Ram's 1500 full-size truck remains the most distinctive full-size truck on the road, but now in 2013, it doesn't quite have the visual impact the first Dodge Ram had in 1994. The scaled-down, big-rig sensibility is all but gone from the fenders, but it's still evocative and instantly recognizable as a Ram. It's not edgy and robotic like the Toyota Tundra or Nissan Titan, as rigidly linear as the F-150, or as soft as the Chevy Silverado.
Most of the updates for the new model year come at the grille, where it's grown even taller and more prominent this year. The Ram actually has five different grilles this year, each one with a name, depending on its texture and finish, so important it is to the identity of the different trim levels. No matter which one's specified, it's flanked by reshaped headlamps and fog lights with some LED trim. At the rear, 15 red LEDs make up the taillamps, and the side marker lights are made up of three red LEDs.
Interior styling for the Ram has been completely reworked, with its high quality and upscale flavor upgraded to an even higher level, making it even more attractive and desirable. New rotary controls for infotainment and climate systems clean up the center stack and free up more space, and a digital cluster replaces some instruments on some models--and even gets softly rendered numerals, so attentive are the details. The new eight-speed-automatic trucks also get a rotary knob for shifting, and it's placed up on the dash as well.
Those with simpler tastes have plenty of options in the Ram 1500 range, from the simple Tradesman to the extreme luxury of the Laramie Longhorn, which has some of the finest wood grain and contrast stitching available in a vehicle of its kind.