2014 AutoGuide.com Truck of the Year

2014 AutoGuide.com Truck of the Year

1st Place: 2014 Ram 1500

Though it appears almost the same this year, the Ram has received a host of improvements which have propelled this truck to the top of the pack.

First, the folks at Chrysler added an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-corner airbag suspension, which alone make it a great workhorse. Not stopping there though, the Ram can now be had with a small 3.0-liter diesel, and is currently the only half-ton on the market to offer such as engine.

2014-Ram-1500-diesel-engineSo how do these three new technologies work? For starters, the airbags offer conveniences that can’t be found elsewhere. Automatic leveling helps keep the composure of the truck flat at all times, and acts as an equalizing hitch when a trailer is hooked up. That means that the weight is distributed better between all of the wheels, keeping the steering strong and confident at all times.

The airbags can also raise the truck up two inches, or drop it by two inches, nice for parking in an underground lot, or taking this half-ton off road.

Next, the ZF eight-speed transmission. While Ram led the way with the addition of two extra cogs, look for the rest of the industry to follow. The transmission is so well implemented in this truck that there doesn’t seem to be any downsides. Low-end gears feel meatier because of the short gear ratios and the high-end gears are made to be tall returning solid fuel economy on the highway. Granted, this truck is shifting more often than any other, but the shifts are smooth and hunting for gears never seems to be an issue.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Review

A Hemi-equipped truck with airbags and an eight-speed is a solid package, but Ram has finally answered the prayers of truck enthusiasts everywhere, bringing in a 3.0-liter diesel that pumps our 420 lb-ft of torque.


This motor, in comparison to the EcoBoost, GM’s 5.3 and the Tundra’s 5.7, feels right on par off the line, with the low end torque of the diesel pulling like a V8, even with a trailer hitched on the back. Ram also did an exceptional job keeping the cabin quiet, with the diesel rumble only truly piercing the cab at low speed. The one, and really only downside, is the little 3.0-liter loses some of its bluster at high speeds.

But, the real hero story of this motor is the fuel economy. The diesel consistently returned around 3 MPG better than every other truck tested, whether it was empty, loaded or towing. No compromise was made to the power and the fuel numbers are stellar.

On top of all that, a useful interior is found in the Ram, offering one of the most elaborate luxury trucks with the Laramie Long Horn, but also offering no frills base options that are put together simply but offer an easy to navigate cabin. Especially nice is the info cluster screen that has no background or unnecessary graphics, keeping the gimmicks out to deliver the important info right to the driver’s eyes.

One more factor that needs to be taken into account is price. You need to drop at least $30,000 to pick up a Ram diesel, making it a few thousand dollars more than other V8-powered, base-level trucks. So, in buying this truck, you will sacrifice some horsepower that you could have gotten elsewhere for the same or less money, but if lots of highway miles with a trailer are part of your intended pickup truck use, then the diesel will pay for itself over time thanks to all the fuel you won’t be using.

Overall, the Ram 1500 3.0-liter diesel offers the best overall package of any other truck on the market today, which is why we are naming it the 2014 AutoGuide.com Truck of the Year.


1. The Ram 1500 can be had with a 3.6L V6, a 5.7L V8 or the new 3.0-liter diesel.

2. A four-corner air suspension and eight-speed transmission are available.

3. Pricing starts at $23,585, with out tester ringing in at just about $40,000.

4. The RAM 1500 is rated to tow 10,450 pounds when properly equipped.

5. Equipped with the 5.7L V8, the Ram is rated at 15 MPG city and 21 MPG highway.



  • Airbag suspension
  • Eight-speed transmission
  • Diesel power



  • Ram Box is expensive
  • Trailer brake controller position



  • Honest Abe

    Only a “Bro” would drive a Ram.

  • Alfie

    Toyota really needs to get its act together if it’s going to compete with the Big 3!

  • Doc H

    The F-150… LAST? You clearly know thing about trucks.

  • Shiratori1

    You mad??????????? 😛

  • Shawn Merrill

    Well this list is a joke, America invented the truck and we cant even win that. Also if you truck has an “ECO” Model it should be disqualified, the F150 ECOboost is not and “ECO” truck.

  • Jim Jim

    Sorry if I don’t want to fill up every second day.

  • Teckler

    WHERE’S THE TITAN!??!>>!>?!?>!?!

