2018 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck Of The Year: Chevy vs. Ram On- And Off-Road Mega ChallengePosted in Events on March 7, 2018
If you’re a pickup truck fan you’re going to love the 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year competition because the trio of trucks represents a wide variety of cargo bed-equipped goodness. The lineup includes a midsized truck, a 1/2-ton truck, and a 3/4-ton truck. Gotta love it.
Back in 1989 Four Wheeler created Pickup Truck of the Year (PTOTY) as a spinoff event from our Four Wheeler of the Year competition, which began in 1974 and included trucks and SUVs. By the late ’80s the SUV world had grown by leaps and bounds so we split the test into two parts and we created specialized scoring for each. The goal for the two tests remained the same: introduce, disseminate, and test the latest and greatest four-wheel-drive vehicles. It’s a mission that continues to this day. Our goal is to provide you with detailed information based on exhaustive testing so that you’re in the know whether you’re looking to purchase a new pickup or if you’re simply a pickup truck fan who likes to keep up on the latest and greatest. We collect this info by spending almost every waking moment with the trucks for five days, driving each approximately 1,000 miles on- and off-road. Dealerships are accommodating, but they’re not going to let you do this.
The 2018 PTOTY lineup consisted of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, Ram 1500 Harvest Edition, and Ram 3500 with Cummins turbodiesel. Why weren’t other manufacturers and/or models in the lineup? Simple. To qualify for the 2018 PTOTY competition a truck had to be all-new or substantially revised, have a two-speed transfer case, a production run of 1,500 vehicles in the U.S., and be on sale by March 15, 2018. With that said, the Ford F-150 also qualified due to several new engines, but the manufacturer declined our invitation.
So what exactly happened during the five days of testing? Well, we dissected every aspect of each truck. We began by putting each on an RTI ramp to measure suspension articulation and then we pointed the trucks to a track to measure acceleration and braking. Following that we spent the next four days testing in a wide range of specially selected terrain that included almost every type of wheeling environment. You can read more about testing elsewhere in this story. Our panel of experienced judges rotated into each truck at regular, frequent intervals and each judge was required to record detailed notes in their official judging book. Judges also scored each vehicle in a variety of areas. The specific testing categories and the judging procedure are outlined elsewhere in this story. In the end, this information was used to detect each truck’s strengths and weaknesses and scoring determined the finishing order.
We put the trucks through the equivalent of 4x4 calisthenics in a variety of terrain including rock, sand, mud, dirt, water, and snow. We learned a lot about each of these three trucks and we’re excited to share the info with you. Read on to learn what’s new with each truck, what works, what doesn’t, which vehicle was crowned the 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year, and much more.
Ram 3500 Cummins
It’s always nice when you can talk about more power instead of additional bling when testing a new truck, and increased torque is the case with the 6.7L Cummins-powered ’18 Ram 3500. Three versions of the 6.7L Cummins I-6 turbodiesel engine are offered in the 3500, and power output depends on which transmission the engine is attached to. We tested the version with the new-for-2018 930 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to the AS69RC six-speed automatic transmission. This combination is only available in the 3500, and the 930 lb-ft of torque is a 30 lb-ft improvement over the 2017 model engine mated to the same transmission. The other two versions of the 6.7L generate 660 and 800 lb-ft of torque. In addition to that good news, the ’18 3500 offers more new goodies such as an 8.4-inch screen for the infotainment center that includes HD radio, 4G LTE, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, USB Flip, and pinch-to-zoom and increased resolution on the screen; a standard back-up camera; and remote exterior switch in the bed for the LED bed lights. Our tester was the high-zoot Limited Tungsten Edition in Mega Cab configuration.
