Dodge Ram 1500 Is No. 1 in Truck Ranking


Dodge Ram 1500. Photo: Chrysler.

I've long been a proponent of Ford (NYSE: F  ) , and sales show that the F-Series and its closest competitor -- the Silverado from General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) -- have long dominated sales in the U.S. market. That's a big deal, since both companies derive much of their profits in North America from the full-size pickup segment, and some analysts estimate that profits could be as large as $10,000 per truck.

In the past, Consumer Reports has clobbered the Dodge Ram, but that wasn't the case this year. Will the Ram's recent victory in Consumer Reports help the pickup take market share away from its F-Series and Silverado rivals?

Line in the sand
Long ago, intensely loyal truck enthusiasts decided that you're either a Ford guy or Chevy guy, and nothing else mattered. That left the Dodge Ram on the outside looking in – something Chrysler hopes to change. Here's how sales have stacked up recently.


Information via Automotive News DataCenter.

You can see a recent uptick in Ram sales, mostly taken away from the Silverado, as the F-Series remains on a sales rampage. One reason for Ford's success is that in terms of redesigns, GM's 2013 Silverado is a dinosaur -- years overdue for a new model look.

That's because it's taken years for GM to become financially stable from its bailout and have the cash flow to redesign its vehicles. Finally, as we're seeing an automotive industry rebound and profitability improve, GM is beginning to redesign many vehicles – including its most important one, the Silverado.

What's the big deal?
Consumer Reports magazine announced that the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup is the best full-size pickup, with a score of 78 in road testing, according to Automotive News. That scores 10 points ahead of Ford's F-Series. Consumer Reports is known for rigorous testing, and it's valuable for Dodge to receive this ranking and even be "recommended."

But there is a caveat. The Ram 1500 is the freshest out of the domestic automakers' full-size pickups. The Silverado is introducing its first redesigned model since 2007 -- and Consumer Reports hasn't finished testing the new model. In addition, Ford's next-generation 2015 F-Series has been hugely hyped and looks to impress when it hits the market. So what's better about the Ram 1500 right now?

"Continued interior and powertrain improvements make the Ram a particularly well-rounded choice," said Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn, according to Automotive News.

Edmunds agrees, giving it an "A" rating and noting reasons for its ranking as "supple ride and composed handling; eight-speed transmission; impressive base V6 engine; refined cabin; impressive tech features and controls."

With substantial rumors that Chrysler will again go public, as Ford and General Motors already are, would an improved Ram -- the company's profit driver -- make it a surprise winner during its initial public offering?

Investing takeaway
While it's true that Detroit's Big Three automakers derive a massive portion of their overall profits from trucks, and as the Ram potentially improves sales revenues, it still isn't enough to make Chrysler a viable investment, in my opinion. Chrysler is far behind Ford and GM in producing valuable, fuel-efficient vehicles, and that's a big trend for the future U.S. market. Ford's Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta have been extremely successful for the company, and even its hybrid sales are on pace to double this year. General Motors has fuel-efficient vehicles, not to the extent Ford has, but GM has another trick up its sleeve -- a successful luxury line. Its Cadillac brand is having its most improved year since 1976 and is riding high from its fast-selling ATS and CTS models.

Bottom line
Having the 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 rank No. 1 with Consumer Reports makes for a good headline, but it doesn't save Chrysler from being a bad investment if it goes public. Ford and GM, on the other hand, have just reported strong Q2 earnings and only look to improve as they become more lean operations and grow sales globally -- which Chrysler is struggling to do. As the automotive industry continues to rebound, Ford and GM remain solid investment options.

Which automakers are the best investments for you to make money? It depends on one factor -- China -- which is already the world's largest auto market and is set to grow even bigger in coming years. A recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market," names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive big rewards for investors. You can read this report right now for free -- just click here for instant access.


Read/Post Comments (33) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:11 AM, Rmuscat wrote:

    Don't try to compare a Ram with a F-150. The Ford is years ahead of any other truck made today. Sales just prove it year in and year out.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:30 AM, EdNope wrote:

    Ford is Number 1 in trucks because they make the best all-around truck in the world - always have.