  • Robby G

    That POS is brutally outdated.

  • brokenmedic

    Not sure about buying a Toyota in 2013-14 but my 2000 Ext Cab (half door) Tundra 4.7L V8 4×4 ,Off road / tow package has only needed routine maintenance with the exception of a intermittent cold weather starting issue that turned out to be a bad blade fuse. I added last year for towing, lift bags, equalizer & electronic trailer brakes, now I’m towing a 10,000 lb camper off road. Granted, it’s a low mileage (101,000.) vehicle with mostly highway driving, I still have the original brake pad’s. They did a really nice job on that truck that year
    and I expect it will last another 5 years, Toyota even cleaned up the rust from MN winter salted roads and re-rust proofed (if that’s even possible) the underside.
    I went with Tundra because I wanted a truck made in the USA, sad but true!

  • Reb

    Good thing reliability wasn’t a factor ………………

  • Frank H

    Whatever, I’ve had mine for six years now and it’s been amazing. I’m definitely looking to buy a new one. Diesel for me!

  • eoyguy

    I still find it hard to believe they consider the cosmetic changes to the Tundra as improvements. God awful ugly if you ask me, and I had a 2010 until I got rid of it for the crappy ride and terrible gas mileage.. Maybe I am out of touch, but do people really WANT their trucks to look as boxy, large and tacky as possible? If so, mission accomplished.

  • Rickers

    To each his own. I LOVE the look. Finally someone has out-done Ram.

  • vinnieboiblue

    The Tundra is effen UGLY from the front. It is as if its trying to be too many things. The design does not blend well together as if they added pieces here and there. The Ram has a look that is unmistakable for anything else, and that is a good thing. The FORD, is like the Tundra with a Saab like grill. The Silverado and its GMC twin looks old. As for Nissan’s Titan, it is old and aged.

    I do like the Chevrolet Colorado though.

  • sean93240

    Obviously cost of ownership was not factored into this test at all. A small displacement diesel is not the answer that truck buyers are looking for. The maintenance is expensive and with the price of fuel the economy boost is pretty much negated, so the “it’ll pay for itself over time” theory is a pure pipe dream. And a Dodge with an eight speed automatic transmission? Really??? The company that has yet to produce a durable automatic since the 727 Torqueflite is now offering a transmission (albeit built by ZF) that has even more gears. I have my most severe doubts about all Chrysler products, but I think this Ram has bitten off far more that it can chew. I look for the Chevy and GMC trucks to gain market share with proven technology paired with better packaging and styling than the other trucks in the full size market. The real story between the lines here is that the new 6.2L from GM is the full size truck engine of choice and the rest of the market has some catching up to do. And the Toyota? Gross. I think the entire Toyota design team should be fired or simply stick to crayons. Ford, not much to say their other than lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit. This new EcoBoost debacle is not the first, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, time that Ford has misrepresented fuel economy. There are over 300 class action lawsuits in regards to this unproven and very expensive technology. Can you imagine an engine rebuild on a 3.5 EcoBoost? I shudder at the thought. Plus, the platform overall is ancient. A lot of the full size truck market does go to buyers who put their trucks to work to earn their living. In a market such as this, downtime is the real cost of ownership. Go with the truck that every other journalist in the industry is rating as the truck to beat in 2014. Go with the trucks that have the lowest cost of ownership (as rated by Vincentric) and have J.D. Power & Associates rankings the other truck makers only dream about. The Silverado and GMC are really the only choice to make in 2014 for a full size truck.

