2013 RAM 3500 Heavy Duty Pickup Truck Review

2013 ram 3500 pickup truck this is no longer a Dodge Ram because Chrysler has separated ram into their own brand so now ram is the brand and 3500 is the model this is a 2013 model year as I said but there are a few changes being done for the 2014 model year that I’ll point out as we go around the vehicle for a separate video on that 2014 model year heavy duty pickup truck from Ram be sure and click that subscribe banner at
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gonna post that video up as soon as we can we should have our hands on that in about two weeks or so so be sure and watch for that video obviously Rams 3520 500 and 1500 pickup trucks are all very closely related with one another I’ve always found the overall styling of Ram pickup trucks to be very attractive I do have a soft spot for them of course because a lot of my family members own Ram pickup truck so that probably colors my opinion just a little bit Chrysler rocked the world when they started designing their pickup trucks to look like mini big rigs that’s a style element that a number of other manufacturers started to imitate over

the years over here for 2013 we don’t

have the same kind of drastic changes versus 2012 in fact there’s not a whole lot different up front for the 2013 model year if it wasn’t broken Chrysler hasn’t fixed it so we have this large chrome grille up front very large tow hooks over here we have all-new headlamps for 2013 we’re in the Laramie model so we get these projector headlamps but regardless of which Ram 3500 model you get you now get LED turn signal lamps which is a nice upgrade for 2013 there are two different engine options things start out with the 5.7 liter Hemi v8 it produces 383 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque for seven thousand seven hundred ninety five dollars you can upgrade to this 6.7 liter 6 cylinder in-line turbo diesel engine and it produces three different horsepower and torque levels depending on which transmission you get for that base price you get 350 horsepower and 660 pounds feet of torque routed through a 6-speed manual transmission for $500 extra you can jump up to the 370 horsepower version produces 800

pound-feet of torque and that’s made

into Chrysler’s own 68 our EFI transmission for twenty six hundred dollars more you can upgrade to the 385 horsepower eight hundred fifty-pound foot of torque version of this same engine and all that power is routed through an Aysen 6-speed automatic transmission if you offer the 3500 I see cab you can also get a power take-off with that same Aysen automatic transmission Chrysler and Cummins have tweaked the exhaust break standard on the 6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel engine for 2013 they’ve improved both of its range as well as its braking ability now this exhaust brake works differently than Jake brakes on commercial vehicles because this one uses the turbocharger for the exhaust breaking the 6.7 liter Cummins uses a variable geometry turbocharger and it can close those veins almost completely so for the exhaust break action it closes the vanes as completely as possible creating back pressure in the engine that helps that exhaust brake work some additional things that you’ll notice for 2013 is that we have an awful lot of cooling
focus going on with this engine we have

twin radiators twin transmission coolers
and an active air intake right over here this active air intake will decide automatically where it should take its intake air for the engine from either under the hood right here where it’s nice and warm so if you’re in colder positions or if you’re getting snow pack on the front of your vehicle it’ll start sucking air in from the warmer engine compartment or right up here by the front grill for cooler air if you’re climbing hills and hot terrain pickup trucks especially heavy duty pickup trucks like this are all about payload and towing capacity and the ram 3500 has enormous numbers for both over 6500 pounds of payload capacity when properly equipped in the Ram 3500 that would be the double rear wheel version the single rear wheel version like we have here is about a two thousand pound reduction in payload capacity which is still very

large towing capacity 30,000 pounds

maximum in this vehicle and that’s when you get the short cab the Cummins turbo diesel engine and that Aysen automatic with rear wheel drive one thing to keep in mind about those large towing capacities is that when you’re carrying that much weight even though you’re driving a regular vehicle like this many states do require that you have a commercial vehicle license this is a perfect segue into price how much will the 3500 cost you while starting out with the tradesman version and that 5.7 liter v8 gasoline version 30,000 $105 is your starting price if you want the 30,000 pound towing capable vehicle that will start at 39 thousand nine hundred seventy dollars again that’s a tradesman model but it has everything that you need to tow that maximum amount most of the ram 3500 s that you’ll see on the dealer Lots will be the SLT version and that starts at thirty-three thousand eight hundred fifteen dollars again you want to jump up into that turbo diesel engine it’s gonna cost you at least $8,000 for the automatic and that turbo diesel engine our model here is sixty seven thousand dollars because it’s the long horn Laramie edition but