    The Dodge Ram looks good (finally), but the saying is true, "You're either a Ford guy or a Chevy guy." One good year for Dodge does not make it a solid, long-term competitor. Buy Ford, buy the best.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:37 AM, mike444673 wrote:

    Of corse it doesn't tell the whole story. Before anyone decides to buy a Ram Diesel, they need to research the "Dodge death shake" or the "Dodge death wobble". This is a very violent shaking in the front end that will cause you to lose control of the vehicle because you cannot hold on to the steering wheel. It typically is started when crossing uneven bumps in the road or a bridge expansion joint that runs at an angle to the road. I had my ram diesel for 5 years before it happened to me and I was lucky to live. The dealer told me it had to do with the weight displacement of the diesel engine and that Dodge still, after all these years, refuses to do a recall yet, it is far more dangerous than any other recall known. I have a 2005 with less than 30K on it, guess why? Instead of finding out the hard way of risking a life, go buy a Ford, it's well worth it!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:38 AM, lizfj1 wrote:

    Well, it's about time that Consumer Reports learned what the rest of us have know for years - If it Ain't a Ram, it's NOT A TRUCK! I've owned Fords and Chevy's, they were trucks I drove and beat up. I own Ram's now, and it's a truck I LOVE TO DRIVE! Main reason - as a woman, I find that neither of the other two have figured out that a truck needs to have certain small things to make it comfy, convenient. Chevy forgets the door grabs, Ford has some areas that make blind spots and their cup holders are inconvenient. Neither of them are comfy for a woman and they give terrible rides and have absolutely the worst feeling seats! I get into my Ram and it's like sitting in my living room! Plus, since I drive a 2500 diesel, my Ram can pull your two trucks out of the ditch they will end up in. GUTS< GLORY< RAM! You betcha!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:42 AM, LazerTown wrote:

    Actually.

    Ram is a separate division from Dodge.

    Is like writing an entire article about the Buick Camaro.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 10:43 AM, lizfj1 wrote:

    Sorry, Mike, I don't know where you got this info from, but I checked it with my Ram friends, (who use only them in professional pulling contests) and since I own a 2500 Diesel and owned a 3500 diesel in the past, know nothing about it. What I WILL suggest is that maybe you needed to rebuild your front end WAY before this happened and you never did? All big trucks are prone to needing front end work for ball joints, tie rods, even axel bearings. And depending on how badly you work them or how much you neglect them, that can be as little as every 20K miles or as much as every 60K. I submit for your consideration - that you needed front end work and did not get it done. If you are going to drive a big truck, you need to know how to maintain one.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:04 AM, emjayay wrote:

    I think anyone can be forgiven for calling Rams Dodges. For decades there were Dodge trucks, then they started adding Ram to the name, and more recently dropped the Dodge. Whatever. Same company.

    So, Ford sells more pickups and this proves they are years ahead of others. Owners identify with their pickup, and that makes that brand better. Fords are number one because they always have been - a '52 Ford is better than a '52 Chevy, or Dodge, or Studebaker, so a 2013 Ford is best. An eight year old Dodge has problems which sound just like worn ball joints, so that makes redesigned new model Dodges bad.

    Uh, no. For reliability, history, particularly recent history, is all we've got. I'm guessing that Dodge/Ram trucks like most Chrysler products have lagged Ford and GM for reliability, but CU doesn't give Recommended ratings unless recent reliability ratings are OK.

    For other factors, how about looking at the actual current models for sale. The reason Rams ride better than the others is they are the only full size pickup with a more modern coil spring rear suspension. Others have leaf springs, a design that disappeared from cars many decades ago.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:09 AM, josh995 wrote:

    There is a reason the Ram is getting a lot of attention lately, and that's because Chrysler is getting more serious with it and has come a LONG way. Absolutely LOVE my 2013 Ram 1500 Sport. I wouldn't trade it for the fanciest Ford F-150 or Chevy/GMC. I had a 2007 F-150 and it was nice but I didn't like it anywhere near as much as my Ram.