  • Troverman

    Rebuilding an ecoboost motor shouldn’t be that tough…the turbos are external to the motor, the plumbing removes easily, and aside from that its just a DOHC V6. Probably not as easy as rebuilding your beloved GM pushrod V8’s found in the new GM trucks, but still not rocket science. The difference is that at least the ecoboost can move a heavy trailer with authority, unlike the 5.3L. As for your comments about the new RAM, well, I agree the diesel fuel economy advantage of +3 mpg will probably be negated by the + $0.50 / gal price of diesel; however, the ZF 8 speed should hold up very well. ZF, unlike Chrysler, has a very good reputation for building transmissions. They have been building transmissions for decades, primarily for European prestige brands (think Audi, Volvo, BMW, Land Rover, etc). This latest 8 speed is very well developed, and is being used in Rolls-Royce, Bentley, the Range Rover, BMW, Audi…right on down to certain lower end brands like Hyundai and Chrysler. If it can handle the power and torque of a BMW V8 or V12, it can certainly handle the torque of this small Italian diesel in the RAM. So far, GM is not catching up with Ford sales, and that is unexpected. Most analysts expected with the launch of these new GM trucks, given the age of the current gen of F-150’s, that the Silverado at least would possibly outsell the F-150 this year…but that is not the case. It does not bode well for GM when Ford introduces the new F-150 sometime next year. I give credit to GM for making many improvements over their GMT-900 trucks, much nicer cabin, better ride, quietness, etc…and sticking with the simplistic but well proven pushrod V8’s. The 6.2L is impressive, but Ford has a 6.2L available in the F-150 as well…with only 9 less horsepower and 26lb-ft less torque…and it has been available since 2011. I highly doubt GM will make big inroads due to this engine. GM should have made an attempt to improve their lack of front-end ground clearance, in my opinion, for the folks who still drive their trucks up logging roads or venture off-road.

  • John-bob1231

    Interested as why the Nissan titan wasn’t tested? Not a Nissan fan just thought you should test all competitors in the market.

  • JamesEdmunds

    Toyota Tundra is the most reliable truck. PERIOD. Just like everything else they build. There problem is old Christian people drive their cars after lunch with alcohol and can’t seem to find the brake pedal.

  • james edmunds

    EXxon needs to follow a Ram / Chevy / Ford truck. They leak so much oil..

  • yyy

    Love the redesign. The engine is still awesome. When I buy a full-size truck… mpg is the last thing on my mind. Its how I can pull the big 3 trucks when they are stuck in mud, broke down on the side of the hwy, etc…

  • aa

    The Tundra is like Charles Bronson, few words. But will kill anyone in its way!
    The Ram is like the Frig from Chicago Bears.
    The F150 is like the coyote in Road Runner cartoons.
    The Silverado is doa.

  • vinnieboiblue

    Charles Bronson? LMAOOOOOOO….The Tundra is nice from the side, and that is all its got going for it. The design of the front end is a train wreck. The rear is as boring as white bread gone stale. Look at all the other trucks including Nissan’s Titan, and you can see they all blend well. Where as the Tundra, does not know what message it wants to send out, like a paranoid schizophrenic, too nervous and mixed up.

  • vinnieboiblue

    The Tundra should have built off the front of the Tacoma, and improve that look. Like all the other brands.

  • titan man

    I have a 2004 titan that has over 500,000KM and still running strong, very low TCO, compared with ford.dodge.gm, break the bank on repair

  • dave

    i think the titan is rates as a 3/4 tonne

  • hoot1

    Cause they were testing trucks

  • hoot1

    Ram rules

  • rscurtis

    The poor-selling Titan is not even in the same league with the Big Three. It’s going to take a lot more than the new Cummins engine to make this slug competitive again.

  • rebart

    Actually, the Ram has gained sales. Notice the Chevy ads slamming Ford and Ram. Ford screwed up the diesel. Chevvy was late to the party, and the Dodge diesel was the only good diesel on the market. Now a Chevvy fan wants to slam the truck that’s been the leader in diesel, and still has the toughest diesel on the market. Give them credit for trying. Gas engines are dinosaurs. Diesel may not be the answer, but neither is gas. Saw a guy at the Chevvy dealer a while back when I went to get something for my Tahoe. He was desperate for some way to increase his gas mileage in his big gas truck. He could ‘t afford to drive it. I don’t see you writing about Chevvy’s mistakes, and there are a LOT of them.

  • rebart

    Opinion only. Although the Ram look is getting old it is still the best looking truck on the market. Chev and GMC have improved, thought, although the front on the GMC SUVs is horrible.

  • Stephen Elmer

    The Titan was not available for testing at the event. Nissan was offered an invitation, but chose not to participate.

  • DSG04L

    Why does Toyota cars/trucks have TRD on them. Isn’t a the “u” missing?

  • Chris

    Why do bias people always insist on posting shit like this? Sad. I’ll stick with my Hemi, it’s a beautiful engine and with 10 years on mine, has never let me down and PLENTY of power. If I needed more power, I would get an SRT10 which makes your 6.2l look like an idiot.

  • Chris

    I wouldn’t call that getting old, it’s the best looking front end on the market point blank. The only thing I wish they would do is get rid of the box look to the cabin.