Ramp and Track
Despite its 8,295-pound weight and hint of turbo lag, the Ram 3500 fell in line right between its two competitors on the track, and turned out to be faster than the Colorado ZR2 by almost a full second on the 0-60 run and about half a second faster in the quarter-mile dash. Drivers described the high-output 6.7L Cummins I-6 turbodiesel as having “monster torque,” and testers almost universally rated its overall engine and transmission performance as “excellent.” The Ram 3500 had decent approach and departure angles (25.1 and 25.5 degrees, respectively), but the stiff (it’s a 1-ton, duh) suspension gave the Ram 3500 a Ramp Travel Index (RTI) score of 283 on our 20-degree ramp.
The Ram 3500 got knocked for things like not having a damper on the large and heavy tailgate and for what some thought might be “insufficient vital organ (intercooler) protection up front and low.” Judges liked the two excellent towhooks up front, its skid-resistant cargo bed coating, factory fifth-wheel/gooseneck towing prep group, its four adjustable cargo tie-down hooks along the inner bed rail, and 110-volt power outlet near the tailgate. And as one judge noted, “it’s a good looking body despite its gargantuan proportions.” Inside the Ram 3500 we found every luxury and convenience at our fingertips, the seating was comfortable on the long haul, and the truck’s operational equipment (switches, gauges, dials, and levers) were all easy to access and use. “Best visibility of instruments and most complete cluster of all, and all are easy to read at a glance” and “perfectly logical, Spock would approve” were among judges’ comments. One tester described its comfort and quiet on the highway as a “sensory deprivation chamber that runs on low-sulfur diesel.”
The Ram 3500’s highway performance was lauded for its “surprisingly good visibility” and “superb braking.” The steering system was deemed “a little on the firm side, but with great steering wheel ergonomics” and “responsive and sure, allowing the truck to move from lane to lane with pinpoint accuracy.” On the highway the powertrain was “dialed in with smooth acceleration and perfect shifts.” Built for towing big loads and hauling a large crew, even with the light load of just a driver and minimal cargo, its ride quality was still amazingly smooth on any surface that wasn’t rumpled and broken. Great power, a smooth and well-planted ride quality, and seemingly boundless interior space and comfort elicited one tester to remark, “my overall favorite highway pickup in the group.”
Although the Ram 3500’s weight and size doesn’t seem to make it an obvious choice for an off-road vehicle, its performance in this category was actually very good. Washboard dirt roads and deep sand were the 1-ton pickup’s worst enemy, as at speed on these surfaces the stiff suspension had the truck bouncing around like an out of balance washing machine, deteriorating ground contact causing traction and momentum loss. However, judges found that a slow and steady approach worked on steep rutted-up hills and rocky trails. The 3500 could crawl with relative ease because of the generously powerful Cummins turbodiesel, long wheelbase, fairly flexible chassis, decent 33.9:1 crawl ratio, and darn good Anti-Spin limited-slip differential in the rear axle. Comments such as “this beast can climb anything” and “scratches and claws itself forward” were typical of the tester’s impressions, and reinforced that even though it’s a 1-ton work truck, it has the capabilities to travel off-road well.
Mega is a great word to begin with during any discussion of the week we spent driving the two-laners, backcountry roads, and 4x4 trails of Southern California in the Mega Cab Ram 3500. Our early thoughts of the Ram 3500 was that it was going to feel like driving an aircraft carrier, but while the truck is definitely large at over 20 feet in length, we easily learned to maneuver the sizeable Ram 3500 through off-road obstacles that afterward we were surprised to have passed through unscathed.
Beast of an engine, smooth highway ride quality, mega room
Stiff suspension, $80,000 price tag
Good for hauling toys, or just about anything else, to wherever you want
“Feels three miles long.”
“King of the road.”
