The Ram 1500 has been upgraded severely by Chrysler in the 2013 model year. Featuring a 20% increase in fuel economy along with a new V-6 engine, a new eight-speed automatic transmission, Chrysler’s Uconnect system. Read more to find out what has been done.

Exterior: THE SAME! Well…the front grille is a little taller, bigger tow hooks, and vertical lights might be a little addition. However, if you aren’t looking for them, you wouldn’t notice the changes. Ram knows that people already know what a Ram looks like, and it is the most noticeable truck on the road.

Ram has really stepped it up with the interior.

Interior: The interior has been changed radically. The Ram’s interior gets many of the same improvements that Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles have seen over the past couple of years. The interior look has been only modestly redesigned, but materials and trims are completely new, with the center stack reworked and all-new climate-control interfaces and multimedia and infotainment systems. And, perhaps most notably, trucks with the eight-speed automatic will get a new rotary shift selector—located just on the left side of the lower center stack, with buttons for the transfer case located conveniently just below. Ram designers designed the new rotary selector to be easy to use with work gloves, and it’s intended to be the same across a wide range of seating options and layouts. The Laramie Longhorn remains the standout of the lineup, with unique burl walnut real-wood trim and plush leather.

Power: The former base V-6, a 3.7-liter producing an anemic 210 horsepower, has been dropped for 2013 in favor of a version of Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6, here tuned to make 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Hemi models now make 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet, and they incorporate both variable valve timing (VVT) and a cylinder shut-off system. The new eight-speed automatic will be standard with the V-6 and in most V-8 models, although a few of the lower-cost trims of the 2013 Ram will offer s V-8 and five-speed automatic pairing. Mileage is 24/17 Highway/City.

Toolboxes that open with the regular truck’s locks.

Suspension: The new air-ride system has 5 modes: normal, aero, off-road 1, off-road 2, and park mode), and allows best-in-class ground clearance, step-in height, and departure/breakover angles—all in the same vehicle.

Technology: Chrysler’s big 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch screen-based system will be available in the Ram, which is now built on a new Powernet high- and low-speed data network architecture, allowing up to 40 different modules to communicate for tasks as varied as vehicle safety, powertrain performance, and infotainment. Meanwhile, the 2013 Ram 1500 will also offer a next-generation Uconnect Access system; with data services provided by Sprint, the system will add a number of capabilities—including voice recognition, apps, and WiFi hotspot capability.

Pricing: Starting at $22,500

Opinion: The Ram is one great truck. It has some really stiff competition against the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, to name a few. Each brand is trying to find new ways to come out on top without hurting the consumer’s wallet. The Ram 1500 seems to offer a great truck for the buck. Definitely on our wish list, it might win our truck of the show!