  • Chris

    the F150 wouldn’t even be on the list had it not the sales it does. People are followers and Ford has the highest advertising budget just like McDonalds has the highest burger joint budget but does not make it better than an In and Out Burger.

  • Chris

    And James you’re the authority on this subject? credentials please? my 04 Ram 5.7 hemi has been a beautiful truck with absolutely no problems at all and I’m not exactly easy on it either.

  • rebart

    Are you saying the Titan is going to get a new Cummins engine. You seem to be mixing oranges and apples, or something.

  • rebart

    The Tundra seems to be 3/4 of a truck. Isn’t it smaller than the real trucks like Ford, Chev, and Ram?

  • rebart

    Since when is the Tundra a full-size truck? Isn’t it smaller than the real trucks like the Ram? Do they have a diesel engine yet?

  • BigBaron D

    Yes, they are testing mules right now.

  • BigBaron D

    Ever had one? They are good trucks. The negatives they said about the Ford are insignificant. Interior? What’s wrong with it? They don’t say.Trailer hook ups? Wow, that’s a biggie. Styling? You mean it doesn’t look like a jelly bean with wheels?
    They kept using the word “annoying.” I wonder if they were having a bad day when they tested the Ford…
    BTW, I had a Ford F150 Supercrew. I loved it. I am now looking to get a Chebbie/GMC oil burner.

  • jason

    wow. good info. this is the second road test showing the ram diesel getting 26mpg empty. wow!

  • Aj Kahl

    Wow chevy finally put in a 12V plug. Ram has had that since 2009

  • Aj Kahl

    Chevy hasn’t even caught up with the technology of the of a Ram or Ford. the thing is if your a chevy guy thats what you are going to go with same goes for the others only other truck I would buy other than a Ram is a Ford.

  • quigleyd

    How can you include the Ram Diesel when it’s not out yet and it’s looking like it won’t be until late January?

  • Norman

    Out of all of these trucks the average man can work on the Dodge Cummins diesel you can forget the ford diesel and the chevy is not as bad as the ford

  • Brandon Dumblewski

    its a 2014 shootout. January is the beginning of 2014. if it isn’t available till jan. 2014 it should be included in the 2014 shootout not 2013 or 2015.

  • *B*

    I think this article and its results, are dead on. I bought a new 2011 F150 with the 5.0 motor. It was the biggest POS I have ever owned. It had so many issues, it was ridiculous. Both Ford and the dealer told me nothing was wrong with my truck, and refused to do anything. They merely wanted my warranty to run out so they could charge me to work on my truck.

    The truck vibrated terribly when towing anything over 1,000lbs (cheapass suspension and tires) even though I specifically asked if that issue was addressed on this new model. The front end sagged/spread out just like the old Fords did, even though I specifically asked if that issue was addressed on this new model. The cab was installed crooked and left the factory sticking out past the bed 5/8″ on one side, and tucked in behind the cab 5/8″ on the other side… so much for “Ford. where quality is job 1”. The motor would knock after driving it for 30min or more (especially towing) and then stopping to idle. I had a clicking noise in the front end, when the rear end loses traction and slips just a little…. like a hub is half engaged. The steering wheel would literally LOCK going around a corner for a brief, second, then free up. The engine would run terribly rough when started cold… missing and sputtering. The transmission would slip when cold unless you waited 30seconds or more to take off, after you started the truck cold. There was a terrible clanking noise in the rear drive train somewhere. The A/C would NOT cool below 57 degrees at any time.

    Funny how myself and others could easily recreate all these issues, but Ford couldnt. The only issues they addressed were the A/C… which they told me was acceptable as 57 degrees was ‘within their specs”… and the cab being mounted out of square… as that was an inarguable problem. The rest of the issues… I was screwed on.

    Funny how they changed their mind when I contacted the Attorney General of my state with the list of issues, and the responses from Ford/Dealer after all the trips in to have things fixed. After dragging their feet for 1.5yrs to try to get out of doing anything, they wound up buying the truck back at full price immediately, after the Attorney General was involved. I will never buy another Ford Motor Company vehicle again.

