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2015 Ram 1500 Rebel drive review

Black Betty


It’s hard to see much Ram in the grille. … Um, strike that. If you can read, yes, it’s easy to see this big bruiser of a half-ton is a Ram, thanks to the 58-inch-tall silver letters across its face. But where you would otherwise see a signature crosshairs grille, the Rebel sports a giant handlebar mustache ripped straight from the face of Machete himself. And just as with Mr. Danny Trejo, the Rebel ain’t exactly pretty to look at, but we definitely enjoy its attitude.

Performance—on the road, at the pump and fully taxed—is on par with the standard-issue Ram 1500, with a 1,530-pound payload and 10,150-pound towing capacity. Engine output (395 hp and 410 lb-ft) and fuel economy (15 mpg city, 22 highway) from the optional Hemi 5.7-liter V8 matches the pedestrian 1500’s, too. (The Rebel comes standard with the familiar 305-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V6.)

First drive

AEV Ram Prospector


In those ads for active-lifestyle vehicles where there’s a guy running up a trail carrying a mountain bike over one shoulder and a kayak over the other, the guy could easily be AEV founder and president Dave Harriton. Harriton really likes that outdoor adventure stuff and built his business around getting to places to pursue it and bringing along everything a guy would need once he got there. His business, American Expedition Vehicles, is pretty big and very successful: It employs 100 people in a 100,000-square-foot facility upfitting Jeep Wranglers and other products.

But it wasn’t quite as simple as that. Let’s put it in reverse and back up a little.

Harriton grew up in the Pennsylvania Poconos, already a pretty scenic locale. But when it was time to go off to college, he hadn’t really done a lot of what statisticians call “research.”

The Ram ProMaster Wagon shown here seats five.

2015 Ram ProMaster City first drive

What is it?
It’s a Fiat Doblò van rebadged for North America as the 2015 Ram ProMaster City.
With the ProMaster City, Ram hopes to tap into the expanding market for small, Euro-style Class 1 vans. That market was created in 2010, when Ford rolled the dice and brought its established Transit Connect from Europe. The Transit Connect’s success was sufficient to draw Nissan and its NV200 in 2013, which in turn convinced Chevrolet to offer its own NV200 badged as the City Express.
Now comes the ProMaster City, nee Doblò, to Ram dealers across the United States and Canada. It's the latest in a widening range of Italian-American ventures from the Fiat Chrysler Automotive group, yes, but it debuts with solid credentials, as front-drive commercial vehicles go. Since its launch in 2000, the Doblò has averaged more than 100,000 sales a year and earned International Van of the Year awards in successive generations.
The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Edition Crew Cab is made even better with a diesel.

2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Edition Crew Cab review notes


ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: We’ve had loaded Ram 1500s in our test fleet before and had generally favorable things to say about them. The ride is carlike thanks to an air suspension system. The feature-laden interior is comfortable and pleasant, even if some of the details can be a bit over the top (lot of tooled leather and Western-themed stuff here…).

The diesel V6 -- the first of a wave of new full-size diesel pickups, I guess -- is the equation-changer here. Launched with a great deal of fanfare, I know Ram moved a lot of them early on. Not sure if sales have been sustained, but if America is ever going to warm up to diesel, it’ll probably be because of trucks like this.

And, for the moment, trucks like this are where this EcoDiesel should stay. It’s a torquey motor that’s nevertheless not as refined as something from the Germans. That’s fine for a pickup, OK for the Grand Cherokee and probably not acceptable in a sedan.

Heavy-duty truck comfort.

2014 Ram 2500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab review notes

03/26/2014 ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: This 2014 Ram 2500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab is a really big truck. It's a real-life Tonka toy with a 17,450-pound tow rating. I love it. I had a chance to mess around with the Ram Heavy Duties last year, when the crew at Chrysler thoughtfully turned their proving ground into a big playground for doing Truck Things: Hauling bales of hay, pulling heavy agricultural equipment, driving over bumpy roads, etc. It's not surprising that the Rams excelled in that more or less controlled environment. What is surprising is that the trucks also excel in the wild -- which is to say, on the streets of suburbia. Driver confidence is almost assumed with a vehicle of this size. It's the comfort factor that catches you off guard. The ride isn't as refined as that of the new full-size Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra or the Ram 1500; there are jostles and bumps
Presenting the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which goes on sale at the end of this year.

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel drive review

09/23/2013 What is it?Ram, perhaps in a fit of inspiration from across town, dubbed its new diesel "EcoDiesel" -- under the principle that performance for the people is more palatable if it's disguised with "Eco" feel-goodism. It works. Because for 2014, the Ram 1500 becomes the first light-duty truck to receive a new and shiny diesel, besting Nissan's Cummins-powered V8 Titan to market by at least a year when the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel goes on sale next January. And thanks to all the corporate synergy floating around in the air, Ram didn't have to go far to find a suitable engine.It's a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 built by VM Motori in Italy, coincidentally half-owned by Fiat. Like its Grand Cherokee comrade-in-arms, it's paired to an 8-speed automatic built by ZF, shared with a zillion vehicles, but here branded "Torqueflite" for the history junkies. The combination offers up 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, optimized for low-end torque and a towing capacity of 9,200 lbs. Compared to the Ram 1500's two most popular engines, expect to pay approximately $
See God's country -- or drive over it -- in a 2013 Ram 2500 or 3500 Heavy Duty pickup.

We drive '13 Ram 2500, 3500 Heavy Duty pickups

Great news for people who tow heavy things

05/17/2013 When the last generation of heavy-duty Ram pickups debuted, the truck builder showcased their towing prowess by hauling around a Case tractor on a flatbed. Impressive? Sure. But we know what every red-blooded American male fantasizes about: towing two tractors at the same time. That's why Ram upped the ante with the 2013 2500 and 3500 pickups, working to give them class-leading towing capacity, in addition to much-improved interior fit and finish. We recently took a few of these trucks for a spin -- and yes, towed two shiny red Case tractors -- at the scenic Chrysler proving grounds. Here's how it worked out. What is it?The 2013 2500 and 3500 are Ram's newest heavy-duty pickups, the beefy center of a lineup bookended by the Ram 1500 light pickup
The Autoweek 2013 Ram 1500 drive review.

2013 Ram 1500 drive review

The redesigned Ram targets improved miles per gallon

10/12/2012 The 2013 Ram 1500 still looks like a traditional full-size pickup truck, but the redesigned model has undergone a major makeover—with an eye toward fuel economy.To achieve the desired fuel-economy improvements, Chrysler engineers combined a redesigned 3.6-liter engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, introduced start/stop technology that shuts down the engine at stops, improved aerodynamics, reduced the weight of the truck by nearly 130 pounds, added electric power steering and optimized the engine's fuel delivery.The result is a more fuel-efficient truck powered by a V6 that delivers 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque and still offers a respectable towing capacity of 5,900 pounds.The eight-speed automatic transmission will also be added to the company's 5.7-liter, 395-hp, 407-lb-ft Hemi V8 in mid-production year. Chrysler expects the V8 truck to match the Ford F-150's 22 mpg, which current
You can choose how you want your power from the M6 convertible, or you can just power down the top and drive.

2012 BMW M6 Convertible

Drive review

05/29/2012 What is it? After two years without one (how did we survive?), the BMW M6 convertible will be back in showrooms in late June. “It's the fastest convertible we've ever made,” said M brand manager Matt Russell. If you measure “fastest” by top speed, BMWs have been electronically limited to 155 mph for some time, which is pretty fast. But if you look at 0-to-60-mph times, it should take just 4.2 seconds, a few tenths quicker than the old model. The M6 also does it more efficiently, with a 30 percent mileage improvement.Sharing most componentry with the M5 sedan and its triplet, the M6 coupe--both coming later this summer--the new M6 convertible adds glorious top-down hightailing to the performance of its tin-topped siblings. The new drop-top gets the same meat-eating 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 as the M5 and M6, which hit 560 hp from 5,750 rpm to 7,000 rpm, while peak torque lays across a long, ludicrously flat 500-lb-ft plateau, from 1,500 revs to 5,750 revs. Power goes seamlessly through a seven-speed M dual-clutch transm
The C/V stands for cargo van, and it takes aim at the commercial market.

Chrysler Rams into commercial van market

12/22/2011 The Chrysler Group's minivan just got a whole lot better at carrying stuff. Identifying growth in the commercial segment, Chrysler took its popular, iconic Town & Country minivan, staple of soccer moms across the country, stripped it, blacked-out the windows and renamed it the Ram C/V. The C/V stands for cargo van."We keep a close eye on the market, and we saw all those Ford Transit Connect sales," said Mark Mallie, head of commercial-vehicle product planning.Ford sells between 2,000 and 3,000 of its Transit Connect commercial vehicles a month. Nissan just added its own larger commercial vehicle based off the Titan pickup. Add to that another statistic--that 60 percent of all Class 2 full-size vans on the road today are 10 years old or older--and you have what amounts to a no-brainer.Converting the Town & Country to a C/V was pretty simple: Just tear out the rear seats, add a flat aluminum floor, block out

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