    And to the person who said Ram is a separate division from Dodge.....The Ram used be badged as a Dodge, so, yeah, just BARELY is it separate. My Ram 1500 actually has a place on the interior where it very prominently says "Dodge" even though it's technically a "Ram"

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:12 AM, josh995 wrote:

    Just because a particular vehicle USED to have problems or USED to be bad doesn't mean they STILL have those same problems.

    You people need to open your minds and stop living in the past.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:13 AM, cheyanne01 wrote:

    Bottom line is this, There will always be people who are loyal to each brand and have their opinions. However, Opinions are not facts. Fact is I worked all 3 trucks through constuction and doing rodeo's. The RAM truck is the best fit for all of those. Hands down! The ram diesel is the ONLY true diesel on the planet (inline 6 cyl) not a make shift 8 cyl that has to be reworked every couple years to stay with ram. Meanwhile all you ford guys adn chevy guys are switching over to dodges everyday! Now why is that? no need to comment just swallow your pride and enjoy your RAM!!! As a Ram 1500 owner I will challenge any of you chevy and ford guys to go ahead and try to keep up with my truck, Knowing in the end result you can't!! Been there done that! So it's about time that the press and the "EXPERTS" finally give some well deserved respect to the ram brand and realize that these trucks are for real! Sorry ford adn chevy, But move over cause theres a new sheffif in town! Give it a couple more years and you'll see. Also I want to let you know, Numbers do lie! The common man will buy more rams then any other brand, More bang for your buck and better warranty, However ford and chevy are in bed with multiple corporations that buy fleet vehicles (30-40 vehicles at a clip) Bottom line, Fastest growing truck sales is RAM!!! Dont sing it ford and chevy, JUST BRING IT!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:16 AM, grump7056 wrote:

    Just a correction. Ram trucks do not carry the dodge name any more. it was droped about two years ago

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:24 AM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    I have noticed the Dodge trucks always seem to have tranny problems around 70K miles. I never had to replace the tranny in my Silverados or Fords. I have had both. The silverado is as nice as my wifes Caddy. Not sure why anyone would buy a Dodge except just to be different. Their gas milage sucks, big time. My brother in law bought a new Dodge and two weeks later I bought a new Silverado. He gets 14 mpg and I get 20. Mine is really nice inside and his is --------Dodge.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:53 AM, ahole1 wrote:

    I have been driving dodge trucks where i work for 18 years Every two years we get new ones .The owners are die hard dodge fans Why i don't know The drive trains SUCK i have not had one that did not have serious if not catastrophic failure They look great But the longevity is long gone And it has been for years I made a mistake in05 getting one Did not last to even 50k then i had to fight them to honor there warranty They suck My 2013 work truck already is showing its true colors Been back to the dealer 4 times already Its to the point I now just drive my FORD ,my personal truck out in the fields now This way i wont be stranded

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 11:55 AM, renmandfx wrote:

    Had a Ram 1500 extended cab, 8-foot bed

    Ditched for smaller, fuel-sipping car.

    Enjoyed the Ram but....

    Won't get one again. Point of fact will have to get a Ford.

    Simple: Only Ford currently offers extended cab with 8-foot bed at base line level models.

    Dodge and Chevy you have to move up to 25x or even 35x class to get the combo (and may even have to get it only a dually as well)

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 12:39 PM, dtbd483 wrote:

    I have owned both Chevy, Dodge, and now for the first time I bought a 2007 Ford F150. It is the best truck I have ever owned. We are planning to buy a new Ford F350 Crew cab King Ranch. I have test driven both of the Dodge 2500 and 3500 and Chevy's 2500 and 3500. Both trucks have their strong points and both have their weak points. As for the ride. IT'S A TRUCK!!! not a Cadillac Seville, It's suppose to be a little ruff riding. If you want something that rides like a car then go buy a car.

    As for Dodge being number one. Well when Dodge can say that they have been number one for more than 8 years strait, Then they brag that they are number one.