things do top out just a little bit

higher 69 thousand $120 is just about the most expensive 3500 you can buy as you’d expect with a pickup truck front seat comfort is very good the seating position is very upright we have a multi-way power driver’s seat in our Laramie model with a two-way adjustable lumbar support and a tube position memory we have a manual tilting but not telescoping steering wheel that we do get power adjustable pedals that are memory linked as well the passenger seat in our Laramie model which is the top-line model doesn’t have the same range of motion as the driver seat is something to keep in mind if you’re buying this as a family vehicle and you do expect some of your family members to be comfortable in the car as well let’s take a look around the inside now and as I said we were in the laramie longhorn edition so we have an awful lot of interesting features going on here including a lot of Laramie long horn badges we have one on each seat as you can see there we have this boot pattern imitation stitching going on on the seats that’s all five seats in this car
contrasting piping we have real leather

trim on the side door so you can see that Israel leather and real wood in the laramie longhorn edition the stitched – and door panels really dress up the cabin of the ram 3500 a great deal there are still a large portion of panels that are hard plastic like this right here the lower – portion and the tan strip that you can see running across the upper portion of the dash there is a hard touch plastic this portion of the dash right here is not low this is just injection molded and it’s stitched to make it look like it’s a stitch the other part but as I said those door panels are stitched leather we have a dual glove box arrangement let’s see we have a small glove box there and a fairly small glove box right there you can see the two glove boxes together approximate a larger glove box but individually they are fairly small moving on to the center console see we have another Ram logo another piece of real wood trim our particular model has a tents UConnect system which we’ll go over later standard is a 5-inch UConnect system now in the ram 3500 moving down we have our climate
integrated trailer brake controller he

didn’t cooled seats in the laramie
longhorn edition as well as a heated steering wheel this is the exhaust brake control button parking sensors off till Hall mode traction control disabled probably ever have a 115 watt 103 hundred 50 watt 115 volts electrical outlet very small storage cubby right there moving down we have a variety of storage cubbies going on here that are not closable aw you know don’t have lids have large cup holder going on right there easily capable of accommodating a large take out sized drink then we have an incredibly large lid for this Center storage bin comes in two tiers this first tier has a removable money holder this is where you’ll find your auxiliary inputs for the UConnect system we have a single USB slot single secure digital auxilary input and another USB this is charged only right here we close that lid and open the other portion of it let’s see we have a larger and deeper container this is also where you’ll find the single slot CD player CD players are not off are not standard rather in the UConnect systems from Chrysler for 2013 and 2014 on the whole and you can add them as $190 option over here we have our part-time all wheel drive four-wheel drive system control knob we move over to the dashboard you’ll find the unique long horn instrument cluster I

personally think this is a little bit over the top I mean you can tell they’ve bedazzled the instrument cluster with these fake rhinestones and boot like stitching there on the tachometer this is a 4 gauge arrangement over here we have the diesel exhaust fluid engine temperature tech ometer oil pressure have our speedometer that’s also bedazzled then over here we have the diesel fuel level large number of the ram 3500 and 2500 trucks now come with this large seven-inch LCD right in the middle of the gauge cluster and it is very configurable there are a lot of options going on here we’ll take a look at just some of them here here we have the exhaust turbo display vehicle info ends and ours transmission temperature oil life oil fuel filter life battery voltage etc we can use those buttons on the steering wheel to scroll down you’ll see the section display right there we have our fuel economy trip computers and B trailering info tell us which trailer is connected you can memorize a few different trailers via the UConnect system and you can also control the game via that screen you can move down and see our audio system messages screen setup you can change different screen options and then we have our speedometer
over here the display is configurable

