Judges put the finalists through and extensive battery of testing that was designed to evaluate almost every aspect of the vehicle, Motor Trend said in a release. The judges drove the vehicles at the Chrysler Automotive Proving Grounds in Kingman, Ariz., and evaluated them using four different exercises:
1. Standard testing (without load): 0–60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip.
2. Limit handling (without load): closed course cornering, cruising, and light off-road maneuvers.
3. Tow testing: Acceleration tests repeated with trailers attached, each loaded to 75 percent of the truck's maximum tow rating (as equipped).
4. Road looping: Highway and real-world driving.
The judges also put the trucks through their paces on the famous Davis Dam route, a "legendary incline" that is the site of an industry standard for evaluating towing on a grade. The grade begins at 500 feet above sea level at Bullhead City and rises to 3,563 feet during its 12-mile climb to summit at Union Pass.
After driving each of the finalists, the winner was determined based on six criteria: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value, and Performance of Intended Function.
"We had a small but solid field of contenders for Motor Trend's Truck of the Year," said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. "But in the end, the choice was clear: Ram 1500 not only withstood our rigorous testing, it impressed at every step along the way.
"Our judges were won over by the performance of Ram 1500's broad array of standard and optional equipment. It's a truck that can be tailored to meet most anyone's needs," he added. "For these reasons and more, we're excited to name the Ram 1500 the Motor Trend 2013 Truck of the Year."
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