Second Place

Ram 1500 Sport Crew Cab 4x4

Base Price: $39,910
Price as Tested: $48,419
Engine: 5.7L Hemi V-8
HP: 390
Torque: 407
Transmission: Six-speed automatic

0-60: 6.2 seconds
¼-mile: 14.8 @ 94 mph
Weight: 5,383 lbs
Tow Rating: 10,000 lbs
Observed Gas Mileage: 15.9

Using the Ram Box for ice and beverage storage during a road trip, I was impressed with the Ram's versatility and long-distance ...

First Impressions
For 2012, the Ram received a recalibrated and upgraded 65RFE transmission adding one more forward gear to take better advantage of the 5.7L Hemi's power. Even with no exterior changes, the Ram's bold, in-your-face styling, is still one of the best-looking trucks available.

From the Log Book
Our Ram tester was a Sport model with paint-matched bumpers and grille surround, and billet grille inserts. It also featured 20-inch chrome wheels and a Mopar Performance dual scoop hood. Looking the part of a street bruiser, the 5.7L Hemi performed admirably with the new six-speed auto, sending it straight to the top in our performance trials. The black leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a huge center console made the Ram a comfortable place to cruise around town in. Straightforward and easy to use, the factory touchscreen navigation head unit with steering wheel controls make flipping through radio stations, adjusting the cruise control inputs, or making phone calls a breeze. The optional Ram Box is big enough to hold a few bags of ice and at least 60 cans of your favorite beverage, making it the perfect tailgating accessory. Built-in drains make sure water doesn't get trapped and slots for dividers allow it to be used for keeping your tools, sports hardware, or other stuff uncluttered. Ground-breaking back in 2009, the Ram's five-link coil spring rear suspension doesn't jar, handles varying road surfaces with ease, and still provides support for up to 10,000 pounds of towing.

Closing Arguments
Stylish, spacious, and plenty powerful, the Ram is an excellent choice when looking for a truck that does everything well. Whereas getting 15.9 mpg is no one's idea of a good time, the sweet sound of the Hemi and smooth ride does quell any buyer's remorse. The only thing keeping it from claiming top honors was a well-engineered truck from the Ford camp.