right now we have a compass over here
our fuel range exterior temperature and then the trailer gain right there you can change what’s in each of those quadrants and to some degree to some degree rather and in that customization screen and have the car do what you want it to do panning back out you can see we have the large corporate steering wheel that’s spreading its way across the Chrysler Jeep and Dodge and RAM lineup nice thick rim steering wheel our particular model is heated this is a real wood partial wood wheel right there even the wood trim is heated including the leather as is usual with most prices you’ll find the audio command buttons on the back of the steering wheel volume up and down on this side track up and down on that side cruise control buttons over here voice command phone button and then these four buttons control that little display in the center moving over to the left side you’ll find the headlamp control the power window door locks and power mirrors witches so the same controls that are used in a wide variety of Chrysler products as well as Mercedes products and if we move over here to the steering column you can see the button for moving the pedals in and out let’s take a look at the infotainment options now if you don’t care about infotainment or if you just want to skip ahead to the drive section then follow those instructions at the bottom of your screen to go ahead and skip on over

now all ram models come standard with the new 5 inch you connect system it is a much smaller screen obviously than this it’s a touchscreen system that runs on the Microsoft Windows Embedded operating system it’s quite different from this 8 inch you connect system although Chrysler has harmonized the graphic so it operates very similarly the big thing you need to know about that 5 inch UConnect system is that it now offers all the same voice commands as this system of course doesn’t have navigation as standard we’re told that there will be an option to add navigation software to bass 5-inch system but by default it operates very much like you’d find in Fords SYNC products that was you know for its products before my Ford touch so you can voice command your iDevice or your Android device or your USB memory stick etc you have certain other voice commands in that system as well what we have here is the 8-inch new connect system notice as you connect to and it’s easily distinguished by this apps button over here on the lower right now since we’re in the RAM model we have some additional physical buttons that help you control this system so over here we have a screen off button we have our usual climate control buttons here and
then what you can’t see in this picture

but below this we have our physical
buttons for the steering wheel heated steering wheel heated seats and cooled seats that’s a little bit different than other Chrysler products because most Chrysler products make you actuate those heated options right here via either the climate control or via the control setting in the system over here we have the radio tab am/fm Sirius XM we have our preset buttons across the top they work fairly well everything in the UConnect system is very snappy over here we have a browse button replay button so you can replay live Sirius XM where AM and FM radio one thing I really like about the UConnect system is this direct tuned option there are a lot of systems that make it very difficult to tune your Sirius XM stations especially since they’re quite a lot of them on the market there so being able to type that button type the station rather in right there is a very handy feature over here we have direct access to traffic and weather by Sirius XM the audio button on all these screens takes you to your balance fader equalizer speed adjusted volume and surround sound settings the ram 3500 does have surround sound as a top level option over here on the media tab will have a fully featured iPod USB
secure digital interface full access to

your iPods playlists artists genres etc
the interface is very snappy it caches all the data off your USB or your iDevice and then displays it on this screen up here at top we have our track information so this is track 74 of 76 in this playlist and one nice feature is you can drag the sliders around in this system so it does offer full functionality that also works in the Browse list where you can drag these little sliders down the list for easier and quicker access to your tunes again they have that audio button over there the controls button you have duplicate buttons for the heated seat ventilated seat and heated steering wheel as well as direct access to certain settings climate control button duplicate buttons again of those physical buttons that are lower in the dashboard over on the nav screen we have integrated Garmin nav software in the system that’s why the screen looks a little bit different than you’re used to in many other vehicles that is one area where you connect does a drop below the normal standard is in its navigation software if you take a look at the navigation maps they’re just not quite as exciting as certain other entries in this segment it is very fully featured very well integrated but the voice commands aren’t quite different so if you’re over here on the nav screen you can see what you need to tell the car so most cars when you hit the voice command button you’d say navigation destination street address something like that you’d start out with the with the large item narrow it down so you’d started with navigation you tell it what you wanted it to do and

