2010 V-6 Shootout: 2011 Ram 1500 ST 3.7L

2011 Ram 1500 ST 3.7L

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Our 2011 Ram 1500 was the least optioned work truck we tested. It was also the least expensive, at $22,635 – lower even than the starting MSRP for a 2010 Dodge Dakota midsize pickup ($22,755).

The Ram’s single-overhead-cam 3.7-liter V-6 was launched for the 2002 model year. It replaced Chrysler’s earlier 12-year-old 3.9-liter pushrod V-6, used in older Dodge Ram and Dakota pickup trucks and Jeep Wrangler SUVs. Over the past nine years, it’s proven to be one of Chrysler’s most reliable and efficient truck engines.

Sometime in the next two years, we expect Ram will replace the 3.7-liter V-6 with a version of the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that will deliver around 305 horsepower and 268 pounds-feet of torque, the same as in the 2011 Dodge Challenger.

The Ram 1500 had the nicest-looking interior of the group. Instead of gray, dark gray and black colors like in the Ford F-150 and GMC Sierra, the Ram broke up the monotony of the interior with beige and gray colors.

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For a cheap work truck, the Ram 1500 offered satellite radio – a welcome addition. The control layout for the stereo and air-conditioning controls was similar to the Sierra’s but more intuitive than the F-150’s.

The basic steering wheel lacked audio controls, and the truck didn’t have Bluetooth connectivity to a mobile phone. It did offer an awkward cruise control lever behind the wheel that seemed to have been borrowed from the parts bin from Daimler-Benz, Chrysler’s previous owner.

The 40/20/40-split folding bench seat included hidden storage in the armrest with helpful compartments and had the best cubby area in our test.

Behind the seats was ample space that seemed to rival the F-150, but it included a tub to help keep things where we put them instead of letting them roll around on a flat surface.

Our interior gripes focused on the doors, which frequently gave us fits trying to get them to close unless we pulled hard on them. The doors had the cheapest plastic surfaces of the trucks we tested and showed exposed screws holding the plastic panels on when the doors were open.

Our truck didn’t have a security key fob like the F-150 and Sierra 1500. While most Ram 1500 models come with a cool, high-tech keyless fob borrowed from Mercedes-Benz, our work truck used a conventional key that had to be inserted into an ignition that felt like we were jamming it into a deep hole without a bottom.

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Comments

Yup, I dig the interior as well.

Wow the doors didnt even close correctly.

Did they put this truck together behind the dealership. Exposed screw, parts from other bins, etc, etc....sad.

The cruise control lever on the Ram is Chrysler's own design, Mercedes use to/still does use a stalk on the left hand side behind the turn signal lever.

"The Ram 1500 had the nicest-looking interior of the group. Instead of gray, dark gray and black colors like in the Ford F-150 and GMC Sierra, the Ram broke up the monotony of the interior with beige and gray colors."

I couldn't disagree more. That beige and gray look hideous to me. I like the GMC and Ford basic gray much better. A couple different tones of gray together, or beige together, would look better than mixing beige and gray together. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess.

Luckily, the 3.9 V6 was never used in the Jeep Wrangler. It had the 4.2 L6 followed by the 4.0 L6 before being swapped to the minivan motor in its latest platform.

Also GM has been using electric power steering on its Hybrid pickups/utes since they were released.

Must agree with Ford850. That Grey/Beige combo, IMHO, does not look good together.

Also think the Sierra's dash looks like they took it out of one of their 90's model cars.

I don't like beige interiors either.

THe comments posted about the interiors show why it is better for testers to base results primarily on objective standards. Everyone has a different opinion on what looks or feels the best.

@ Lou, I agree. And for those who would like a truck that looks like the interior was assembled in a junk yard using parts from several truck, go buy the Ram. ;) Just kidding, but that interior does remind me of a truck with multi colored panels, reassembled after an accident. That's my subjective view. :D

Great test on these trucks. I just bought a used 2009 Ram like this with cloth seats and carpet. I added some cool wheels and a bed cover and the black paint looks really sharp. I just made a 1,700 mile roadtrip and got 20.4 MPG most of the time with a low of 16.5 MPG. The power is pretty good for what it is and is really pretty fun to drive even though it's not a Hemi.... The ride is nice and the seats are great. The truck feels "tall" in fast corners but is still stable and goes where I point it. I have plenty of Cummins 4x4 trucks when I need to tow heavy so this is a great town truck for me. The best part is that the dealer had it on the lot for too long and I bought it for KBB trade value!



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