Heavy Duty isn’t some marketing gimmick.
Production of 2013 Ram HD models won’t start until early 2013, so the current Heavy Duty lineup will continue through winter. The most notable change for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup last year was the availability of a six-speed automatic transmission for trucks equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. That meant less gear hunting while towing heavy loads, which is always a plus. The transmission performs automatic downshifts when decelerating. Ram offers buyers a 6.7-liter turbo-diesel in-line six-cylinder engine that produces 650 lb-ft of torque with the standard six-speed manual transmission and 800 lb-ft with the optional six-speed automatic. The manual transmission has an ultra-low first-gear ratio that makes hauling a breeze. Another benefit of diesel models is a standard exhaust brake. It reduces brake fade and prolongs brake life. The Ram Heavy Duty pickup can be distinguished from its light-duty sibling by its bigger grille and taller, louvered hood. To dampen some of the jostle that’s inherent in big pickups, the HD Ram gets a pair of liquid-filled mounts between the rear of the cab and the frame. The off-road-ready Power Wagon has additional ground clearance, electric-locking front and rear differentials, and 33-inch BFGoodrich off-road tires. Heavy duty, indeed.
Chevrolet Silverado HD
Ford F-series Super Duty
GMC Sierra HD
new for 2013
There are a lot of changes in store for 2013. The 5.7-liter V-8 will be available with 3500 models; trucks with the turbo-diesel engine will get a new diesel-exhaust after-treatment system; the frames, steering, and suspension will be new; and the conventional trailer hitch will be upgraded to a Class V with a 17,000-pound towing capacity.
Front, knee, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; electronic stability control; enhanced accident response; hill-start assist; interior head-impact protection; rear park assist; power-adjustable pedals; tire-pressure monitoring; and trailer-sway control are standard.
Available in a myriad of configurations
Prodigious towing capacity
Inherent on-road jostle
Big and bulky
Base Price Range: $29,985–$62,025
DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: ST, SLT, Outdoorsman, Power Wagon, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, Laramie Limited
BODY STYLE: Pickup, 2- to 6-passenger
ENGINES: 5.7L V-8, 383 hp, 400 lb-ft
6.7L turbo-diesel I-6, 350 hp, 650/800 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
CAPACITIES: Towing 9200–22,750 lb; payload 1750–5280 lb