then where you want it to go here you’d
say navigation and then where to or a view map or information or emergency so you actually say exactly what you see on the screen once you get that down everything else in the system is very easy to deal with entering addresses in UConnect is very easy via the voice command it does have a good command library and it is fairly fully featured in terms of voice commands we also have XM traffic information displayed on the screen as you can see there and the display does work very well and it is fairly quick although the mapping software is notably just a little bit slower than the other interfaces in the system over on the phone tab we have our Bluetooth phone interface we do have messaging assistant if your phone supports it currently all the iOS iPhones do not support that particular feature so you do need an Android phone for that we can have presets across the top so you can have folk presets for different phone numbers or different people that you want to call you also have a direct access dial keypad which is very handy there you connect to ads this app’s tab instead of the Settings tab that you would find on previous generations it also adds this little cellular displayed down here in the low
corner and you can see that currently

we’re in a 3G coverage area and that’s because you connect to now integrates its own cellular modem and cellular phone device so you connect now offers OnStar liked features nine one one assist you connect assistant things like that where you can call and connect to a you connect service for assistance or you can have the car dial nine-one-one that’s quite different than some of the other entries in this segment most notably Ford’s my Ford touch because with my Ford touch or key as you connect or sorry Kia’s UVO system you have to have a smart phone paired with the system in order for it to dial out so the only time your car would dial out

for accident notification if you were in
an accident and your airbags went off and you weren’t able to respond the only time that those systems could dial out is if you also had a smart phone in your car and your smart phone was working and paired with the system with you connect as well as well as OnStar you don’t need to have a separate phone you just have to have the service paid for and active in the car in the settings page we have our usual settings we also have Sirius XM travel link this allows you to find fuel prices weather weather maps movie listings etc we also have a convergence of smartphone data apps available in
this system you can purchase those via

the you connect store which is an
interesting feature and you can download those apps right onto this device since we don’t have a you connect app or account registered with this vehicle we can’t show you that portion but it is fairly easy to use Chrysler has given us the travel link and the Yelp app the Yelp app allows you to search for businesses via voice commands as you’re driving which is kind of handy so you can actually hit the voice command button you can say Yelp and then you could tell it to find me pizza restaurants in the local area it is an interesting feature it allows you to see those reviews right on the screen over here on tools we have access to our Wi-Fi hotspot which is an integrated

feature in the system allows you to share the cellular modem with Wi-Fi devices in your car you can have that assist setting that’s what they call you connect assistant sort of like OnStar service again the you connect store I mean at the running apps page you can see which of these apps is currently loaded the drive section of a heavy duty truck review is probably the least important section of the review if I’m honest because not that many people buy a 3500 series pickup truck because of the way that they drive they buy them because of what they can tell

what they can haul how they look at
cetera and logically all those other features the payload capacity the towing capacity etc have an impact on the ride quality of these 3,500 series pickup trucks and that’s definitely true in the Ram 3500 because with the ability to tell up to 30,000 pounds in towing capacity and a payload capacity that’s astronomical when you compare it to 3500 series pickup trucks of just 5 10 years ago the ride is pretty stiff in the 3500 when it’s empty in the back of course if you put a pallet of concrete in the back then all of a sudden the ride softens up and it feels more like a 1500 series pickup truck but empty as we are right now the ride isn’t terribly great it’s pretty harsh other manufacturers are starting to imitate the exhaust break that Chrysler brought out in the RAM series heavy duty pickup trucks first but for this year Chrysler has made a few tweaks to that exhaust break increasing its effectiveness in downhill braking it really does make a huge
difference compared to a pickup truck