    Also a little note: Ford never took bail out money. The Ford F150 kept the company alive even in the worst part of the reccession. That's something Dodge can't say.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 12:48 PM, dtbd483 wrote:

    Oh Yeah! and buy the way Ford ownes 20% of the Cummins Diesel Engines. The rest is owned privately

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 12:50 PM, normgarry wrote:

    Glad to see the positive press for Chrysler LLC products. But the F-series is still #1 and always will be. Visit my Youtube: Bigtruckseriesreview to see my Chrysler 300c SRT8 HEMI 392.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:06 PM, ahole1 wrote:

    Cheyanne01 any time you think that "ram" can even touch my ford i will meet you anywhere to shut you down Yes i can do that and afford too Why It is because i work the hell out of my trucks a dodge is the only truck that failed me I run underground utility's I tow with my truck a Case tractor with all the attachments that dodge 3500 whimpered while my own 92 F450 out does all there dodge trucks I have been driving ( actually forced to ) at my job for 18 years so for 18 years ,oh wait i get a new dog truck every two years so fI HAVE HAD IN MY hands 9 brand new dodge trucks for 18 years of driving dodge AKA fiat .( pathetic ) trucks s all those years AND EVERY TIME THEY FAIL MISERABLY FROM MILD TO ENGINE BLOWN AT 20 K MILES explain that Mr Ram Like another post said one year of dodge actually producinbg a decent truck does not outweigh the rest of those years where they just sucked Except for the cummings the reast are garbage and even then its so outdated its almost not even worth it Granted its a great I 6 motor better than towingt with a V8 but it still lags behind big time Unless its a diesel its crap Not everyone want a diesel there slick Thats why t6he other two always blow it away in sales Fact of the matter is dodge are the cheapest trucks out there in quality and craftsmanship Ever wonder why fiat separated the dodge name from them to call it a RAM its cause you get rammed when you buy one I am only speaking with 18 years of solid dodge Infliction on me by my employer who by the way gave up on dodge after a life long commitment to the brand the costs to operate a simple 1500 truck far outweighs anything good about it I can even prove on paper that dodge trucks are junk Dealer receipts for complete engines the latest at 20 k miles but i got a stack of service records that PROVE THERE JUNK Anytime slick I will show you a fleet of more than 1oo dodge trucks none older than two years and about 250 pounds in receipts for this modern junk heap anytime you want proof i have it Dodge trucks are junk except for the diesel and thats outdated too but still good

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:06 PM, HARDTAIL69 wrote:

    I'VE OWNED ALL 3-DODGE,CHEVROLET/GMC,AND FORD.MY DODGE'S HELD UP THE BEST,THE CHEVROLET/GMC CAME IN A CLOSE 2ND,AND COULDN'T KEEP THE DAMNED FORD'S OFF THE WRECKER AND STAYED IN THE SHOP CONTINUOUSLY.I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:34 PM, cashxx wrote:

    Have a 2011 dodge ram and love it! Great storage, smooth ride, ok gas milage, great power with hemi. No complaints here!

    The new models look even better with 8" touch screen and other technology.

    Chevy has had an ugly truck over the years, the 2014 looks better though. I was never a Ford fan, everyone is going crazy over the echo boast as one of my friends had to get one and I have been in it 4 times over the past few months and 13.5 mpg. I get about 15 mpg in my 5.7 v8.

    Ford has always had a smooth ride, but just not a ford fan and the interior of ford and all the other trucks I think are ugly. For the money Ford seems to be a little higher priced as well.

    All around I like the Ram the best!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:39 PM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Yes, "Consumer Reports is known for rigorous testing," but they also test toasters too.

    Hence, their car tests are toasters on wheels.

    If you want a truck and want to get from Point A to Point B, then the Ram will be perfect for you.

    But if you're an enthusiast with an emotional component to your automobiles, it would pay to check out some other evaluations and see if the Ram is still #1.

    It just may be.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:46 PM, brooksjm wrote:

    I work for a major oil pipeline company, and about 3 years ago we switched to the Dodge Ram because we could get them cheaper!....well after many complaints and break downs of the Ram truck we are switching back to Chevrolet which was a more dependable and all around truck and far safer!..We have had many Ram trucks just stop running on interstates, bridges ect...the Ram is not a good truck at all...take it from someone who knows first hand.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:49 PM, lovechevy wrote:

    when you cry babies get through talking about good and reliable trucks CHEVY TRUCKS are the BEST...........