    The issues they listed here are just the tip of the ice burg. Drive the truck very long, and you will be cussing it. The guy below who made fun of the fact that the F150 is the most difficult to hook to a trailer…. is an idiot, or he never deals with trailers. When you are at the lake, half asleep at 4am and trying to hook your boat up in the dark… you dont want to be reaching way back up under the truck to try to find the safety chain hookups, or the light plug. The reverse alarm that you cant shut off permanently, is ridiculous, as I dont like companies “stupidproofing” my truck for me. If you cant back up without an alarm, you shouldnt be driving a truck. The fact you cant shut the alarm off and leave it off (it comes on by default every time you start your truck) is ridiculous. I dont care what it is, its MY truck,.,,, if I want it off, I should be able to turn it off and leave it off. The interior of the XLT I had was cheap as hell, and doesnt even come close to comparing with the interior of my Cummins SLT now, which would be an even comparison.

    They bought my POS F150 back, and I bought a real truck… an 04.5 Cummins. I was a naysayer on the diesels also, till I bought one. The overall cost of maintenance of my Cummins is no more than it was on my F150. Yes, the oil changes cost more as it holds 12qts, but I also run the oil longer as a synthetic, which offsets the cost. I also get better mileage than the F150 did, all the way around… so that negates the cost differential of gas/diesel. I find it funny how guys who have never owned a diesel, try to point out things about them, when they have no clue what they are talking about.

    To the guy who said a half ton diesel wont sell and truck guys havent wanted one… your nuckin futz. Truck guys have wanted a small diesel JUST LIKE THIS for a LONG time.

    I like Yotas, but they made one of the ugliest damn trucks ever with this new model. They tried to copy the grill from Ford, the headlights from Dodge, and the bumper from GMC/Chevy.. and it looks terrible. I still think they are one of the toughest 1/2 ton trucks going, but they are small and look terrible.

    If this 8spd tranny/diesel combo holds up…. Dodge will have hit one out of the park!! Cudos for doing what no one else wanted to do, or do right!

  • Delta Co

    ive owned them all with the exception of anything with a japanese or chines name. Withojt a doubt the best truck i think i ever owned was my old dodge with the cummins diesel , thats the best motor ever made , the milage was excellent and the upkeep no different than anything else . The 06 duramax i had i sold because chevy kept jerking me around with issues i had, the ford 150 i own now is still running good but has some issues that ford wont own up to. Its like a game with these guys , sure you got a warranty , but they just wont admit that anything is wrong with it or “they couldnt duplicate or recreate the issue”! All a brand name has to do is give goo warranty service and i will keep coming back. I was a chevy man for years , cars and trucks but after my last run with the duramax , i’m through with them. Right now everything i own is ford , and they are on thin ice.

  • Skeetertitan

    My thoughts exactly!! My 140k mile 2005 Titan may be a little outdated in design but its still one sexy SOB and will compete and beat some of these new trucks. lol People are stuck on the whole foreign thing but the Titan was made in Canton .MS. and there are as much American parts on it as the domestics trucks and way more dependable. The Titan gets no respect at all with these bias paid off articles. All I can tell you is go drive one and you will be surprised. My 8 year old Titan is as tight as ever and squeak and rattle free. Oh, how does a 13 second 1/4 mile sound out of a 5300lb crew cab?

  • conqts

    No titan because they are waiting for 2015 year. The newest titan they have is the 2013. Wait till the new titan comes out. Bey big 3 and bye toyota. When the titan first came out in 2004 it was better than the big 3 the lowest trim titan could tear aparta sSilverado ss in 0-60 and 1/4 mile. And it had less horsepower and tq. Nissan has built trucks since the 1950’s. So don’t say they don’t have any experience with trucks. Eff you boast big 3 guys.

  • keeping it real

    Tundra is with out a doubt the best 1/2 on the market. Better frame , 32 valve motor and made in America. Oh and the best resale value. I sell ford there really not that good. id take a GMC over a Ford any day. Dodge is the worst of all. We laugh our … off when people pull up in a Ram 1500. They are hooked severely.

  • keepingitreal

    What????? PLEASE DO SOME RESEARCH. if we r talking 1500 class they r actually just as big as any. And by the way they might be putting a cummings motor in them.

  • Ross

    Hogwash! I’ll tell you what, we will compare your tundra to my Ram pulling power, even mileage. I can haul a bigger load than you can, and I have more room in my bed, and inside the cab.I will beat you at every single thing you could mention or I would go buy the Japper. And tundra doesn’t even have a diesel. The ram diesel makes your tundra look like a piece of crap