The 2012 Ram 1500 shows that even the most capable full-size pickup truck can offer more than utility. The Ram 1500's interior is so nice it wouldn't disgrace an SUV, while equipment levels mean you can enjoy convenience and comfort even while working. As with all its rivals, this truck's usefulness depends on what you need it for, and Ram offers a number of cab options and bed lengths to suit your needs. The Ram 1500's biggest cab offering can seat as many as six, or if truck bed size is more important, you can get one up to 8 feet long.
It can't quite match top rivals in outright towing capacity, but it's so close you won't notice. Ram's fitting of coil springs on the rear axle—most rivals use leaf springs—means when you're not towing or hauling a full load, the ride remains car-like. There's a choice of engines and either rear- or all-wheel drive to match the cabs and beds. The entry-level, and somewhat underwhelming, 3.7-liter V6 has 215 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque and it's mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The next-level 4.7-liter V8 gains 95 hp and 77 lb-ft, but the range-topping 390-hp 5.7-liter V8 is so close in its EPA-estimated fuel economy that, if you can afford the extra cost, it's worth having. Both V8s have a six-speed automatic transmission. Trim levels start with ST and climb through the SLT, Sport, and the top-of-the-line Laramie. There's plenty of opportunity to mix and match options, but we'd pick an SLT because it offers all the essentials and more and comes standard with an appealing V8.