without a diesel exhaust break if you’re a used to towing a trailer and down shifting you can think of it something like that down shifting only to the next level so you can downshift of course in this automatic transmission with the diesel engine and the diesel engine gives you an awful lot more engine braking than you’d get in the 5.7 liter v8 that’s standard on the 3500 series trucks but when you add that next level of engine braking you get an awful lot more slowing down basically if you’re towing heavy loads or have heavy loads in the back of the truck it is a very handy feature to help keep your brakes cool and help them last longer as well in terms of raw performance we ran from 0 to 60 in 8.7 2 seconds which is a very respectable number for a pickup truck like this big thing to keep in mind is because they’re 850 pound feet of torque available if you get this automatic transmission version that that number doesn’t change too much if you add a little bit of weight to the trucks if you had a thousand pounds or maybe even 2,000 pounds to the bed you are gonna slow down but you’re not gonna slow down as much as you would in the 5.7 or 6.4 liter gasoline engines in the Ram 3500 that’s an important thing to keep in mind that’s the big reason that people are willing to pay the extra amount for the Cummins turbo diesel one nice feature in this Ram truck is that we have an integrated trailer brake controller find that really great because I don’t

like the look of trailer brake

controllers hanging on to the dashboard
etc but it also provides a functional benefit if you’re using a more modern trailer brake controller with a g-force sensor in them for your braking then their alignment on the dashboard or section suction cups or however it else that you’ve mounted it to the car really is quite important and you don’t have to worry about that in a car with an integrated trailer brake controller Rams already done that all for you fuel economy is an important consideration in every vehicle out there but it is a little bit difficult to nail down in something like a 3500 series truck because of the gross vehicle weight of the Ram 3500 Chrysler is not obligated to publish official EPA numbers we’ve been averaging about 16 to 17 miles per gallon in the Ram 3500 in mix driving mostly empty of course when you tow it’s going to go an awful lot lower than that but that’s about what it’s like when you’re just driving around town doing your normal commute in an empty pickup truck that’s fairly average for this segment we noticed very similar numbers in the chevy 3500 series pickup truck as well as the Ford last time we’ve had them cabin noise is better controlled in this 2013 model than in previous generations of the Ram heavy duty trucks that’s thanks to a decent amount more sound installation as

well as a quieter Cummins turbo diesel

engine this engine is notably quieter
than previous generations of the engine of course if you have a ram 3500 from you know around 1999 2000 around there then you’re going to notice a significant improvement in quiet quietness as well as smoothness in this engine versus that old Cummins turbo diesel the steering feels surprised me in this vehicle it’s actually quite accurate if you think that a large truck like this would be dull and numb and overly boosted then you’d actually be somewhat surprised when you get behind the wheel yes the steering is numb but it’s definitely not over boosted there’s a decent weight to the steering the steering is also very accurate in fact overall the ram 3500 handles a lot better than I thought it would compared to some of the other pickup truck entries out there then we do have the 275 with tires in this long horn Edition so that does have an awful lot to do with it so be sure you’re checking out apples to apples when you do compare chevy and ram and forward back to back it is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re looking at these trucks as the tire size and that’s not just the width but also the profile when you’re preparing these back to back there’s a lot of tough competition going on in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment all three players have great entries in this segment but there’s also a fierce brand loyalty going on here not just in the pickup
truck segment in general but

specifically in this heavy-duty segment

here where it’s even harder to sway opinions and sway minds and therefore I’m just going to say that for me the ram 3500 is the best pickup truck in this segment it’s a very very close ranking in my mind however I do like that Ford f-350 and I do like the new GMC 3500 as well but for me the mixture of style amenities payload capacity towing capacity and a really great interior in the Ram 3500 give it top marks for me again I’m Alex tanks this has been our quick look at the 2013 ram 3500 pickup truck be sure and click that subscribe banner at the bottom of your screen so you can be updated on all of our latest videos including the upcoming video on the 2014 ram 3500 which we’ll post very soon

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