In 2012, the Dodge Ram 1500 was well into its fourth generation and offered plenty of choice.
There were three engine choices: 3.7-liter V6, 4.7-liter V8, and 5.7-liter V8. You can get this full-size truck in two- and four-wheel-drive configurations, with a few automatic transmission choices, and regular- or extended-cab body styles.
All things considered, the larger engine mated to a six-speed automatic was the best and most popular choice. The V6 was a bit underpowered, and the larger V8 delivered the most power of the three, with fuel consumption not significantly lower than the smaller V8. This was largely due to a Multi-Displacement Shutdown (MDS) feature that disabled up to half of the engine’s cylinders under certain driving conditions, primarily on the highway.
With 350 horsepower on tap for the 5.7-litre version, the Ram 1500 was no slouch when it came to off-line acceleration and/or cargo hauling. But despite the MDS, it was a little thirsty; Transport Canada rates it at 16.2 litres/100 km in the city and 10.8 on the highway for the all-wheel-drive model. But it worked fine with regular gas.
The ST was the base trim and the Laramie, the top model, offered interior amenities such as dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, power and heated front seats, and one-touch power windows. .
You can also get extras like a leather interior, ventilated front seats, a backup camera, Ram Box smart storage compartments in the rear fenders, and a “protection package,” which included tow hooks, a plate transfer case skid plate and a front suspension skid plate. A note here: if you haul anything with the tailgate down, you lose the rear view camera. warning system and all-wheel-drive access on the fly. This was accomplished via a dash-mounted rotary knob, and the all-wheel-drive version offered off-road capabilities that were as good as possible for this size of pickup truck.
All Ram 1500s were built in Warren, Michigan, or St. Louis, Missouri.
Transport Canada’s safety recalls range from issues with front steering linkage components, to potential loss of braking, windshield defogger/defroster not working, issues with windshield wipers, miscellaneous electrical problems, not to mention transmission malfunctions. Lots to consider here, in other words.
Potential buyers should also keep in mind that these trucks have been put to work often and used models may have seen their share of abuse.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had six technical service bulletins for the ’12 Ram 1500. These included front bumpers that can rust and corrode prematurely, problems with the heating/ventilation/ air conditioning, the upholstery of the front seats which can “tear”. during normal use, and a tendency for some trucks to “wander” when driving on the highway.
Consumer Reports gave this iteration of the Ram 1500 a tentative thumbs up. They described it as more “refreshed” than previous versions, and finally on par with rivals Ford and General Motors. Most areas received above-average marks, except for paint and trim, transmission, climate control, suspension, and the inevitable squeaks and rattles.
Both the two- and four-wheel-drive versions received an “average” used-car prediction rating from Consumer Reports. A few comments from owners:
- “Long trip comfort is excellent;”
- the quad cab rear seats are too narrow for most adults; »
- “I like the Hemi;”
- “hasn’t been as reliable as I had hoped.”
Priced at just under $22,000 for a base ST V6 in 2012, the Ram 1500 has more than held its own, value-wise. Pickup trucks are incredibly popular right now, and like most full-size pickup trucks, this one comes in a wide variety of models and trim levels.
Depending on the model, powertrain and cab configuration, prices these days range from low to mid-teens all the way up to $30,000 and more for a fully loaded four-wheel-drive Laramie Crew Cab. Four-wheel drive seems to add $2,000 to $3,000 to the price of the truck.
2012 Dodge Ram 1500
Original base price: $21,795
Engine: 3.7L V6, 4.7L V8, 5.7L V8
Power : 350 (5.7 liter V8)
Couple : 407 foot-pounds (5.7-liter V8)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel consumption (litres/100 km): 16.2 city and 10.8 highway, with regular or premium gasoline
Conduct: rear wheel or four wheels
Alternatives: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra
Ted Laturnus has been an automotive journalist since 1976. He has twice been named Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year and is past President of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.
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