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:52 PM, brooksjm wrote:

    As far as Diesel trucks are concerned!...If can take a Ford truck body and a Chevy Transmission, and Dodge engine(cummins) that would be a well built truck!...and yes Ford Does own part of cummins!!

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 1:59 PM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    If you want the real story just look at payloads. The Ram is terrible. You basically get a choice, either tow a trailer or put a load in the bed. The Ram can't do both without the trailer tongue weight overloading it.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 2:48 PM, not12say wrote:

    To quote Archie Bunker of 'All in the Family' fame.....'Well, Whoop-dee-do'! Total yearly sales tells the whole story, aka, 'the bottom line' for all you neophytes out there. For the last 36 years, the Ford F-150 has been the consistant #1 seller. So, go on line and verify it for yourselves.

  • Report this Comment On July 27, 2013, at 2:49 PM, big97redram wrote:

    Ford does not own Cummins the only bought stock in to the company. Cummins turbo technologies is independent company has a contract with Dodge to put motors in there trucks

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 2:47 AM, WilliamColo wrote:

    I've owned Chevy's and fords, will never give up my Dodges. Owned over 40 Dodge trucks, only ever had two problems with them, one a noise in a new 96 Cummins, they fixed it and the noise never came back in 200k miles. The other was in a used 95 Dakota I have for my German Shepherds, a wire for the speed sensor must have shorted after 160K miles. I fixed it last week. I used to work up at 10,000 feet here in Colorado, they used all three makes, we were always getting stranded in those pain in the butt fords because something broke or wouldn't run.My 2012 3500 Dually Long Horn is beautiful, incredibly well appointed, comfortable, and has awesome power. And I don't believe a word Mike says about what the dealer told him, the engine shake is easy to fix and only takes a hour or so. People have trouble with Dodges because they abuse them like they never would a Chevy or ford and then whine like babies when they finally break!

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 6:32 AM, fergcj7 wrote:

    its cheap. no down payment 2% no resale. thats why. there will be millons of them in the scrap yard.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 1:54 PM, dodger1500 wrote:

    people from chrysler are listening from their consumer,comming with economic power train,like the new 3.0 turbodiesel engine for grand cherokee and 1500 dodge ram...

    what about ford and gm? ford is building 4.4 litre turbodiesel engine in Mexico and is selling it in europe for most expensive suv,the Range Rover,23-30 mpg. Shame to ford and gm. i would buy a f 150 or a raptor with this engine in AMERICA

    instead,they put diesel engine on pick-up trucks that would fits big rigs,like semitruckus...

    nice work Chrysler...

    think about it,we,people,don't need to burn so much fuel to move from point A to point B

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 9:10 PM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Oh, my favorite truck is better than your favorite truck! :rolleyes:

    And touting the sales of the Ford and suggesting its the best one is like saying Mariah Carey is the best because of the number of records she sells. Do you want to tell your beer buddies you have all her albums?

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2013, at 2:08 PM, Expert01565 wrote:

    All you ford and Chevy guys are just hating, Get over it the only reason Ford is number one anyway is because of its Fleet status!! That's a fact, I test vehicles for a living for the customer and I can tell you Ram is a superior Truck now, Get over it!! and by the way Both the Chevy and Ford have the share of major problems!!

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:04 AM, chugcatsts01 wrote:

    I have a 1996 Dodge diesel. At 350k it has had a new headlight switch and a radio. Naturally it is 2500 series and it is a 4X4 automatic. The 5.9 turbo diesel has had 2 valve adjustments and regular oil changes. It gets the recommended 7500 miles on Shell Rotella-t and Fleetgaurd filter, The fuel filter has a water drain 'petcock' on it and the filter is never dirty, but it gets changed any way. Their are no oil leaks and is not quite a quart low at service intervals. The truck is 'HEAVY' but still gets 16 MPG hauling a 7500 LB boat and loves climbing hills. It has never had the A/C charged. I always drove CHEVY's in the past and still like them. The new 1500 pickup will have V-6 Italian diesel, for Dodges sake I hope they made the right decision, because Toyota and Nissan are going with 5 liter CUMMINS that was originally designed for Dodge.

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