Other contenders included the twins from General Motors, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, the Toyota Tundra, the Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200 and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Just how did a truck that technically hit the market in 2012 best a range of vehicles from 2013? With new technology.
MT wasn't testing the same Ram it tested in last year's competition - it was driving the new EcoDiesel V6, complete with an eight-speed automatic transmission. When ran through the battery of testing, the torquey diesel Ram proved to be the victor for its ample torque and excellent fuel economy, while the team at Motor Trend also highlighted its air suspension and overall sense of style and luxury.
"Not only did [the Ram 1500] withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 pound-feet of torque and up to 28 'Real MPG' highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer," said Motor Trend's Editor-In-Chief Ed Loh.
With the naming of the 2014 Truck of the Year, MT has completed its testing that saw the 2014 Cadillac CTS named Car of the Year and the 2014 Subaru Forester as SUV of the Year. The full story on the Ram and the other trucks will be published in Motor Trend's February 2014 issue. Until then, scroll down for a full press release from Ram about its victory.
Ram 1500 Outclasses Competition with the Fuel Economy, Torque, Style, and Amenities to Satisfy the Most Demanding Truck Buyers
El Segundo, Calif. (December 4, 2013) – Motor Trend has selected the Ram 1500 as its 2014 Truck of the Year®.
The announcement was made at the Chrysler Group LLC Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan, the birthplace of Ram Trucks. A full report on Motor Trend's comprehensive Truck of the Year testing will be featured on MotorTrend.com and in the February 2014 issue of Motor Trend.
Nine Truck of the Year contenders were put through an extensive battery of testing designed to evaluate virtually every aspect of each vehicle. In addition to the 2014 Ram 1500, the judges examined other all-new or significantly updated trucks the industry produced this year: the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram Heavy Duty, and Toyota Tundra pickups; and the Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV200, and Ram ProMaster vans.
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the Motor Trend judges took the nine contenders to the Continental Tire Automotive Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. There, the judges tested each truck's performance with the following 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, braking, and acceleration.
3. Tow/payload testing: 0-60 acceleration repeated with trailers attached (pickups) or payload secured (vans), loaded to 75 percent of each truck's maximum rating (as equipped).
4. Road looping: Highway and real-world replication.
At Continental's 5000-acre proving grounds, the team utilized the facility's 8.5-mile high-speed oval, 15-acre dynamics pad, 1.1-mile dry-handling road course, and multi-surfaced ride road to evaluate each truck's capabilities and expose strengths and weaknesses. Following the team's intensive, weeklong evaluation in Uvalde, the trucks were shipped to Motor Trend headquarters in El Segundo, California, to undergo proprietary "Intellichoice Real MPG" fuel-economy testing. Using advanced technology including a weather station, GPS data-logger, and flow-rate and gas analyzers, Real MPG measures exhaust samples every second during an 88-mile drive to record accurate real-world fuel economy.
Once testing was completed, the judges convened to determine which truck would be crowned Truck of the Year. The winner is not chosen from a direct comparison against the other contenders, but rather as a result of how each contender measured up against the award's six criteria: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value, and Performance of Intended Function.
With the votes cast, the Ram 1500 clearly emerged as Motor Trend's 2014 Truck of the Year. The judges were particularly impressed with the performance of the Ram 1500's all-new EcoDiesel V-6 engine as well as its eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission, a combination that boasts a towing capacity of up to 9,200 pounds. Further, Motor Trend's Real MPG testing supported what the team learned in Uvalde: None of the gas-powered half-ton trucks in this year's competition – be they V-6 or V-8, 4x2 or 4x4 – could match the EcoDiesel's mileage. After delivering observed fuel economy of 15 mpg under extreme testing at Continental's proving grounds, the EcoDiesel continued to impress during the Real MPG test loop, returning the following frugal stats: 19/26/21 mpg city/highway/combined for the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 with a 3.92 rear axle and an even more notable 18/28/22 for the Lone Star Crew Cab 4x2 with a 3.55 rear axle.
The Ram's optional air suspension system also scored high marks in Engineering Excellence, as it delivered a compliant ride and commendable handling no matter the terrain. In terms of design, the Ram 1500 impressed with its style, packaging, and interior ergonomics; notably, the Laramie Longhorn's luxury aesthetics and real wood trim. The breadth of the lineup was another compelling factor. Whether outfitted as a basic workhorse or optioned up to a near-luxury hauler, the Ram 1500 provides all of the capability needed in a truck.
"For 2014 we had a large and highly competitive field of contenders for Motor Trend's Truck of the Year," said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. "At the end of the day, though, the Ram 1500 quickly rose to the top. Not only did it withstand our rigorous testing, it thoroughly impressed our judges with its vast array of standard and optional equipment, and, most notable, its fuel-efficient, segment-exclusive EcoDiesel V-6. With 420 lb-ft of torque and up to 28 'Real MPG' highway, the EcoDiesel is a true game-changer. In fact it helped make Ram 1500 the Motor Trend 2014 Truck of the Year – and the only consecutive winner in the history of the award."
"Half-ton truck customers have been asking for a diesel engine and Ram is the only truck manufacturer to answer the bell and deliver not only best-in-class fuel economy but also 9,200 pounds of towing capability," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "In a brutally competitive truck industry, the Ram 1500 is the only vehicle to ever win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award two years in a row, reaffirming the fact that we have the best truck on the road."
Truck of the Year® is one of several coveted honors Motor Trend bestows on automakers, including Best Driver's Car®, Sport/Utility of the Year®, and Car of the Year®. For more information on our 2014 Truck of the Year, visit motortrend.com, pick up the February 2014 issue of Motor Trend, or search the hashtags #MTTOTY on Twitter (@motortrend), Instagram (@motortrend), Facebook.com/motortrendmag and Google+ (plus.google.com/+motortrend).
About Motor Trend Magazine:
Motor Trend, a publication of Source Interlink Media, LLC, was founded in 1949 and has a circulation of 1.1 million and a total readership of 7 million. Internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive publishing, MOTOR TREND comprises Motor Trend Magazine; the award-winning website motortrend.com; the Motor Trend YouTube Channel; Motor Trend Radio; Truck Trend; Motor Trend International Auto Shows; Motor Trend en Español; and the renowned Motor Trend Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year Awards program. The MotorTrend.com website attracts more than 5.5 million unique visitors per month and its YouTube channel averages more than 1 million views a week. Motor Trend's social media presence spans 3.3 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus.
About Ram Truck Brand
The Ram Truck brand continues to establish its own identity and clearly define its customer since its launch as a standalone vehicle brand. Creating a distinct brand for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on how core customers use their trucks and what new features they'd like to see. Whether focusing on a family that uses its half-ton truck day in and day out, a hard-working Ram Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its commercial vehicles every day, Ram has the truck market covered. The Ram Truck brand has the most innovative lineup of full-size trucks on the market. Ram Truck has emerged as a full-size truck leader by investing substantially in new products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and features that further enhance their capabilities. Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.
About Source Interlink Media
Source Interlink Media, LLC is the premier source of special interest media in the United States. With more than 75 publications, 100 websites, 800 branded products, 50+ events, and TV and radio programs, SIM is the largest provider of content to enthusiast communities interested in automotive, action sports, home theater, and other niche activities. The division's strategy is to wholly focus on targeted audiences by leveraging and expanding upon its core market-leading brands through a multiplatform media approach.