Review: 2013 Ram 1500 ST Crew – Works Hard, Plays Hard

2013 ram 1500 st crew cab 4x4 dirt bike

Ram is having a great sales year, and the 2013 Ram 1500 is at the heart of this success.  Through May of 2013, Ram sold more than 140,000 Ram pickups and firmly holds number three spot for truck sales in United States.  So what make this truck successful and what can it do to improve?

STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
2013 Ram 1500 ST Crew 4×4 $33,035 $35,675 305/269
EPA Rating MPG As Tested MPG
Rating: BUY IT! 16/23 Combined 20 Combined 19.4

First Impressions

It’s only when you get up close to the 2013 Ram 1500 ST Crew Cab 4×4 that you realize how big and spacious this truck truly is.  I parked it next to the TFLcar 2002 Chevy 2500HD project truck and this light duty Ram is more imposing.  What a difference 11 years make!  The grill is menacing, the hood line is tall, and the 4×4 truck sits high on its 17 inch steel wheels and 31 inch tires.  The Ram is designed to seat six, but it feels like you can comfortably put at least seven adults in this thing.

2013 ram 1500 transmission 8 speed


The 2013 Ram may look nearly identical to the previous model year, but it has been thoroughly redesigned underneath.  This ST trim level truck is value minded and is geared toward day-to-day work.  The  basic black front bumper, some hard interior plastics, and the steel rims point to its work truck focus.  Nonetheless, this Ram has all the necessities and is a comfortable place to spend time in.  The seating position is comfortable and makes you feel in command of the road.  All the interior switches are within easy reach and simple to understand.  However, the rotary transmission control knob take a little bit of getting used to.


This test truck draws power from the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces a healthy 305 horsepower and a lackluster 269 ft-lbs of torque.  The low torque number is not noticeable when running around town in an empty truck (even at mile above sea level).  This big crew cab willingly jumps off the line and has plenty of passing power.  The 8-speed TorqueFlight transmission is smooth and this truck loves cruising at highway speeds.  It’s only when you start loading it up, that you start wishing for more torque.  Instead of working hard in this pickup, we decided to play hard instead.  First, we took two dirt bikes to a trail high above Boulder Colorado.  The Ram accomplished the task, but it struggled at times to climb some of the steeper grades.

Next, we hitched up nearly 6,000 lbs of boat behind it.  This was awfully close to this truck’s 6,300 lbs maximum towing capacity.  Again, the truck obliged.  It was able to accelerate to 40 mph is reasonable time, but getting it to 60 was a struggle (see video below).

2013 ram 1500 towing boat


The 2013 Ram ST still feels a little like an older traditional American truck.  The suspension is setup on the softer side and the steering is a little vague.  It’s not really a bad thing, as this truck soaks up most road surfaces  with a comfortable ride.  I also noticed that the turning radius was quite good.  When we hitched up 6,000 pounds to the hitch, the ride did not change.  This crew cab is a stable towing platform, it just needed more torque for our high altitude test.


Starting Retail Price City/Hwy MPG HP / Lb-Ft
2013 Ram 1500 Crew ST $33,035 16/23 305/269
2013 Chevrolet 1500 Crew WT $35,860 14/19 302/305
2013 F-150 Crew XL $35,620 15/21 360/380
2013 Nissan Titan Crew S $34,670  13/18 317/385
2013 Toyota Tundra $34,930  13/17 381/401

It’s interesting to note that for the 2013 model year, Ram is the only truck which has a V6 option in a 4×4 Crew Cab configuration.  The base Silverado WT comes with the 4.8-liter V8 to start.  The F-150 XL comes with a 5.0-liter V8, and the Titan and Tundra require you to step to the 5.7-liter V8s.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

I give the 2013 Ram 1500 ST Crew Cab a Buy It!  If you are looking for a roomy Crew Cab with 4×4 and good fuel economy, and you don’t plan to load it to the max – then this is a great pickup.  The 3.6 V6 and the 8-speed transmission are efficient and well suited to around town driving or highway cruising.  The beginner Ram ST trim does not have a lot of flash, but it’s comfortable and has all the features for every day use (including Satellite Radio) at an affordable starting price.  This is why I give this truck a Buy it!

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Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or scouring the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.