2013 Ram 1500 Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The big Ram pickup hasn't changed much in its overall dimensions or storage space, but it has seen another round of quality improvements--even though its cabin already was the best of all the full-size trucks, and though it's rated as the highest-quality vehicle in the entire Chrysler lineup.

The Ram 1500 is big--not as cartoonishly big as the Toyota Tundra, but usefully large, putting its vast expanses to use to carry up to six people on two bench seats, or fewer as the need arises. It also blends in some interesting, thoughtful storage that's just not found in the other big domestic and Japanese-brand trucks.

Interior quality is tops, and the excellent cabin space is complemented by huge storage bins under the floor and in the bed.

Three body styles define the Ram 1500 lineup. The standard two-door pickup is the Regular Cab; it has just a tiny bit of space behind its bench seat for storage, and it's the one that's pressed most of the time into utilitarian use, in fleets and for utilities. The Quad Cab is Ram's version of the typical extended-cab pickup, with a pair of rear-hinged access panels and more cargo space available. The biggest Ram cabin of all comes with the Crew Cab, which gets four full-size, front-hinged doors.

On all versions, the bench seat and the Ram's wide stance impart great shoulder room, even for three adults. Opt for front bucket seats, and the Ram gets a huge center console--it's as wide as a hotel nightstand--that divides the flat seats and separates front passengers completely, putting them almost out of arm's reach. On the driver-side door, there's a well-padded section that's perfect for resting an elbow, an underrated detail that we've seen completely fouled up in $70,000 luxury sedans. The seats themselves: they're wide and flat, doing an honest imitation of their Midwestern roots, for better or worse.

On those bucket seats with power adjustment, the range of adjustment is very good, typically allowing tall drivers to move the seat lower than in other vehicles--just as important as tilt steering in setting up a good driving position. Adjustable pedals are offered on expensive models, if the driver's short of leg.

Crew Cab models' rear seats aren't the bolt-upright units you might expect, instead offering a nice recline. Leg and head room are abundant in back as well, though not in Quad Cab models. Under-floor storage bins supplement the optional, lockable Ram Box that can be integrated into the fenders--and this year, locked by remote from the key fob. In general, there's plenty of storage space. If you can't find a place to store something inside the Ram, you're not looking. There's a storage bin on top of the center stack, one ahead of the center console, huge cupholders, deep door pockets, and trays for change and pens and anything you'll need to use safely on the road.

The variety of truck beds available is as important to commercial buyers as to individuals. Regular-cab Rams can be had with 6.4-foot and 8-foot beds, while the Crew Cab models come with a 5.7-foot or a 6.4-foot bed--the latter, the only bed on the Quad Cab this year. A new 6-ft.-4-in. bed option is now available on Crew Cab models giving customers the ability to combine Ram 1500’s largest available cab with the largest four-door/bed combination. A spray-in bedliner is standard at the top and the bottom of the lineup; all other versions have an option for a molded, drop-in bedliner.

In every Ram we've driven thus far--two V-6 models and a V-8 Longhorn--noise suppression has been admirable, with both road and wind noise held to very low levels for the full-size pickup class. Interior quality and feel are as good as or better than any other truck on the market, with the redesigned dash a standout in the class, even before the Longhorn's distinctive walnut trim is applied. There's just more attention to detail and trim quality in the Ram than in almost every other full-size truck, though Ford's F-150 is certainly in the same league, especially with its King Ranch and Harley editions.

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