By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/10/2011
Even though Chrysler has spun off Ram off as its own division, most people we know still regard the big Ram trucks as Dodges. You go to the Dodge dealer to buy a 2012 Ram 1500 pickup, most auto parts guys still file them under Dodge and the public in general doesn't seem to care much about the name change, including the Ram's loyal fan base. The 2012 Ram 1500 full-size pickup doesn't sell in nearly the numbers as its rivals from Chevy and Ford, but it does have its share of supporters, generally people attracted to the Ram's unique good looks, plush cabin, and impressive Hemi V8 engine. With better features and a strong push toward reducing the Ram 1500's base price, the 2012 Ram 1500 full-size pickup might not be able to catch up to the Chevy Silverado or Ford F-150, but it sure has a shot at containing the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.
If you need a pickup truck that is as tough as the rugged image it portrays, but you'd also like something with a civilized ride and a nice interior to double as the family road-trip machine, the 2012 Ram 1500 pickup up makes a nice compromise. And, the Hemi badge on the side is sure to impress your buddies.
If you're looking for best-in-class figures for resale, horsepower or fuel economy, the Ram's competitors take top honors in all these fields.
For 2012, Ram has made some minor changes to the Ram 1500. Among the highlights is a premium Surround Sound audio option, a number of bed storage devices – including an improved RamBox cargo management and bed extension system – RamBox bin storage units, heated rear seats and side-seat airbags.
The 2012 Ram 1500's strong suit over comparably-equipped competitors can be found in the way it drives and rides. Thanks to an advanced coil-spring rear suspension and solid rear axle, the Ram 1500 seems to absorb bumps and distortions that cause other trucks to hop about. Trucks with a traditional leaf-spring rear suspension setup tend to ride harshly and can even experience bounding motions over ruts and uneven pavement. This is not the case for the Ram 1500, which can quickly control bouncing motions and help smooth out the ride over harsh or uneven surfaces. Its pleasant ride aside, the Ram 1500 pickup is still a big, heavy vehicle with a high center of gravity and a light rear end, so you shouldn't be expecting it to accelerate, steer or brake like a smaller car-based crossover vehicle. While we found the Ram 1500's steering and brakes to be acceptable, there is still a substantial amount of pitching and lean when rounding tight curves.
The RamBox storage system is offered on the Crew Cab. It includes 3.7 cubic feet of lockable, drainable storage space in each bed rail, as well as a cargo-bed divider that doubles as a bed extender. The RamBox also comes with a bed-rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats to tie down and secure various types of loads.
The Uconnect GPS system's 30-gigabyte hard drive holds song and picture files, as well as navigation map information. Songs can be ripped from a CD or downloaded from a thumb drive via a USB port. The hard drive lets you keep your whole music collection in the vehicle without toting a lot of CDs.