Ram 1500 Harvest Edition
Ram reimagined the 1500 for 2018 and delivered a truck sure to please the agricultural community. It’s called the Harvest Edition and it was created with input from farmers. It’s available in New Holland Blue (like our tester) or Case IH Red as well as other colors. The list of standard equipment included with the Harvest Edition package is quite lengthy and includes a bumper step, wheel mud flaps, chrome grille, black tubular side steps, and front suspension and transfer case skidplates. However, the biggest qualifier for the 2018 PTOTY competition was the coil-spring suspension with new 1-inch lift. Under the hood of our tester was the optional 5.7L V-8 Hemi engine, which dumped its 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque into the eight-speed 8HP70 automatic transmission. Our tester also had the optional Anti-Spin rear limited-slip differential and 265/70R20 tires on semi-gloss black aluminum wheels.
Ramp and Track
The Ram 1500 managed to keep its air dam off the 20-degree RTI ramp to bag a score of 440. Both the Colorado ZR2 and Ram 3500 were left behind on the track as the blue Ram streaked down the quarter-mile in 16.1 seconds and pushed the needle to 60 mph in 7.85 seconds. In the 60-0 braking test the 1500 came to a stop only slightly past the 3500 in 128.2 feet.
Looking at the Harvest Edition from the curb, some judges mistook it for a sport truck (and if you look at the track numbers, they weren’t entirely wrong). This isn’t a bad thing. One judge asked, “New Holland Blue or Grabber Blue?” Judges liked the large outside rear view mirrors, with one judge noting: “the best mirrors of the bunch!” We were glad to see that the 500-point Ram lettering was absent from the tailgate, a feature of the Ram Rebel (the 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year winner) that left judges annoyed. It was common for our dusty sunburnt faces to light up when we rotated into the Ram 1500 for a drive, since we knew that awaiting our spines was a sofa-soft and lumbar-supporting captain chair. The interior was described as “supportive,” “comfy,” and “fit for a millennial ranch hand.” To address the ease of the dashboard controls, most agreed when one judge told us their “eight-month-old child could adjust them.” CarPlay was a welcome feature and was easy (enough) to learn, though some testers noted controls might be hard to operate while wearing gloves, like ones you might be wearing during farm tasks.
“A rocket ship in 1/2-ton clothing” is how one judge described the 1500 on the pavement. Judges found it to be “loud when it needed to be” but also “quiet and comfortable” when cruising at speed on the interstate. Turning the wheel, we felt directly connected to the truck with “light and tight” steering. The V-8 and eight-speed transmission played nicely between traffic lights while we navigated to the trailheads. The brakes “got the job done,” blind spots were “minimal for a big truck,” and we were hard-pressed to find complaints in the logbooks concerning the on-road manners.
The Ram 1500 Harvest Edition stunned the judges with its outstanding overall off-road capabilities. The truck’s suspension was one of the big reasons for this, as it willingly flexed nicely. Another standout component was the Anti-Spin rear differential, which went about its job reliably and quietly. “That limited slip works really well,” noted one of our most experienced judges. The truck absorbed every gravelly washboard road we pointed it to, staying smooth and predictable. In the sand, the Ram 1500 earned the “dune scooter” award, letting the 395 horses sling the soft stuff while not holding back on the power when we needed it. On rocky trails judges reported “the Anti-Spin is tight and traction control unobtrusive.” Judges noted that “it could use some more wheel travel” in washes, but otherwise it was capable and “quite comfy.” The rear Anti-Spin differential also helped make the Ram 1500 a player in the snow, where it deftly cruised through the white stuff during high-altitude mountain testing. We were less impressed with the black tubular side steps, but we understand why Ram left them on our tester- they’re a sacrificial component when rock meets metal and way easier and less expensive to fix then a damaged rocker panel. Yes, we damaged the side steps, but the rocker panels were undamaged. Finally, one judge noted, “a farm truck should have a T-case lever,” referring to the pushbutton controls for the transfer case. However, the buttons did work flawlessly.
The Ram 1500 Harvest Edition was as much fun as it was functional. Sporty and plush on the highway? Check. Flexy and trail-capable? Also check. Factor in the 10,140-pound towing capacity and the 1500 is a trifecta of truck goodness.
