, while improving power and fuel economy -- the truck remains a workhorse, but doesn't beat you up while showing off its abilities.