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Uconnect, What It Does (Better): 30 Days Of The 2013 Ram 1500

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If you're familiar with any recent Chrysler products, you've probably seen or experienced Uconnect already. If not, you're in for a treat. Visually pleasing, simple and straightforward to use, but still capable and powerful, the Uconnect infotainment system in our 30-day test vehicle is among the best in the industry.

That includes the luxury big-hitters like iDrive (BMW), MMI (Audi), and even Enform (Lexus) and CUE (Cadillac).

Our 2013 Ram 1500 is equipped with the Uconnect 8.4A package. That includes a large, high-res 8.4-inch screen--with good visibility in all conditions tested so far on its Little Rock leg.

Bluetooth pairing is next-to-effortless, and input needed to initiate the process isn't nested several levels deep in counter-intuitively named menus. Just a few screen presses, confirm the pairing on the phone, and you're set to stream audio, go hands-free on a call, whatever.

Another valuable feature built into Uconnect's feature set is the WiFi hotspot. With a crew cab pickup, you'll eventually have some back-seat passengers. If they're the iPad-toting sort, they'll appreciate the hookup, especially on long trips.

Uconnect takes its connectivity a step farther, however, to include voice texting capability (though not for iPhone just yet) and emergency assistance. Tying these telematics and connectivity features together is becoming commonplace, especially among luxury marques, but to find it in a V-6 pickup truck is a welcome upgrade.

There are also apps you can use with Uconnect, via the Access via Mobile feature, including Pandora, Slacker, iHeartRadio, and Aha by HARMAN.

Perhaps most innovative in the Uconnect's feature set is what's not there, but could be.

Often, opting for the best infotainment system in a vehicle requires an upgrade to navigation as well, adding significantly to the total cost. On the other hand, what if you don't need navigation when you buy, but end up wishing you had sprung for the upgrade? Uconnect's dealer-activated navigation system solves the problem.

How? By building the hardware into all 2013 Ram 1500 models with Uconnect already onboard--whether or not they were ordered with navigation. All it takes is a trip to the dealer (and a payment for the service) to turn it on. Then the Uconnect system is updated with the map data, including all of the standard features of pre-ordered navigation, including points of interest, speed limit information, lane guidance, trip programming, and more.

For more details on the 2013 Ram 1500's features, including more on Uconnect, read our full review.

Click here for more 30 Days of the 2013 Ram 1500 coverage.

 

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