What’s Hot: The roar of the 5.7L V-8, impressive suspension flex, burly towhooks
What’s Not: Tubular side steps, road-centric tires
Our Take: Fancier than what you’d call a “work truck,” the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition will get the job done in the fields, comport itself properly on twisty trails, and still be the go-to for a transcontinental road trip.
“Painted blue so you don’t lose it.”
“Hoon with the Blue Dune Goon!”
“Are the mirrors huge enough?”
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
When you show up to Four Wheeler’s Pickup Truck of the Year competition sporting an electric rear locker you’re firing a warning shot across the bow of all the other competitors. Add in an electric front locker and you’ve upped it to fisticuffs. Sprinkle in a flexy suspension with Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers (super-high-zoot shocks) that soak up the bumps, high clearance front and rear bumpers, and solid rocker armor and you’ve just delivered a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the temple of every other pickup in the event. But wait, there’s more. If you pick yourself up off the floor and act now, the ZR2 will throw in 255/65R17 Goodyear DuraTrac tires on 17x8 alloy wheels, and a unique interior and exterior treatment. Additionally, the ZR2 is available with either a 308hp 3.6L gasoline V-6, or in the case of our tester, a torquey and economical 186hp, 369 lb-ft 2.8L Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel that delivers gobs of acceleration and tractor-like low-speed crawlability. Game set and match.
Ramp and Track
With the lockers off, the ZR2 climbed our 20-degree RTI ramp to a field-besting score of 447. That’s not too shabby considering the ZR2 still uses “antiquated” leaf springs in the rear. Just goes to show you, it’s not always about how fancy you can make things. On the dragstrip, the four-cylinder Duramax turbo spooled almost instantaneously. The 2.8L turbodiesel’s peak torque of 369 lb-ft happens at 2,000 rpm and with a First gear ratio of 4.07:1 the ZR2 really jumps off the line. Almost instantly the 6L50 six-speed auto grabbed Second and it was off to the redline races through each subsequent gear. But despite the flat torque curve, the ZR2 still only has 186 horsepower to work with, which earned it last place in 0-60 (10.9 sec) and quarter-mile acceleration (18.1 @ 75 mph) behind both Rams. Similarly, the ZR2’s 12.2-inch front and 12.8-inch rear brakes couldn’t keep up with the Rams, hauling the 5,011 pound ZR2 from 60-0 mph in 135.4 feet.
Outside, the ZR2 made friends, with one tester going so far as to call it sexy. It looks sinister even sitting still thanks to wide fenders, a swooping hood line with bulge with flat-black accent that’s part of the off-road appearance package, and a plunging window sill on the front doors. These attributes lend a raked effect to the ZR2 when seen from the profile or front 3/4 view. The high-clearance front bumper and skidplate treatment is not only cool, it’s functional, allowing the front tires to gain a purchase on obstacles without incurring body damage. The tubular rocker guards tuck up high and tight to the body and will ensure the doors open and close after the ZR2 takes full advantage of its off-road capabilities. Out back, the rear bumper employs built-in steps to aid in bed access. The bed features a factory spray-in bedliner and has lots of clever tie-downs and storage.
Inside, the ZR2’s low seating position and bulgy hood drew less-than-glowing praise from some of the shorter testers. The rearview mirror is huge, outward visibility from the sides is good, and there’s enough elbow room with four adults. Adding three adults to the back seat things get a bit cramped but three kids should be happy enough back there. The material quality is okay, but overall most testers found it overtly “plasticy”. The dash center stack styling drew praises, and the HVAC controls were easy to use. The biggest gripe by far, especially in an off-road-oriented package like the ZR2, was the 4WD selection knob. It’s mounted low on the dash to the left of the steering wheel and directly next to the headlight switch. Both feature similar twist functions, so it’s very easy to inadvertently turn on the lights when you’re trying to grab 4-Hi or switch in 2-Hi when trying to turn off the lights. To make matters worse, the steering wheel blocks the driver’s view of the 4WD switch, so unless you awkwardly crane your head down and over you can’t see it.
