By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
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.
Driving Impressions 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.
Some may argue that the 2012 Ram 1500 pickup's cabin is one the nicest in the industry, and we would be included in that group. While the Ram 1500's dash is still composed mostly of hard surfaces, areas that come in contact with finger tips or forearms are all covered in soft-touch materials. The seat fabrics, trim elements and color schemes for the Ram 1500 are tasteful without bordering on garish. Ram engineers put a lot of effort into sound-proofing the big truck's cabin and the results are impressive, especially at high speeds where wind and tire noise usually overtake normal levels of conversation. Despite the odd omission of a telescopic steering wheel, it's still easy to find a comfortable driving position in the 2012 Ram 1500 pickup. Front seat head and legroom is generally good on all cabs, but the rear seats in the Quad cab are a bit snug. If you need to carry rear passengers on a regular basis and you can live with the shorter bed, go with the Crew Cab. High-end options such as heated and cooled seats, a heated rear seat and steering wheel, and premium Surround Sound audio make the rough-and-ready 2012 Ram 1500 pickup truck feel almost limousine-like.
Despite its gruff big-rig image, the 2012 Ram 1500 pickup is one of the most comfortable and refined trucks built today. And, while the Ram 1500's over-the-top styling may be as off-putting to some as it is attractive to others, it doesn't seem to hurt sales. It would be a near-sighted construction foreman who couldn't distinguish the 2012 Ram 1500's crosshair chrome grille, prominent hood bulge and colorful two-tone paint schemes (not to mention the massive alloy-wheel options) from a Silverado or F-150. As is expected in this segment, the 2012 Ram 1500 offers a number of bed and cabin configurations including 6-foot, 4-inch or 8-foot beds on the Regular Cab, a 6-foot, 4-inch bed on the Quad Cab, and a 5-foot, 7-inch bed on Crew Cab models.
Standard safety features on the 2012 Ram 1500 pickup include side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control and Trailer Sway Control. The base ST model features air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo, vinyl floor covering, power locks and 17-inch steel wheels. The SLT adds carpeting, cruise control, power windows, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry and aluminum wheels. The Sport model has unique bucket seats, fog lamps and 20-inch wheels. Standard on the Laramie are dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, hard-drive radio, power and heated front seats and rear park assist.
Optional features include the RamBox storage system, a spray-in bedliner, full-time four-wheel drive (4WD), sunroof, 10-speaker Alpine Surround Sound, Sirius Satellite Radio, navigation system, rear DVD entertainment with Sirius Backseat TV, heated and cooled seat, heated rear seat, and a heated steering wheel. The Garmin navigation system is easy to operate and voice commands can be used to program destinations while the vehicle is in motion. Sirius Backseat TV has three child-friendly channels that will keep the kids' attention on long vacation drives. Available trims include ST, SLT, Sport, Sport R/T, Outdoorsman, Tradesman, Express, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn, as well as the Big Horn and Lone Star Packages.
The base 3.7-liter V6 is fine if you use your truck as basic transportation, but the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is the best choice if you plan to tow or haul a lot of cargo. The Hemi also delivers fuel economy comparable to that of the 4.7-liter V8, and it can tow a heavier load. Ram claims the Ram 1500 Sport Regular Cab with the Hemi is the fastest pickup in the class, with a zero-to-60-mph acceleration time under 6 seconds.
215 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
235 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20
310 horsepower @ 5,650 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 3,950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gasoline), 10/12 (2WD, E85), 14/19 (4WD, gasoline), 10/12 (4WD, E85)
5.7-liter Hemi V8
390 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
407 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)
By Hawkman on Friday, July 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great to drive and look at."
Cons: "Screen on Stereo display very bright at night."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I am truly happy with this truck. This is my fourth Ram since 1999 and my third HEMI. This truck is solid and very comfortable to drive. Any time we have to drive on a long trip we take this. Even my wife who is only five feet tall (on a good day) is comfortable driving this truck. We have had no reliability issues with this vehicle and the quality of the build is excellent. It is hard on gas, but it's a truck with a HEMI. I expected nothing else. We have no real complaints about this vehicle, even today, almost 4 years after purchase and 45,000 miles, no squeeks or rattle and the motor and transmission are as strong as ever. The only complaint I have is in reference to the light on the stereo unit. I have the top of the line unit with a huge screen. Unfortunately at night when backing up, the screen is so bright I have a hard time seeing out of my right front window. I wish there were a way to dim the light on the stereo face. When it is time for my next truck, I will not hesitate to look at the Ram again."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Tim on Monday, June 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drives like a Lexus-tows like a truck..."
Cons: "PERFECT vehicle other than a slight rattle in dash"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is the most comfortable, smooth riding truck I have ever owned. Compliant suspension, yet solid handling when the going get rough. 390 HP Hemi is very tame in town, but when you push the pedal to the floor, had great power for passing or towing. At 55 years old, I can honestly say it is the best vehicle I have ever owned. Will sell soon to by a 2014 Ram."
21 people out of 44 found this review helpful
By Franz on Friday, June 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, ride, handling, comfort, traction on 4x2"
Cons: "Stock headlights"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"No doubt this is the best driving truck - very comfortable. Plenty of power with the Hemi and I'm quite surprised I average 17 mpg in mostly city driving. This truck beats my Armada by 3-4 mpg in the same driving! The Uconnect works flawlessly and the cabin is really laid out nicely. I am extremely happy with this truck. I have the 4x2 with locking differential and it handles very good in the snow and ice. The dislikes are pretty minor - I could use more front seat head room (I'm tall at 6' 4" and the ceiling is lower than other models). I think the stock headlights are pretty dim so I replaced with CCFL's. Very happy with this truck and I would definitely buy a RAM again."
17 people out of 40 found this review helpful
By Dee Matrix on Wednesday, June 04, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value, awesome everyday truck. Versatile!"
Cons: "Eats up gas and I hate the factory tires. Safety f"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"First off I wanna say that this is the best truck I've ever owned. I have had a 2010 Dodge Ram loved it, but this one seems to be better on gas and much faster for its size.To me this truck comes in at #2 that particular year. And the only reason why I say that is because the Silverado was a great truck that year in terms of reliability and durability.The F-150 I would place #3, great truck but not enough engine power in my opinion. The only thing I don't like about this truck is the steering wheel handling. It feels like theres no stability behind it,very free flow type of feel. And also after about 50,000 miles you wanna upgrade and maintenance on some things. And not a great fan of the Goodyear tires, I like the Toyo's better. Rather than that.....great truck.....great value!"
By jb on Saturday, May 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfy ride and fun to drive,set up high"
Cons: "none yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I haven't found anything I don't like. I have put a cold air intake kit on it and fuel mileage increased 1.5 mpg also had it rustproofed,paint sealant,interior protection and sound deadening.i luv my truck."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By sw on Sunday, May 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "great to ride and drive"
Cons: "difficult to get in and use as a "truck""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Great truck, drives and rides great, good fuel mileage for a truck. Same problem as most new trucks, sits entirely to high off the ground. Im a fairly tall guy (6'3") and have no trouble getting in and out… the problem is that the seat will be totally worn out before the truck has 40,000 miles on it from having to slide in and out! Newer trucks are so high from the ground older people can't even get in them easily and won't buy them due to that fact. I am also a contractor and the bed being so high is a huge issue for me. Its difficult to load/ unload and almost impossible to reach over the side to retrieve anything, then I end up having to drop the tailgate and crawl into the bed to get anything that is at the front of the bed. For this reason, I am selling my Ram and will replace it with an older body style that isn't so high off the ground. My previous F-350 Super Duty did not set as high as this 1500."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful