By Patrick Rall
While the majority of the news over the past week from the
Ram brand pertained to the fact that the 2013 Ram HD can tow a whopping
30,000lbs, the 2013 Detroit Auto Show brought about yet another major award for
the 2013 Ram 1500 – this time winning one of the most prominent awards for the
US market as it was named the 2013 North American Truck of the Year. This marks the second time that the Ram 1500
has claimed the top truck honors from the North American media after winning
the very first NA Truck of the Year back in 1994.
The 2013 Ram 1500 beat out a group of 9 popular “utility vehicles”
to win North American Truck of the Year but of the ten vehicles on the short
list, the 2013 Ram 1500 was the only actual truck on the list. This initial list of consisted of the Ram, the
Acura RDX, the BMW X1, the new Ford Escape, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Infiniti
JX35, the Mazda CX-5, the Nissan Pathfinder, the Audi Allroad and the Ford
C-Max. Late in 2012, the group of jurors cut the number from ten to three,
keeping only the Ram, the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford C-Max.
At this point I should point out how absurd it is for the
Ford C-Max to be competing with the 2013 Ram 1500 for Truck of the Year. I most certainly understand the need to
include sport utility vehicles in the truck category but including the Ford
C-Max (a vehicle designed to compete with the Toyota Prius!) and the Audi
Allroad, a station wagon based on the Audi A4 sedan. The Allroad is no more a truck or utility
vehicle than was the Dodge Magnum while the C-Max is a compact hatchback
hybrid. Not that there is anything wrong
with a compact hybrid hatchback or the Audi Allroad – in fact they are both
great vehicles – but they are by no means trucks or utility vehicles.
In any case, common sense prevailed and thanks to the many
high tech gadgets, the great looks, the vast capabilities, the gobs of power
and the impressive fuel economy – the North American Truck of the Year jury
voted in favor of naming the Ram 1500 their top truck for 2013.
“For the Ram Truck Brand, this ranks as one of the proudest
days in our history,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler
de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. “Every truck-maker aspires to win the North
American Truck/Utility of the Year. I tip my hat to the folks who worked behind
the scenes to make the 2013 Ram 1500 a technological triumph. In no other truck
will you find Ram’s incredible combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency –
25 miles per gallon — Pentastar and HEMI engines matched to TorqueFlite
8-speed transmissions, air suspension, Uconnect Access and 12 fuel-saving
technologies that have raised the bar in the full size pickup segment.”
Considering that the 2013 Ram 1500 has won pretty much every
award for which it was eligible, winning the North American Truck of the Year was
almost a given but considering that stranger things have happened in the award
that many is based more on money and politics than on picking the best vehicle.