On the highway, the ZR2 simply gets up and goes. With a very linear torque curve from the 2.8L Duramax, the engine seems to always be in the powerband. There’s enough horsepower to pass, but torque is what keeps you moving up a grade. And the baby Duramax always seemed to deliver enough torque to keep the ZR2 moving without needlessly downshifting every 15 seconds. Steering feel is solid. Not too light and not too heavy. You can feel that the chunky Goodyear tires are more aggressive than pedestrian car tires, but come on. It’s an off-road package. Isn’t that what you’re looking for? The diesel runs quiet and smooth down the road and wind noise in all but the harshest side gusts isn’t egregious. It’s no sensory deprivation chamber, but it’s a pleasant place to be for a cross-country trip multi-day trip.
When the pavement disappears the suspension is the first thing you notice. There are no harsh hits no matter how much you’re pushing it. “In 4WD Auto mode you’re in complete control on twisty dirt roads,” one tester noted. Another wrote, “very good suspension calibration. No head toss, violence, or uncontrolled movements.” And yet another was super excited to find out that the rear locker could be engaged in two-wheel drive. But the ZR2 wasn’t all about going fast. Put the transmission in Neutral to switch the Magna 3025G T-case into its 2.62:1 Low, and the 3.42 axle ratios combine with the transmission’s 4.07:1 First gear to create a 36.5:1 crawl ratio. Adding the torque multiplication factor of an auto along with the torquey diesel drivetrain that loves to live at slow rpms and it’s an absolutely incredible rockcrawling package. And with a true locking front and rear differential, whopping 30-degree approach angle, and a 23.5-degree breakover angle you can get the ZR2 up, into, over, and through just about anything you dare to point it at. The only off-road aspect of the vehicle we found somewhat lacking was the rather pedestrian 23.5-degree departure angle and a lack of heavy-duty undercarriage skidplating. Additionally, although the ZR2 sports two towhook loops on the front they are on the small side and the rear has only a receiver hitch. It would be nice to have some larger front loops and one or two dedicated towhooks in the rear.
With a field-besting 19.9 mpg as-tested, the ability to tow 5,000 pounds, and capability to go pretty much anywhere off-road it wants, the Colorado ZR2 is poised to give those looking for a capable small pickup truck everything they could ask for and more.
Killer off-road capability, supple suspension, and diesel economy
Poor plastic interior, horrendous 4WD switch placement
The 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year
“Such an incredibly good off-road package!”
“Teeny door pockets. Whose hands are that small?”
“This is the small pickup truck Batman would drive if Batman drove small pickup trucks.”
How We Test ’EmWe began our weeklong 2018 Pickup Truck of the Year test in Los Angeles by measuring each vehicle’s ramp travel index (RTI) to determine suspension articulation. We then traveled to Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, where we used a RaceLogic Performance Box to gather acceleration and braking data. From the track we convoyed to the desert via paved roads, along the way gathering important data regarding ride, handling, and fuel efficiency, among other things. For the next three days we spent time in every type of driving situation you can imagine. From stop-and-go city driving to wide open highway. Since our focus in on off-road performance, we spent the majority of time in the dirt, water, mud, sand, rocks, and snow. Each day of driving began shortly after sunup and ended after sundown. We traveled to both high and low altitudes and we drove in the dark to test lighting. On the last day, we made the trek back to the Los Angeles area, which completed the test. In the end, we drove each truck approximately 1,000 miles.
How We Score ’EmOur scoring procedure utilized five weighted categories. Here’s the breakdown: 30 percent Trail Performance (how a vehicle performs in a variety of wheeling environments and off-road-centric features like 4WD system operation, tires, traction aids, and so on), 25 percent Empirical (RTI, acceleration, braking, price, and so on), 20 percent On-Road Performance (handling, ride quality, steering feel, and so on) 15 percent Interior (instrumentation, ingress and egress, seat comfort, storage, and so on), and 10 percent Exterior (appearance, cargo bed functionality, body protection, and so on).
Judges PicksIf price and scoring didn’t matter, which of these 2018 PTOTY trucks would like to own? That’s the question we asked this year’s judges, and we asked ’em to elaborate. Here’s their responses.
Stuart Bourdon Jp Technical Editor
This year our field of test vehicles included two Ram products and a midsize Chevy pickup. Two were diesel, but the pair could not have been more different, and the third was a nod to our nation’s agricultural heritage. Although there was a lot to like about all three, the Ram 3500 Limited was a powerful brute with clam highway manners, the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition was sleek and sporty, and the Chevrolet Colorado was gutsy and nimble. The one that would be most useful and enjoyable for me to own would be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 turbodiesel. It’s good looking and utilitarian, powerful for its size, well behaved on the street, and it can wheel like a champ.
Ken Brubaker Four Wheeler Editor
The Ram 1500 Harvest Edition’s well-rounded capability was impressive and the Colorado ZR2 was a total blast. But in the end, the Cummins-powered Ram 3500 Cummins was like a tractor beam that drew me in. The 3500 offers up everything I long for in a truck. It held its own in the dirt, has the raw power to tow or haul a hefty load, and it’s refined enough to drive every day without complaint. Yes, please.
Mike Grasso Four Wheeler Network News Editor
I liked all of the trucks this year. The Colorado obviously stood out as far as performance and likability was concerned. If I had to choose though, I would go with the Ram 3500 Cummins. I’ve always wanted a 1-ton to turn into a badass cross country camping rig, and this truck fit the bill for that and then some. The high-end interior and great gas mileage, plus the ability to tow and haul so much weight would make this thing a killer overland rig. It’s a true road king, and with a more off-road friendly suspension it would be a killer 4x4 too.
Christian Hazel 4-Wheel & Off-Road Editor
This year’s selection is the hardest I can remember in any of these competitions because each of the three pickups serves a distinctively different role in which each excelled. The ZR2 is the Captain Insano off-roading machine, with a great suspension, killer approach and departure angles, front and rear lockers, and a torquey diesel engine. The Ram 1500 Harvest Edition was a hot rod on the road, impressed in the dirt, and had enough power and cargo area to pull or haul. And the Ram 3500 diesel was just a super-plush highway hauler with an insane amount of refinement. It would be the end-all tow rig for me. But since I have to pick one, the ZR2 doesn’t have the tow rating I’m looking for in a pickup and the Ram 3500’s suspension can’t touch the others off-road and its price tag scares the hell out of me. That’s why I’d take the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition. It nicely splits the difference between the ZR2’s off-road capabilities and the Ram 3500’s towing prowess while still serving as a comfortable everyday driver and workhorse with a realistic price tag.
Jered Korfhage Four Wheeler Feature Editor
I live to be off-road, but when your home address is in Los Angeles, you spend a heap of time on the road before you can get away from it. Every time I climbed into the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition I felt like I was welcomed into a four-star hotel. I say that because the Ram was not excessively fancy to the point I’d feel guilty covering it in mud, but gosh darn was it accommodating! The combination of plush interior and rumbling power from the 5.7L Hemi V-8 made my time in the Ram enjoyable. That ride quality carried over when the pavement disappeared, and was only bolstered by the performance of the factory traction aids and impressive suspension flex. I’d be excited to further test the Ram off the trail and find out which modifications best suit the Harvest Edition package.
Rick Pewe Jp Editor
Have to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Quite simply it will do whatever the other two can do, within limits. It can’t haul 10,000 pounds, but it can pull a Jeep on a trailer, or a cargo trailer, and still have room for stuff in the bed. It’s nimble, quick, and confident on the street, easy to park, and outperforms the others in the dirt. It’s not the fastest, or the biggest, but it gets the job done with comfort and style.
Verne Simons 4Wheel & Off-Road Technical Editor
I like going off-road, and I make lots of sacrifices with my personal vehicles to maximize capability off-road, so going into this test I was more than excited about the Chevy ZR2. Two lockers, diesel engine, tuned suspension, sounds perfect to me. Honestly, the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition, or Ram 3500 Cummins didn’t get me too excited for anything other than towing for the 3500 and daily driving for the Ram 1500 Harvest Edition. But I was pleasantly surprised by both off-road and of course they did great on-road. The Ram 3500 is a beast, but it’s big, and while it climbed the hills and did some rockcrawling it definitely needs to stick to pulling heavy loads. The tractor-themed Ram 1500 Harvest seemed a bit campy at first, but the thing is a tire roasting muscle car on-road and the limited slip and traction control flat out work off-road. Maybe it was really a Ram Rebel in Grabber Blue? So while both Rams surprised me off-road the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 had me seriously contemplating making new car payments on one of these capable diesel-powered medium sized “mini” trucks.
Vehicle/model: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2Base price: $41,785
Price as tested: $47,970
Options as tested: 2.8L Duramax Turbo Diesel Engine ($3,500), Premium Bose Audio System ($500), Cajun Red Tintcoat ($495), Chevrolet Infotainment System ($495), Chrome Recovery Hooks ($200), Destination Charge ($995)
Type: 16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement (ci/liter): 170/2.8
Bore x stroke (in): 3.70x3.94
Compression ratio (:1): 16.5
Intake/FI: Turbocharged/direct injection
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 186 @ 3,400
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 369 @ 2,000
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Ultra-low sulphur diesel, B20 biodiesel
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L50 6-spd automatic
Axle ratio (:1): 3.42
Transfer case: Magna 3025G 2-spd
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.62
Crawl ratio (:1): 36.5
Frame: Steel, ladder-type
Front: Independent coil-over shock with Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers/Dana M190 7.4-in, electric locking differential
Rear: Semi-elliptic, two-stage multileaf springs, Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers/Dana M220 8.6-in, electric locking differential
Type: Electric power-assist rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 2.9
Ratio (:1): 16.8
Front: 12.2x1.0-in disc, four-piston caliper
Rear: 12.8x0.7-in disc, single-piston caliper
Wheels (in): 17x8 aluminum
Tires: P255/65/R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac
EPA city/highway: 19/22
Observed city/highway/trail: 19.9
Weight (lb): 5,011
Wheelbase (in): 128.3
Overall length (in): 212.7
Overall width (in): 74.3
Height (in): 70.3
Track f/r (in): 65.9/65.9
Minimum ground clearance (in): 8.9
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 41.3
Approach/departure angles (deg): 30.0/23.5
Breakover angle (deg): 23.5
GVWR (lb): 6,200
Payload (lb): 1,100
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 5,000
Fuel capacity (gal): 21
0-60 mph (sec): 10.9
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 18.1 @ 75
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 135.4
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 447
Vehicle/model: 2018 Ram 1500 Harvest EditionBase price: $41,195
Price as tested: $50,290
Options as tested: New Holland Blue Exterior Paint ($450), Harvest Edition Package 26U ($2,265), Heated Seats and Steering Wheel ($545), Trailer Tow Mirror and Brake Control ($460), 8-spd Automatic 8HP70 Transmission ($500), Anti-Spin Differential Rear Axle ($435), 5.7L V-8 HEMI VVT Engine ($1,450), 20-in x 8-in Semi-Gloss Black Aluminum Wheels ($1,595), Destination Charge ($1,395)
Type: 16-valve pushrod V-8
Displacement (ci/liter): 345/5.7
Bore x stroke (in): 3.92x3.58
Compression ratio (:1): 10.5
Intake/FI: Naturally aspirated/sequential multiport electronic, returnless
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 395 @ 5,600
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 410 @ 3,950
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Unleaded 89 octane recommended
Transmission: ZF 8HP70 8-spd automatic
Axle ratio (:1): 3.21
Transfer case: BorgWarner 44-45
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.64
Crawl ratio (:1): 39.9
Frame: Steel ladder-type
Front: Upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, twin-tube shocks, stabilizer bar/ZF 8.5-in, open
Rear: Five-link with track bar, stabilizer bar, twin-tube shocks, coil springs, twin-tube shocks/Chrysler 9.25-inch, Anti-Spin limited slip
Type: Electric power-assist rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 3.5
Ratio (:1): 17.9
Front: 13.2x1.1-in vented disc, two-piston caliper
Rear: 13.8x0.87-in disc, single-piston caliper
Wheels (in): 20x8 aluminum
Tires: P275/60R20 Goodyear Wrangler SRA
EPA city/highway: 15/21
Observed city/highway/trail: 12.2
Weight (lb): 5,622
Wheelbase (in): 140.5
Overall length (in): 229.0
Overall width (in): 79.4
Height (in): 77.6
Track f/r (in): 68.6/68.0
Minimum ground clearance (in): 8.8
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 45.4
Approach/departure angles (deg): 19.8/25.5
Breakover angle (deg): 20.6
GVWR (lb): 6,950
Payload (lb): 1,510
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 10,140
Fuel capacity (gal): 26
0-60 mph (sec): 7.8
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 16.1 @ 89.9
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 128.2
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 440
Vehicle/model: 2018 Ram 3500 Cummins Mega CabBase price: $60,295
Price as tested: $80,070
Options as tested: Limited Package ($3,700), Cold Weather Group ($145), Heavy Duty Snow Plow Prep Group ($195), 5th Wheel Gooseneck Towing Prep Group ($445), Limited Tungsten Edition ($1,395), Aisin 6-spd Automatic Transmission ($2,695), 6.7L I-6 Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine ($8,700), Auto Level Rear Air Suspension ($1,595), Destination Charge ($1,395)
Type: 24-valve OHV I-6
Displacement (ci/liter): 408/6.7
Bore x stroke (in): 4.21x4.88
Compression ratio (:1): 16.2
Intake/FI: Turbocharged/direct injection
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 385 @ 2,800
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 930 @ 1,700
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Ultra-low sulphur diesel
Transmission: Aisin AS69RC 6-spd automatic
Axle ratio (:1): 3.42
Transfer case: BorgWarner 44-46
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.64
Crawl ratio (:1): 33.86
Frame: Steel, ladder-type
Front: Three-link with track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, heavy-duty shocks/AAM 9.25-in with center disconnect
Rear: Hotchkiss leaf spring, heavy-duty shocks, air bags/AAM 11.5-in, Anti-Spin limited slip
Type: Hydraulic-assist recirculating ball
Turns (lock-to-lock): 3.3
Ratio (:1): 15.3
Front: 14.17x1.54-in disc, twin-piston caliper
Rear: 14.09x1.34-in disc, twin-piston caliper
Wheels (in): 20x8 aluminum
Tires: LT285/60R20 Firestone Transforce AT
EPA city/highway: N/A
Observed city/highway/trail: 15.0
Weight (lb): 8,295
Wheelbase (in): 160.4
Overall length (in): 248.4
Overall width (in): 79.1
Height (in): 79.7
Track f/r (in): 67.7/67.1
Minimum ground clearance (in): 8.7
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 46.9
Approach/departure angles (deg): 25.1/25.5
Breakover angle (deg): 20.1
GVWR (lb): 12,230
Payload (lb): 4,000
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 16,530
Fuel capacity (gal): 31
0-60 mph (sec): 9.8
Quarter-mile (sec @ mph): 17.6 @ 82.4
Braking 60-0 mph (ft): 127.6
Ramp Travel Index (20-deg, points): 283